Thursday, June 19, 2014

Can We Just Agree...

...that Dick Cheney is a soul-less moron with no actual experience in ANY war, and thus should not ever - EVER - be quoted as an "expert" in anything to do with the Middle East?

Unless, of course, you want to talk about the faulty equipment that Haliburton sent over, the bad facilities and the general killing and maiming of an entire generation so that he and his ilk could make billions?

Ok. There. That's the end of THAT discussion. Hey, newspapers and news outlets: STOP QUOTING THIS IDIOT! He's shot his credibility just like he shot his lawyer friend in the face. 

So. Enough. It's just as bad that Terry Bradshaw, late of the NFL, is now a Fox News(?) commentator spouting off about Benghazi. Really. I couldn't make that up even if I tried...


This is WORLDWIDE KNIT-IN-PUBLIC WEEK!! Go out and knit something in front of people!!

Ok, so to celebrate this great holiday, I bit the bullet and bought Fluormania sock yarn. And of course, the Teal Sock #2 is sitting again... I'm on the foot of Teal, though, so there's hope that it'll be finished sooner rather than later.
I told you it's coming along...

I'm sad (well, not really) to say that on my first day off in a couple of weeks, I went to Le Mouton Rouge and spent a bit of money on yarn. This IS my favorite yarn shop. Kelly is great to deal with, the yarns are quite nice, and the "stuff" that we knitters need? It's plentiful!

I went by myself, and I probably should have thought about that for a bit. I haven't been feeling well, and Morris is a ways from my house. 

Neon Flower
Sure enough, I started feeling a little "off" about half-way home. Took a reading and according to my sister, I'm now also throwing PVC (premature ventricular contractions). Lovely.

Back to knitting... So here's the Fluromania colorway I have. It's "Neon Flower." It's going to be wild. Seriously, the picture doesn't do it justice with the way it pops in real life. Kelly is holding 2 more for me: Ocean and Berry, I believe. 

It's a little different. I'm doing these in a plain pattern, with a K2, P2 ribbing instead of K1, P1. I also chose US size 1 DPNs and I cast on 72 stitches. Usually, I'm a 64-stitches gal, but also I'm using 2.5-ish or so...

Bright start...
I think that the 72-cast on will be fine. It's a much smaller needle; truly, the smallest I've knitted on since I knitted 3 rows of a "baby afghan" on two size-00 needles.

Which I gave away. And now that I know - I wish I'd have had sense enough to keep them... Oy. Live and learn.

So I did the usual 6-row knit-around for the cuff, and it's looking interesting at any rate.

All Hubby said was, "Well, those are gonna be bright!"

The other stuff I bought is pictured below. 

Do I need it? Of course....(maybe not). 

I bought more sock yarn. I'm on a roll. I think it's because I've finally got socks "in my hand" and they're becoming a great take-along project. It's summer. I know that I owe Kid #2 his afghan, but really - even though the house is air-conditioned, I don't really feel like working on an afghan.

He knows it's in progress. He's seen it. 

So. We have more Trekking. Now that I have the Karbonz size 1 DPNs, I think this will be nicer than the Teal Socks. I am toying with the idea of perhaps a cable down the cuff of these? I have to look for a pattern for simple cabled socks. 

I love the colors. And I don't think that the cable would be "too much" with the colorway. I could also do the Twisted Rib like I did with the Madelaine Tosh "Franken-sock." 

Yes. This time I'll write down what I did with the heel. Thanks for reminding me...

And there's more Opal. This is still the Little Prince colorway, but it's a different color - I can't remember which number it is; it's in the bag in my office at home. It's brighter, and has blue in it, which my last Little Prince socks didn't have. 

This reminds me of a beach towel. Don't know why. But the other Opal Little Prince reminds me of autumn. 

Since this one is very definitely a self-patterning yarn, I will again do a plain vanilla sock. 

By the time I finish this, I should be able to do a Plain Vanilla Sock in my sleep. Which is nice, I think. 

At least memorizing a pattern will be good for my brain. I think I can do everything to the heel in my head. At least till the heel turn, since I have mostly memorized The Doris Heel.

I also purchased the Fish Lips Kiss heel pattern from Ravelry. That may end up on the next pair of Opal socks. Not sure yet. 

This is Cascade Ultra Pima. A while back, I used their stunningly gorgeous garnet color for my friend Janet's prayer shawl. This is Jade. And this is the pattern I am doing: The Miami Beach Shawl. It's a free download and also, (yay!) not charted. 

Check out the awesome shawl pin I got from the shop. I figure that if I get the whole thing, it'll be the next thing on my needles.

Go ahead. Laugh if you want. At the rate I'm going, I could potentially use this as the project I knit while recuperating from the atrial ablation. 

Lord knows I'll need something to keep my mind busy. 

My Friday...

So here's a lovely look at my lovely Friday (yes, tomorrow). 

At 7:30 a.m. I have a board meeting/annual meeting at which I'll be named president of the organization's board of directors. It's a one-year term. I have to run out of there, speed drive home and change for a... 

10:30 a.m. interview with a committee of colleagues who are in charge of hiring for the academic advisor position I've applied for. Then, at... 

11:30 a.m., I spend an hour with the Dean of the adult accelerated program. Who also happens to be Special Assistant to the Provost. And buddies with the person who decided to flip my life head-over-heels.

Then, just for fun... at 2:30 p.m. I meet with the cardiologist to talk about the upcoming surgery. Hubby will be there with a notebook in hand. Because I'm telling you: my brain will shut down right about when the doc says, "It's a 5-hour procedure..."

Then, at 6:30 p.m. I have a guitar lesson. Which is likely to be the highlight of my day...

Luckily, I don't have to work on Saturday. 

But I do have a wake on Saturday. It's also the day I'd planned to whip down to Le Mouton Rouge to pick up those 2 extra Fluro skeins. I'll see how that goes. It'll be another trip down there by myself, because if I go with "The Girls" it'll take too long. It may be that I can go Tuesday, with "The Girls" since we haven't seen each other in a long while. 

If the call doesn't come for Tippi from Children's Advocacy Center. 

The wake is for the FIL of my friend Nat. It's a short one, with a private burial, and I really want to make sure I get there. 

Susan B. Anthony...

This is my new Facebook picture. I love this quote. Especially these days, when we're having a lot of trouble (in my opinion) with folks shoving their religion in our faces. 

It reads:  I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.

You tell it, sister.

See, I'm a religious person. I have no problem with other religious people. I just do not believe that the United States of America has a "state religion." 

Those Founders that the ultra-right-tea-baggieez are always beating us with? They clearly said that there was to be separation of church and state. 

I'm also not really fond of politicians saying, "God Bless America" after speeches. I think that's disrespectful to atheists and agnostics. For cryin' out loud: Even Pope FRANCIS says that they should be respected.

And I love that a woman said this. Particularly since women are usually on the receiving end of men's  proclivity to regulate and "religious-ulate" our reproductive rights and even our working and personal rights. Hey - I'd like to make the same wage a man makes. It would be cool.

And please. If you don't have my plumbing, you aren't allowed to legislate against it. 

The Storms...

Clouds from the southwest
So this happened. I went to the back of the campus to put a note on the board yesterday morning... And in 5 minutes, the outside looked like this. 

More clouds
The weather alarm didn't go off, but it was totally dark, and the wind whipped up something fierce. 

It started with a couple of plops of rain, a clap or two of thunder and then some pretty nasty lightning. 

The lights flickered briefly but we didn't lose power. 

Then it started bucketing. It didn't last long, but it was fierce. We apparently just got skimmed with that system that spawned a couple of twisters up north of us. 

There's more in the forecast for today, and I'm hoping it holds off till I get home, and settled in with my knitting. 

The rest of the clouds
What's fascinating is the cloud formations. They're pretty cool. It was another adventure in "How fast nature changes" and it was awesome to witness. I was particularly concerned about that batch from the southwest, since that's usually where tornado activity initiates.

And last night's yoga class was punctuated by yet another storm. Of course, I was by the window. Try holding Adho Mukha Svanasana (down dog to the civilians) while thunder and lightning are popping all over... It's a study in concentration, for sure. 

As I start to clear out 8 years of "stuff" from the campus, I'm feeling melancholy, and the clouds kind of reflect what I'm feeling. 

I don't know if I'll get the job I'm interviewing for. I told my boss the other day that I wished with all my heart that she or someone else would call and say, "You all are moving to the new location" -- but I think that she and I are the only ones who think that that's a good idea. 

She's pitching something for my assistant, for which I'm really grateful. But one thing is for sure. 

I'm really tired of having to reinvent myself. 

I thought I'd have a home in this job for a long, long time. And maybe for some folks, 8 years IS a long, long time. But not for me. 

Bad Karma...

So this other thing happened. A student bounced a check for a private yoga lesson. Then, my bank (which happens to be the student's bank) ran it again and it bounced AGAIN. So. No fee for the lesson and TWO bounce-fees. I've asked the student (strongly) to pay me in cash, ASAP. According to the last communication, this should be accomplished by next week. I gave the student 5 days, which I'm told is "much too nice."

My studio owner - well, this is her hot-button issue. There's a sign in the studio with the student's name and "cash only" on it. I don't know that I'd have done that, but it's her studio. She really doesn't want to have to chase people for fees. And I get that. We shall see.

If the student doesn't come forward with what's owed, I will (sadly) be reporting this to the police. It sounds harsh, but it is, after all, a business. 

If the student had called and said, "I need to change the lesson date and time" it would have been fine and I would never have thought that it was perhaps that money was tight. It's more honorable in that instance to do that -- rather than write a check you can't cover. 

You want to trust people. And it stinks when you find out that you can't trust them as often as you would like to. 
Blowing coat

Random Picture...

This is Tippi. Or what's coming OFF Tippi. She's blowing coat. So is Quinn, but to a much lesser extent. 

Raisa is, too, a bit. But not near this amount... However, NEXT year, she'll be on par with Tippi, if not more.

And no. I'm not saving it this time. I haven't even started anything with the Five-Dog-Yarn that I have.

But I've found a lovely lace shawl that will fit that yarn nicely.

It's on my list. 

I was going to go put another box of stuff into the car. But then I realized I had 2 cans of upholstery cleaner in there.

I don't think I need to have them explode. It's a cloudy day, but the car interior heats up nevertheless.

I guess it's time to save this, post it and take a toddle around the office. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

I Had This All Written...(version 2)

Seriously, it was a rough night last night and during one of my "can't get back to sleep" phases, I actually had this entire entry written in my head. 

And I said, "Self, you have to remember this, 'cause you need to get it on the blog."

So of course, I've forgotten it. Entirely. Unless some synapse fires and I get another shot at it. 

I hate when that happens.


Slogging along on Teal #2. The heels are SO different that these are, I'm afraid, destined for Hiking Boots Only. 

Teal #2 Progress
Nope. Still can't find the notes on what I did for Sock #1. 

If it was only a MINOR difference in the heels, I'd just go ahead and be a "trend-setter." This is, sadly, now into "what the heck did you DO???" territory. So. 

Boot socks. 

As far as the leftover yarn, I will do two things, likely. First, I'd use the leftovers in Teal for cuff or heel/toe with a solid Trekking -- going down a needle size, since this is a thinner yarn than Opal. 

And second, add a few Teal Eggs to the Easter Tree!! I think they'd be cute. 

I can't wait to finish this sock. 

Though I'm still really all "awwwwwwwww" about my DPN holders from Clover. Sheep. Get it?


So, I ran into a "nurse joke" and it took me aback - I got a call from the other nurse in the cardio practice, and she had changed my procedure date up two days earlier, which was nice. Then she calls, and says, "I have to change it back. I'm assuming you'll want anaesthesia for this, right?"

Ummmmmmmmm. Yeah. 

Then, (smacking head) -- LOL. Sure, that's a good idea. Nurses have VERY strange outlooks on things.

Anyway, after 2 weeks of the cops and NO exercise to speak of, I am, of course, up several pounds. I'm sad to see them go but very happy their "poison pills" (a/k/a donuts from a lovely local shop!) are gone! 

I got on the bike yesterday, after work, and did a little over 6 miles. I'm sore. I have to "get back in the saddle" as it were. And I'm annoyed. I have "Map My Ride" and the first time, it did its thing just fine. THIS time? I have no idea what happened. I'd really rather track these things in "real time" instead of logging them later. Maybe I need to go back to the Android system for the tracking, though that's usually a bit off (like a mile or so) from the Windows version that Hubby's using. 

So perhaps I can get back on the bike today after work. It's 2 weeks of 6-days-per-week working and while I am not specifically whining, I'm kind of whining because I'm not used to it. 

Yes, I know that many people work two jobs, work 7 days a week, etc. And for a while, I was one of them. I truly appreciate the difficulties they have.

I'm just having a rough time with everything else going on, and it's wearing on me a bit. I promise I won't whine anymore. 

Kid #2...

So I did remember PART of what I wanted to say!! It's kind of Kid-related, and kind of Knitting-related.

He's thinking that "mid-July" will be his move-out date. That means I've gotta get that blasted chevron afghan done for Christmas at least. 

There's no way it will be done by move-out! 

We'll be "scavenging" among the family for things he can use till he gets his own house set up. It's a family tradition that certain pieces of furniture get handed down/handed over when needed. I've got some art, there's at least 1 set of dinnerware, some pots & pans. It'll all be a bit "eclectic" but it'll work. 

So our nest empties...

The Garden...

I don't have a decent picture and I have to tell you - it's amazing! I believe I can have radishes this weekend, and the lettuce is about ready. Yum!!!

Flower garden
The second batch of chives just is NOT liking that trough it's in. But the herbs in the Trug need to be harvested ASAP. They're going nuts. Strangely, the dill in the other trough out front is going incredibly well. Same dirt. Same kind of trough. Same sunlight. 

I will likely make some more Basil Jelly and perhaps see if I can find Tarragon Jelly as well, since that's exploding. Parsley will have to be frozen. I have the jelly jars. I just think parsley jelly will be a bit "whoooooooaaaa" -- but I do have walnuts, so maybe pesto??

Still haven't seen our full allotment of hummingbirds, and the petunias and fuschia are turning out nicely. Hubby says, though, that we'll see more of them as the summer moves on. 

We have to do something with the big blue birdbath (it's got a crack in it), and we've been thinking of some sort of water feature. It's kind of a problem because of the maple trees; all those twirly-gigs really mess with a pump. But I'd like to see something that's got movement because (a) it keeps the mosquitoes down; and (b) the birds like it. 

Random Picture...

Just in case you're whining about it being "hot" -- here's a reminder of what we just went through here in the Midwest. 

Or, if you have a desire to feel "cool" -- this might cool you off. 

Either way. 

Frankly, I'm a winter baby and I've always preferred the cooler weather. If I could find a place where the warmest it gets is about 70-75 degrees, I'd be fine. I don't really care how cold it gets.

Cold, I can bundle up.

Hot - there's only so much you can take off till it gets indecent...

Speaking of which, I'm going to Florida in a couple of weeks. Business, sadly. Not looking forward to it. Anyway, I'll look forward to coming home to Hubby, the dogs and The Kid. It's nice to travel every once in a while by yourself. But it's even nicer to come home. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

George Will is a Jerk...

No, really. He is. 

His recent Washington Post column about how sexual assault victims on college campuses have a "coveted status that confers privileges" is - to say the least - mind-boggling. 

Will may indeed be a prolific columnist who is a Pulitzer Prize winning writer. 

But in this case, George - you're a jerk. 

So (if I had a daughter) if my daughter is raped on a college campus, she should consider herself PRIVILEGED. Really? 

Let's review. From a plain old dictionary:

Rape: The crime, typically committed by a man, of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with the offender against their will.

From the FBI:

Rape: Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or the anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. 

Sooooooooooo - what part of EITHER of these definitions claims to be a "privilege" for the victim? Think on that for a moment.

And then, let's go to my favorite place: His example of a woman who reported a rape, but in George's eyes, SHE was at fault. Here's his exact sentence:

Then add the doctrine that the consent of a female who has been drinking might not protect a male from being found guilty of rape. 

Shall we go into the fact that perhaps the woman was drugged? Shall we go into the fact that we should be teaching young men that if a woman is drunk (no matter how she got that way), it's just better all the way around for him to walk away, and protect both of them? 

I mean really - I've raised boys. I hope that I have taught them to be respectful of women. And to understand that if a woman is drinking, his job is to make sure she gets home safely. That's it. Even if, under the influence of alcohol, she claims to be receptive to any advances, just walk away. 

Is that cowardly? No. It's also not a cop-out or calling the woman the victim or the instigator. I'm saying that we need to look at the facts.

College kids are stupid. Let's face it, perhaps it's their first time away from home without parental supervision. I work at a university. I see the stupid in otherwise smart kids. 

Parents need to educate their girls to take care of themselves and honor themselves. I don't drink, and I never have. I despise the prolific use of alcohol on campuses, but I'm also a realist. Kids will do stupid things. 

Parents also need to educate their boys that they need to (a) not blame the woman -- it's totally NOT about how she dressed or what she said. Use the brain you were given and don't be a jerk; and (b) recognize when you need to just make sure the person is in a safe situation and then go home. 

Sex isn't a "right." It's a decision best-made by a couple who aren't in the midst of alcohol fumes. 

George Will has done some significant writing on some meaty subjects, and perhaps his insights have merit. Obviously the Pulitzer people thought so.

But on this topic?

He's so far off-base that Neil deGrasse Tyson couldn't even find him in the Cosmos... 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Not Feeling the Love...

...maybe it's me. Maybe it's the yarn. Maybe it's the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome. Maybe it's because I can't find the notes I took and the heels don't match and I really wanted them to match.

Teal #2 S-L-O-W-L-Y
But I'm truly slogging through Teal Sock #2. I'm not feeling the love. And my Kollage Square needles are splitting the Trekking XXL yarn. Maybe I'm at that point in the ball of Trekking, but it's rather discouraging.

I'm finally on the gusset decrease. But I'm really quite sick of the ribbing pattern, I'm not happy that it seems a LOT thinner than Opal and I have a hole where the gusset begins. Dang, I hate that. It's fixable, but I still hate it. Only on one side, too. 

Maybe the yarn is inherently thinner than Opal and since I've done 2 pair in Opal back-to-back, I can tell the difference.

I'm told Trekking wears like iron, so I suppose it's just me.

But dang. I'm sick of this sock. 

The Job...

The press release came out today. It's not well-written and what shocks me is how many people were NOT told ahead of time. One of the people (and rightly so, but to the wrong person) blasted Boss Lady today. She told this person that even SHE wasn't privvy to the decision - it was made and THEN she was told. 

The person who complained is the kind of person you don't want to annoy. The message about the screwed up communications will be clearly, respectfully and STRONGLY delivered. And the point will have been made. 

But now, it's out there in the air, so I've already received some "condolences" e-mails. The culture at work has changed, and I'm not sure if it's because we've grown or because we've ceded a certain percentage of control (too much, in my opinion) to the bean-counters. Or in particular, ONE bean-counter. That's always dangerous because yes, bean-counting is very important.

But so are people. And in a university, you can have all the right certifications and qualifications, but if you don't have your people and have good morale - you won't have students because the majority of them are very invested in the 4 years that they spend at the school. They choose a university this size because they are NOT "cogs in a wheel" and if they get to feeling that way, they can and will leave.

I also found out that the job I applied for has generated "a tremendous amount of interest" according to the dean. So we shall see. I'm going to give it some time before I send my resume out. I really don't want to. I don't want to start over. 

Maybe that's wrong, but that's the way I feel right now. 

The Heart...

I talked briefly to my sister. Looks like I'm in for an atrial ablation in late July. The timing couldn't have been worse (well, actually, it could have, since I'm supposed to be out of town at the end of June!) but I'm also starting a small freak-out. 

It's a 5-hour procedure. At least 2 days in the hospital. A solid week off work. Then the scary part... You think I jest, right? 

Nope. No jesting.

About 6 - 8 weeks of no cardiac meds while the heart muscle not only recuperates from the surgery and the swelling goes down, but while it re-wires itself. So I'll be in and out of a-fib. The only Rx I'll have is a "significant" blood thinner. Because a-fib causes strokes, and I'll essentially be uncontrolled till my heart figures it all out. 

Soooooooo. How's YOUR summer going to go??

The Dismal Work...

Gradually, I'm clearing out. I made the inventory, and I'm now working my way through figuring out what to do with some stuff, tossing a LOT of stuff, and working on deciding what I can do without in case I actually am here till our December closing date. 

It's a lot like dismantling my house. I mean, it's a job. I get that. But I'm at the job so much that it really is a second home. There are things here that I've brought from home because I'm not home enough to use them!

And there are touches that I've brought in so that this space gives off the vibe that we're looking for: business-but-home. We deal with adult students. Night classes and weekends. These people are in a HURRY. 

But they don't want to be "institutionalized" - they like my art work, the decorations I put up every holiday, the stuff I have around that makes them laugh or pause to think of something else. 

And a lot of that is my own stuff. And it'll be stripped out of here, especially if I do leave early. 

It's a bit like a grieving process. 

Random Picture...

Dogstacle Course
This is the gang. In their usual "dogstacle course" pose. This is where, no matter where YOU are, when you walk by, they S-T-R-E-T-C-H out to at least twice their actual length. Just so you have to guess where a furry body part will be... 

It's eerily like when we had River, but her place was at the right, where Tippi is... 

We did train them to not get up when we're walking around. I mean, a couple of times, Hubby let slip the "out" word -- and I almost got my legs knocked out from under me. 

So we do ask them to just stay where they are. I just can't understand how they can stretch out so far... 

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Apparently Farther Than I Thought...

Hmmmmmmm.... I just grabbed Teal Sock #2. It appears that I'm ready for the heel flap. Of course, this is the sock where I'm not exactly sure what I did on Heel #1, so we'll have to see how this all turns out. They may very well be boot socks or I'll start a fashion trend of mismatched heels.


Little Prince KAL socks
The KAL socks are DONE! Boom!! Done, done and DONE!! Of course the question is, do you like your stripes matchy-matchy or do you let the yarn do what it does? So far, with these Opal socks, I haven't bothered to match them. While I have a ton of yarn leftover, I certainly COULD have matched them, but honestly - I think they're kinda cool the way they are!!

These will show up in church one of these days. I've got my Robin's Nest MadTosh socks on today with the Birks. 

Don't laugh. You produce something with around 34,000 stitches of knitting and some awesome engineering to make it look like something wearable, and you're darned tootin' gonna show 'em off too!! 

Besides, it's cold in here. 

So I can check off another thing on the list. Yay, me!!!

Once I get the Teal Sock done, I can concentrate on the other things: finishing the baby sweater, my February Lady Sweater, the cross-stitch. It'll all get done, and I feel like there's a process now. 

Now the question is what to do with a LOT of leftover yarn. I'm serious - this is even with a PAIR that have 7" legs. I guess it's good - if I was to knit a pair for either Hubby or one of the Kids, the legs would be much longer, and so would the feet. 

Recall, if you will, that I have a lot of the pink leftover as well. That's a variegated, rather than a self-patterning yarn. And those legs were about 5" tall. I think 7", while it's a long, boring knit, is a good length for me. It also bridges the "scary legs" thing with slacks. I have yet to deal with knee-high length, but I do have lots of Opal in The Stash. That might not be a bad idea. 

I'm thinking. And I welcome suggestions. 

Knitting Dilemma...

So. Good news!! Kid #2 got a job!!! Now, what do I do with the partially finished knitted tie in his OLD school's colors?? The new school's colors are gold and black. The old school's colors were green and gold. And the tie was green. Well, it IS green, because it's not done yet. 

I guess it's sort of a moot point till I find the directions. They got separated from the project bag, and I don't remember how to do the linen stitch. I could look that up, but this pattern tapered and I can't find the regular directions. 

He won't mind. But I hate to have a quickie project like that just sitting there. 

Bad news...

So Thursday, my rhythm was "off." All day. Not as bad as it had been. I mean, I was thinking to myself, "Self, your heart is racing. You feel off. You've taken EKGs and the heart rate is pretty high. But you're not dizzy. You're still talking and walking around. You took your meds. You haven't passed out. So just hang in there."

I got done with work, e-mailed the strips to the cardiologist (thank you AliveCor device!!!) and then my sister called that night with the bad news. 

Well, maybe it's bad, maybe it's just as well. I have to have the heart procedure. They want to do it in July, which is ok, but if I can get in earlier, I'd like to explore that option. What with the trip to FL at the end of the month, though, they may not want to do it in June. Maybe EARLY in July would be nice??

I'm scared. But I know it'll be better to get it over with. Overnight stay in the hospital (yeah, will probably bring knitting even if I'll be zonked) and then 3 to 4 days rest at home. What troubles me is the "several weeks of light activity." BLEAGH!! I just got back into "activity" for cryin' out loud!!! 

Ok. I know. Listen to the doctors and suck it up. I will. I promise. But that's why I'd like to do this earlier in July. Otherwise, it messes with an already established schedule I've got that's pretty much set in stone. 

I would ask if it could get even more confusing, but I don't want to give Karma a chance...

The Office...

I've begun the inventory of assets -not the electronic stuff. That's not my department. But a log of what's going to be finding another home. I've asked my colleagues who wants to adopt the plants (with the intent that they'd leave here before it got cold - not right now, because I don't want the place looking naked). I tallied all MY stuff (I had brought in some furnishings and pictures that are mine) and today at work, I emptied out some of the drawers. As the class leaves, I'll pull the truck up and load it all in there. 

I'm sad. It's depressing. But it's better to do it bit-by-bit instead of all at once. Especially since I have already applied for another position, and I know it's going to be like a "garage sale" here shortly. I want to make sure MY OWN stuff doesn't get lost in the shuffle. 

The official announcement goes out Monday, now. Not looking forward to phone calls and e-mails. Because what I would like to say is not conducive for future job prospects. But even if I did say whatever I wanted, I do believe people are going to put their own spin on stuff anyhow. 


I have many philosophies. Some are good. Some are only situational and subject to change. But I saw this on "The FaceSpace" as we call it at home, and lately, this is starting to resonate with me. 

It's tough to think about "starting over" with a job at my age. It's too early for me to retire, even if we could afford it. 

We're by no means broke, and we actually have our house paid for. But in spite of the days where I feel like I really, really, REALLY want to retire, I know it would not only not be a good idea financially, but emotionally as well. And with our nest nearly empty, we want to do thing that we aren't able to do now. Well, with 3 dogs, it's likely it won't be whisking ourselves away to a cozy B & B for the weekend, but it's kind of nice to not have to consider what to do with or for the kids. Yes, Kid #2 is old enough to make his own dinner, but while he's still here, I don't feel right treating him as if he doesn't exist. 

Anyway. What I've been thinking about is the whole concept of "enough." Am I "thin enough" (no, and I don't mean that out of vanity); am I "smart enough" (well, probably); am I "happy enough" (no, not lately and not for a while). Setting aside the facile arguments of how women need to be "enough" of everything, and in the trying often lose the basic element of who they truly are (Sorry Oprah, it's not working. The chai thing was the topper.), I have to take an honest look at myself at this pivotal point. 

So the job situation might be a good one. Taking stock of yourself and your direction are beneficial habits. I think you can over-think that and thus become moribund, but a periodic check-in with the inside of your head and your heart might not be a bad thing. 

Anyway, this is what I told Boss Lady when I informed her that I'd applied for another position and she said, "But do you want to do that?" Well, I said, NO. I want to do what I'm doing, but that option is clearly off the table right now, and I doubt it'll be coming back. Can I do it? Without a doubt. If I'm lucky enough to be interviewed and offered the job, I'll be happy. Women my age with my qualifications don't get a lot of opportunities, and I'm not in the mood to start over again. 

So it's Inventory Time in more ways than just counting how many clocks we have, how many desks, chairs, paper plates, markers and the rest. It's time for me to take an inventory of what I want and how to best accomplish it. And include the "deserve" part. So maybe when people compliment me, I can figure that they're "not just saying that" - that they see value in what I have done over the past 8 years. When people ask what I am going to do, sure - there will be a certain amount of prurient interest, but by and large, I deserve to think it's because they care. 

It's going to be an exercise, that's for sure.

Random Picture...

Yes. These are cookies. No. They are neither home-made nor on my immediate eating plan. 

Brownie Cookies
It's been a stressful week. I've worked the equivalent of 2 weeks in a 6-day span. I'm tired. I'm a bit more tightly wound than I usually am.

And I'm eating the stinkin' cookies. With any luck, the weather will hold out and my heart won't go crazy - maybe I can get a bike ride in either today or tomorrow. Or yoga. 

I do have to start reaching for yoga instead of cookies. Or more knitting. Either one would be more helpful, and at least with yoga, I can get up off my chair.

I haven't figured out how to knit and be mobile without the very strong potential of terrible bodily harm from knitting needles or the tripping hazard of yarn flying everywhere.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

There's No Easy Way...

I got "one of those" e-mails from Boss Lady. I just picked up the phone and said, "Tell me now."

Our campus is closing. We are a regional site, which costs about $300,000 to run. Don't gasp. We BRING IN over ONE MILLION DOLLARS in credit hours. 

But someone saw that we "could save" $300,000 if we shut down this campus, given that some other decisions were made on the main campus which renders one speechless and doubting the wisdom of those at the top of the food chain. 

So. After 8 years. I'm essentially out of a job. But wait. It gets better.

We're closing as of the end of THIS calendar year. So we have 6 months to stew about this. 

And we're not guaranteed positions elsewhere in the organization. We get "preferential treatment" but we have to apply just like the average outside person. 

Yes, I'm used to this kind of shiv in the back. This isn't my first rodeo. My first Master's thesis was on what to do with the SURVIVORS of a RIF (Reduction in Force) -- no matter what you call it, and its names are legion, someone loses a job. 

So let me list the names I know of: RIF, down-sizing, corporate realignment, layoff, and (my personal favorite - NOT) right-sizing. 

Basically, the main campus made some decisions which, when coupled with a slow return to full growth, made someone Upstairs start to clutch their pearls. They saw an opportunity, and rather than let us work on finalizing some details on partnerships which would have been VERY profitable, they threw us under the bus. 

I'm not naming names or the school. I'm just very disappointed because we're all supposed to be mission-oriented, and above all, SMART. When the math doesn't work, it doesn't work - and in this case, it's very short-sighted (and I would have said that about any of our other regional sites, given this set of circumstances) to bail before you have a chance to really see the long-range plans come to fruition.

Even one of my colleagues said, "Hang on - I've only got an MBA, but $1,000,000 - 300,000 = $700,000. Seven. Hundred. Thousand. Dollars. In profit." 

Yep. But we're still being closed as of the end of the calendar year. 

Mind you, this is my fourth or fifth RIF (they all blend together after a while), so while my colleagues reeled, I was  -  well, actually, pretty cold-hearted about it. They were all "Whaaaaaaaa??? Do you have jobs ready?" and I told them not only did we NOT have jobs, but if we wanted to stay with the school, we had to reapply just like anyone else. Well. You could've heard crickets in the room. 

I finally said, "Look, folks. I've been on this ride before. The shiv I feel in my back is just like the other ones. You get used to it. This is exactly what happens outside the academic bubble." And my colleague who was still stunned by the lack of logic in the math said, "Yes, but aren't we all supposed to be family?" 

Well, yeah. But apparently, there's a new sheriff in town and the bottom line is the bottom line. Not unlike our corporate friends. 

I did tell my boss that "as of now" I was taking all the comp time I've been accruing - usually I give half of it (or more) up because it's only me and a part-timer and we have to have this place open 6 days a week. She said, "I'd have to holler at you if you do NOT take it...go for it."

So how's that for starting your week out? The "official" announcement goes out Friday, and I expect the "WTH???" e-mails to be backed up in my inbox by Monday morning. 

Not to fear; I have applied for another position. Boss Lady said that, as a matter of fact, she was going to "lean on" some people she knows and make sure that I am looked after, as well as my assistant. She's being so wonderful about all of this. 

So we have the dreary drudgery of making an inventory, finding a home for all the houseplants (with deferred "adoption" till later in the fall) and for me -- finding a home for 8 years of "stuff" that I've used at work that's actually my stuff. Like holiday decorations, art work, some office accessories... It's a lot, and you don't realize it till you have to box it all up. 

Could I retire? No. 

Do I want to? Well, I'd probably LIKE to, but likely would not really WANT to. 

We can't afford it anyway. 

I'll keep you updated as to how things go. But for now? This week rather sucks.


Tilt your head...
How does my garden grow? Remarkably well, thanks. Here's what our veggies look like. Yes, (shhhhhhhh - don't jinx it) we have actually got TWO baby tomatoes. 

The flower garden is equally impressive. The hummingbirds appreciate the color and have been back to the feeders again, which is nice. 

Baby tomato
So this picture above, please tilt your head, is the complete veg garden. At the far left, red cages, tomato plants. In the middle of that same bed are 2 rows of cucumbers. One is for salads and the other is for my World Famous Hand-Cut Pickle Relish. 

The middle bed is carrots - the Heirloom seeds from Seed Savers. And next to that in the same bed are the Seed Savers radishes. Yes, we spaced them out. And yep - looks like every single radish came up!

The far right bed is just every lettuce I planted. Well, Hubby planted. I picked out. They're just about done, at least the loose-leaf ones. I have one or two rows of butter lettuce in head-variety. Those take a tad bit longer to get fully formed. 

The nice thing about the lettuce is that we can plant that throughout the summer and into fall, like a rotating crop. I like to do that because we'll eat it all summer and can plant, if we have a decent season, through about October or so. We shall see what Mother Nature has in store for us. 

And you noticed all the twirly-birds, right? That's why I like those screens. Otherwise, we'd have a garden of maple trees. 

So the flowers are also doing well. The poppies have popped, and the marigolds just shine at dusk. Our fuschia plants have blossomed nicely, and the Wave petunias are coming along. 
Carrots and radishes

It seems like the flower bed has lots of reds and lots of yellows. Sadly, I haven't seen our foxgloves. Hubby planted 2 more, but they're pale and one looks rather sickly. 

The French Lavender has bloomed a bit. I'm hopeful. 

I have yet to see the Purple Coneflower do anything but grow greenery in mammoth proportions. 

Lotsa Lettuce
The dill is up. The chives? Hmmmmmmmm. Not sure where they went. Maybe a bad batch of seed? I have to also drill some holes into the containers; we had the drainage all figured out, I thought, but not as good as it should be. 


Well, sock #2 of the KAL is coming along, and I've got about 1" on the foot till I can start the toe decreases. This one does look slightly different than the first one, but that's because I did the longer gusset. It'll all work out. 
Icelandic Poppies

I'll actually be happy to get this done. Guess I'm not meant for "marathon" sock knitting. It's taking me longer than #1, which was a record 13 days, but I have had several days of just not being able or wanting to knit. Shocking, right?

It'll pass. I did knit during the Blackhawks games, and I can tell that the tension is different! And I don't even like hockey all that much...

Yes, in case you were wondering, I've been pondering a new project. I think it's in direct correlation to what's been happening at work. I need a distraction. 

Like I don't have what? A dozen of them right now?? Well, I need a NEW distraction. I won't though. I have to at least keep SOME semblance of order amidst all this chaos. 


So the NRA said that those clowns who carried their "long guns" (compensation, much?) into the local fast food outlets were "kind of weird"... and I though, Wowza - the NRA is finally getting some common sense. Someone there has decided to call these morons on their ridiculous "protests" where they're carrying assault weapons (I'm not kidding - automatic rifles. I mean really...) into businesses "on the principle that we have the RIGHT to do this."

Well. That didn't last long. So apparently the REALLY crazy gun nuts are to be appeased because NOW the NRA is blaming the "anti-gun media" (Is that the same as the "liberal media"?? I get confused as to what it's all supposed to be, seeing as it's all owned by like what? Three people? All of whom are conservatives??) for "grasping" at "a staffers personal opinion that wasn't supposed to get into anything published for public consumption. 

What a REAL weasel looks like...
Yikes. Sorry, I am VERY uncomfortable around civilians with guns. I can't tell if you're the "good guy" or the "nutter." And I'm especially not fond of long guns (Assault rifles? Really??) in a commercial setting. Unless, perhaps, that setting is a bona fide target range.

Not a Target. 

Here's the blog entry that started it all. And here's their "Oh, no, we didn't mean THAT" response. I'd say they were weasels, but weasels are kinda cute and they have a purpose. Neither the NRA nor these over-compensating juveniles masquerading as "men" have much of a purpose. 

It's peachy if you have a RIGHT to do something. It's also, in my opinion (and I'm not alone on this one) MORE right that your rights don't scare the crap out of me and mine. I shouldn't have to carry a gun just because the NRA and various conservatives feel like the Wild West should be our milieu. 

I didn't think I'd be facing my elder years (no, I'm not THAT old; I'm projecting) having to be worried about gun violence, since where I live it's a relatively safe place, all things considered. 

Random Picture...

Goofy dog...
Time for some Raisa goofiness... This is the way she greets Kid #2 - she wants to snuggle. Strangely enough, that's how QUINN does it, too, so we're not sure if Raisa learned it from Quinn or if she's just some strange, mutant being.

Quinn did give her the royal stink-eye when she did this, seeing as this is QUINN'S gig... 

I still get the woooooooooo - woooooooooooo every morning and every night when I come home. One of these days, I'll have one of the guys tape it for you... 

Just so you get the full effect, imagine her jumping up there. She then plows her face into his ribs, slides her head along his thigh, puts her butt in his face, and then does a full belly-up move so that he can pet her. 

And her head hangs off the couch. To the point where I'm afraid she'll just slither off the couch. She hasn't yet. 

She'll probably bounce...There's some "Tigger" in there...