Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Wonderful Place to Work

My first week has ended at Phipps.
I think timing is everything in life. Leaving one job, taking another. I left a job that was very rewarding and very difficult. Where life and death decisions were often made, and I am trying not to be overly dramatic here. It wears one down. It takes away the spirit.
I love working at Phipps. Among the plants, flowers and Frabel glass exhibit and Chihuly glass. Children dancing around the flowers, parents smiling, grandparents bringing small children and laughing with them. The excitement and wonder of it all.
It is a peaceful place to work, that is, until the G20 conference! Dinner and a tour will take place at the Conservatory, and the place is buzzing. Secret Service, FBI, delegates from other countries. Exciting for Phipps.
Ava has recovered from her flower feast. I think no more cut flowers for the house, which makes me sad, but I never want to go through that again. Very scary.
The party was a great success. People are still coming to me and telling me what a good time they had. Somewhere between thirty and forty people came. It was a beautiful night and people drifted between the house and the yard. Peg and I danced in the kitchen at midnight cleaning up, laughing...oh yes, and a little too much wine. But it was such fun! And the food was wonderful!
The Steelers lost last Saturday (surprisingly, no one really watched the game). They play again tonight and we will see how they do. I know, pre-season doesn't mean much. I look at the rookie players who get play time and I think how exciting for them..their first time on the field and some have been making excellent plays.
Went to the Pirate game against Philly on Thursday and Pittsburgh won in the eighth inning. Very exciting. The people in front of us were from Philly and one woman had on a Vick shirt. Say what you will, I am sad that he is a part of a team from my state, but glad the Steelers didn't sign him on.
It's been a wonderful week, with a major change for me. It was a difficult decision to leave my other job, I liked the people and the work was challenging, but as my supervisor there said...."you will know when it is time, and the time will be right".
Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

An Important Warning

I just came home from the vet's this morning. I got some flowers and some were lilies. I know they are poisenous to cats, but watched them closely and she didn't seem to be paying attention to them. This morning there were three petals gone from a lily and Ava was throwing up. I called the vet and he said to bring her right over. He took a blood sample, hydrated her and gave her some medicine and said to watch her closely for vomiting and lethargy. She is sleeeping under the beds now, which she does not usually do, but hopefully she will be okay. If you have cats or small dogs, please do not allow them near any lily plants. I called the florist, who said she did not know this and she would be sure to make note of it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

More Summertime Fun

Thanks to all for the support and good wishes on my job at Phipps! I am very excited to begin this Friday. It is orientation day and I begin officially on Monday. Needless to say, this has been such a good move for me. I needed to make a change in my life and this has proved to be such a positive move for me.
Yesterday was Mia day and it was a day of transportation. And I am again impressed with everyone we came in touch with, from the busdriver to the lady in the park cleaning up from the pigeons!
We began early yesterday by catching the bus into the city. The driver was helpful in telling us how to do this in the cheapest manner. It was a quick ride, then off to the subway. While Bean and Monkeyboy waited somewhat patiently for the subway, I started taking some pictures. A short subway ride took us to Station Square and a ride on the incline. I opened my eyes only once to take a picture of the kids. Bean took all the other ones on the incline.
Once at the top of Mt. Washington the kids ran to the lookout. I cannot even stand on the lookout I have such fear of the height. If affords those who venture out on the lookout a spectacular view of the city, and it is truly a beautiful sight.
Back on the incline and a quick bite to eat at Station Square, then off to the Ducky Tour. A picture of the Duck is to the right! What fun! We sat in the back and toured the city, quacking as we traveled. Into the Ohio River for a quick tour and an opportunity for anyone who desires an opportunity to drive the duck. Neither Monkeyboy or Bean wanted to do so, but there were others who tried their luck.
Back onto the subway and into the city. As we arrived at the park, we had some time to sit and Monkeyboy began his ever faithful attempt to catch a pigeon.
The rain began and Monkeyboy donned his poncho and splashed in the puddles running madly about the small park.
Off to catch the bus and end our day of transportation in the city! What a great day, even with the rain.
Am trying desperately to get ready for the party in the new back yard on Saturday night. They are calling for great weather, and I am looking forward to having everyone share the great yard.
Bean and company are going camping this weekend and I am spending a good deal of the time with Oscar and Flurrie. It's nice to have a dog for the weekend!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More Summertime Fun

The Cardinals were in town last week to play the Pirates. It's hard to keep up with who is playing with the Pirates, because as soon as someone plays well, they trade them. The young lads behind us yelled to McCutchen "Double deuce, don't play so well, they'll trade you". But Mia day was to go see the Pirates play and that we did. And what a good time we had! It was, again, dollar dog night, my favorite...sorry to all the vegans out there. The Cards have a very good team, I am told by Monkeyboy. Their first baseman did well in the all star game. I can't quote the stats the way Monkeyboy did, suffice to say, he is good. Pujols is his name, I believe. We find our way to the parking lot in good time. Monkeyboy's excitement is hard to contain. He has gathered all his mitts to distribute to catch fly balls and balls hit during practice. We arrive at the stadium and follow him to the seats, which are in the outfield bleachers. The kids station themselves at the rail with others to catch the balls. I sit in the seats, waiting to get the dogs. Waiting, waiting. A ball is hit my way. Oh my gosh, what to do? Two men are racing towards me. The ball goes into the ivy. I stand up, push the two men out of the way and race towards the ivy. People are yelling "You can't go in there". Well, I have no intentions of going "in" there, I am only reaching. The look on the kids face is one of horror, fearful that I shall be arrested. I reach for the ball through the fence...almost reaching it. The man reached around me...a quick shove to him and I have my hand on the ball. I hear shouting that I am not to be doing this. In triumph, I raise my hand holding the ball. Kids come back to seats after practice and tell me I should not have done that. What do they know...I have the ball. Time for those dollar dogs, so a trip to the food stand and peanuts, cracker jacks and dogs are there for the eating. Once our stomach is full, it's to the souvenir stand. Monkeyboy wants a McCutchen shirt, Bean opts for the McLouth shirt, which of course is cheap now since he is no longer with the Pirates. Monkeyboy puts his McCutchen shirt over his Bey (Jason Bey was also traded), and we go back to our seats. Monkeyboy shouts to McCutchen to throw us a ball, and sure enough a ball comes into the stands and lands on Bean's leg. Monkeyboy grabs it and now we have two balls. The game was a good one, we lost, of course, 6-4. We got two home runs which brought forth fireworks. It was a great evening. Well, there was this incident when we left the game, but I knew the bus wouldn't run us over.
It has been warm here the past few days. Sorry, Wacky Mommy, but I have air conditioning, and I have had it on. After a few days, I get tired of it. So (shhhh) last night I cheated and opened my bedroom window with the air conditioning still on. The cicada's are singing their end of summer song and I love to listen to it as I fall asleep. I lie there in bed listening and thinking about what a wonderful summer this has been. Tonight is cool enough that I have the windows all open and the air off completely.
I had another interview at Phipps. I think it went very well. I had to do a drug test and background checks and they will call me once they are done. I went from Phipps to my old office to see folks, and I do miss my unit! We all sat in my old office and talked for a good half hour. I saw everyone there and talked to all my co workers and friends. It was great to see them all again. I do miss them, but not the job.
There is another mini-family reunion coming up in September over Labor Day. It will be good to be together again. I am flying through Chicago again...and am hoping not to get stuck in the airport for 20 hours again this year!
Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Road Trip '09

Here we are, back in the 'burgh. Yes, I believe I did see Tim in Virginia, but I can't be sure since he was surrounded by hotel security.
The weather was perfect for the beginning of the trip. We sailed along, singing merrily, anticipating a wonderful trip. Called Bird and said how well things were going...and then...traffic.
Who would think that at noon on a Friday cars would be lined up around DC for over an hour. No, there wasn't an accident, it was just a mess. But we got through that and rolled along again. We arrived in Williamsburg somewhere around three. Our room was ready and so was the pool. Kids played in the pool for a couple of hours, then off to dinner. Spilled milk, but no other disaster, and off to bed to anticipate a wonderful day at historic Williamsburg.
It was 86 degrees when we woke up. We ate breakfast and headed out. Arrived at the visitor's center, got our passes and were off to explore. By this time I think it was 98 degrees. Grumpiness ensued. We went into a few buildings, only because they were air conditioned. Monkeyboy wanted to take a carriage ride, but they were taking the horses off the street at 11:00 because of the heat. I was impressed with that...Monkeyboy was not.
We left soon after that for another afternoon of swimming. And then went to explore the town a bit. Again, an extremely hot day. Don't know what I was expecting, but the heat and humidity were awful.
Then we discovered Yorktown. What a charming place! We walked around for a bit, then decided to take the free trolly tour around the town. It stopped at the Visitor's Center and we had to sit and wait for about 20 minutes for a bus to arrive. Children (not our party) were getting cranky and it was hot...did I mention that? Bean mentioned that she thought she saw lightening, and she did! We finally began to move and the sky became darker as we moved through the town. There was a woman in a wheelchair who had to get off, and apparently, the driver of the trolley car wasn't real familiar with how to operate the lift. It took three or four times of jostling this poor woman up and down to figure it out. Meanwhile, the sky was getting darker and large drops of rain began to fall. Did I mention the lightening? The driver told the woman to back up a bit which the woman did, and almost fell off the lift. It was not a pretty sight. She did finally get off and her husband raced her to the car.
We were the only ones left, and the rain got more serious, as did the lightening. We picked up a couple who were drenched and dropped them off. We were dropped at the parking lot and raced to the van. The wind was howling, the rain coming down in sheets and trees were bending to touch the ground. We decided to wait it out and I was glad we did. As we headed back to the hotel the roads were close to being flooded and there were a lot of trees down. We did see a rainbow, but were not successful in getting a picture of it.
Back to Yorktown the next day and to the beach. 86 degrees at 8:00 in the morning. We had a great time at the beach in spite of the jelly fish. Bean began to build a sand castle, but with no help from anyone, she decided to cheat. See results at the right.
We made a decision to head to the farm. I went to use the computer in the business center and there was a young girl using it along with a gentleman. I asked if they would be long and said I would come back. An hour later the young girl was still on the computer and another gentleman was there. I asked how much longer they would be and the gentleman said he had just logged on and the sweet young thing said she didn't know. I told her I would be back in ten minutes to use it and she said ok. I came back in twenty minutes only to find her still on it and another person on the second one. She said she would be a little longer, and I said I needed it and I would wait until she finished up. Then I pulled a chair right beside her and waited. She got the hint. Why do people think they have the right to use one of two computers in a business center for hours at a time?????
Got a reservation at the farm and we headed for Lancaster the next day. How wonderul to sit in the orchard in the cool breeze and enjoy a good book while the kids played with kittens and jumped on the trampoline!
An interesting group at the farm this year...a man in special forces in the army, a family from Germany, a Chaplain from a state prison in New York and of!
It was a great road trip and except for the heat, darn near perfect! Have a great Sunday.