Monday, April 29, 2013

I believe...

I like yard art. I am told that is what my snowman is. Tempting fate can be a scary thing. Several years ago I put on my front door a spring wreath at the end of March. We got six inches of snow the next day. This year I put the wreath on the door on April 1. We got more snow after that.

So, you see, I am a little hesitant to take the snowman into the basement until next winter. But, I think I may do it today. The tulips are out (my food for the deer), the grass has been cut, so I guess I am safe. *fingers people still do that?*
I have finished my book from the library, just in time. In my email today is a notice from the library that the book is due on May 2. There is anticipation when nearing the end of a book to see what happens and if your guess was right, but for me there is also sadness. I'm not sure I can explain it, but the pleasure of reading it is no longer there. I am currently reading books by David Baldacci. Also one by John Grisham about baseball called "Joe Calico". Just started that one last night.
Baldacci was featured on NPR. Apparently, his latest book was being reviewed. He was said to be a Washington insider and used his knowledge to write about mysteries using that knowledge. It sounded interesting, so I researched him and found a list of books he has written. His first book was "Absolute Power". That book was later made into a movie starring Clint Eastwood, one of my favorite actors. When finding an author I think I might like, I always read the books in order. So, I read Absolute Power and loved it. I remembered watching the movie, also.
Went back to his website and printed out a list of his books in order. I read the second one which I didn't like very much, but his third one, "The Winner" was excellent. So my day today will include a trip to the library to get his next book. Excitement abounds.
We went to see Matt's baseball game last week. I took my winter jacket, my chair and my blanket. All were needed, and in fact, I had to share my blanket. Didn't take my wallet since I didn't think the refreshment stand would be open, but it was, and I ended up looking longingly at the dogs and nachos. Speaking of dogs, there was a beautiful goldendoodle and a rottie there. Both very well behaved.
Oh...the game. Well, Matt's team was a bit off for several innings. Matt got a hit to third and was thrown out at first, he got a walk and a hit, I think. He played left field for he first three innings, and was called in to pitch in the fourth. His team was quite behind, but at the end of it all, they only lost by one run. Thawing out took a bit of time, but I am ready for the next game.
I am someone who will always work. For me, it provides structure to my life as well as a connection to people. I still have friends that I see from my job with the county. Linda M. and I had lunch last week, and I have lunch with my old unit on a semi-regular basis. As well as Michele B., Tammi and Kate. And of course, Tom. Tom was a supervisor when I started with the county. We later became friends and have dinner monthly. His wife used to take in stray rescue dogs and at one time I believe they had four dogs and three cats. They have the sweetest pit bull, Bella, now with one other dog. Slowing down on the number of pets. All of these people are who I consider my friends and I always look forward to seeing them.
At Phipps, we have a really nice group of people, old and young and everything in between. What I have noticed about the young people is that for many of them, their pay is pocket change and not something to be taken seriously. One man flies paper airplanes across the welcome center, writes notes to those working right beside him and spends an inordinate amount of time on facebook. Others fail to come in or call off, they just don't show up for work. I've worked with many young college/just out of college young people, but Phipps seems to be unique in this sense. Perhaps because they are still in school and haven't yet developed a work ethic...I don't know. For the most part, the people that I work with are conscientious, hard working and a lot of fun. Tonight I have dinner with a group of them. Have you noticed that food is the common thread in my keeping in touch with people????
Speaking of food, I should wander to the kitchen and get some breakfast before heading to the library. I'll finish my Grisham book fairly quickly and move on to the next Baldacci novel.
Almost forgot...Pens play Islanders in the playoffs, beginning on Wednesday. According to what I have read, they have never beat them in the playoffs, so I am a little nervous.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Things That Mark Spring

There are some things that occur every year that mark spring in my life.
The first is the Boston Marathon.  Many years ago, you had to qualify to run in the marathon.  It's one of the reasons I couldn't run it, I was too slow.  Now it has become and event for the family to do together, if not to run together, to stand on the sidelines and cheer.
This year tragedy marred the marathon.  Something that has been a time honored tradition in Boston will never be exactly the same again.  But we are a resilient group, we humans.  And it will be run again.  No one person or group of people can keep us down.  We have survived much in the past years, and that is the point, we have survived and become closer and more determined than ever.  I think I was most touched by the gentleman who said at 78 years old, the shock threw him to the ground.  He got up, finished the race, and then said he would not be running again.  Thoughts and prayers to all those affected by this horrible act.
For many this has been an awful winter and spring.  There have been hurricanes, blizzards, floods and tornadoes.  While violent weather will continue, there are signs that we are moving into springtime.
The daffodils that I bought at the bulb sale at Phipps are blooming.  The magnolia is in full bloom.  I ran out last night to get pictures before the thunderstorm.  Matt is starting baseball.  These are the signs that tell me, yes, spring is here.
I went with Linda and the kids to get new cell phones last week.  I looked but decided to keep my "dumb" phone instead of getting a "smart" phone.  Katie's phone had been dropped and wasn't working at all, and since she got her driver's license, she needs a working phone in case of an emergency. (I say that because their cars are...hmmm...shall we say, old?)
We drive to the Verizon store and didn't even have to wait.  Why?  Because we arrived at 6:00 while everyone was eating dinner except us.  I'll call the poor salesperson Amanda, because neither Linda nor I can remember her name for sure.  Amanda had lovely long, reddish blond hair.  Very nice lady.  It's extremely difficult to listen to all the plans, all the phones, the switching of people from one plan to another, choosing a phone, choosing the accessories.  Do you want a home charger, a car charger, combination of the two?  Do you want a protective cover because if you don't get one your million dollar phone will die if you drop it and you'll have to get a new one, but if you get insurance, the phone will be covered and the insurance is only a few added won't even notice it on your bill.  Took us two and a half hours.  The worst part?  I missed The Middle, one of my favorite television show.  And it was the season finale.  As Amanda was packing the two bags full of phones, accessories (not included) Linda suggested we have a glass of wine and that Amanda have a bottle of wine all to herself.  I think she probably did.  I don't know why these phone plans have to be so difficult.  2G worth of data is this much and to add data would be this much unless you go with the family share plan, but if you go with the data share plan this will occur and you phone will stop working if you sneeze.  Oh, and there is no need to to give us your phones, they are worthless.  I'm glad I have a dumb phone.
The walking has been going fairly well.  I went to the track yesterday amongst all the 13-14 year old.  I got on the track and started in Lane 6, which is where I always start.  I noticed the coach at the other end of the track waving to me, so I waved back.  He waved again, a little more frantically.  A cute little girl came up to me and said he was waving me out of Lane 6 and could I please move to Lane 3 because they were having timed runs.  I smiled and said of course.  Felt like a fool.  Later I lapped this charming little girl and heard her say that so and so was a f**** b*** and a liar.  This cute little girl with a pony tail actually said that!  Oh, my!  I had to finish the lap and leave.  And it was her fault that I lost count of laps, so I may not have done the full three miles. 
Guess I should head down there now.  School is out and the coach probably won't be waving madly. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Perhaps Spring?

I don't want to get too excited, but it's 78 degrees here and's been a nice few days.  Which brings me to thinking of clothes.  I began trying on clothes from last summer, and, oh my.  Which sent me back to the track.  Loaded up tunes on my ipod...Salisbury (Uriah Heep), Radioactive (Imagine Dragons), and The Black Pearl (Klaus Badelt) to name a few.  DROVE to the track to begin.  It's pretty crowded, lots of people walking trying to get back in shape, and then the show offs running the track.  I can't believe that Linda  and I used to run as much as we did, sometimes 8-10 miles.  Sick.   Oh, well, one must begin somewhere. I found the first few days are the hardest, now I actually look forward to it.  There is a man and his son in front of me walking.  I watch them, as I do with anyone in front of me.  They are talking and actually seem to be enjoying each other as they walk.  Later a woman (I assume the mom) join them and the man jogs a few laps while the mother and son walk.  The thing that struck me was that both adults seem to enjoy being with the son and talking with him...and they were there the whole time I was.
There was a woman on crutches, said she was doing it so she didn't gain too much weight while she had her cast on her leg.  Broke it in the last storm we had on the ice.  She was slow, but boy, she kept it up.
Always enjoy seeing people matter what, out there trying.  It's nice.  Scott is working out at the gym everyday now...and eating healthier.  Said he feels much better now...Go Scott!
Today there were gym classes on the track.  They were seventh and eighth graders, an awkward age group in terms of size.  There was one boy who was close to six foot, another beside him who was lucky to be five foot.  Chatting away as they ran the track.  Same with the girls, although the difference was not so prominent.  Girls giggling, boys bumping into them and elbowing each other when a cute girl passes them.  I do not want to be that age again!
I am stalled with the spring cleaning.  Just can't get motivated again.  The kitchen is daunting.  I baked a cherry pie (Sarah Lee) a few months ago.  Somehow, and I can't imagine how, it slid and spilled all over the oven door and the bottom  of the oven.  I tried, I really did, try to get it all cleaned up.  Boy, what a smokey, smelly mess until it all burned on.  And can we talk about the refrigerator?  Perhaps we shouldn't.  There is a bottle of wine in there that was a gift when I left my last job.  Does wine stay good forever?  I'm afraid to try it.  And the door of the refrig is full of things that have expired.  Who ever knew Ketchup expired?  Katie, that's who.  Someday the kitchen will be cleaned.  But it will just get dirty again.  So, maybe I just will ignore it.
There is a flu bug going around.  So far as I have counted, six people in four days are hurling all over Phipps.  In addition, one person had a seizure and another two fainted.  Welcome to Phipps.  And of course, there is a new bird flu.  It's been on the national news.  I don't get flu shots.  Seems like they weren't too effective this winter anyway.  So, if I get the flu, so be it.  Not that I will like it, but it seems like there is always a shot to prevent something, and I am very cautious about getting shots.  Years ago I fell, and when I went to the ER they wanted to give me a tetanus shot.  I declined.  They were appalled.  I never got lockjaw.
The Pens have clinched a playoff spot.  Pirates are struggling right now, but they will come back.  Tonight it is a Pens/Bucs night on TV, in addition to NCIS and NCIS LA...oh my gosh, what to watch?
I am going to enjoy the warm, sunny weather while it is here.  We are supposed to get some thunderstorms later in the week.  Ahhh, I love spring! 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

April Fool

This has always been one of my favorite days.  The past couple of years, I have laid low.  Let me share what happened this year that made me laugh as I lay in bed at midnight.
Matt told what he did and it still make me laugh.  You know what Oreo cookies are, right?  Well, so does Matt.  He took apart an oreo cookie and carefully put some toothpaste int he cookie.  He then put it back together again and put it back in the package.
At some point Mippy took the cookie, dunked it in her milk and took a bite.  Matt (and Katie) looking on.  Mippy hesitated, looked at the cookie, then dunked it again and took another bit.  SHE ATE THE WHOLE THING.
When questioned about this...her response?  "I thought I bought the mint oreo's".  When questioned about the consistency she replied "I dunked it". 
WAY TO GO MATT!  You are my hero, following in my footsteps.
I don't know which was my finest hour.  Was it the police knocking on Scott's door telling him his dog barked too loudly?  (Oscar doesn't really bark).
Was it having Bruce call Scott at work pretending to be the doctor telling Scott that Mippy was having twins when she was pregnant with Matt?
For Scott, was it putting the "For Sale" sign in my front yard?
I think that was his ONLY good one.  There were some other feeble attempts, but not as successful as mine.
On a sad note...Pens have lost two in a row.  Badly.  I know, Steve tells me they will succeed and I hope he is correct.  Matt and Scott went to game on Saturday, thanks to Carolyn, and saw them win 15 in a row.  They were bound to lose, and it's okay.  It was a good game that they saw, though Sydney lost some teeth and got a fractured jaw.  Get well, Syd, feel beter.
On a happy note...Pirates won. Nice steal of second, Cutch.  Matt and Scott went to opening day...I hear all they did was eat, cheer, eat and freeze. 
Spring is coming, I know it is.  Please come.  Snow squalls again today.  Darn.