Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Saga Continues

My sister called me this morning, and still doesn't have electricity, bless her heart. The Vicksburg Post reports that as of Sunday there were still 6,000 without power. This is down from 22,000 the day after the storm went through. So, things are improving; hopefully it won't be much longer.

I don't know how she can stand the heat with no air conditioning; the very thought just makes me ill.

Randy got a new job; I drove him to Shelbyville yesterday so he could go through his orientation today. They'll dispatch him Wednesday, so we didn't want his car just sitting in Shelbyville for who knows how long. It was a good day for a road trip, but 5 1/2 hours there and 5 hours back turned into a really long day. I'm a little tired today, but not nearly as bad as I thought I might be.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I hate to gripe, but.....

In light of the devastation on the Gulf coast, this seems really trivial, but gasoline prices in my neck of the woods were $2.489 for regular unleaded on Monday. When I filled up my tank on the way to work yesterday, it cost me $2.629 per gallon. When I passed the same station yesterday afternoon, it was $2.999 per gallon.

I understand that there's been a hurricane. I understand that there's no electricity to pump crude from the pipelines at the coast. But I also understand that it takes 3 months to turn that crude into the gasoline I pump into my car. So why did it take two days for gasoline prices to increase $0.51 per gallon???

There's "panic buying" in the area. Some stations are having to limit customer's purchases to 10 gallons to avoid running out of gasoline, but are still running out. What a mess.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


My sister's family is okay. They lost power and still didn't have power when I talked to them late yesterday afternoon, but other than lots of rain and some pretty high wind they didn't see much of Katrina, thank goodness.

My sister works in a Blockbuster. Believe it or not, customers were unhappy when they had to close the store when the power went out. "What am I going to do with these kids without videos?" Sheesh. How were they going to watch videos with no ELECTRICITY??? Cripes.

Those poor people on the coast....my thoughts and prayers are with them all and their families.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Hurricane Monday

See the yellow star over on the Mississippi-Louisiana border? That's the approximate location of Vicksburg, where my sister and her family live. That swirling ugly mass of green and yellow is Hurricane Katrina, currently wreaking havoc on the Gulf Coast.

It's 9:30 a.m., and I have my AOL Instant Messenger program open on my computer at work in case Lesa tries to reach me by instant message. When I last talked to her by instant message last night, she didn't really seem worried. She talked as if she expected to lose power, since they usually lose power during even a "normal" thunderstorm, but didn't seem particularly concerned.

Am I worried? Well, SURE I am. I wish she and her kids were as far from that frightening, swirling mass of high wind and water as I am. (Her husband is a truck driver and was in Texas when I talked to her, so he seems to be out of harm's way.)

So here I am, at work, not being particularly productive because I keep drifting back over to Weather Bug and Weather.com and keeping an eye on AIM to see if she comes online.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Where's the Pot O' Gold??

Dolly Parton: "The way I see it, if you want the rainbow you gotta be willing to put up with the rain. "

We had a relatively mild thunderstorm this evening and were rewarded with a faint rainbow. It's been a rough week so far (and this is just TUESDAY) and the rainbow was a lovely end to a rotten day.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

A Rotten Week....But It's Nearly Over

I've had better weeks.....

  1. Rain, heat, humidity;
  2. It took Randy over 42 hours to make a run that should have taken about 27 hours;
  3. It appears that idiots bombed London's underground again today; and
  4. Scotty beamed up for the last time yesterday. *sigh*

At least my work week's nearly over. (18 minutes, but who's counting?) Tomorrow I'm taking Meggie to see her new veterinarian. I'm switching from the vet who's taken care of her since I bought her at 5 weeks to a vet nearer home. After that, Mom & I plan to make a run to Kingsport just to knock around in a few stores. No huge shopping trip, just an opportunity to look around at our leisure. Hopefully it won't be as hot and humid as it's been so far this week.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Is This Week EVER Going To End?

It's been a long week, and this is only Wednesday.....

Randy started driving for a different company this week. We found out last week that the new company didn't provide cell phones for their drivers, and our cellular plan wasn't national. So, I went to SunCom and gave up my old, beloved UnPlan (which worked beautifully for us until he went on the road) and upgraded to a national plan. In the switch I had to upgrade our cellphones to GSM phones, so I did get a nifty new Motorola V180. Nothing fancy, really, just smaller and nicer than my old Nokia.

I haven't blogged since my furniture installers FINALLY arrived on July 1. I love my new office furniture. Anyone who walked in and hadn't seen my old stuff probably wouldn't understand why I'm so thrilled, but it's soooooooooo much better than what I had before.

Mom and Dad are in Wilkesboro, NC camping. If it looks like Randy's not going to get home before Saturday (and so far, it doesn't look like he's going to), I might run down there Friday and visit awhile. It looks like a pretty neat place.

It's a gray, humid day here. Good day for a nap, but not good for much else. Hope Meg and I can make an early night of it tonight. :-)

Friday, July 01, 2005

Waiting, waiting, waiting.....

Waiting for the installers to arrive with my modular furniture.....can't do much but wait at this point. Everything's ready for them; as soon as they complete the installation and clear out, I have a very full day of moving things back into the office, hooking up equipment, moving files, etc. *tired just thinking about it*

The fever blister is improving. It looks terrible, but feels much better, thank goodness. It's very warm and humid here today, so that doesn't help anything.

Hey, I thought I just heard a truck go through the parking lot.....*crossing fingers*

Thursday, June 30, 2005


I'm temporarily ousted from my office. My old desk has been carted away to who knows (or cares) where, and I've got everything ready for the installation of my new modular furniture tomorrow. Thank goodness. I'll be glad when they've come and gone and I can get my office life back to something resembling normalcy!

I've been battling a fever blister all week; it feels better today, which means it looks terrible. *LOL* I have all intentions of going home after work and hiding from the world as much as possible. Right now I'm pretty tired from all the packing and lugging around of stuff. I wouldn't mind having a nap, truth be known. I'll be ready for the 3-day holiday weekend by the end of tomorrow, I'm sure!

I wonder if I could talk Randy into pizza tonight? *plotting yet another night of not cooking*

I think I should try to establish FlyLady routines at the office.....turn over a new leaf to go with the new furniture. Seems to me I remember seeing office routines on her website. *going to look now*

I was right....there's an Office Control Journal, and a great essay called "Control the Chaos at your Desk". It's common sense, but it sometimes helps to have common sense spelled out for me!

I was doing really well on my mission to Fly, then backslid a bit when I started working flex time (four 10-hour days) for the summer. I've made myself an amended time schedule, though, and will make a real effort to do better. I like having everything neat and decluttered.

I tore my home office apart last Sunday and still haven't finished putting it back together. I had a good start at it, then developed the fever blister Monday and have felt rotten ever since. Hopefully I'll get that finished up Saturday or Sunday. I have to get Randy's road stuff ready, but that really shouldn't take very long. (I hope.)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A Long, Long Week

I captured this glorious webcam image from Purchase Knob this morning. I'm using it for my wallpaper. I've posted it here to test the "photo posting" feature now available in Blogger. Cool.

I'm getting new office furniture....it only took 18 years, but I'm getting new office furniture! :-) That's the good news. The only downside is that my office is in total chaos because I had some modular wall-mounted work surfaces that had to be taken down and moved to my assistant's office. I had to let our maintenance guys take them down Monday because that was a good day for them to do it, and I didn't want to be any more trouble to them than absolutely necessary.

So now a lot of my things are temporarily boxed up and tucked away until the new stuff is installed on Friday. *sigh* What a mess! And maintenance will be back sometime after lunch tomorrow to take my old decrepit desk away. Can't say I'm going to miss it a bit, but that means I'll have to shut down my computer sometime late tomorrow morning and get it disassembled and out of the way. I'm not quite sure how productive I'll be tomorrow afternoon, but it can't be helped.

I'm excited about getting the furniture, but the first day of July is probably not the best time for this to have happened. We're on a July - June fiscal year, so June and July are really busy. Oh, well....it'll all work out one way or the other.

I'm battling a fever blister. It came up Monday while I was at work, and by the time I got my Zilactin-L on Monday evening it was too late. The blister was fully formed and sore as the dickens! I put Zilactin on it all day yesterday, but it didn't seem to help much. Today I brought Orasol to work with me. It won't heal the blister, but at least it'll be numb!

I had a note on my last post to tell the tale of the Lynchburg trip. There's truly not much to tell. There was a Human Resources/Payroll conference in Lynchburg, and Deb sent my new assistant, Mary, and me to it. It was a nice trip, good informative sessions, and best of all I got to put faces with names of folks I talk to on a regular basis but never get to see. The room was nice, the food was good, and the trip was a little long, but okay.

Well, I've finally received some information from the VP that I need to work on. *drudge, drudge*

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


It's been THAT LONG since I posted? Sheesh. Let's see now, what's happened since then??

Well, I'm on a flex schedule for the summer. I'm working 10-hour days, Monday through Thursday, with Fridays off! *YAY* I love flex schedule. I'd work it year-round if they'd let me. The 10th hour gets pretty long, but I dearly love not having to come to the office on Friday.

The first Friday of my summer was spent waiting for Randy's boss (A.K.A. the Procrastinating Jerk) to call to let him know something about his truck. I vowed that would NOT happen to me again.

On my second Friday, I went to a neat little tearoom in Kingsport all by myself for lunch, then shopped a bit and visited with Mom & Dad. That was really fun.

My third Friday (last week) was spent picking up tags for my car, visiting Mom & Dad, and shopping a bit. One of the items I shopped for was a DVD burner for my PC. I just love new toys!

I've not decided yet what to do with this Friday. In fact, I'm not sure yet whether Randy will be in town or not. He's been driving a truck for the past few weeks, but has been home for the last few days. He came in from his last run early last Saturday morning and hasn't gone back out yet.

If he's in town Friday, I may have to find him a project to keep him occupied so I can go do something with MY FRIDAY. *LOL*

Memo to self: write more tomorrow and tell the tale of last week's business trip to Lynchburg.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Why Dogs are Better Than Men

First, I'll explain why this subject came to mind for today's entry. *LOL* At 5:00 a.m. today, my phone rang. Randy's mom hasn't been well at all, so my first thought when the phone rang was that something had happened. I grabbed the phone, and sure enough, it was Randy. He asked what I was doing. I said, "It's 5:00 a.m. I was sleeping. What's wrong?"

Surprised, he said, "Nothing. I thought you get up at 5:00." Grinding my teeth I replied, "No.....I get up at SIX. What do you WANT?"

You're gonna love this. Last night I sent him out the door with a bag of trash (which he'd offered to take to the dumpster for me) and a Wal-Mart bag containing a bathmat for his apartment and 3 pounds of breakfast sausage I'd fried for him and put into individual little freezer bags so he could microwave a piece or two for himself for breakfast. Some time last night he discovered that he couldn't find the bag with the sausage and the bathmat in it. So.....being the MAN that he is.....he decided to wait until time for me to get up and call me to see if I had any idea what he did with it. Unfortunately, he'd miscalculated my wake-up time by an HOUR.

As calmly as possible, I told him that all I knew was that he left the apartment with the trash bag in one hand and the Wal-Mart bag in the other. He said it wasn't in his apartment, it wasn't in his truck, and he just didn't know WHAT he could have done with it. Taking my cue, I ground my teeth some more and said, "If you threw it in the dumpster with the trash, is there any chance I could reach it?" He was sure I could, because the dumpster was nearly full; he remembered that the trash he put in was at door level.

I put on my warm robe and my winter coat over it, yanked on mittens and a hat, grabbed a flashlight and made the trek across the parking lot in SIXTEEN DEGREE weather in the dark to see if I could find a Wal-Mart bag in the dumpster. In fact, I found several. None of them, however, contained sausage and a bathmat. Back through the darkness I trekked, making a short side trip to the parking space where his truck had been the night before to see if maybe he'd left the bag by the truck.

Back in my cozy apartment, I called him and told him I didn't find the bag and that if he'd stop on his way over tonight and buy three more pounds of sausage, we'd try again. I would NOT, however, buy him another bathmat. He apologized profusely for waking me up and asking me to go out in the cold and hoped I'd be able to go back to sleep.


So, on my way to the office, I called him from my cell phone at 7:30 to ensure that he didn't get to sleep in after waking me up. Bwahahahahahaha!

Why Dogs Are Better Than Men
  1. Dogs never hog the remote control, and they never change channels when you're out of the room.
  2. Dogs do not care whether you shave your legs.
  3. Dogs aren't threatened if you earn more than they do.
  4. Dogs don't step on the imaginary brake.
  5. Middle-aged dogs don't feel the need to abandon you for a younger owner.
  6. You can force a dog to take a bath.
  7. Dogs think you are a culinary genius.
  8. Dogs understand if some of their friends cannot come inside.
  9. You can train a dog.
  10. Dogs don't feel threatened by your intelligence.
  11. Dogs are happy with any movie you choose to rent, because they know that the important thing is that you're together.
  12. Dogs never....NEVER....accidentally throw three pounds of sausage in a dumpster then ask you to go out in the dark at 5:00 a.m. to look for it!!

Monday, January 24, 2005

A Sense of Loss

When I got out of the shower this morning and went back into my bedroom to get dressed for work, I had the terrible surprise of hearing Ed McMahon tell Katie Couric how much he would miss Johnny Carson. I pretty much gave up on late night television after Johnny retired, so I can't be objective about how his successor has fared. For me, late night television WAS Johnny Carson. Since his retirement in 1992, I've watched the occasional Top Ten list on Letterman, but that's been about it. Today I feel an odd sense of loss....but I'll bet the first monologue in heaven was a doozy. :-)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Some Weeks It Just Doesn't Pay to Get Out of Bed

In most respects, it's been a perfectly dreadful week. Monday was a holiday, but I didn't get much rest. I spent the morning doing household drudgery, then cooked a big ol' lunch for Randy. After I cleaned up the kitchen, I did manage to spend some time on the couch watching a DVD with him that we'd borrowed from Mom & Dad, so that was pretty restful.

Tuesday was back to work, and it's been just horrid all week. I got the W-2's out, so that was good to have out of the way. I'm taking a half day off tomorrow to go to the neurologist with Randy. Though spending time in a doctor's office isn't my idea of a good time, at least I'll get out of the office early!

Randy's mom has really gone downhill in the past couple of weeks. Yesterday her doctor said that it's time they sought some full-time professional care for her. No one was happy about the fact that it's time to find a nursing facility. Randy said that yesterday she didn't even seem to know what was going on around her, just staring into space. I feel so badly for her.

I must have had her on my mind last night, because I didn't rest well at all. I felt badly enough when I woke up that I toyed briefly with the idea of taking a day of sick leave. But, after I'd had a long, hot bath I felt a little better, so I dragged on in. I have to admit, though, that the thoughts of going home and having another hot bath and going to bed early is sounding REALLY good.

The weather forecast is calling for an 80% chance of snow....accumulations up to a couple of inches. Maybe, just maybe, we'll get a snow day tomorrow! *crossing fingers for luck*

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

This Is Getting Just Plain Weird

Yesterday I had a couple of hours leave I needed to take or lose, so I took a couple of hours of personal leave and left at lunchtime. Randy had just bought a truck he needed to register and tag, so I took him to Blountville to take care of it.

Neither of us had eaten lunch yet, so we dropped in at a Burger King near the Clerk's Office to get a bite. I was sitting there, munching and talking to Randy, and noticed something oddly familiar about a man who was sitting with his back to me about 3 booths down and one across.

Suddenly it hit me. It was my ex-boyfriend, Jimmy. I hadn't seen him in two years, and we hadn't parted well. In spite of that, I had all intentions of speaking to him as he left. After all, things had gone well when I spoke to my ex-husband Sunday, and life IS short, so why not? As it turned out, it wasn't an issue. I saw him turn halfway around once, as if to check to see if I was still there. Then when he left, he kept his eyes strictly straight forward and didn't so much as glance at me. So, since he was obviously avoiding an encounter, I didn't speak to him. I noticed he's aged a LOT in two years; I couldn't help but enjoy that just a little. *cruel, cruel me*

I told Randy, "Did you see that man who just walked past?" He said he did, and I told him who it was. He laughed and said, "Two exes in two days. Is there anybody ELSE I should be expecting? Hey, I didn't get to meet this one!"

I told him that this one was acting like he was ashamed of himself, and if he wasn't, he SHOULD be. *LOL*

Randy called me at 8:30 last night; he'd just gotten word that the life saving crew took his mother to the hospital around 6:30. He tried to reach his siblings that had gone to the hospital with her until very late last night, and never reached anyone. He spoke to two of his brothers: one of them didn't even know she'd been taken to the hospital; the other knew she'd been taken but didn't know anything further. He spoke to one of his nieces, who told him that Irene had been unable to get out of bed. When two of her sons helped her out of bed, she was unable to walk. A nurse examined her and said she was dehydrated.

The last time I talked to Randy (about 3 hours ago), he STILL hadn't reached anyone who knew anything. For a large family, they're just awful about communication. I just hope she's okay. I wondered how she could be dehydrated when someone's with her 24/7, but Randy said they make sure she HAS water, but don't necessarily watch for her to actually DRINK it. Alzheimer's is horrendously cruel.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Two Sundays in a Row

Sunday morning, I needed to put some new drawer pulls on an old chest of drawers at Randy's place. I'd bought wooden pulls at Lowe's that came with screws that were wayyyyyyyyyy too long, so I'd brought some shorter wood screws out of my toolbox. They were just a smidge too long; I told Randy that instead of buying more screws, we should get a small package of metal washers. A washer or two on the inside of the drawer would make the screws I had work like a charm.

There's a super Wal-Mart just about 2-1/2 miles from his place, so off we went. As I turned a corner in the hardware section, I nearly ran over my ex-husband and his brother. TWO SUNDAY MORNINGS IN A ROW I'VE BUMPED INTO HIM.

He apparently didn't recognize me, and I just walked past. I was about halfway down the aisle when I thought, "Oh, for crying out loud, this is nuts. We both live in Bristol, and I'm going to be running into him like this from time to time. And two Sunday mornings in a row has GOT to be some kind of a SIGN."

So, I turned around, said, "Come here a minute Randy" and went back. I extended my hand, smiled, and said, "Pardon me, but I think we used to be married." My ex looked up, surprised, shook my hand and said, "Well, yeah, I think maybe we WERE."

I made introductions, and we talked for several minutes, quite civilly. He asked about our daughter, Kris, and I filled him in. (Aside to Kris: I forgot to tell you in my e-mail, but your Uncle Don would like to hear from you.) All in all a fairly painless encounter, and now I don't have to duck if I hear him come in Shoney's or step around a corner in Wal-Mart. Life's too short to make it more complicated than it has to be.

Something I meant to put on here earlier, and just haven't taken the time: I made a cake for Christmas Eve that everyone went nuts over and it was sooooooooo simple. It reminds me a lot of a chess bar. It's not something I'd make very often because:
  1. It's really, really rich, and
  2. I rarely bake anything any more.

But, if you need to make something simple that tastes like you spent a lot of time on it, here's the recipe. I found it on FlyLady's website (link on the right), so all credit goes to her!

Died and Gone to Heaven Cake

For the bottom:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 yellow cake mix (extra moist works best)

Combine ingredients and press into a 9" x 13" cake pan (FlyLady suggested using a large sheet of waxed paper to press it into the pan, and it works like a charm).

For the top:

  • 1 8-oz. package of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 16-oz. box of powdered sugar

Mix together and pour over the cake mix mixture. Bake at 350 degrees until the top is golden brown. Let cool before serving.

I've not tried it, but FlyLady says it's also good with chocolate chips mixed into the top mixture, and that she knows someone who uses the same recipe with chocolate cake mix instead. *drool*

Friday, January 07, 2005

From Cinderella Back Into A Pumpkin

I was off work for the holidays from December 23 until January 3. Today is the end of my first week back at the office, and BOY am I glad it's Friday! Don't get me wrong....I adore having all that time off, but that first week back is a bear!

The time off was busy, busy, busy. But at least I didn't have to do all that work after having already put in 8 hours at the office!

I spent the 23rd getting ready for company on the 24th. Nothing big, just dusting and vacuuming and making a few last-minute goodies. On the 24th, I went to Randy's mom's for awhile in the morning, then went back home to finish up things for Christmas Eve. Randy and I had Mom & Dad and Bud & Daphene (my aunt and uncle) in for the evening. Dallas & Sue (another aunt and uncle) dropped in, too. Kris and Louise called from Australia, which was a wonderful treat!

Meggie enjoyed all the attention she received from our guests, but when 9:00 p.m. rolled by, she was ready for them to leave so she could go to BED! *LOL*

Randy and I were on the road early Christmas morning to go to North Carolina to see the grandbabies. Sky (4 years old) was really, REALLY excited for Randy to open his gift from her. She could barely contain herself, waiting for him to get the paper off it.....it was a lump of coal! I told him Santa must have told Sky he'd been a bad boy this year. *L*

While we were in North Carolina, we went by to see Sandy and Wilton (another aunt and uncle) for a little while. Wilton had made a wooden display case for my dulcimer; it's really beautiful, and I'm very happy with it.

I spent the first part of the next week getting Randy's things packed to move into his new apartment. I didn't think he had a lot of things to pack, but it turned into a JOB! The apartment was going to be ready on Wednesday, so we went Tuesday to arrange for his electrical service and such. Wednesday was a busy day, moving his things and trying to get some of his family together to move some furniture out of his mother's old house to the apartment.

They finally got part of it moved about 6:30 that night. Because it had been stored in an empty unheated house for so long, I had to wash it before I could polish it. What a mess! I worked like a demon all day Wednesday and Thursday, then made the announcement that I was taking Friday OFF. I figured I deserved at least ONE day out of my week off from work!

As it turned out, I spent most of the day Friday straightening up my apartment, cleaning up the disorder I'd caused moving Randy's things out. Right after lunch, though, I did take two hours to just sit in the recliner and watch an old Bette Davis movie. It was great to just sit there and veg out for awhile!

Friday night we baby-sat Randy's younger granddaughter, Chloe. She was just a peach....such fun!

Saturday Randy watched a ballgame while I was catching up laundry and such. Then we did some shopping for things he needed at his new place and had dinner at Applebee's (his sister and brother-in-law had given us a gift certificate). I had a few more things to do at his place Sunday, so we had breakfast at Shoney's (another gift certificate....this one from his Mom) and went to take care of that. I spent the rest of the day finishing up some things at my place while Randy was watching ballgames. Then Monday was back to.....WORK....*sigh*

I need a holiday to get over my holidays.....*LOL* Luckily, I'll have January 17 off, so that'll be a 3-day weekend. Maybe I can actually get some REST that day!

Randy, Meggie, and I are still adjusting to his living in a different apartment. It's not our first choice of living arrangements, but it's necessary. He comes to my place for dinner every night he's not staying with his mother, so it's not too bad. Just different. We'll adjust eventually.

Oh, something funny I need to put in here because Kris reads this.....*LOL* When we went to Shoney's Sunday morning, Randy wore his UT hat and a new UT t-shirt Mom & Dad gave him for Christmas, since Tennessee won BIG in Saturday's game. I was sitting in a booth with my back to the door. Randy looked up toward the door and said, "Now there's a guy with a jacket I need to go with my hat and shirt." I didn't turn around, but heard "the guy" say something to the hostess. I told Randy, "I recognize that guy's voice." Sure enough, when "the guy" walked past us, it was my ex-husband. *ROTF* He didn't look around, and I didn't do anything to draw his attention. He was there with his third wife and his brother for breakfast. Luckily, they were seated a good distance away from us. I think that's the third time Randy and I have seen my ex there.....we've got to start going to the other Shoney's in Bristol when we have breakfast out. *LOL*