Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Blah Thursday

I don't feel well....I'm not SICK, mind you, I just don't feel well. Like I'm on the verge of coming down with something. Kinda achy, tired, low-grade-feverish. Of course, the lovely weather probably isn't helping much. 26 degrees as I'm writing this with a wind chill of about 19.

As I came up I-81 to work this morning, I noticed a little portable pop-up sign beside the road that said "Accident Ahead". About 3 miles past the sign, I decided someone had just forgotten to retrieve the sign after clearing up an accident, since nothing was in sight. Just as I approached Exit 7, though, I saw that traffic was backed up in the northbound lanes. I took the exit, went over to Lee Highway, and took that up to Exit 10, where I got back on the interstate (north of the accident). It didn't add a lot of time to my commute, even though traffic diverted onto Lee Highway was unusually heavy. After I got to work, I learned that there'd been an accident at 6:00 last night just around the 8-mile marker. A tractor-trailer carrying cosmetics (headed south) lost control of his truck, veered across the median, and collided with a tanker truck carrying sulfuric acid. The tanker is still in the median; they're trying to get another tanker moved in to transfer the acid. They say that the interstate will have to be completely blocked during the transfer, and that the interstate probably won't reopen until late this afternoon. Sounds like I'll be going home by "back roads" today. Luckily, we're only having light snow showers, so running two-lane roads shouldn't be difficult. In fact, it may even be scenic. *keeping a positive attitude.....or trying to, at least*

My upstairs neighbor left a note under my door last Friday complaining about Meggie barking while she's trying to sleep (she has insomnia, she has sleep apnea, etc., etc., etc.). As soon as I came home and found the note, I went to talk to the apartment manager, who is a gem if ever there was one. I asked her advice in the matter. I proposed to respond by a note explaining that I make it a point never to leave Meggie alone during "quiet hours" as established in the lease. (Which is true....she's never alone overnight...hasn't been since the first of March, 2007.) I asked the manager if she'd look over the note after I'd composed it to see if she thought I'd said too much or too little. She agreed and said she felt I was taking the proper steps. I went home and composed the note and e-mailed it to her so she could look it over first thing Monday morning. In the note I also stated that I try very hard to be a considerate neighbor (no vacuuming, laundry, etc. during quiet hours), and that I commiserated with her problems with insomnia and sleep apnea, both of which have plagued me in the past. I also mentioned that a CPAP machine had helped my situation tremendously.

When the apartment manager came to work Monday, she looked over my note and e-mailed me that she thought it looked great. I was off work that day (holiday) so I printed it, signed it, and slipped it under my neighbor's door. I didn't hear anything from her until she and I happened to be at our (side-by-side) parking places at the same time when I came home from work Tuesday afternoon. I passed a few pleasantries with her (weather, etc.). As we approached the stairs, she said that she supposed she was just going to have to put up with the barking dog.

I told her that, as I'd said in my note, I fully intended to see that Meggie is never left alone during "quiet hours", but that there just isn't much I can do while I'm at work.....and I HAVE to go to work. (She doesn't. Must be nice.) She commented that the barking didn't bother her as much as it bothered her nephew. (Which is interesting, since he's not on the lease. She supposedly lives alone. Also, he'd griped earlier about the fact that she has only one assigned parking space. In addition to that, when he comes in and out, he stomps on the stairs so hard it rings in my living room. Anyway.....) The entire time we were talking in the breezeway, the neighbor who lives diagonally across the breezeway from me was trying to get his Pomeranian to stop barking. It was really raising the roof! My upstairs neighbor commented that she didn't know how my dog could bark all morning long without making herself sick. I brought to her attention that the entire time we were talking, the Pomeranian was raising Cain, but Meggie hadn't made a sound. I actually think that she may be blaming Meggie for ANY barking she hears, and that's just not so. Oh well.

Then she said that maybe I should just bring "the dog" to her apartment when I leave for work and let her stay there. That way she'd be quiet. I was honestly stunned. I don't even KNOW this woman. We've had a total of three conversations, including this one; one of the other conversations involved her nephew's displeasure with the assigned parking situation. So two of three conversations have been gripe sessions for her, and she wants me to trust HER to take care of Meggie? Oh, I don't think so!

I told her that I'm leaving a radio on in the living room and a television on in the bedroom to make a little noise so that it will hopefully mask outside noises, making Meg quieter while I'm gone.

I stopped to talk to my apartment manager on my way home yesterday afternoon to fill her in on the conversation I'd had with my neighbor. She said that she didn't much care what the woman upstairs wants, that I've done everything I need to do in the situation. Sheesh, there's always ONE in the crowd, isn't there?

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Last night, light snow and sleet moved into the area, leaving us with icy roads and just enough snow to make everything really beautiful. I got a call just after 5:30 this morning from the "snow chain" that was set up at work to notify everyone of schedule changes. We were on a snow schedule! (That's a two-hour delay.)

I'd watched the weather forecasts yesterday anxiously, hoping for enough snow to cause a schedule change today. (They don't happen very often.) I called the next people on the chain I'd been assigned to notify, and made myself a more leisurely breakfast than usual: tea and cream of wheat. I love cream of wheat on a day like this....warm and filling. I usually don't make anything but instant during the workweek, but since I had a couple of extra hours, I made the regular kind.....yummy, but messy!

After I'd put the kitchen back in order, I still had a little more time before I had to get ready for work. I settled into the recliner with Meggie and picked up my crochet hook to pass a little time while watching television. Happily, I received a second call from the snow chain......the college was closed for the day!! *YAY* SNOW DAY!!

Since snow days are so rare, I decided that I'm going to spend this one doing just what I WANT to do. I'd already made my bed, so I threw a load of towels in the washer and did my little "morning chores" list. Now the towels are ready for the dryer....other than folding them when they're dry, I plan to do the following:
  1. Put a paper log in the fireplace and light it.
  2. Pour myself another cup of hot tea.
  3. Put my latest Netflix rental in the DVD player.
  4. Pile up in the recliner with MeggieDog, the remote control, and a crochet hook.
  5. Doze as necessary.
I hope your day is as good as I plan for mine to be!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Meggie's Ottoman Cover

I just finished crocheting a cover for the ottoman that Meggie uses as a "stepladder" to get up onto the bed. As you can see, she approves of the improved traction. *LOL*

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Lovely Rainy Sunday

It's been a lovely quiet Sunday here. I got my household chores done yesterday morning and spent the afternoon with Mom and Dad. Mom cooked a delicious pot of 17-Bean Soup which we all enjoyed thoroughly. I stopped by the grocery store on the way home, so today I didn't actually HAVE to do anything. (Not that there's ever a time when there's nothing to do here....*LOL*)

I slept in longer than I intended, so instead of cooking breakfast, I just had coffee and fixed a big brunch at 10:00: ham, eggs, biscuits, gravy and apple butter. YUM! Of course, now it's after 5:00 and I'm still not hungry.

I just put a few photos out on my Flickr site that I'd taken while Kris and Louise were visiting. (Kris, when you read this, be sure to show Louise that I've finished the scarf she taught me to knit!! *LOL*) I got e-mail from her Friday evening my time that said that they'd arrived home and were on their way to pick up their boxer, Freya, from the folks who were keeping her while they were on vacation. I haven't heard more, so I'm assuming no news is good news. :-)

Since I finished knitting my scarf, I'm now crocheting a cover for an ottoman. This is an old ottoman that I keep by my bed to give Meggie a "step ladder" to get up and down. Since it's a leatherette material, she skids when she jumps on it, so I've been keeping a cotton bath mat pinned to the top of it. Effective, but not particularly attractive. *L* During the Christmas visit, I showed Louise how to make a granny square. Later I happened to think that if I just created a larger version of the granny square the size of the top of the ottoman, then crocheted sides for it, I could cover it, provide traction for Meg, and make it a little more attractive all at the same time. I'm nearly finished (hopefully will finish it this evening), so I'll post a photo when I'm all done.

Friday, January 11, 2008

"A380 Rolls Off Tarmac in Singapore"

....but thankfully, "no passengers are injured". Now I'm left to wonder if that was the flight that Kris and Louise were on. The Wall Street Journal article stated that it was a Singapore Airline flight that was getting ready to depart Singapore for Sydney late Thursday. Which Thursday? Theirs or ours???

I waited until the time their flight was supposed to arrive in Sydney and confirmed that it had landed, so either the flight that rolled off the tarmac was the day before their flight, or Singapore Air moved them to another plane and didn't renumber the flight. I'll find out when I hear from Kris.

What a week! It's been the first full week back at work, and it's been a bear. I'm always glad to see Friday roll around, but I'm ESPECIALLY glad to see it today!

I've been doing a little housework each evening, so thankfully I won't have a lot to do this weekend, unless I start myself a special project. I'm going to try really hard not to do that this weekend....I need REST!!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

First Saturday of 2008

Even without the alarm being set, I woke up this morning at 5:15. I didn't mind, though. I watched a little TV for awhile, then got up and made waffles with the new waffle maker Mom and Dad gave me for Christmas. I made a full batch, ate one, and put the rest in the freezer to toast for breakfast during the week. They're actually not too unhealthy since I eat them with no butter or margarine and use just a bit of Smucker's sugar-free syrup on them.

I got my weekly household drudgery all done; everything's dusted, vacuumed, or mopped as needed. The laundry's all done except for folding a load of towels that just finished drying.

I'm going to lunch with friends at 1:00. Gladys, Anita, Lindsay, and Noah are meeting me at Shoney's. I haven't seen them in months, so I'm looking forward to it.

Meggie is sleeping in a patch of sun in the home office floor. She's followed me from room to room as I did my chores this morning. I think she's relieved that I'm sitting in one place for a few minutes! *LOL*

I miss Kris and Louise. The apartment seems too quiet today. They're in New York, and I hope they're having a great time. According to the schedule, they'll leave New York tomorrow night, change planes in Washington, and arrive in London on Tuesday. I hope the weather's good for them.

We had a terrible blast of winter weather just after they left, but it's warmed up to about 40 degrees this morning. In fact, it's supposed to be up in the 60's the first of the week. That'll really seem like a heat wave after the single digit cold we had just a couple of days ago!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Best Holiday Season Ever

Kris and Louise are on their way again after spending the holidays with me. Well, they're SORT of on their way. At the moment, they're waiting for a flight out of Knoxville. Their scheduled flight was canceled due to mechanical failure. *ick* When Kris called to tell me, I told her that it's a shame, but considering how much traveling they've done so far with only this hitch, things have actually gone remarkably well.

They arrived by rental car late afternoon on Saturday, December 22. We had dinner, and Mom and Dad came to visit with us for awhile. On Sunday we went to visit at Mom and Dad's house for awhile and made a grocery shopping trip to pick up last-minute items. Christmas Eve I had Mom and Dad back at my place for supper (lasagna....a Christmas Eve tradition started by Mom years ago). Then they had us back at their house for Christmas dinner.....chicken, ham, and all the trimmings....yum!

Louise has a gluten allergy and apparently got hold of enough wheat products in the holiday dinners to cause her to fall victim to a bad headache on the 26th. So, she stayed in bed trying to recover that morning. Kris went to visit a friend and Meg and I had some quality "recliner time". That evening we went to Bristol Motor Speedway to see "Speedway in Lights", which were even bigger and better than last year.

On Thursday the 27th Kris had an appointment with her tattoo artist to have some work done. I got a little household drudgery done while she and Louise were out and about. After dinner that night, we pursued Trivia for awhile.

On the 28th, Mom and Dad took us to White Top and out for lunch. It was a fun trip, but fog/mist/clouds had settled on the mountain, and we weren't able to see anything at all. The wind was gusting really hard (I'd guess about 40 mph) and it was COLD. It was nice to have an outing all the same.

On the 29th, Kris had another appointment at the tattoo shop, but her artist was sick so she had to reschedule for New Year's Day.

On the 30th, we went to Red Lobster for lunch, then to Castlewood to visit the final resting places of family members. Afterwards we stopped at Dixie Pottery (a failed attempt to find souvenir items), then went to Mom and Dad's for a little while.

On the 31st, Kris packed up some items to be shipped back to Australia. She and Louise took them to the post office and made a Wal-Mart trip. Then they went to the home of one of Kris' friends for New Year's Eve. Meg and I were asleep before midnight, as usual. :-)

On New Year's morning, Louise prepared a wonderful homemade cheesecake for our dessert to have after dinner. I'd invited Mom and Dad to join us for a traditional New Year's dinner: black-eyed peas and collard greens along with ham, potatoes, mixed pickles (a combination of pickled beans, pickled corn, cabbage, etc.), corn muffins, and Mom's coleslaw. Kris and Louise went to the tattoo parlor at noon; Mom and Dad arrived soon after they left. We planned to have dinner at 4:00, but they came early so we'd have some time to place the order (by internet) for their next corporate lease vehicle.

The website behaved perfectly, and we placed the order with no hitches at all. Kris and Louise came back about 3:30, so dinner was served on time and was pretty tasty, even if I do say so myself. Louise's cheesecake was really great and was enjoyed by all.

Mom and Dad visited with us for a little while after dinner, then left for home. Kris and Louise finished their packing in time for us to enjoy a last episode of "Jeopardy" before they had to leave. After they finished their last-minute items, we exchanged some borderline-teary farewells, and they left about 9:00 p.m.

I'd asked them to call when they got checked in at Knoxville; Kris called at 11:15 to say they'd arrived safely. She called me at work again this morning to tell me their flight to Toronto had been canceled. They'd rescheduled a flight to Cincinnati the last time I talked to her, so I'm not sure what time they'll get to Toronto now.

Kris had hoped for a little snow during her visit, but we had temperatures up in the 50's most of the time. Yesterday afternoon the temperature dropped drastically, and there were snow flurries. This morning we had a little snow on the ground and bone-chilling temperatures. It looks like Kris barely missed seeing winter weather at home!

All in all, a wonderful holiday....the best I can ever remember.