Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

I got this cute Halloween e-card from a friend this morning:

I hope YOU have a fun, playful holiday, too.  Don't eat too much candy!

Five years ago today: Trick Or Treat, Smell My Feet, Give Me Something Good To Eat!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Can You See The Advantage?

You probably know that Medicare is a health insurance program for Americans aged 65 and older. It doesn't pay for everything, so if someone wants more complete coverage they can opt to purchase a Medicare Advantage plan from a private insurance company.  Today I evaluated an insurance agent who was giving a formal marketing event for one of their Medicare Advantage plans.  There was nothing secret or unethical about my attendance.  The health insurance carrier hired me to be there.

When agents sell those plans, Medicare has a list of dos and don'ts they have to abide by.  For example, they can provide light snacks and give out gifts worth less than $15 as long as they provide them to anyone, not only in exchange for plan enrollment.  They can't provide or pay for meals or offer gifts worth more than $15 (or money or gift cards in any amount).  There are also statements they can and can't make regarding their plans.  My job was to listen and observe everything that went on so I could report back.

The event was held in the meeting room of a local bank.  I was a little apprehensive when I walked into the building with my letter of authorization from the insurance company.  The agent was standing outside the room greeting people as they walked in.  I introduced myself and handed her the letter; she took it in stride and invited me to have a seat.  Including me, there were six people in the room.   Everyone else was of Medicare age.  I brought a notebook to write things down, and was a little afraid I'd stand out.  Fortunately, there were a lot of other people taking notes, too. 

There was a lot of information covered.  The agent did a good job and covered all the bases.  Her information was very clear, and  she didn't make any unapproved statements.  At the end of the presentation she offered to help people fill out the application form.  That was my clue to leave. 

Five years ago today: Turn Off The Lights

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Stroke Of Luck

For the past few weeks I've been trying to find the right accessories to put in our renovated master bathroom. There's a focus wall which needs some type of artwork, and two windows to be dressed.  The previous 'artwork' was material that I stretched and stapled over an artist's canvas stretcher frame.  The window valances were made from a remnant I found at the fabric store.  This time I was looking for something a little nicer.  (But cheap.  We wrote a very big check to have the room redone.)

I started with the artwork, the most difficult thing to find, browsing through thrift stores and consignment stores for just the right piece.  I found something that would look stunning, but was turned off by the $75 price tag.  Later that day I bought a pair of prints at Goodwill, but when I got them home I discovered they made the room too dark and they went back.

This morning it was time to try again.  When I left to run errands after breakfast I brought a piece of tile and a paint sample for color matching, and a tape measure for sizing.  My first stop was the St. Vincent de Paul store.  I had been there before, but they turn their things over quickly so I thought it was worth another try.

When I got there I saw a sign on the door that said all their artwork was 25% off today.  That made my find even sweeter:
Framed print, tablecloth, and flower pot with tile piece and paint sample
The frame is a little more gold than I'd like it to be, but the print is perfect and mat is just the right color.  After I grabbed the picture I started wandering around the store and found a tablecloth in the soft goods area.  It had all the same colors and would be big enough to make window valances.  The decorative silver flower pot will hide a less-than-perfect nursery pot for one of the plants overwintering in the room.

With the discount, all my goodies cost less than ten dollars.   Now that I've found the main pieces, everything else should fall into place and I'll be able to call the room done!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tub Time

The master bath renovation is finished.  However, I'm having trouble finding just the right artwork and accessories, so it's STILL not ready for the big reveal.  While you're waiting, I thought I'd show you another section.  What a difference new tile can make!

When we started, the off-white tub was surrounded by four-inch square white tiles with white grout and was pretty bland looking:

Bathtub 'before', (please ignore the towels draped over the side)

A new tub wasn't in the budget, but we did have new tile installed that matches what's in the shower.  I think the updated hardware and darker tile makes the tub look elegant:

Bathtub 'after'

Five years ago today: "Hulaweeny"

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Pedia For Everyone

Tonight I was searching the Internet looking for a sample ballot for next week's election when I came across Ballotpedia, which described itself as "an interactive almanac of U.S. politics".  A little later when I was looking for information on the judges that were running for retention I found another related site called Judgepedia, an interactive encyclopedia of courts and judges.

I often refer to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, but these others were new to me.  Knowing that the Internet is full of information, I started looking for other pedias.  There were quite a few.  Have you seen the:
  • Policypedia (another project of the Ballotpedia site), which aims to enlighten voters on policy matters.
  • Uncyclopedia, which calls itself "the Mother Ship of amateur comedy writing"
  • Wookiepedia, a Star Wars encyclopedia that anyone can edit.
  • Conservapedia, which has a conservative and fundamentalist Christian point of view.
Do you know of any others?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Spicy Oven-Roasted Chickpeas

Hubby Tony and I have been trying to eat more 'whole' foods, including snacks.  One of my new afternoon nibbles is roasted chickpeas.  They're a healthy, easy, grab and go snack

There's two places near me where I can buy the pre-roasted beans.  A Middle Eastern market five minutes from my house is more convenient, but the brand of roasted chickpeas they carry are dry and mealy. The large global store a couple cities to the east has a vastly superior-tasting brand, but it's 20 minutes from my house and I don't get there on a regular basis.

I didn't think about a third option of making my own until last week when I had to bring some type of snack to an event on Thursday and again on Friday.  It made sense to bring something Tony and I would enjoy eating, so for inspiration I looked at several recipes.  They all seemed easy enough--toss the beans with a little oil and some spices, then roast until crunchy.

I roasted two batches. The first I baked for 40 minutes but didn't watch them carefully, and a third of the beans burned.  I tasted the ones that weren't too overcooked and thought they were a little oily, so the second time I cut the oil in half and baked them for 35 minutes.  They were better than the first batch, but not as crunchy as the store-bought beans.  I let them cool off, then put them back in the oven for five more minutes to crisp some more.  Bingo!  The beans were the perfect combination of crunch and spice.

Based on the compliments I got on the dish at both events I wasn't the only one who thought so.
Spicy Oven-Roasted Chickpeas
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and thoroughly dried (or 2 15-ounce cans)
  • 1 T olive oil (note-the original recipe called for 2T, but I thought that made the finished product too oily.)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I used kosher)
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place the chickpeas in a bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients until coated. Spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 30-40 minutes.  Stir several times during the baking period.

(Optional) For crisper beans, let pan cool, then return to oven for 3-5 minutes more.
Five years ago today: Creature Comforts

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Holy "Mole-y"

When I was cutting the grass today I was amazed at how many mole runs (interspersed with occasional dirt mounds) were zig zagging across the back yard.  I took great pleasure in stomping down the pushed-up soil after I passed over it with the mower.

I try to co-exist with Mother Nature, but the mole evidence really bothers me!

I know that the moles are just doing what comes naturally; the annoying raised surface tunnels are actually their runs for traveling between their den and their feeding areas.  I know that their digging makes the soil healthier because the tunnels permit air and water to penetrate into deeper soil levels. I know that a mole's diet consists primarily insects found in the soil, (some of which are serious turf pests) so they're actually doing me a favor by getting rid of them.  Still, it's hard to get past the visual annoyance of those ridges in the grass.

I wondered just how many moles were responsible for the mess in my yard.  A little research told me that moles are solitary animals, who live alone except to breed. There are usually somewhere between four to six moles per acre, so my one-third of an acre lot probably only has one or two.  Considering how much damage they've done, they're very busy critters.

My former neighbor was a kind, gentle man, but he took his lawn care seriously.  When a mole dared venture into his domain he'd stalk it and kill it with a shovel.  He offered to do the same thing for us.  (I took him up on his offer one time, and told him he was free to come into our yard any time he saw more evidence.)   However, now he's gone and I'm not going to go through all the time, effort, and money to try and remove the moles.  I guess I'm going to have to learn to co-exist with them. 

Five years ago today: After Dark

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Color Me Confused

The other day I was filling out an employee evaluation form which wanted a description of the person I interacted with.  The company provided a convenient drop-down list of hair colors to pick from:

There was only one problem. The person I needed to describe had bright BLUE hair!  That convenient list didn't provide an 'other' option.  What to do?

After thinking about it for a few minutes, I decided that based on the person's skin tone their natural hair color was probably blonde and chose that.  I wonder if the company figured out who the person was?

Five years ago today: Table For One

Monday, October 20, 2014

No Interruptions

Last Thursday was my final shift at the mall Customer Service desk. With no job to go to, I was a free woman!  The following few days unfolded like they usually do...a meeting and errands on Friday, errands and a night out on Saturday, church and projects around the house on Sunday.  However, even though I was doing the same things, there was an undertone of excitement throughout the whole weekend.  I didn't have to go to work on Monday.  How exciting!.

Last night I still set my alarm for the regular time; I had a lot to do!  Today's project was tackling the master bathroom painting.  After breakfast I went upstairs and started prepping the room.  I took the mirrors off the wall, covered the faucets with plastic bags, and taped newspaper over the toilet and towel bar.  Next, I spread tarps on the floor and counter.  I didn't plan it, but at exactly the time I would have been walking out the door to drive to the mall I climbed up on the ladder and applied the first brush stroke of paint to the wall.

For the next few hours, instead of standing each time a customer came up to the desk I climbed up and down the ladder, and stood precariously on the sink to reach far corners.  At lunchtime, instead of nibbling bite-sized pieces of food at the Customer Service desk, I got to sit down with a big bowl of soup and eat the whole thing without being interrupted.  After lunch when I spent some time on the computer I could give it my whole attention, instead of keeping one eye on the screen and one eye on the passing people. 

But the best part of my day was being able to go to the bathroom whenever I wanted and not worry about someone looking for me.

Five years ago today: Baby Boomer Memory Test

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sometimes You Just Can't Win

Today it was time to give the master bedroom its semi-annual refurbishing.  Among other things, that included changing the lightweight duvet cover to a heavier model, and removing the mattress to put a coordinating dust ruffle on top of the box springs.

However, Jackson was taking his mid-afternoon nap on the bed and didn't care for that idea.

I asked him nicely if he'd move.  He said he was there first and was comfortable, thank you very much.  So instead of starting with the dust ruffle I decided to do the duvet instead.  I spread out the new cover on the floor, shoved the insert into it, then grabbed it along one edge and gave everything a good shake to straighten it out.

I left for five minutes to do laundry.  When I came back Jackson had found a new place to rest--on the floor right on top of the cover I wanted to pick up...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Guys And Dolls

Tonight was Guys and Dolls Night, Hubby Tony's and my monthly(ish) get together with a group of friends. The Guys play poker, and the Dolls go out to dinner, then to someone's house for dessert and socializing.  This time was extra special for the women; we got to hang out at Baubles, Bites & Boots, a store in the Historic Main Street section of St. Charles, Missouri.

The store is owned by Sally (one of the Dolls) and her husband Dave (a Guy).  It opened about a month ago, and has the tagline “Something neat; Something sweet; Something to put upon your feet.”.  Sally and Dave have a fun selection of jewelry and hats, women's scarves and clothing, baby clothes, household accessories, sweet and savory edibles, and rubber boots for men, women, and children.

The store was still open for business when we got there, but when the last customer left Sally locked the door and put up a sign that said there was a private party going on.  We ordered dinner from a nearby restaurant.  When it was ready someone went to pick it up.  Everyone found a place to sit, either in the store or in the back room to eat.

Afterwards some of us sat on the floor and put price tags on a box full of jewelry that had just come into the store.  It was like a big treasure hunt.  The jewelry packaging had a code on it.  You had to find the price tag with the same code, remove the jewelry from the package, and attach the tag.  When we were done the floor around us was covered with jewelry ready to be put out for sale.

Sally paid us for our work with individual jars of fudge, which came with a small spoon to scoop out the fudge.  It was a 'sweet' payment!

Five years ago today: Totally Random

Friday, October 17, 2014


It's been almost a month since our master bathroom renovation started.  The demolition and most of the reconstruction took two weeks.  Then we had to wait for glass to be measured, fabricated, and installed. Earlier this week we started using the room.

I still need to paint the walls, so the room's big reveal can't happen yet.  However, since the shower portion didn't require painting, I thought you might like to see it.

Our old shower was in sad shape.  It had soap-scum covered, four-inch white porcelain tiles, stained grout, a permanently discolored white floor pan, drippy shower head, and polished brass fixtures and framed glass.  They were all removed.  In their place we now have large ceramic tiles accented with a band of smaller subway tiles at eye level and a tiled niche to hold soap.  The joints are filled with no-mildew grout.  The floor is a similarly colored cultured marble with a very small water lip that makes the shower easy to step in and out of.  The polished brass is long gone, replaced by brushed nickel, and the glass is semi-frameless.

I've showered in there several times now, and I feel like I'm in a fancy spa.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's Final

When I gave notice at the mall Customer Service desk a couple of weeks ago it felt like my last day would never arrive.  However, it eventually did.  When I woke up this morning I knew it was the final time I'd have to put on black pants and my mall-supplied white shirt. The final time I'd have to make a lunch to eat at the desk.  The final time I'd have to fight the traffic on the interstate, and the final time I'd have to wind my way through the parking garage. 

It was a very interesting shift.  In the morning there was a nationwide computer issue that brought down the entire gift-card selling system (and I had to turn one disappointed person away).  Later on, a frantic customer ran up to the desk to tell me a woman had fainted outside one of the stores.  I called Security, and found out they were already aware of the issue.

Much of the shift was all about me.  A couple of my co-workers left nice notes.  Hubby Tony had a cute arrangement of yellow and white flowers delivered to the desk.  Some people from the main office stopped by to wish me luck.  Several of the regular mall walkers said they'd miss me.  One gave me her phone number and told me to call her if I'd like to get together for lunch.  A pair of woman gave me a tiny box of candy. 

The hours passed by quickly.  At the end of my shift I turned my keys over to the Boss.  He wished me luck, and asked if I'd like to come back in a couple of weeks and have lunch.  I said I would. For the final time I left the desk and walked through the mall to my car.  I wound my way back through the parking garage and out to the street.  Soon the mall was just an image in my rear view mirror.

Five years ago today: Be My Guest

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Senior Citizen Texting Code

Because senior citizens are busy people, here's a list of abbreviations to save them valuable time when they're texting:
ATD: At The Doctor’s
BFF: Best Friend Farted
BTW: Bring The Wheelchair
BYOT: Bring Your Own Teeth
CBM: Covered By Medicare
CUATSC: See You At The Senior Center
DWI: Driving While Incontinent
FWB: Friend With Beta Blockers
FWIW: Forgot Where I Was
FYI: Found Your Insulin
GGPBL: Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low!
GHA: Got Heartburn Again
IMHO: Is My Hearing-Aid On?
LMDO: Laughing My Dentures Out
LOL: Living On Lipitor
LWO: Lawrence Welk’s On
OMMR: On My Massage Recliner
OMSG: Oh My! Sorry, Gas.
ROFL… CGU: Rolling On The Floor Laughing…Can’t Get Up
TTYL: Talk To You Louder
WAITT: Who Am I Talking To?
WTP: Where’s The Prunes?
WWNO: Walker Wheels Need Oil
Five years ago today: Battle Of The Discount Clubs

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


It was a little over two months ago that people outside our area first heard of Ferguson, Missouri, when Michael Brown was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson. Even after the issue dropped off the front page of the national consciousness, there have been occasional unrest and protests in this area. The most recent were the past weekend, when people from out of town joined locals for a series of demonstrations called FergusonOctober.

The event culminated yesterday in “Moral Monday”.  There were incidents reported all over the metropolitan area. Braving wind and rain, the protesters gathered at government buildings, political events, malls, stores, and sporting events.  Not all of them were demonstrating against  police brutality and racism; the multi-issue gatherings were composed several social and civil rights groups wanting to have their message heard.

Last time there were widespread protests (the first Monday after Michael Brown was killed), I was working at the mall Customer Service desk and got a call from the mall office letting me know they had extra security in place.  Even though this mall isn't anywhere close to Ferguson, with the protesters announcing area-wide occurrences I expected the same thing yesterday during my morning and early afternoon desk shift, but I didn't notice more than the usual number of officers. The mall was busy, but it was more as a result of the Columbus Day holiday and San Francisco fans in town for the Monday Night football game. My time passed by without incident.

About 8:00 in the evening I got a text from the mall telling me that possible protesters were headed there, followed a couple of minutes later by an automated phone call relaying the same information. Both said that the police and Security office were monitoring the situation, and would provide updates as needed. There were no updates, so I'm guessing nothing happened.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Ten years ago we took Son Brian to Columbia shortly before he started his freshman year at the University of Missouri.  While he was in school he came home for holidays, but each summer he stayed in Columbia and worked. (The first year was for the university.  The other summers he had an internship in his major field with a company in town.)

A year into his classes he introduced us to Nicole, who became a constant in his life. In due time Brian graduated.  The next semester we were back to see Nicole receive her degree.  After that they got engaged, bought a house, and got married.  Even though they were 100 miles away, we still saw them on a fairly regular basis. At the beginning of this month we found out Nicole had accepted a new job.  Next Saturday they're moving from Missouri to the San Francisco Bay Area of California.

This weekend Hubby Tony, Son Donald, and I made one last trip to Columbia for a going away get together.  We arrived on Friday night in time for dinner, then spent the night at their house.  The party started at noon on Saturday.  It was good to see all the family and friends that gathered to wish them well, but also bittersweet, knowing it might be a long time before we all got together again.

(On the other hand, that area of the country is a great place to visit!)

Five years ago today: It's Here!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Two Words

The Internet is full of fun time-wasters.  Today's diversion is compliments of Bitecharge.  It's a quiz called  "What two words describe you?"   To find out your words, you answer ten questions about yourself.  The program calculates the result, and spits out an answer.  Mine was:

Unbelievably Sweet
You're the perfect treat -- delightful and sweet. You have the sweetest smile and the most tender love. Your face can brighten any dark day and your jovial nature can fill even passersby with joy. A great many consider themselves lucky to have you in their lives!
All together now.....aww!

Five years ago today: Shall We Dance?

Friday, October 10, 2014

In From The Great Outdoors

Every spring I bring most of my house plants outside so they can enjoy the nice weather. For several months they enjoy the hot, humid summer temperatures, then in October when I open my monthly tickler file there's a reminder that I need to bring them in for the winter.  Today I got around to doing it.

I want the plants inside, but any bugs they might have picked up in the great outdoors aren't welcome in the house.  In order to get rid of anything that might be living in he plants, I soak the pots in slightly soapy water for 20 minutes.  The job should have been done earlier in the month, but it takes a while and I haven't have a large chunk of time until now.  Thankfully the weather's been relatively mild, with no temperatures cool enough to harm the plants.

After breakfast was cleaned up, I filled both sides of my sink with soapy water and got to work.  Because I had to repeat the process several times the entire job took a couple of hours.  The first cycle contained all the small plants.  The bigger plants went in the next rounds; only one pot fit in each side of the sink.  When I was done the draining plants filled up both sides of the kitchen counter.

This year nothing dramatic happened. I had to brush off a couple of spider webs from the underside of pots. No actual critters, though.  Once, several years ago I disturbed a colony of sow bugs living in a plant's soil, and they streamed from the pot when I placed it in the soapy liquid.

Some of the plants overwinter in the master bathroom, which is still a work in progress, so right now everything is crowded together on the kitchen window seat.  The cats approve.

Five years ago today: Very Vegetal

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It IS The Easiest!

This morning I needed an easy to put together dinner that would also be quick to reheat after work.  However, there wasn't a lot for me to work with; other than basics, the refrigerator was looking a little bare.  Except for the garbanzo beans left over from making hummus. After a quick Internet search I ended up with an interesting-sounding recipe from Martha Stewart that turned into my main dish.

The title of the recipe didn't lie; this was the easiest Indian dish I ever put together.  It also tasted good, with just the right amount of curry kick.  I made a couple of changes (substituted one can of diced tomatoes pureed with a hand blender for two cups of the sauce, and used 2 cups of dried, cooked beans instead of canned).  I also used brown rice instead of white, which added to the preparation time, but since I wasn't eating immediately it didn't matter.

Easiest Indian Stew
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 cups homemade or best-quality store-bought tomato sauce
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for garnish
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
Cook rice according to package instructions; cover, and keep warm. While rice is cooking, heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add curry powder and ginger; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, chickpeas, and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Serve stew with rice and yogurt, garnished with lime wedges and a pinch of curry.


Five years ago today: Tag! I'm It!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

As Seen On The Way To Work Today....

St. Louis is a baseball-crazy town, especially when the Cardinals are playing in the postseason. Even Macy's gets in on the act:

Tonight, in the best-of-five National League Division Series the Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers three games to one to move on to the League Championship Series.  Go Cards!

Five years ago today: Say What?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Flush Away

Our new master bathroom renovation is coming along.  There are still a couple of things that need to be finished, so it's not ready for the big reveal yet.  However, much of the room is ready to be used...and the most exciting part is the working toilet!  That means no more middle-of-the-night trips out of the bedroom to the bathroom in the hall.

I'm glad to see the old toilet gone.  It was a first-generation low flow model that never really handled solid wastes well.  When the bathroom designer showed us his plan, it included a new dual flush toilet. That surprised me; I've become accustomed to seeing the green-handled flushers in public restrooms, but didn't know they were used in homes.  After thinking about it for a while, Hubby Tony and I agreed it would be a good idea.

In a dual flush system, the low volume flush cycle provides enough water to handle liquid waste, and the additional water in a complete flush helps to remove solid waste.  Our new toilet has a lever with two handles on the left side of the tank.  The longer paddle is green, and you push it for the low volume flush.  If you push the full lever you get a complete flush.

We've only been using this new system since Friday, but I think I'm really going to like it!

Friday, October 3, 2014


Today I helped a fraternal group that Hubby Tony belongs to with their annual charity donation drive.  During my two hour shift at a grocery store I wore a bright yellow apron printed with the group's logo, and stood in a prominent place in the store foyer close to the interior door.  If someone made a donation I'd offer them a candy bar. 

Right after I started my shift I noticed a strong scent of cinnamon.  I knew it was somewhere in the lobby, but I couldn't figure out where.  Eventually I determined it was coming from a large crate filled with bags of cinnamon-scented pine cones right behind me.  Their sweet, earthy smell was a pleasant accompaniment to my task.

However, by the time my shift ended that scent had me craving some cinnamon heat.  On my way home I stopped and bought a box of Red Hots.

Five years ago today: Driving In My Car

Thursday, October 2, 2014

I Quit!

Ironically, our master bathroom renovation became a symbol for what was wrong with my schedule.

The bathroom workman was an employee of the design store we chose.  We quickly decided he was trustworthy, and I didn't think twice about leaving the house when he was there.  The first time I left a door unlocked because I had to be at work before he arrived I stopped and thought about all the scheduling issues I've had over the past three years working at the mall Customer Service desk.

I only work 20 hours a week, spread out over four days, but if you count commuting time it's closer to 26 hours (because I always allow longer to get there to allow for traffic issues).  That doesn't sound like a lot  However, the shifts broke up my day so I never had long blocks of free time.  I've had to turn down innumerable invitations from friends to meet for lunch or a cup of coffee because I had to be at work.  Other meetings were stressful because I had to keep an eye on the clock.

There is a whole list of projects that aren't getting done around the house.  Starting with the almost-finished new bathroom.  It needs to be painted, which is on us.  We have two choices.  I could easily do the job, but it would take having a free day.  Or we could hire the work out, which would be more expensive and we'd have the issue of not knowing if the painter was trustworthy.

In addition to the bathroom, there are several more rooms that could use a fresh coat of paint, and  for several years I've been saying I'll update the light fixtures.  For the second year in a row the lawn and garden renovations (which in our area is best done during September) didn't get done because we couldn't get to it. 

After mulling the issues over it over and talking with Hubby Tony, I decided to give notice at my job.  I typed up an official letter of resignation, and gave it to the Boss.  Two weeks from today will be my last shift.  I'm going to miss the job, and many of the people I've met over the three years I've worked at the mall, but I'm excited to think about all the new projects that await..

Of course the downside of not having a job means the paychecks will disappear.  To make up some of the loss.  I'm going to be doing more independent marketing research.

Five years ago today: California Dreaming

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's A Weed...

but I think this mass of foxtail that I saw on my walk today isn't bad looking.

Five years ago today: If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em