Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Am I Okay?

Last night my dog greeted me as though I had been off to war and she hadn't seen me in years.  I was only gone for 1 1/2 hours.
I don't normally get this treatment, it's Rick who gets this kind of attention and love.

She has been by my side constantly. She comes up to my desk during the day and will lay her head on my thigh. She is being so loving towards me. 

And let's face it the bitch is only like this with Rick.
Oh she loves me ...enough. 
But over the last 2 months I have been getting this kind of affection from her and I'm wondering why this is going on.  

Izzy The Wonder Dog will be 6 years old in February. 

Did it take her 6 years for me to grow on her? 
Perhaps it's because she spends the majority of her time with me and I've grown on her like a fungus. Or she just figured, "this old woman isn't going anywhere and she feeds me so I might as well give in"

Yesterday Rick and I were talking about this pain I'm having in my right breast. 

I go to the doctor tomorrow. He is concerned. I am not. They say if it's pain, it's not cancer. So it is probably no big deal. But it's been going on for awhile now but it has changed to a constant pain not every once in awhile pain. 
As we were chatting about my appointment the dog came over and again put her head on my thigh.
I, of course loved her back and then she just sits next to me while we were talking. 
(actually sitting on my feet)
Then it dawned on me. I looked at Rick and said, "I'm gonna die aren't I?"

"What? How did we get there?" he asks.  


"C'mon, you know how animals know when someone is dying and they sit by them in old folks homes.  Izzy thinks I'm dying and that is why she's being so nice to me and being nicer than even to you."


Rick of course thinks I'm off my rocker. I really was only making a joke.....until this morning  

Now I'm having my doubts. This morning she was all over me. When I dropped her off at doggie day care she put her front paws on my shoulder before I let her out of the car. 
It was like a hug. Normally she moves me out of the way so she can run into the place. Once I pull in she is up standing in the back seat and runs out of the car, not stopping to love on me.

Shit. I think I'm a dead woman walking.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Need a Job?

We are experiencing an enormous surge in business.
Rick has been looking for employees now for the better part of this year.
They say there are folks out there who want a job. We are hard pressed to find them.

Rick wants someone outside of this particular field for 2 big reasons. He wants to train them and not acquire their bad habits. In the past we have hired experienced men in this field who come with a big bag of attitude and refuse to do things the way Rick would like it done.
"But it's easier to cut corners like this they say." Rick's response is always, "we don't cut corners." and then the attitude begins.  

That sounds mean you say?  But even at McDonald's you don't get to make the burger your way,  the McDonald's way.  Even if the customer asks for something different than the standard burger you make it their way within McDonald's perimeters. They also seem to have an attitude and never a good one with people.  Rick won't tolerate either.

Rick thought a military background would be good because they take direction. He wanted to post for jobs on this military site but it was shy of $1,000 to do so. (for one month!)
He felt that was a ridiculous price but was getting close to doing it because the job pool is so bad. He tried one last time on indeed.com.  He has received a few good one, and a shit load of bad ones. The bad ones make me laugh. So in the evening as we pour ourselves a glass of wine and we have some good laughs over some of these guys.
One guy said, "I worked for XYZ (a competitor) so I am a bit leery, but look I'll hear you out."  That made me laugh. Did he really think we would want to hear him out?  That was all he had in the email. No resume, cover letter or anything else. No Dear Sir or To Whom It May Concern.  Nothin' people!

Rick requested in the ad a resume, cover letter with experience and salary requirements.
The first 10 or more responses were email with no cover letter, resume or any of the other info Rick requested. He is at the point now where he just blows them off. As he stated to me, "If they can't follow these simple instructions to even get the job I don't want to talk to them Margaret."  I think that's fair enough.

He has received 2 that he has hopes for. One is military and one has a background, not in this field, but one that compliments this in a way that training will be minimal.  He has done the phone portion of the interview for one and next step is the in person. The other has a phone interview on Tuesday and we'll see how that goes.

Last night just before I closed down the computer another resume came in.
At first I thought this was a big joke. Then as I read it again I thought perhaps English is not this mans first language and then I felt terribe for him. I showed it to Rick. 
Rick said, "I don't wish to believe this is a joke. Why would anyone do that?"  
He looked it over again. He just shook his head and said, "I am writing back to him and giving him a corrected resume. I am going to tell him to get someone to look it over before he ever sends a resume out again."

"Won't that make him feel badly though if this is not a joke?"

 "I am going to tell him that I am sharing all of this to help him, so that the next time he sends out a resume he will get the job - but not this time."  

So Rick circled and corrected everything including the spelling of the city in which he lives.
The dates he went to school are from 1967 - 2014.  Either the poor guy is really dumb or that was a typo.  50 yrs in school is a damn long time.

Here is one example:
It reads -
labor sub contactioal helper and spd man

d S patterson vieana va - happers farry wv - June 1993 to April 2005

Interpretation:
HUH??
What is a contactioal helper? and a spd man?
I have no idea was a d S patterson is but the I think he meant Vienna VA.
happers farry wv  should read Harpers Ferry WV

It reads:
master flight school engenior in bomb blast and galloep

Ft sill Ft bliavins Uhta kannas city kannas - dalles texas

Interpretation:
master flight school engineer in bomb blast and ??????
Ft still Ft bliavins(?????) utah(?) Kansas City Kansas and Dallas Texas

One more under Education:
master constustion attendet labor sub contarctor in land sirvoair constustioal eng build

footer to roof lay out and mixer of sub contactioal laber engioner

We have no idea what that means. 
Now our interpretations are just guesses. Who the hell knows what he is trying to say.
Oh it goes on and on like this and some so much worse.

I feel badly for him if English is not his first language. 
Perhaps he needs to enroll in a class for English as your 2nd language that my neighbor teaches for free.
I know Rick feels badly too because he is taking the time to rewrite what he can decipher and then explain to him nicely that no one will ever call him if he sends this type of resume out there. He must get someone to proof read it for him. (Someone he may know who speaks English) Rick has offered to help. But just not offer him a job.  I think he is wearing his old HR hat.

I will admit that evil Margaret laughed like hell when she read under his header of accomplishments.
"Help my buddy i love to death"

I copied and pasted that line so you could see that even the I is not capitalized. That line made me think this was all a joke. But Rick seems to think its not.  He may be right and if he is he's doing a nice thing. If not, jokes on us I guess.

I know I can't spell a lick and most days spell check doesn't even know what the hell I am trying to say so then I change the word. Yes I'm that bad. But this beats even my spelling.

This is our applicant pool. See our problem now?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Discounts for Pretty

My husband has been working 7 days a week and will continue to do so for a few more weeks.
He's exhausted, frustrated and every other emotion in between.
The contracting company who hired him for this job have been horrific to work for.(this is for solid surface railings and details - think of it like a corian product) Too much to detail right now. But let's say that when this damn theatre in Springfield is finished there will be a celebration at our home!

Saturday he did a couple of jobs and estimates for his refinishing business.
On one of the estimates at the end of the day was a woman who was such a bitch to me on the phone.
I wrote on his work order that she was a princess, to just be aware.
I had to laugh when he came home and told me the following:
He gets to her door exactly on time and she flips her dark hair and smiles at him and says, "I love when men are on time"  Then she laughs and touches his shoulder.
He tells me she is a woman in her early 40's and trying too hard. She is dressed (his words) like something out of flash dance with her t-shirt down over her shoulder and her bra strap showing. He goes on to tell me that she had on way too much makeup making her wrinkles really stand out.

I said, "boy you really looked her over didn't you?"  I thought that was pretty funny.
He said, "oh wait. She shows me the bathtub she wants me to restore and she keeps touching my shoulder. I discussed what was needed and then told her the price as I wrote out an estimate."
She whips her hair back and touches my arm now and says, "Aren't there discounts for pretty girls?"

I burst out laughing. I said, "Did you ask her if she knew any?" 
He said, "Oh, good one,  I wish I had but I didn't. I did say, sure there are discounts, what steps would you like me to skip?  She look dumbfounded and said, "what?"  He said, "well I can discount my work and skip the prepping done for excellent adhesion and that would take some money off."
She laughed and touched my shoulder again and said, "Oh can't you do better than that?"
I handed her the estimate sheet and said, "this is the price. You can call my office manager to set up an appointment if you want to schedule. Then I walked to the door. She just made me so angry with her whole act that I just didn't care if she called or not. I'm sorry it was the last straw of the day"

I told him I didn't care. She was difficult on the phone and she was stupid to boot. I tried to explain things to her and she didn't understand anything.  Rick said, "I guess her looks have gotten her everything in life so she probably thought she didn't need to use that muscle in her head. But her looks are fading and she was trying too damn hard, made her uglier to me."

Ah and that's just another of the million reason why I love him. A man not fooled by a pretty face.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Throw Back Friday

As you all know on Facebook there is the TBT.
I posted this funny picture and my goodness the responses were a hoot.
I got emails from friends from high school who knew me at this young age and who were at this slumber party.
So I thought I'd share this funny with you all.
We'll call this Throw Back Friday instead of Thursday.

Let the giggles begin...
I believe this was 1970. (14 yrs old)
I think Slash stole my hat style don't you?
And those bleached stripes on my bell bottoms are a hoot.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Abuse

I posed this question on my facebook page.
I sincerely was asking. Only one person answered me and it is a person I've known for 25+ years who is a football fanatic. She lives Penn State football and Pittsburgh Steelers. 
Sadly that is her life. This made her quite angry. I should have known.

Here was my post:

I do not follow football. I have no interest!! But I do have a question to those that do. Why do we always hear about rape, beatings, murder, domestic abuse from a majority of football players more than any other sport? I realize it happens everywhere, but why so prevalent in football? Is there a reason? It has been said that this is now America's past time. If that is true, it says a lot about us doesn't it? None of it good.
__________________
Now this woman who calls herself a feminist, asks what is wrong with the woman who was beaten staying married to him?  Or worse being beaten while engaged and then marrying him.  (we are talking about Ray Rice if you live in a cave)
I ask, why does it always come back to the woman's fault for this mans horrific behavior?

I am a strong woman who would never ever tolerate that  - EVER.
It can be hard to wrap your head around the fact that there are women who do APPEAR to tolerate that behavior. But should they be to blamed?

Unless we live in their shoes (women) we don't know what is going on, why they are doing this.  I happen to believe weak women do a lot of things from fear, raised like this, no way out etc. 

Bottom line, no one should hit another, mentally or physically abuse another. Period. 
No exceptions to this rule. This goes beyond football obviously.

But back to my question. Why does it appear to be so prevalent in football? 
Sure there are horrible men in other sports as well. But you hear many more football players than any other sport for rape, murder and abuse. 

I'm seriously interested in the reason why we hear about so many football players more than anything.

Monday, September 8, 2014

My summer vacation.

It is so difficult to get back in the swing of things after a week long vacation.

Yes, I did work from the lake but my voicemail said I was on vacation and would get back to you within 24 hrs. So there was no constant sitting at my desk and dealing with mean people. No dealing with advertising and sales people.  My most stressful day was a day on the lake and it got cloudy.  I didn't want cloudy on my vacation damn it!  But fun ensued none the less.

The home we rented was a great location for the time of year we were there.
The cove the house was in was large and quiet. We enjoyed that.
(the view from the house)
But just leaving the cove you were in the middle of the lake by the most activity of things to do. So location was ideal. In the middle of summer I would hate it because it would be so filled with tourists and children driving jet skis who aren't old enough to drive. (pet peeve!)

The lower level of the home had a 90" TV. Sadly they didn't choose to receive an HD signal from their satellite company so what the hell is the point? We usually stayed upstairs and watched the 55" TV. Seriously into their TV size yet they had the worst television service. They had Direct TV. And each year I rent a home with Direct I am floored by how bad the technology is. It's like having a rotary phone vs a smart phone compared to my satellite carrier. Even their FF and Rewind buttons were antiquated. Very odd to me that everyone has Direct. I have a feeling if it weren't for the NFL package people would leave them in a heartbeat. Ya'll (yep i was in the south for a full week) don't know what you are missing in technology. Like going back to a flip phone.

And speaking of Dish. We have dish anywhere. What that means to us is that we can go out of town and watch the things on our DVR or our television live. Since Sunday night there was no Showtime we watched Ray Donovan, one of our favorite shows, on our tablet. No, you don't pay for this, it's free. See? You people with Direct are so missing out. We had a cable so we could put that into their tv and we watched it on their big screen. One evening when Rick and the dog had passed out on me I watched something on my DVR that is a show only I watch so I used the tablet and it was perfect. Love this dish anywhere app. Try it, you'll love it. (no i am not a paid spokesperson but I should be!)

Here are some moments of my week away. 


Rick staring into space. What is funny about this you say? He asked who the bald guy was when he saw this pic.

We really should have named her Shadow - she is never far from him ...ever!
There was a dog across the way that kept barking. It annoyed her. She would turn and look up at Rick and then look at the dog.  It didn't make her happy. (or us) Thankfully the dog was only there for the 1st weekend we were there. I prefer the peace and calm of the lake and no yappy dogs, and apparently so does Izzy.
One view of our cove from our chairs. 
We were driving around on the boat and saw this run down old dock. There must have been a house through the trees but we couldn't see it. This slide is what interested us. I think that would be a fun slide to use and a helluva drop. We considered pulling up and parking and trying it but then thought better of that. But we were tempted.
Here are some homes that we drove by. I love looking at all the pretty homes and well manicured yards. Ah, some day again....(wishful thinking) And no we did not drive by our old home either. Still stings a bit. That house in my cartoon header is mine. The artist drew it from a photo that was here on my blog. So very small in comparison to these right? But it was great while we had it.


 This one below is owned by the DeWalt's - as in the tools.  Think it's big enough? I like how the trees have grown up over the years to hide it a bit. 
This was wine Wednesday.
This was Friday Flashback.
Oh sure there was Tequila Thursday but no pictures were taken. Tanqueray Tuesday was a hoot too, but sometimes we were just living and no pics were taken. 
I got off my raft to get some food out of the cooler and Rick snapped this because he found this funny. Hey, I'm on vacation I can float and drink. No harm done to anyone doing that.
You think we may have to do AA and Weight Watchers upon our return?
Rick went up to the house for something and the dog and I were sitting on the boat waiting for him. She just stared at the stairs waiting for her "man"
Here she is staring at the stairs - I was sitting right next to her but who the hell am I?  I am invisible if he is around. 
While we were on the boat one day Rick realized he left his sunglasses up at the house. I remembered that after his eye surgery 10 yrs ago that he had to wear these huge sunglasses that he referred to as old men glaucoma sunglasses. I got them out of the glove box and he wore 'em. Better than nothing he said. Funny aren't they?
Because we were up on the north part of the lake a lot of things were new to us. Yes, after 15 years of vacationing there and having a home there for 10 years we still are finding new things. Our home was in the Southeast side of the lake. This house was on the far northeast side of the lake. This is an RV camp site and their "private beach"  (yes, that is Izzy's head.) Some of these RV's were enormous and their decks were wrap around. I wish I had had my long lens to capture them.
Izzy loves going after fish. She spent 4 hrs each day where she swam after fish the entire time. Stop only to pee and run back in the water. 4 entire hours. It was alike a babysitter. We sat on chairs or flotation devices and it was like we didn't have a dog - she was too busy with all the fish. This below are the minnows that she would jump at.  Oh how excited she was to see these minnows. She pounced like  a deer and she would use her front paws to try to grab them. It was something to see. But seriously for 4 hrs? We just laughed and let her go. We were sunning, talking, chillin' and enjoying not being at work! The water was 80 degrees and I loved it. Rick likes it colder. Not me, it was perfection.
This was Izzy the entire week, just chasing or retrieving a football. This wiped her out. She was so tired that after her dinner she was out for the night.

 They had these nice kayaks at the side of the boat house. I asked Rick if he wanted to go kayaking and his response was, "Have you just met me?"  So that obviously meant no, only on water with a motor missy.
Just a picture of the Wonder Dog cuz I like it - she was permanently wet all week. That's a lovely smell isn't it? Oh yea, wet dog. She got a bath the day we left. And boy was she ready to go home. She grabbed her football and went to the top of the steps and waited for us. It made us laugh. The pic is fuzzy, but I had to put it here. She slept in the car for the enitre 4 hr drive. And she has been sleeping ever since. I think I'll have an easy week. 


In the lower level family room of our rental home was this photo. I emailed the owner about something else and told him inquiring minds wanted to know....was he one of those guys in the pic of the 80's hair band?  He laughed and said he was the one on the far left. He is quite chubby and bald now so that is funny. Ah, it happens to us all damn it. 

 This is the RV site I referred to earlier with a bar and restaurant. We pulled up there one day and got some lunch. We didn't go to any of the fine dining establishments on the water. Only the dives and tiki bars. More our style on vacation at the lake in summer. (Only visit those in fall and winter)


 We had a wonderful week away from all the daily shit of our lives. 
But now back to reality, dieting, and no drinking. Need to get back into my clothes for heavens sake!!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Holiday Weekend

I didn't post Izzy on National Dog Appreciation Day yesterday. Bad bad human mommy.
Here is my girl sunning herself yesterday. The 2nd one cracked me up - she was loving the sunshine and the cool air.





Izzy The Wonder Dog, My Big Fella and me are heading further south for some R & R.
Ah, boating, swimming, sunning and lots of rum naps in my future. (tequila, gin and wine too)
We haven't had near the amount of 90+ degree days this wonderfully cool summer but they are on their way and just in time for me to be boating!

Enjoy your holiday weekend everybody!
I plan to be just like this dog in the photo a great part of the day, everyday!

 Izzy and Rick will fish when they come back in from the boat doing their fishing. 
(I don't get it either)

Enjoy your holiday weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Is it time for vacation umbrella drinks yet?

This happened yesterday – I think this woman would need instructions to wash her friggin’ hair.

I told a potential customer she wouldn't be able to use the tub for 24hrs after the job was completed. This has never ever been an issue or something people didn't understand.

Her: Would it be okay if I take a bath at 8p that night?

Me: The technician should be done at 12/noon so 24 hr from that time you can get water in the tub, not a minute before so the answer would be NO.

Her: So I can bathe at 8 pm then?

Me: NO that is not 24 hrs but more like 8 hrs.

Her: So what?

Me: As I stated earlier your tub has to cure for 24 hrs.  Think of it as "hardening" This has a lifetime of 18-20yrs but if you use it before that it will not last at all. It will also void your warranty,  remember we discussed this?  If you use it before that time you are voiding the warranty and you will ruin the new surface. You don't want to have to pay to have it done again?

Her: No, But Why? I need to bathe every night. (whining in a sing song-y type voice)

Me: Would you like to reschedule so you can make this on a Saturday so you aren't going to work the next day? 

Her: What does that have to do with it?

Me: Ma’am, you can not use this for 24 hrs from the time the tech leaves your home – no exceptions.  It must cure. We  went over this when you first called. Perhaps refinishing isn’t a good fit for you because all refinishers will ask this of you. Maybe getting a new tub would be a better fit for you.

Her: BUT THAT IS SO EXPENSIVE. (now a high pitch whine)

Me: Yes it is more expensive and those plastic covers that go over the tub are well over $2,000 as well. But you can use the tub right away. So you need to decided what fits your life better. Do you wish to move forward?

Her: I don’t understand this at all.  I don’t want to wait 24 hrs. (I imagine her stomping her feet on the floor now)

My head just explodes!!!! 

4 more days until my summer vacation.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Baseball Weekend.

Guess where I was Friday night?



We left here around 4:45 to get the train into the stadium.  Okay people like Bilbo who live here and read me....how the hell do you deal with the Metro day in and day out?  I have never taken it when it was this crazy and crowded.  Only weekends.

First of all I felt like a big fat traitor wearing a Washington National T-shirt. 
Rick took a photo of me in the shirt and sent it to our friend who lives in Cleveland now.
He is also a very big Yankee fan like myself. 
Rick sent it to him with the caption - TRAITOR!!
It made me laugh.  AND if that weren't enough it was T-shirt give away night at the game. So I got another Nationals shirt. Good dog walking shirts to be sure. And I like the Nats, my hometown team. It's just that I'm an American League Girl that's all.

I knew there would be nothing a celiac could eat at the stadium so I threw some GF bars in my backpack along with my NYY baseball hat in case it really rained like the weather man said it would. Rick and Karen ate enough for me and a few other people. Karen and Rick made sure they tried all vendors. They ate all the wonderful food & drinking all the good drinks. I did get a bag of cracker jacks. Love me some cracker jacks. (Sad they don't have toys in them anymore.) It was $5 for water and $5 for cracker jacks. Crazy isn't it? 

We got there just before 7p. Can you believe it? Left my home at 4:45 and got there at 6:45p. Couldn't I have driven faster? Wouldn't that have been the opposite direction of the traffic? Why did we take the train?  We didn't get home until just past 12:30AM. If driving wouldn't I have been home sooner? Rhetorical question  - Of course we would have!!
We could have split the parking and that would have been cheap enough to avoid the crowds. If I had to be squeezed into a train and pushed and bumped like that every day I would never go to work. I'd sit in traffic and scream at drivers like the rest of the metro area. 
I asked that question and was met with gasps. No answers, just loud gasps.  
I would drive the next time, trust me on this. 
I was groped more on that train than in my teen years for heaven's sake!

The game was a bust. They had just won 10 in a row and they looked very tired and lackluster all night. Needless to say they lost. I kept watching the other team scores on the scoreboard to see if my team was winning. (they did)
In the 8th inning I put on my NYY hat and the guy behind me turned around for some reason and did a movie double take. He asked if I was schizophrenic. 
That made the whole row laugh. We had a good time all in all.  The people around us were fun and made the lulls fun as well.

We watched so much baseball this weekend it was kind of funny. We love the Little League World Series. The stories and the kids playing. My God they are so good for 11 and 12 year olds. Amazing. Thrilled to pieces that the team that won the World Series National Title was team Illinois who we were rooting for from Chicago. Sadly they lost the World title to Korea, but not without a damn good rally and fight.

Now we are in a vacation mindset here - we are in countdown mode to be sure. 
Is it Saturday yet?

Friday, August 22, 2014

But It's So Small

Rick sure makes me laugh. From listening to him you'd think he was the Jolly Green Giant.
Yes, he's a big guy I guess. He's 6'2" and 230lbs as of yesterday. 
But no matter where he goes historically speaking he says the same thing, "It's so small!"

When he saw the Liberty Bell the first time he was certain it was a replica because it was so small. He argued with me about this for days. He asked others around us. He was shocked by it's demur size.  IT.WAS.NOT.A.REPLICA.
But he sure had me laughing. I asked, "Where do you think the real one is then Rick?"
He thought perhaps it was somewhere being fixed. 
"Fixed? From what? Getting the crack fixed Rick?"
He called me a smart ass, but c'mon he's funny and he really didn't think this was real.

When we toured Mt Vernon he had to duck everywhere. Going up the stairs he had to duck. He kept saying that they must have remodeled and things like that. He came up with all kinds of reasons that this could have recently occurred.  
NO, in those days people were short I suppose. 
I had no problems with doorways or staircases. 
I will admit that most of the men on the tour sure did though.

The Mayflower blew him away and again, "it's so small!" was shrieked over and over again.  Plymouth Rock, he kept repeating was really a damn rock, not even a boulder, but a rock. That too very much upset him. Hence the name Plymouth ROCK and not Plymouth BOULDER was my retort. And he claims I have blonde moments. HA!

I don't know what he thinks these things will be but he never fails to be surprised and disappointed. Which in turn will make me laugh my ass off. He literally talked about that Liberty Bell and Mayflower for weeks.

Today after his last day on his job at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue he was given a tour by the house engineer. Rick came home and told me it was so small. Everything is like a doll house. Dreadful furniture and ugly colors and small small rooms. I burst out laughing. What a nut he is. They don't paint each year to make it modern. This is a historic home that I don't believe has had a full remodel since Truman, but I could be wrong.
I know each First Lady has put their hand on some things, especially the residence, but for the most part there isn't any remodeling per se on the actual White House. 

Listening to Rick he would be knocking out walls to make it an open concept for heaven's sake. Okay that may be an exaggeration but he's that funny listening to him talk about the smallness of it all.

He was very disappointed to find that the rose garden had no roses. He called the flowers weed like. That interpretation to me means an English Garden type garden. (he hates those) He was thrilled to be told that there was a panel in this one hallway that will open to a secret area but he didn't know which panel or what secret area. He was shown and told interesting facts from the man who hired him unlike if on a formal tour. 

At the end of the tour he told Rick that the "delightful young lady" (yea, he hasn't met me) in his office can come with him on phase 2 and he'd show me around.  YIPEE.

When the job was completed he told him he didn't charge enough. Rick said that is my rate for these things. He told him, "You could have charged us double. Next time"
Rick replied, "But isn't that what is wrong with everyone today? Over charge the tax payers just because I can? No, next time I will charge you the same thing I charge everyone."

Rick told me that and I went, "hmmm......" 
Because you see I need a new car and have no integrity.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Family

My Aunt Mary died this week. 
Her funeral was yesterday in Parma Ohio (Cleveland)
I did not go but sent my flowers and spoke to my cousins.

My parents did go and thankfully another cousin (Steve) drove my parents to Cleveland because heaven knows my parents should not be driving that far. Hell, my father should not be allowed to drive out of the drive way but he still has his license and we can't seem to take it away from him. But that's another story.

Here is a photo taken yesterday of my Dad (86/on left) who is sitting next to his older brother Tony (95). Tony's wife is the woman who died. You can see a bit of resemblance beyond being 2 old guys. Uncle Tony has Parkinsons and has a difficult time talking and walking now. But otherwise believe it or not, he is sharp. This 2nd photo is of them in what I believe to be 1970-1971. 
Can you find them in that 2nd photo? (only 8 of the 9 siblings)




(The 2 Aunts hair in back is so Marge Simpson like it cracks me up)

Steve posted the current day photo on facebook saying how we all have longevity in that side of the family.  That got Rick and I talking about this topic.

You see I look at this differently than most. I don't wish to live to be 100 if my health is as awful as some or if my mind is gone. That is not living to me. 

On my mom's side of the family they die very young. Heart disease and cancer are the two diseases that have hit them all. All of my mom's family is gone. Her youngest sister literally dropped dead at 57 from a heart attack while in the hospital visiting a dying sister of cancer. 

My father has a sister who is still alive and kicking at age 92 - she still worries about her hair. That makes me smile. And of course Uncle Tony at 95 in this photo.
This side of the family has had Alzheimer's and Parkinson's as the prevalent diseases. 

Me? I personally fear ALS and Alzheimer's most of all. Those 2 scare me beyond belief and I tell Rick all the time that I don't want to live with those two. ALS most of all. 
How dreadful to be yourself but your body is frozen. I can't fathom much worse.

Rick doesn't know his history because he is adopted. 
I sometimes think that is a good thing in a lot of ways.

When I lived past 44 I had a big sigh of relief. My mom only lived to 44 so for some crazy reason I kept thinking I would die early too. That was a mile marker for me. 
It has also made me diligent with mammograms and female check ups due to her dying of this. Logically I know science has come a long way since she died in the 60's but for some reason passing 44 was a big deal to me. Crazy the shit we carry isn't it?

While my father still has a love of life and my goodness can he laugh. But he is losing it.
He actually was driving to the garage to drop off his car and my mom was following him to drive him home. He pulled over because the road had changed and he was confused. She pulled up beside him and just said, "Follow me"  She doesn't comment on the fact that he was confused and lost because he gets angry and frustrated which only makes it all worse. He followed her and nothing was said of it. See why he shouldn't drive? One of many reasons.
Changes really affect him now. Yes, the road was closed for a long time and then reopened and it did look entirely different and the buildings around it were gone so I understand it all. But to someone like my father it must have been such a fearful thing. 

As I have mentioned in the past when I call now I say, "Hi Daddy it's Peg" so he knows it's me. He has said at times, "Hi Peg, it's your father" and then he laughs his big bellow of a laugh. Sometimes when I call and don't say my name and ask to speak to Mom he will say, "which one is this?" That makes me laugh, "which one" 
When he asks that I always say number 1 and then he laughs and I hear him tell mom that Peg is on the phone. Recently I said when asked, "Your favorite" and to bust my balls he will say all my sisters names but not mine. So he still has his humor and he is still busting my chops but he isn't the same man in most ways that he was.  I like to just remember the funny guy so full of life with the loud laugh that was contagious. 

So while my cousin posted this and said that we all have longevity in our genes. I hope I do but only with all my faculties. When I said that to Rick he said, "you don't have them all now"
Funny mister, remember you are older than me and I may have to be your caregiver, be nice to me. 



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

11 More Days til Vacation.

We are so in need of a vacation.
As Bob says in the movie 'What About Bob?'  I need a vacation from my life.
Bob also says in this movie, "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, I need, I need."
Which pretty much sums up how we're feeling about a vacation right now.

We leave on a quasi vacation at the end of the month. Quasi because I still have some work to do while on vacation.  Like return phone calls etc. 
BUT, I will be at the lovely lake in this movie. (smith mountain lake)
I will be on a boat, sunning (hopefully) and drinking (certainly)

11 more days!  
I can barely stand it, it's getting closer and it feels like it has been such a long wait this year. Here we come Bob!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Dark Hole

Depression.

I am always so amazed that a pop culture figure can move me with his life or death.
Doesn't happen a lot. I mean I don't know them at all.
But Robin Williams death did that to me.
Shock was the first thing.
Sadness was the second.
Sadness for everyone, he, his family, all of the people he brought light into their lives.

Depression is a terrible thing that is so misunderstood.
I find that it is an incredibly difficult thing for those to understand until they have been there.  People always say, He was so nice, funny and didn't seem depressed. Those depressed don't often show it to others. The real pain is so deep inside.

Oh sure people throw it about that word depression. 
Oh, I'm feeling depressed today.
But real depression is a black dark hole that is so difficult to come out of alone.

I know a lot of narcissistic people (sadly) who cause a lot of their own drama and sadness. You can't continue to do the same thing day in and day out expecting a different result and then whine that life has got your down. I don't mean that kind of depression. That kind can just be a need for a kick in the ass or someone to be honest with them. To get a hand to help them see what they are doing. Not that it isn't real, but it's not the kind of depression I am referring to here today.

I used to think you could snap out of it. I had never experienced depression.
Or at least I didn't think so.
I am a typical Type A personality in a lot of ways. 
Whine and cry and move on with your life and get over it, used to be my mantra.
No harm in a little tears for yourself but don't stay there.
But I learned the hard way that it isn't like that one tiny bit.

When my mom died I was never given the opportunity to mourn her.
I think back to how in the hell I got through it and what did I do to compensate for that?
I don't know that I did. Rebellion to me was sneaking out when I was grounded or smoking a joint. But I only snuck out once. rebellion? I think not. 
Truth be told I don't think that would have been any different if my mom had lived.
It was the early 70's and I was a teenager.

Then in my 30's due to an undiagnosed disease I went into a very very dark place.
I could burst into tears while driving my car for what seemed to me to be no apparent reason. I would berate myself and say, "what is wrong with you, you have a great career, friends, money and free travel.  Get over it!"
No one knew. Everyone saw bubbly smiling Peg at work and play. But I slowly withdrew. Real friends catch on and ask but you become very very good at deception. Then I remember one day it was like a fog had lifted. I did nothing different it just was sunnier, the sky was bluer and I felt lighter.

Then it happened again in my 40's. This time it went on for a very very long time. 
If you told anyone they would say, "not Peg" she is so happy all the time.
But it was dark. I have never been in this type of hole before. I was ill, I never slept and I was severely depressed. I was given effexor and it made me stay awake for 3 days straight. That didn't help the situation. Rick couldn't reach me as hard as he tried. Boy, he tried. 
I loved him for trying but I just wanted it all to be over.

I always say I don't believe in guns and it's a damn good thing because I would use them.
Oh I wouldn't have killed myself with a gun because well, simply, I'm too anal retentive and I'd hate the mess all over the place for someone to clean up. Yea, that is funny now but it actually crossed my sick little mind. But I considered other ways. 
I thought about it a great deal. Then one night Rick said something to me. It moved me to my core. He was so honest, sincere and looked me in the eyes and I saw his pain. 
He went to bed. I sat there in the darkness. That look has never left me to this day. 
I couldn't hurt myself. I just couldn't do that to him
I couldn't bear to hurt him in this way. So what do I do? was my only thought.
But I didn't know how to get out of this pain they call depression.

That night I searched the internet for help.
I found her, my doctor who saved my life. Within months I felt better, not great but a start.
Work was becoming more enjoyable again and not a chore.
It took time but Rick looked at me one day and said, "Welcome back. I've missed you!"

It is a disease that shouldn't be looked upon as weak.
It is a disease. If your heart doesn't work you don't shame anyone into feeling bad about themselves because an organ isn't functioning properly. Why do we shame those with depression? It is just an organ (brain) that is not functioning properly.

I was lucky. Rick didn't give up on me. I was lucky that mine was associated with a medical issue and could be resolved without medication. I was the lucky one. Once the medical issue was found and treated, in time I was well all over. I was back to busting Rick's balls and being a smart ass again. I remember being in the kitchen when I gave Rick a smart ass answer and he burst into laughter. He walked over and hugged me tightly. He said, "I love that you are busting my balls again, who knew I'd miss this so much?"  It was just one of those moments.

I feel so for Robin Williams family as well as him. To end it takes a lot of strength in a way. 
I wish that day his family could have been there. I wish they could have looked him in the eyes and told him Rick's words to me. I wish he hadn't been so far down that dark well.  
I hope now he is finally at peace. 

Funny how someone who was so kind and brought so much happiness to others was just so sad. You just never know what goes on behind others eyes, blogs, or words do you?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Cool Summer

It's been a cool summer by Northern Virginia standards.
I like it, in fact it is a summer of my childhood from the great white north.
I like cool vs 100% humidity and 100 degree August days..
BUT,  I fear another cold long winter because of this.

What normally begins to happen to my flowers in late August began the first week of August.

I pulled out some of my dying drying flowers and getting ready for my fall planting...in August.  This is so weird. Funny my neighbor asked how my flowers were doing. Great I said, because they were. 3 days later the petunias looked dreadful. 

This year I am buying long johns. I am not going to be cold all the darn time.
Since I must be out there walking a dog I must be warm.
I am never warm anymore so I will invest in long johns. I hear the news ones are thin and lightweight, so unlike when I wore them in the 70's.

When I was a kid it was a staple in my winter wardrobe. They were thick and clunky and made my clothes feel tight over top of them. I recall wearing them under overalls that I wore when I went skiing. Ah, skiing, something the young do.  Instead of being all caught up in the fashion of high end ski wear we wore denim overalls. We would be booed on fashion police today. We bought the overalls at the Army/Navy Store. Remember those stores?

With my health luck of late I'd be carried off the mountain by the ski patrol within the first 10 minutes. Instead now I would just skip the down hill and go right to the lodge for hot toddies.  I was fearless back then, today I am smarter and more fearful. 

At the class reunion we talked about our ski club. We were nuts.
We'd ride up the chair lift smoking pot and then ski down hill like crazy people. 
What idiots we were. 
Honest to Pete if I had kids that did what I did I'd kill 'em. 
Perhaps that is why I don't have children. I asked Mark, the bad boy of this group, what he would do if his sons did this. He laughed. His wife rolled her eyes.
Mr. Aerospace Engineer at Boeing said he would not want to find out and thankfully hasn't. 
He was the seller of this commodity back in the day. If his sons only knew!

I think it's funny that this motley crew of Cheech and Chong kids from the early 70's are all so called responsible people now. Gray hair and respectable positions in society. 
But even Cheech has become an art aficionado, several time jeopardy winner and respectable foodie/cook. (could have been the munchies that drove that last  one)

Do you think there is hope for the shallow vapid kardashians type youth of today?
There has to be, she says with hope .