Saturday, August 27, 2005

Number One

I am back for tonight and leaving once more to grandbaby sit through Tuesday night. Then I have to suck it up and go back to the real world of work. Tonight, I have just finished three loads of laundry...quite a feat when I have to carry everything back and forth across the hallway along with keys and the machine card. Sometimes I forget the softener or drop a sock. Anyway, taking a break and posting photos of the most beautiful grandson for bloggers who want to see how he has grown.

The first is a morning energy activity at his music studio and in the second he is showing off the new booties that his auntie purchased on a recent trip to Central America. (The photos are compressed from large size.)

Yawn--off to bed for now.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

And Now for Your Moment of Zen (as Jon Stewart would say)

The world is certainly a lovely place, so for those of you sitting a home I thought I would share a few more of the dozens of pictures I took on the anniversary trip to West Virginia.

Not sure which wildflower this is? Similar to a loosestife.

This waterfall is blue and milky and the rocks red due to the high iron content--North Fork of the Blackwater river.

ENJOY! Now I am packing and doing some casseroles for this next week a my daughter's. Blog next week will have some photos of this really good-looking guy!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I'm Baaack

I am here, just for the weekend--pay some bills and catch up on laundry. I return to my daughter's house Sunday night and stay until Friday night. I actually feel like I am on vacation there, since I don't do anything but play with the baby and help with some light housekeeping. I am actually getting quite a bit of reading done!

But now for the days prior to visiting
x-man---our anniversary trip. After a drive of five hours, we checked into the park lodge which was quite nice and at a $60-a-night special rate, a good savings. On the Saturday afternoon of our arrival, the lodge was busy with the activities of a summer festival. There were lots of people in the huge swimming pool, kids on the rock climbing wall, and some bungie jumpy thing. Inside a newly built shelter at the foot of the hill behind the lodge there were arts and crafts tables with of all kinds of things for sale. People were sitting at picnic tables eating food, dogs lay at their feet and children were running in and out. It was sort of like a family get-together. A wonderful Celtic music group of four was singing and playing for the crowd. We liked their music so much we bought the CD, "Wolf Creek Session - Between Two Shores." We also bought some honey made from the tulip poplar tree.

In the early evening we took a very short walk around the grounds of the lodge which has several easy trails. We came upon this deer grazing in the high grass. It clearly had some health problem, as he did not try to avoid us and had terrible mange.

The next morning we headed out to one of our favorite areas in West Virginia, Dolly Sods. This is a misnomer based on the name of the Dahle family which owned the area. This German family raised cattle on the high rolling hills before it became a nature park on one side and a private hunting area on the other. It is a unique ecosystem in that the climate is much like that of Canada with places as high as 4,000 feet. Weather is quickly changeable at that height and so you have to be aware when camping or hiking. This place has special memories for my husband and I as we have been hiking and camping here when the children were younger.

We selected one of many trails...all of which are fairly level at the end of the road. Our trail which was a combination of several numbered trails ended up being 4.5 miles in and 4.5 miles out. I know this, as my husband is enamoured of his gadget GPS. This is the trail head labeled Bear Rocks Trail #522, which we didn't exactly follow. We stopped and talked to some young campers that had just come out and they provided us with a map they used and recommended a good day hike. We were passed by three horseback riders and their little beagle as we reached the trees at the end of the picture above. But that was really the only people we saw the whole time.

We were surprised that the park provided snacks this late in the season. There were two types of blueberries. The blue ones were the sweetest, but the darker blue berries had a pungent flavor like fine wine. We felt very healthy eating them and were sorry that the horseman missed this stop.

Once we cleared the first set of trees the trail becomes less clear as the tall grasses cover our footprints. Thus the value of the GPS so at least we can get back to where we have been.

That square thing on hubby's head is the GPS---he likes to wear it that way. He always was a fashion maven.
We still have to make it over the next knoll in the distance before we can justify a rest.
At the top of that hill it was so lovely and ended up being a perfect spot to take a break. The breeze was gentle and the weather had not yet heated up by mid-morning, although the afternoon of our return was quite hot. We were high on the hills and the breeze was so welcome as were the clouds that drifted between us and the sun.

We came to various steel posts at times, some with directions and some just posts to indicate the trail. But it took careful observation to make sure we did not get lost on some other footpath. This area is so open and beautiful that one can hike for days.

The terrain changes from rolling hills to marsh/bog valleys that support the blueberries and cranberries. It can get quite muddy, so you have to wear good hiking shoes, which we did. We spotted the footprints in the mud below. Seemed to be too big for a mink or martin and probably not a raccoon. Where is Daniel Boone when you need him?

Finally--the crest of the ridge and our reward is the view. Time for lunch, a break and we head back out.

Friday, August 12, 2005

4 day vacation

Just got back from March of the Penguins...Morgan Freeman does a terrific narration and the documentary itself is lovely and moving and makes you COLD! It totally amazes me that these emperor penguins are not extinct. But then we do have global warming which may improve their survival chances. See this movie if you like animals or documentaries.

Heading out to the mountains for our anniversary tomorrow...can't remember which's just a number folks. Anyway, we will do some hiking and I will bring back some pictures of the natural beauty. BUT I will be babysitting for the rest of the week and all of the next week after that. Hopefully, I can do some blogging on the weekends when I get home, but I am not making any promises. I know, you will miss me.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

As an update for those who do not have a life and are curious---WE GOT TONER YESTERDAY! All things come to those who wait....and wait...and wait.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Tokyo After Midnight

Many many (many) years ago ( probably before you were born) my husband and I spent some time in Japan on business. We spent several days in Tokyo and being the young adventurers that we were, we stayed out late and visited hotel bars, etc. It amazed us that in such a large city at 2:00 A.M. one would see a few drunken men in business suits stumbling down the street, but never see any scuzzy or threatening people. We never felt in danger at any time, as we might have in a large American city during that time. We weren't even concerned if we got a little lost in trying to find our way back to our hotel. I haven't been out late in Tokyo recently, so don't know if that culture has changed. I think the lower crime rate there has to do with the homogeneity of the population.

In reading my latest issue of Newsweek, I came across this article. The photo itself is certainly compelling. I cannot imagine how any mother could send a six-year-old across a city by him or herself on a public train. There would be so many what-ifs in my mind that I just would NOT send my kid to school until I lived closer. It seems that this is a somewhat common thing in Japan.

Beauty Can Be Deceiving

Five years ago in the spring of the year I took a day's walk down this lovely road below. Enjoying the spring weather and the company of others. It was one of those perfect days when the breeze was just right, the walk was not challenging and the natural beauty was everywhere. The end of the road led to a grassy knoll and this view of the ocean.

The grassy knoll was probably the home of the enemy. The enemy gave no sound and was never seen. 24 hours later I found a tick on my thigh and 48 hours after that I got sick. In three days I had the bulls-eye on my leg and my neck glands were sore and swollen. Yep, Lymes disease. Fortunately, we caught it in time because I had the textbook symptoms. But I went to a seminar a few months later on Lymes and was told that I could get it again in another bite with or without the symptoms showing up. That was reassuring.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Work It Baby!!!

I have been sluffing off. I used to be so good about exercising 30 minutes most mornings and 60 minutes on the weekends. This came about because of some back difficulties that I had about 8 years ago. I went into therapy and then, being the type A person that I am, I decided to bump it up a notch when the insurance company stopped paying for the therapy. I got DVDs, video tapes, weights, benches, etc. and WORKED it baby... My back pain completely went away! It was such a good reward after a year of debilitating pain, that I committed myself to never returning to the slug mode I had been in. I had been spiraling into a depression (and since I had never been depressed in my life it was both fascinating and frightening).

My posture has benefitted and even a dance teacher noticed. I also lost a 'little' weight and my clothes fit better, which was also a reward since I could justify buying some new clothes. So exercise became my mantra.

Well, this final move to the apartment (maybe it is just the aging process as well) has changed my exercise routine. There is not so much room ( I HATE PUBLIC GYMS) and I can't be as aggressive in exercising since my husband is usually still sleeping. These excuses are preventing me from exercising as much and as regularly as I used to. Oh well. Oh hell.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Remember that baby a few weeks ago?

This from CNN today.
I am so glad that people don't grow this fast!

My new lifestyle

I am learning to live like many Americans live in the city.

This apartment has only one washer and one dryer on each floor, and while I can usethe laundry room on other floors, the thought of carrying a basketful of laundry, the keys to the laundry room, the money card for the machines and all the cleaning supplies into the elevator and out only to find that the machine on that floor is busy, has convinced me that it would be easier to use the appliances on my floor.

The laundry room is just across from the kitchen door to the hallway, so I can easily check to see if the laundry room is busy and then run like a crazy person pulling sheets off the bed, towels outs of the bathroom and small rugs from the floor. In addition, I have learned to set the kitchen timer so that I will be reminded when to pull the stuff out of the washer and into the dryer, etc. (Don't want anyone to steal my clothes or throw them on the floor in anger because I am busy drinking wine and blogging!) This whole process is a big change from the luxury of having my own washer and dryer. I no longer have the luxury of doing a small load of delicates. All loads cost the same--$1.50--so I tend to clump stuff together that I hadn't previously. Doing hand laundry and hanging unmentionables in this small apartment could be disastrous. (At least I bought a bunch of new underwear a year or so ago!)

But, I am still better off than my daughter. In her intelligence to bite off more than she can chew (much like manababies methinks) she has decided to gut and remodel her basement. This decision occurred when her baby was less than two months old. What this means is that she had the 'guy' come in and gut the basement--take out all of the bathroom fixtures down there and the new washer and dryer she had purchased a few months ago. The 'guy' is not licensed, but has done some work for them that they liked and so now she or her husband have to go to the permit office to get the permission to do this so that they can be sure the plumbing is done correctly. Therefore, weeks later she is still without a laundry room and is running next door to do her laundry (wonder how long the neighbors will be friends?)

I am so glad there is a hole in my lot! Counting the months.

Saturday, August 06, 2005


Some days I feel just like this old tree at the edge of an abyss.

Due to lots of leave taken during the summer by our public services staff, I am pulled from the privacy of my office to staff our public desk a day or two a week.

While sitting at the desk I noticed that the FAX machine would ring and then nothing would print. When I asked a co-worker she explained that it had probably run out of toner. Thus the scenario that followed in text below. (Note: You have to read it from the bottom of this blog up now, since that is the chronology. Note: Yes, you are paying the salary of these idiots who do not understand English. Note: that this whole process has now taken a month and the FAX machine is still out of toner!) Go the end of the blog post now.


Updated by Who Me...I don’t WORK here Tue 2 Aug 2005 16:43:37 -0400 from IP address.

I checked up here and we do not have any cartridges for your fax. When I and (other named worker) installed the fax we gave your everything related to this fax. I will check on Wednesday if I can purchase some cartridges.

Updated by Co-worker Tue 2 Aug 2005 12:49:50 -0400 from other IP address.

Samsung SF - 5100 Fax -- SF-5100D1 (XAR)

Updated by Co-worker Tue 2 Aug 2005 12:48:15 -0400 from other IP address.

Note, we don't need anyone to service the fax machine, I just need for you to order the toner cartridge, and then I can replace the cartridge.

Updated by Who Me...I don’t WORK here Tue 2 Aug 2005 11:01:42 -0400 from IP address.

We have never served fax machines for the PUBLIC OFFICE. We will check out as soon as time allow this week.

Altered by Tabor Thu 21 Jul 2005 13:50:53 -0400 from other IP address.

Change monitors from {person a, person b, person c} to {person a, person b, person c, Co-worker, another co-worker}.

Updated by Tabor Thu 21 Jul 2005 13:50:21 -0400 from other IP address.

It appears that a request for toner replacement for this FAX machine was sent out by Co-worker (https:link here ticket #8980) on July 11th that is identical to this help desk request.

Altered by Tabor Thu 21 Jul 2005 07:32:58 -0400 from other IP address.

Change monitors from {person a, person b, person c} to {person a, person b, person c, Co-worker }.

Updated by Tabor Wed 20 Jul 2005 10:42:39 -0400 from another IP address.

I am including Person b to determine the next step in this effort as both Idiot #1 and Co-worker are out today.

Altered by Tabor Wed 20 Jul 2005 10:41:40 -0400 from IP Address.

Change monitors from {Person a to} to {Person a, Person b}.

Updated by Who me…I don’t work here Wed 20 Jul 2005 09:55:49 -0400 from IP Address.

Please check with Co-worker or Idiot #1 for servicing. We are responsible for procuring the consumables.

Updated by Tabor Tue 19 Jul 2005 14:37:12 -0400 from IP Address.

Sorry, I meant to type CAN'T route this stuff elsewhere.

Updated by Tabor Tue 19 Jul 2005 14:34:41 -0400 from IP Address.

Haven't heard from anyone on this ticket even though it is a priority at our end. Please note that offices across the nation are faxing reports to us via this machine and that researchers and staff are waiting to pick these up. Once the memory buffer is full, we will have lost reports and will need to identify what was lost and what needs to be re-requested. Note: we can route this stuff elsewhere. Help please.

Created by Tabor Mon 18 Jul 2005 09:40:31 -0400 from IP Address.

The fax machine at the public desk - Samsung SF-5100 - is now out of toner (appears it may have been out late last week). Co-worker is not in today...don't know if our office has to supply our own toner or if upstairs office has supply for this machine. Machine receives several reports daily, so would like it fixed as soon as possible.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A meme from Colleen

  1. What are the three stupidest things you’ve ever done in your life?

a.) As a Freshman in college, in order to act ‘cool,’ I made fun of someone I didn’t know very well in the cafeteria and then found out she was sitting right behind me. b.) Rode in a car coming down a canyon in the Rocky Mountains late at night with a date that had been drinking and we spun out. c.) Hired an old lady real estate agent to sell my house. She should have retired years ago.

  1. At the current moment, who has the most influence on your life?

My husband because is has good common sense and is still pretty naive.

  1. If you were given a time machine that functioned, and you were allowed to pick up to five people to dine with, who would you pick?

Erma Bombeck, Gandhi, Bill Clinton, Leonardo Da Vinci and my great, great, great, grandmother…With a little wine and some atmosphere we could talk all night.

  1. If you had three wishes that were not supernatural, what would they be?

Everyone I loved would have great health until they died in old age, people of the world would be more open minded to others ideas, and the earth would be returned to a ‘healthy’ state.

  1. Someone is visiting your hometown/place where you live at the moment. Name two things you regret not having in your city, and two things people should avoid.
    I regret that the area I live in is not more crime free and I regret that it is not quieter. My visitors should definitely avoid rush hour and certain parts of the city at night.

6. Name one event that changed your life?
The death of my middle sister at age 54 from melanoma.

I'll think about who to tag on this later.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Holding on to junk

I got a kick out of reading manababies struggle to simplify her life while preparing for a move and the sale of her house. She was writing about how old things (that are totally worthless) have memories attached that make you want to save them, instead of tossing them out. Manababies memory was attached to a piece of clothing -- a pair of old boxer shorts.

This is amusing to me because my daughter went to an O.A.R. concert the other night with our young cousin. While at the concert she remembered an incident when she was a pre-teen. One of the OAR singers stayed at our house with my son as a ten-year-old many years ago. He accidentally left his boxer shorts. Boxer shorts were all the rage then for 12-year-old girls, which my daughter was. So she put them aside hoping Marc would never ask for them, which he didn't and she decided to keep them. She would have been too embarrassed to go into the boys/men's department and buy male underwear of course.

Well, as one would expect, she no longer has these shorts--nor post pregnancy could she fit into them if she did-- but her cousin, who is a very young twenty-something, was most impressed when she learned this at the concert and wished that my daughter had saved the shorts. One person's treasure is frequently another person's junk and that is probably one of the primary things that keeps E-bay going strong.

A Typical American Sunday

X-man saw very little of this nature behind bars, but he still was tired at the end.