Saturday, March 24, 2018

Two weeks - count down


Sarah is getting married in two weeks from today!!  This morning, Emily went to the mall with me and together, we found a dress.  It was wonderful to have somebody come with me to collaborate, judge, zip/unzip, and fetch different sizes.  We both liked the dress I finally selected, although if I could wave a magic wand, my dress would be green or teal.  The blue is springy, at least.  Hopefully, spring will be here to stay in two weeks.  This dress is pictured on a tall, leggy model.  On me, the dress hits me at the upper half of my knee caps.  I have a white shrug to wear with it...and a string of pearls...I’m good to go.  Well, other than shoes.  I have navy blue shoes, but I might go get nude-color, same color as the model, but a different style.  I can’t deal with straps around my ankles.  They look nice, but they bug me way too much. 

My mother-of-bride dress

If Sarah’s daddy were alive, I think he would really like Sarah’s fiancé.  They are alike in many ways (good ways). Her fiancé’s father has also passed away; they have that in common.  What this means for their children is that they will not have grandfathers alive that they can meet.  I suppose it’s not that unusual these days, particularly because people wait longer to start families.  It seems odd to me because I knew my grandparents and great-grandparents pretty well.  (It seems that I am already planning a family for Sarah 😊).  

My father's mother's parents - they lived until I was 12 or 13 years old. 

I have plenty to do, but here I sit writing a blog post.  My alarm was set to go off at 8:15 this morning, but Someone got up early to go to his exercise class.  He got ready to go (making lots of noise), and then decided to go back to bed.  He slid back into bed and was quickly sawing the logs, but I was already thoroughly awake by that point.  It’s a great luxury to lay in bed doing nothing at all...molly lay atop of me purring loudly, and Gracie was stretched out beside me on her back, giving me the paw every time I stopped scratching her belly.  That might have been the main reason I didn’t go back to sleep.

Miss Molly likes to snuggle

Last weekend, Someone had a bad stomach bug.  Not wanting the catch the nastiness, I moved to the spare bedroom where we only have a twin-size bed (the room is very small).  Gracie insisted on sharing the bed with me, which left little room for either one of us.  Needless to say, it’s good to be back into my own bed.  I snapped this photo one morning – Gracie had not moved when I got up – you can see how she takes her half of the bed.  It’s kind of like that every night.  Someone and I start off the night with Gracie curled up tightly on the foot of the bed.  By morning, she has 50% of the bed in the middle and Someone and I have a few inches on each side.  We are all cozy, to say the least.  More times than not, Molly wants to share my part of the bed at some point during the night.  I am an animal magnet.

Gracie "sharing" the bed

My seeds arrived and are waiting to be planted...it’s a bit too early, but for a while there, I contemplated putting a few into the ground.  I have two kinds of lettuce, carrots, radishes, and onions for my raised bed.  I will go buy some Brussels sprouts and eggplant plants from the nursery to put in there as well when it opens for the season.  Someone is not a fan, but too bad.  The raised bed is my thing.  We also have the bigger garden where he can plant his beloved corn, beans, and tomatoes, and I plant cabbage and green peppers (and flowers for cutting).  This year, I’m going to try to grow sweet peas again.  They smell wonderful and are pretty...hopefully this year will be successful.

A box of hope and dreams
     

Monday, March 5, 2018

more procrastination


Today is Sarah’s birthday.  It seems like not that long ago that she was born, but time speeds and now she is an adult woman who will be married in another month.  I’m happy for her.  It’s a gigantic step to lock oneself into a huge legal commitment, but she and her fiancé have had plenty of time to think it through and I believe they are ready...only nobody can really be ready, can they?  It’s similar to having kids.  No matter how much you want them and think you can handle them, you really can’t imagine the impact until they’re here and you have to deal with whatever they bring.

Happy birthday dear Sarah

I am on break from University #1 this week.  I have grand plans for decluttering the house and cleaning.  Today, I got up and boxed up some stuff to take to the City Mission.  It’s piled in the downstairs foyer...waiting for me to haul it.  From there, I took to the great outdoors (today is sunny and cool), and fertilized the apple and cherry trees in our yard.  It takes 30 fertilizer stakes to feed four trees.  The cherry trees are dying...perhaps we’ll get another year or two out of them.  They are rotting; the soil has too much clay and the drainage is not good enough.  When the cherry trees die, perhaps I’ll plant a pear tree, or another apple.

While outside, I cut some daffodils – just the ones with bent stems.  When the stems get a crimp, the blossoms will just lay on the ground and shrivel.  I leave the ones that are drooping; sometimes they revive and stand up again.  We’ve had unusually warm weather than caused them to bloom, but the last two nights have been below freezing.  Someone gave me a dozen red roses on February 22nd – the anniversary of the day we met in person.  They are losing their pizazz, but they’re still pretty.  He always remembers the date, perhaps so that I don’t forget.

Roses from Someone, and daffodils from my garden

  
I sat down at my computer just now to work on my CV.  I can’t even bring myself to open the file.  After reading the news, I decided to write in my blog.  I agreed to teach a summer class (all online) for University #1, and I’m on schedule to teach four classes for them in fall.  There was discussion to eliminate the course I teach, but apparently, they are offering it for at least another year.  Still, with two girls starting graduate school this year, KYLady could use a higher paying job.  KYLady is just her own worst enemy sometimes.  Open the damn file, damn it!! 



And now look at the time!  Gracie should have her walk on this beautiful sunny afternoon.  Perhaps the CV will happen tonight.       

Thursday, March 1, 2018

ho-bag encounter


It’s too early for Spring...but it’s here – at least it’s here for now in the Ohio River Valley.  Temperatures have consistently been above 50 degrees (F) for two weeks, so now what?  The daffodils, Dutch iris, and snowdrops are blooming, my lilac bush has leaves, and the maple trees have their little red leaf buds.  Fortunately, my apple and cherry trees aren’t showing signs of life.  I’m A-OK with Spring coming early, but it’s tragic if we get a hard freeze once things bloom out.  Last spring, a late freeze destroyed most of the apple crop.  We had much fewer apples, but the survivors were bigger.  It was definitely not an even trade off.

My daffodils
happy Dutch iris

     
It’s on my mind to order seeds this weekend.  Having spent all winter drooling over the seed catalogs, I can’t say that I’m any closer to deciding what to order.  I’m half-tempted (perhaps 75% tempted) to plant some flowers in my raised bed this year.  Of course, there will be radishes, carrots, onions, and lettuce...but I think the rest could be pretty flowers...er, well, hopefully pretty.
     
I had a class this morning, and now the entire afternoon is mine to do whatever.  Retirement is grand, to say the least.  There is plenty (really, PLENTY) to do, but I don’t want to do any of it.  Sometimes I get like that.  Maybe what I really want to do is turn on the TV and fall asleep on the couch.  That’s a tremendous waste of a day and something I rarely indulge in, but it’s tempting.
 
Yesterday after classes, I stopped at the grocery store on the way home.  I only needed a few items, so it was supposed to be a quick trip – in and out – which it was until time to drive away.  I no more than turned the engine on to flee the parking lot, when a cart rolled up alongside my car (from behind) on the driver side and wedged itself tightly under the side mirror.  What the hell?  I looked in the rear-view mirror to see a woman getting into her big red-neck truck across the aisle – the only vehicle behind me at all.  I wanted to jump out and let her know of my displeasure, but guess what? I was trapped. I couldn’t open my door.  I rolled the window down and was unable to push the cart in any direction.  I could climb out over the console and get out the passenger side, but the passenger seat had groceries and other shit piled up on it (more than I wanted to move out of the way).  Ultimately, I climbed into the back seat and escaped out the passenger side just as the lady was driving off, I didn’t even get her license plate number...unfortunately.  Yes – she gave me a giant scratch on the back fender and the whole length of the back door.  A scratch on the front door resulted when I wrestled the cart loose from under the mirror.  It’s an old car, so it’s not the new damage that upsets me.  It’s the fact that she saw that it happened, she was fully aware it was her fault, and she just drove off without giving a shit.  I walked the cart over to the corral and secured it there for her...F’ing lazy-ass ho-bag.  She was at least 20 years younger than me, and closer to the corral too.
   
Next week is spring break for University #1.  I am grateful.  Enrollment is way down at University #2, so I don’t have much going on there right now – just three small classes.  Now is the time for me to update my CV and apply for more work.  Now is the time for me to get a jump start on some serious Spring cleaning.  Now is the time for me to shop for a dress to wear to Sarah's wedding.  But first....I’m going to go see what’s on TV and take a nap.          

Thursday, February 1, 2018

rat's nest

Susie Homemaker, I am not.  As much as my mind wanders to imagine (sometimes) an immaculate, well-organized house – well, let’s just say my imagination is much more willing than my motivation and heart. 

Today, to celebrate February 1st, I finished packing up Christmas stuff and carried it all to the basement.  At that point, I should have whipped out the vacuum, gave the room a good sweeping and dusting, rearranged everything back the way it was prior to setting up the Christmas tree...but no.  After 14 trips down and up those basement stairs, old KyLady decided to sit down and do some desk work.  But oh Lord, my desk was wretchedly piled up – so bad that it was completely annoying and distracting.  So, I cleared it off, washed it off, filed papers that needed to be filed, paid bills, subscribed to e-statements for those businesses that send me WAY too much paper, and now my desk is marvelous.  Probably not for long.  At least 20% of the crap on my desk was Someone’s shit.  The file cabinet is right beside my desk.  He could file his own crap, but no, he wants the house slave to do it for him.  Where’s my house slave?



So, after screwing around with my desk, I was completely out of the mood to do any real work at it.  I started laundry, and then commenced to put clean dishes away out of the dishwasher.  And then...well, there were plastic food containers to put away, and the cabinet where they belong was in a desperate state.  I grabbed a ladder, clawed everything out of that cabinet of chaos, washed the shelves off, matched lids to the containers, and threw all the orphans into the garbage can.  I took a photo because in less than a week, nobody will be able to tell it ever looked as organized as it does now.

jealous?

My housecleaning strategy is ADD (attention deficit disorder).  I rarely finish any one thing before some other chore grabs my attention.  Probably, this is not the best strategy.  The project manager in me wants to create a detailed plan and task schedule with milestones, but then it would be too much like work.  Cleaning this house is pretty much an adventure, and I kind of like it that way.


Enough adventure for one day.  It’s time to do some real work.  Assignments need to be graded, discussion boards to catch up on, and I have to get a new class ready to open Sunday night.  The time to get busy is now...and I have a nice, clean desk.      

Saturday, January 20, 2018

dress soliloquy

I’ve started shopping.  If you know me very well at all, you know that shopping is something I do by necessity, not because it’s something enjoyable.  Some people (Someone comes to mind) LOVE to shop.  Someone volunteers to shop for me all the time.  I’m grateful.  Since we’ve been married, we’ve never even once run out of paper towels, toilet paper, ketchup, laundry soap, or any other of life’s necessities.  That aspect of being married has been a definite positive for me. 

What am I shopping for?  *sigh*   *** really big sigh *** 

I need a dress.  Not just any dress.  Buying a dress is tough enough, but buying a mother-of-the-bride dress is daunting.  Just Google mother of bride dress and take a look for yourself at the stuff that pops up.  Lord, I just want an ordinary dress that is not too dowdy and not too flashy and not too ridiculously ornate...she’s getting married...we’re not joining a circus, and I sure as hell am not the one getting married.  Perhaps if I weighed 60 pounds less, I could see myself in one of those sleek little sheath numbers, or something flowy and romantic, but those styles are not happening on this body.  No way.  Perhaps I just need a Harry Potter invisibility cloak.  A decision has to be made within the next few weeks.  Really, I should probably just take myself to a dreaded mall and try some shit on. 



Women’s clothes are always modeled on young, pretty women who are what...size 2 or 4 perhaps – tall and leggy to boot.  So yeah – any dresses look fabulous on them.  But then you get somebody like me, and take that same dress in my size (what...something between 10 and 16...because women’s clothes are like that), well it might as well be an 8X for what it looks like on me.  This may be one of those cases where we need to go to a mall that has a bar...and have a few drinks before trying to shop...I need a designated driver, for sure. 


Part of the issue too, is that I am a tightwad.  The worst kind, so my brother tells me.  For both of my weddings, I bought a dress that I was sure I’d wear again for another occasion.  Never.  A dress worn in a wedding, no matter what it is or looks like, is always a wedding dress...or so it seems to me.  So, when I splurge on a dress for Sarah’s wedding, will I wear it again?  Surely Erin and Emily will get married someday.  Probably the dress will never be worn again; let’s be real.              

Sunday, January 7, 2018

feathered friends

And just like that, Christmas is over, 2018 has arrived, and University #1 starts Spring Semester tomorrow.  My classes are built and open for business, with new “standardized” format and all.  They implemented a new version of Blackboard over the holiday.  It’s cleaner with a more modern look, really better for mobile devices no doubt.  I like it.  Standardization is good, but the changes for my students result in some extra mouse clicks to get around.  They will adapt.  I will meet one of my classes tomorrow morning...assuming we meet.  We have an ice storm moving in overnight which may cause morning classes to be cancelled.   

Last Christmas (2017), Sarah gave me a birdfeeder that sticks right to a window.  There it sat in the box on my shelf for nearly an entire year, but late last month, I took the screen out of the window beside my desk, cleaned the window, and attached the bird feeder.  It’s wonderful!!!  What a silly woman I was to wait so long to try it out!  The big birds, woodpeckers, and squirrels hog the big birdfeeder out by the tree.  My deskside birdfeeder attracts chickadees and my new favorite birds – titmice.  I love to watch the birds and squirrels while I work.

Tufted titmouse
   

Of course, Molly adores the bird feeder.  Her new favorite place is the window sill, but the birds do not come around when she is standing guard.  She has figured that out, so she oftentimes sits below the window and waits for the sound of a little bird landing on the birdfeeder.  Then she pounces at the window from below.  Every few days, I have to clean the Molly snot off the window.  Gross. 

Molly is standing guard

Big news.  Sarah is getting married.  Soon, actually (in just a few months).  I’m excited for her and her fiancée, and for our family to be expanding.  She is stressing over getting things planned and arrangements taken care of, but I’m sure it will all be lovely.  She and I have very different views of weddings, but it’s OK.  Perhaps it’s partly a generational thing, or just a difference in our personalities and tastes.  If I had to get married again...nope, I can’t even go there.  I love Someone dearly, but if something happens to him or he jumps ship for somebody else, old KYLady will NEVER remarry.  Of course, I said that after the first time, and here I am.  Never say never, but this time I mean it with all certainty. 


Erin and Emily have applied to several graduate schools and are finishing the last semester at their respective universities in May.  Sadly, they are scheduled to graduate on the same day.  I’m already disappointed that I can’t attend both.  Someone will go to one and I will go to the other, probably Erin’s.  Someone stresses out to drive in Louisville traffic.  Hell, I hate driving in Louisville traffic, but it’s not nearly as scary as driving in Houston.  I hope both get accepted to their #1 picks.  We should find out before spring.  It’s possible that they could end up at the same university for graduate school.  We will see.

For now, I welcome 2018 and look forward to all that is coming (that I know about, at least). 

                

Thursday, December 14, 2017

It's beginning to look

Indeed.  It is beginning to look a lot like...you know...Christmas.  It is only December 14th, so I’m much less behind with things than usual.  I’m so much ahead of the game, in fact, that I’m taking my lazy ass to the mall today to start Christmas shopping.  Oh, yes, there are some items on order from Amazon, and some more to order...but I’m going to do in-person shopping today.  If you knew me, you would disbelieve what I just stated.  I HATE shopping (unless I’m in a rare shopping mood). Which I’m not, which is also why I’m procrastinating by writing a blog post when I should be kicking things into gear.  What I really need is some inspiration (or at least perhaps, some motivation).   

Our front door


I think today, I’m going to the liquor store. That will be my inspiration or motivation to get up and get out.  It’s been on my mind that a little holiday cheer is just what we need in this house.  The house is pretty much as decorated as it’s going to be, my classes are caught up for the moment, so it’s time to start enjoying the season – I love Christmas! 

I’m going to bake some cookies this weekend. Little brother, Mike, hates shopping as much as I do. A few years ago, he asked that we stop exchanging gift cards – we always exchanged gift cards because neither one of us knows what the other really wants.  We had dinner together a few weeks ago (to celebrate our birthdays jointly), and he reminded me that we aren’t exchanging gifts, but suggested that if I were to bake some cookies for him, he would not consider that to be a violation of our no-gift policy.  Little brother is a bachelor, and he doesn’t have patience to bake.  I will make some cookies for him – his kind of holiday cheer.  His favorite is basic chocolate chip, but I also know he has a passion for Mexican wedding cookies.  I will have to hunt up a recipe for those. 

Erin is coming home next week.  She requested that we bake and decorate sugar cut-out cookies while she is home.  This is something I used to do with all my girls around Christmas time.  It’s sort of a tradition for us, though we haven’t really done it with all of us together for many years.  Sarah used to love to decorate cookies, and was meticulous about making them look...well, almost too pretty to eat.  Almost. 😊  We made stars, angels, reindeer, snowmen, and Christmas trees.  This just reminded me that I have no idea where our cookie cutters are.


OK, enough for now.  It’s time for this old lady to put a hair-dryer in my hand and get me ready to go shopping.  To the mall!  This post is toast.