Tuesday, November 29, 2011

get me a lasso - QUICK!

Well, I’m totally NOT in the mood to work tonight…so here I sit screwing around and not working.  I may as well make a dash to the liquor store and indulge, but I’ve committed to walking the straight and narrow until my proposal is submitted.  If I don’t get back to work after posting this crap to my blog, I’m going to clean the bathroom (something really fun, right?) 

I’ve been reading Tony’s blog and trying to learn about the psycho stuff he writes about.  He’s a successful author and who better to take hints from than somebody who’s successful?  I was never interested in his sort of stuff until recently, and it seems my dissertation is more suited to a DM in organizational psychology than a DM in information systems and technology.  That happened out of my sheer ignorance.  I became interested in near miss incidents because I loved listening to the safety and environmental managers talk about accident investigations and dumb things people do that cause accidents.  That was long ago and now that I know more…I believe it’s wrong to blame the victims when we should be blaming the system that enables and sometimes even facilitates people to make mistakes.  But of course, there are plenty of dumb-asses in the world, no doubt about it.      

By chance, I’m implementing a Near Miss reporting system for my employer so all the research helped me make some good decisions for them (not that they would give a shit…I’m just doing my job).  So once I started researching about safety, I learned it’s all about supervisors playing head games with their subordinates, trust, social exchanges, reciprocity, etc.  I have the EQ of a hand grenade and I’m going to have to defend this thing (hopefully) in the spring.  My dissertation study does have important implications for companies investing big bucks in reporting systems.  It’s not without merit.     

Tony says he gave his “free child” two weeks off from writing.  I’m going to have to beat mine with a club to get it back to the grindstone.  My free child is not very compliant.  The draft of Chapter 2 is nearly done, but it needs a lot of cleanup and I have to add about 40 or so references to the reference pages yet (I got really lazy with references lately).  It also needs some sub-headings.   I ran the first 25 pages through the plagiarism checker and it was clean.  I love when that happens! 

Home improvements are still going on.  The new floor is down and I love it!!  Here’s a photo of the ex-dining room / new office room.  Now I’ve decided I want a big area rug in it, new curtains, and it’s supposed to be painted tomorrow (I think).  We have a new back door off the laundry room.  It might look like a plain-Jane ordinary door to you, but to me…it’s beautiful!  Pristine and white.   Even the glass is clean J)))    
New floor

So I went to the doctor last night and let him cut the place off my lip.  He cut it all away and sent it off for a pathology check.  If it’s OK, I do nothing else but live with the scar.  If it’s bad, I go back for more cutting.  Hopefully I am through with it all.  It’ll be a small scar and it’s not like I was ever a beauty queen to begin with.  I’m supposed to find out results in two weeks.    

I threatened Gracie that I will send her to military school if she doesn’t straighten up.  She continues to chew everything up and I can’t get a moment of peace when we’re in the same room together.  Hmmmm…maybe I should send my free child to military school with her.  Maybe my free child is gonna run away from home…join a gang, or kill me in my sleep.  

Saturday, November 26, 2011


The four-day weekend is nearly over.  I still have hopes that a full draft of Chapter 2 can be finished by tomorrow night (even though here I am taking a break)!  I must have shit for brains.  The day was devoted to finishing up a sections on organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and safety citizenship behavior (SCB).  SCB was just going to be a subsection of OCB, but as it grew, it got a section all by itself.     

It was a nice holiday.  We went to my in-laws’ house for dinner on Thanksgiving.  It’s crazy on holidays – lots of people and tons of food - but it’s nice to see everyone.  My husband’s family is very close.  I feel really lucky that the families of both my husbands are all very nice people.  Sarah and Desmond came down for a quick visit.  We went out to dinner and to see the Festival of Trees (Christmas trees).  That was lovely but I am not ready to think about Christmas.  It’ll be here before we know it though.  At the moment, we have no place to put up a Christmas tree.  The workers will be back on Monday and will hopefully finish up the floors so I can move stuff back into the closets and put some of the furniture back in place.

I don’t believe I’ve ever had Thanksgiving with my mother.  If I did, I was too young to remember.  We rarely visited my dad but one of the times we went up there was over Thanksgiving.  We went to his wife’s parents’ house for dinner.  His wife was mad that my grandmother didn’t pack nice clothes for us to wear.  Her parents lived on a large farm and I didn’t understand why it was important for us to wear good clothes to visit the country.  In fact, I hated dressing up because I was not allowed to get my good clothes dirty.  I liked her parents’ barn though, because it was always full of cats and kittens.

Here is a photo of what my family might have looked like.  My grandmother told me this was taken on Easter, but my folks were already split up and gone.  We are dressed up so we must have been going to church, or perhaps we were just back from church.  It doesn’t seem likely that we went to church together, so maybe this was no more than a visit situation and photo opportunity. 

my imaginary family


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

time skew

It’s only Tuesday night but I seemed to have moved on into a new dimension.  Thanksgiving is Thursday and Someone went out and bought groceries.  I’ll be making a quick vege casserole to take to the big feed over at the in-laws house.  There will be obscene amounts of food on Thursday…I don’t even want to think about it.  My head has not been in the current time zone lately. 

My brother exited the hospital and refused rehab.  I don’t know where he is or what he’s doing, but I can guess.  He and I are very much alike. 

The home improvements are well underway.  We’ve had a monsoon here all day and rain for the past few days.  I haven’t been outside to take pictures.  The screened porch is now reinforced and rescreened.  The little deck was torn down and built back – bigger, better, and higher off the ground.  We really like it!  I’ll get some photos when the weather improves.

So we have a new floor to replace the old beat up parquet floor.  They are laying it overtop the old wood floor.  I called several places but nobody is willing to sand and refinish parquet floor.  The floor will go in the foyer, hall, and in the dining room…soon to become the computer room/my office room.  I’ve decided we’re painting the new office room.  They got a few planks put down today.      
The new floor is lighter...I hope it'll go OK with the woodwork. 
Dining room soon to be my new office room and computer room
Hoarder's paradise
The above picture here is my temporary workspace - a saggy, rickety card table surrounded by all the clutter from the dining room, the hall coat closet and another closet.  I went to Office Max today at lunch and looked at desks.  They are all that composite wood that weighs a ton.  I'd rather have a real wood desk that is easier to move around and constructed better.  
The last photo here is our bathroom.  It is rewired, painted, and has a new floor down.  It's ready for fixtures and a new light...as soon as everything comes in.  We are waiting for the sink cabinet and light bar for over the sink mirror to come in.  Not much to see in this photo, but here it is.
half bathroom
 So tomorrow is my last day of work then a four-day weekend.  I must work like a dog to catch up on my proposal.  I'm getting a new boss in two weeks.  I've been asking around to see what people know about him.  I heard two interesting remarks.  One person said he is "high maintenance".  The other person said they call him "the pretty boy".  That last bit of info is valuable.  I'll have to try not to ruffle his feathers.  
Gracie...trying to be a good dog


Saturday, November 19, 2011

dire straits

It was a spinning-my-wheels sort of day.  Tomorrow has to be very different.  It’s too much stuff running through my head while I’m trying to concentrate on my proposal – chapter 2.  I wanted to be done last weekend and here I am with four more sections to write… at least 20 pages to write, probably more.    

My brother has been in intensive care this week; he’s still in the hospital.  He’s doing some hard-core detoxing.  Hopefully it’s not all for nothing.  I fear it will be.  He’s already making plans, and the beast always wins.      

We have a lovely new deck on the back of our house now – much nicer and a bit bigger than the old one.  Next we are getting a new floor in our foyer, hall, and dining room.  It will all be the same, and the dining room will be transformed into an office.  Still debating repainting it.  It was white when we moved in, and it’s still white.  Imagine the room with color……hmmmm…..what color?   Or imagine leaving it white for now and getting settled back in and back to work as quickly as possible.      

It’s been a week of disappointments, negotiations, travel, and stress.  Driving down to the hospital last night reminded me of the trips to the hospital to visit my grandparents.  The room my brother was in was all too familiar.  Interestingly, I mentioned that to my other brother and he said he had the same premonitions.     

Sunday, November 13, 2011

rough seas

Sibling rivalry can get really ugly, but only recently have I realized just how ugly it can be.  It is really hard with twin girls and we (father and I) always thought we were careful not to show favoritism, to treat them the same as much as possible given the night-and-day differences in them.  Of course, I know it’s impossible to treat any two people the same because no two people are the same.  Not long after they started talking, I started hearing the complaint that something wasn’t or isn’t fair.  My standard reply was (and still is) that there is nothing fair in life. 

What is remarkably in my face these days is how the girls are constantly comparing themselves to each other.  Both also make assumptions/accusations about how their father and I are constantly comparing them and what our expectations are.  Sometimes I wonder how we will survive these last two and a half years of high school.  It’s been a very, VERY tough year for all of us.    

Thursday, November 10, 2011

let there be shelves!

I blew off work tonight…not a good thing at all.  It’s time to make a plan to move my workspace.  All these books, and CDs, and stacks of paper, and God knows what else that stay stacked up in front of my face are going to the living room.  In this room I’m in, we’re tearing out carpet and getting new light.  My favorite part:  clearing out the clutter and putting what I want in here back in here.  I’d love to have it painted, and change these damn drapes.  This room has been my cocoon for more than three years now.  It’s dreadful!  I need shelves,  LET THERE BE SHELVES!!!  We’ve purchased a legion to improve our castle here.  It’s going to be good!  MY SPACE.  Well *sigh* not really.  
My dissertation…I’m writing about safety culture, and stumbled across some interesting controversy.  Not going to think about it tonight though…seeing’s how I’m taking a break and all.

I’ve been including some old family photos because well…what good are old family photos shut away in a shoe box forever?  Here is a photo of great grandfather Black holding my little brother.  That couple standing in the back left are my parents. It looks like they are still a couple.  The white building in the background is a church in St Paul, Kentucky.  On the back of the building was a room where ladies got together for quilting bees.  There were big trees behind the church that made wonderful shade.  They were old sycamores and black walnut trees.   On the far side of the church, just past the churchyard fence, was my great grandfather’s best watermelon patch.  The girl sitting and looking at the camera, is my father’s cousin, Kathy.  She got married and had four children.  Her husband murdered her when her youngest child was (I think) high school age.  On the right in the darkness, you can make out the wheel of an old rusty wheelbarrow.  The wheelbarrow was my personal favorite – it was the easiest to handle when it was loaded heavy.  I zoomed way in to see it, also saw it looks like a big scab on my face. 
Great grandfather holding little brother

I have one (big scab) now, thanks to Gracie.  I bent over to pick something up off the floor as she bounced up to jump on me (she is a bouncy, energetic young dog).  We collided and her fang scraped a big bloody gouge across my nose.  I think it’s bruised too.  Lovely…we’ll see what it looks like tomorrow.      

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

home improvements underway

I backed out of the driveway this morning, same as always.  Just as I shifted from reverse to drive, I glanced up and saw an 8-point buck standing in the road right in front of me.  He was magnificent.  We looked at each other for a few seconds; he tipped his horns toward me and snorted, and then moved on making his way toward the woods behind our house. 

Contractors tore into our house yesterday.  So it begins!!  Finally!!!  Unfortunately, this is the worse time for it but so it goes.  Years ago, when we had our kitchen remodeled and our basement finished, I agonized over every decision.  So many choices and I wanted it all to be wonderful and perfect in the end.  This time, I have no time for the distraction of it all.  Saturday morning I got to the paint store as soon as it opened and grabbed some of those sample paint strips in shades of green, gold, and brown.  Next I stopped at the floor store, selected samples of two laminate and two vinyl.  I made final decisions on the floors of five rooms in less than 15 minutes total – 10 minutes in the store and 5 minutes in my house.  Paint color is another story...and I still need to pick bath fixtures – a new tub, toilets, sinks, faucets, towel bars, etc. 

Very early in my marriage, I learned that sharing a bathroom with my husband would be impossible.  He is just much too gross.  Perhaps I’m a man-hater and my standards are too strict, but sharing a bathroom with my first husband was not an issue.  He was so much better at cleaning up after himself.  He had gone to military school when he was young and I think they drilled good habits into him.  He told me that he was frequently made to clean showers and latrines while he attended the school and it totally grossed him out.  I worked restaurants in high school and college and cleaning rest rooms was always part of my job.  No doubt about it, many people are insensitive and gross.  My husband isn’t a slob because he’s insensitive; he’s just got the maturity of a 12 year old when it comes to things like cleanliness.  Perhaps I should hire a nanny for him.

Our newest mess-maker...about to create another

Friday, November 4, 2011

critical overflow

It’s been an insane week….and about to get worse.  Emily has been sick all week and missed school five days.  That’s tough with her schedule of accelerated classes.  The kids get a four day weekend for a teachers meeting and election day, and I collected all her missed assignments from her teachers, but she is still unable to do much.  She saw her pediatrician twice and an ENT specialist this week.  Next week, she has more tests.  They want to rule out common things and some scary things before they send her to a cardiologist.  So yes, it’s a lot on my mind…I hate to think my daughter is sick and nobody knows what’s wrong or when she will be better.   

Also, the contractor called and is ready to start tearing into our house Monday morning.  This has been in the works for many months, but I’m not ready.  I have no time to spare, but tomorrow I must start packing stuff up and moving it out of the way, and go pick out floor covering, paint, and bathroom fixtures.  We are renovating two full baths and a half bath…can I just do them all the same?      

Also this week, I did some of the final paperwork for my grandfather’s estate.  Two more small details (assuming  this last bit was done correctly) and it will all be over.  When my grandmother died, my grandfather was unable to get out much so I did the legwork to settle her estate for him.  When I walked out of the bank on the last detail, it kind of hit me that that was the last thing I would ever do for her.  My grandfather has been gone for 16 months, but doing his paperwork seems to keep him in the present.  It’s funny that I grew up with this man – I lived in his house (he was my father), but I hardly knew him at all until the very end.  He talked more in the last months of his life than he did in all the other years I knew him combined.  He was a man of very few words. 

Pop with my brothers and me

Also, I have to get Chapter 2 of my dissertation cranked out by the end of next weekend.  That’s a commitment I put on myself.  I submitted Chapter 1 to my chairman for review.  He returned it with NO corrections at all.  That's good news, or does it just mean he barely read it?  I know I'm not that good!  He said it was rock solid and to submit it to my committee for review.  The man on my committee said he won’t review anything until the proposal is complete.  The woman on my committee said she will review it and give me feedback by the end of the weekend.  I wish I had more women on my committee.