New Flowers, Fighting with Technology, and Books I’m Reading

New Bud Vase and New Flower Stems from Hobby Lobby

Work Zone: Fighting with the Devil over Nearly Everything

Good morning! At least I didn’t oversleep this morning and being on routine is certainly more calming. I was able to finish my month end process and get started on one of two states that are left for the w-2 processing. I’m hand entering a state that has 121 people. You have to enter most of the information on the w-2, except our address and state account number is already filled in. I was able to get about half of them entered. I figured up that it took about 2.5 minutes per person being that the website crashed on me 7 times. The 7th time I decided to give up and go home as I had errands to run anyway and was “done” at that point. Not really finished but “done”. It’s bad enough to have to enter that many by hand but for the site to crash that many times on you, on top of it is enough to send you through the building screaming, pulling your hair out and crying out to God to send his angels to slay the demons that reside that are always trying to wear you down. I didn’t do that by the way, but I did sit there and say “are you kidding me?” over and over and over again!

Did I mention my own computer at work wouldn’t even let me on the internet yesterday? Or that I’ve had a lot more interruptions than normal? Or that one of our states says we didn’t pay taxes in 2021 and we paid every dang one of them and on time and it even shows it in our account. (All I can say is “Wow and Why Me?”). The government is so behind on everything and they need to catch up with the rest of us. My heavens!

Oh and other interruptions! We had a company fire drill. It was kindof a fun interruption but still another time consuming thing. Yeah, the cards have been stacked up against me trying to get anything done as the devil tries every which way to make the day go south and thwart my plans to get this year end finished. But my God is bigger than the devils little evil flames trying to thwarthog my day, bigger than the computer gremlins, and bigger than all the time usurpers that the old red faced horned evildoer sends. With God on my side I will SMILE at the face of whatever road block comes. Get thee behind me Satan! Go goof off on something else.

Once this state lets me finish I have another big state to do and that should bring the end to the w-2 processing nightmare. I think I’m about 30% through with this last bit that was left. It just seems to go on forever since I still have payroll and other parts of the job too. I hate this phrase but it keeps coming to mind when things are seeming impossible. Que Sara Sara. It is what it is and will be what it will be. And recommendations will be made when this is over and I can breathe and catch up. I don’t think I’ll even have time to catch up on things much as the next quarter end will be here soon. But the things I need to catch up on at least don’t have time limits or deadlines so much.

Errands and Shopping

Mean time, I got Mom’s bath grab bar returned at the UPS store where I had bought a screw one instead of a suction cup one. These scare me though, I mean I’m not sure how strong they are but I hope they work. Nothing would be worse than being dependent upon a bar that comes loose while you hold it. But in her bath there is no way to put a bath bar in there.

After that I went to Hobby Lobby and bought stems for my little off white vases/jugs. One is pictured above. I lucked out and the flower arrangements were 50% off so I bought a few extra to change out. I came home and had to cut the stems though.

Added a Vase to the bathroom.
A bit of Flower Cheer Added to the Coffee Center

Being that we’ve run errands for Mom the last two nights, I’m kinda looking to having some time back tonight and tomorrow and REALLY hoping to get the final push and get the intro to the videos done. My main goal other than the company coming this weekend is to get this completed and begin working on the next video. I’ve noticed that in the last month, I’ve video’d very little. 1) We have been too busy to do much of anything fun 2) I was not in the mood anyway but totally stressed over trying to get everything done at work 3) Mom has kept us busy in any spare time we have had 4) Nothing exciting really happened and we’ve not had much time to make it exciting. So that is a good thing b/c it’ll give me some time to catch up the videos to a bit closer to time, eventually. lol.

Book Finished and Starting a New One

I’ve been most impressed with “The Road Back to You” and it’s Enneagram reveals. I took the test on line. I tried to find the picture of my results. It’s on my PC somewhere. I’m a six on the Enneagram scale. But I forgot my wings. I think it’s a 1 and 3 but not sure. I may have to take the test again because I’m intrigued by this Enneagram thing. Most of all it helps you in your relationships with others because you see that they are wired the way they are. It also can help you in your Christian walk and it helps YOURSELF understand why you are the way you are. It’s actually pretty mind blowing, helps you face up to a few things, understand a lot about yourself and also at the same time can bring relief. So yeah I am not finished with this topic!

And I’m enjoying this one now on the commute. Valerie, you gotta love her. The pic does not look like her at all here. But I’m loving every word from her and she has some really good take aways on life. I think her brain is kinda wired like my own. I can see a lot of likeness in how we approach life. I saw that in her last book. Only she can put on a bubbly front, and I cannot. lol With me, you pretty much get what you see, lol. I don’t hide much. But I’m loving this one.

And then this one is next. After that, I think most of my audible books that I want to read are done. I’ve cancelled the subscription and I will enjoy music, news, podcasts and so forth as there are a lot of freebie things to listen to on the way to work.

And from here on out I’ll be focusing on REAL books and not digital because I have a bookshelf full of them.

Next up is to talk to George about our cable. I personally mainly just watch YouTube and Netflix and sometimes Discovery Plus. We need to lower that cost. We are spending too much but that is for another day’s topic.

What is on your reading plate today? Or your to do plate?

I can’t believe it is Thursday already. And I’m kinda running late so I need to get a move on. I did some other things this morning besides blogged. Shopped on line for a pink jacket for spring (no find yet of one I like) but I want a cheery looking jacket now that I have grey hair, lol.

Geez, Lord give me more time to live my life, I just keep making such little progress each day. There is hardly any time to sneeze or piddle. lol

Coffee Malfunctions of the Third Degree and George’s Book Reading List

Photo by Lood Goosen on Pexels.com

Thank God for Saturdays! But how hard is it to make a cup of coffee? I’ve made coffee now for 40 years and only a very few mornings did it malfunction. George and I are 0 for 3 this morning!

  1. For whatever reason, I failed to put water in this morning. I know that coffee takes water. So it is Alzheimers? Did the cat distract me? Was I just so excited about having a weekend with no responsibilities so I could get my life together? Am I just too worried about quarter end? Or is it the excitement over the coming snow? Whatever the reason, I failed to put water in and just added coffee, hit the button, and began doing laundry.
  2. George comes in and says “what’s up with the coffee?”. I say “whaddya mean”? He says “it’s cold from yesterday”. Baffled, I realized I had put the coffee in but didn’t put water in so it was huffing and spitting and nothing was squeezing out. So George puts in water, hits the ON button and goes to the back of the house.
  3. I come out of the laundry room with clothes and discover coffee on the counter EVERYWHERE and shout “oh no” and throw the clothes over a chair and race for towels as the coffee reaches the edge. The coffee is squirting horizontally out of the top like someone shooting a water gun filled with coffee instead of going down into the pot! I hit the OFF button to stop the spraying. I realize that George had not put the pot in the proper position so coffee was squirting sideways. George races in and says “Oh good, it’s just the coffee, the cat didn’t poop in the house, so that is good!” We reposition the coffee pot and finish the clean up and each resume our tasks at hand as we await the wonderful hot morning brew. I murmer something about being 0 for 2.
  4. About 10 minutes passes, I’m changing the sheets on the bed when George comes in with a small white cup of coffee for each of us about half filled. He says, “well, I think we are 0 for 3” because we forgot to turn the coffee pot back ON so nothing else brewed. But this much had managed to get in the bottom of the pot from the squirting. So we are enjoying our little cup now. I suppose we will let the restaurant make the next cup when we do brunch today out, lol. Perhaps they will have a better hand at making it today.

All I can say is Wow. We manage to do so much in life. We have 4 degrees between us, have professional positions, have raised a wonderful daughter, consider ourselves to have fairly good noggins most of the time and have accomplished much in our lifetime, but between the two of us have proven today that it is a challenge for us to simply make a cup of coffee.

George’s Reading List

You asked for it and I’m providing! Someone wanted to know what all George is reading. So here is a list of recent books that he has read in the past few weeks OR is reading currently. I’m amazed he could list them off the top of his head. I would have to go look at my stack. However, I don’t have all the authors on these, but shouldn’t be hard to find or google if interested. I believe you will be amused at his eclectic interests. He often has 5 or 6 that he reads at once so that he picks the one that suits his mood.

  • Biography of Jerry West – about a basketball player
  • Talking Guitar
  • The Drinkable Globe (an alcohol book, lol)
  • Amazing Spiderman Omnibus (comic book)
  • Louis Grizzard’s “I haven’t understood Anything Since 1962”
  • A Stephen Coontz spy thriller – sorry no title – it’s in his car and he couldn’t remember

And drum roll…..the best saved for last:

  • “Who Cut the Cheese?: A Cultural History of Farts”

Aren’t you glad you asked? George is. He is thrilled you all wanted to know and doubly thrilled that he happened to be reading the “fart book” at the time!

Forecast Changes

So the forecast has now changed from 5-8 inches to 1-3 inches. lol. I have hauled half my office home to work for Monday. I was going to go ahead and set up the office and be ready to go for Monday. Right now I think I’ll just wait and see. I’d rather go in if I can, to work, because work is easier from there. It’s pain in the butt usually from home and everything takes twice as long. Mainly because I can’t print and partly because a lot of my files are at work.

This morning we are going to take neighbors for brunch and we are looking forward to that. Despite the coffee antics this morning, I have at least changed sheets and rebooted laundry, however, we have created even more laundry now, so coffee soaked towels are next on the laundry queue.

Excitement

Do you know how excited I am to have this day. I know that everyone that claws at my time would love to have a piece of my weekend, but everyone is going to have to be patient while I pull my life back together from the past month of __________________(fill in the blank here: FT work 9-10 hours a day plus commute, 2 travel trips, 3 sets of family in town, fun, shopping for/preparing for/and hosting Christmas, some surprise virus/flu like illness for both of us :-O, running Mom errands, New Year holiday, burying a family pet (that was so sad for all), work stress, time stress, “drama with ya mama stress”, and five family birthdays). I am sure I could go on, but that’ll do it. So YES, I NEED this mental health weekend. I’ll be able to come on strong, come Monday. When you feel OWNED by the world, it’s time to take a step back because YOU are NO good for NO one if you are not in a good spot yourself.

I don’t think that even our own family realizes the time pressures and stresses we have been under – even though we have had some fun times we have really been moving at lightning speed not getting time to do much more than sleep, eat, and do it all again. I know a lot of people go through this at the holidays. But it seemed to be on steroids this year. We did make it fun but it has been a busy wild ride of a month. We got through it. Not through Quarter End/Year End yet. Still undetermined how that will play out as next week have like zero time to work on it, so some weekend work for me next week. I’m just not set up at all for success next week. I’m busting my butt but even with weekends not quite sure how it will all play out. I will die trying. The January trip thing is just not a good month for me to travel. This job is never good for me to be off but January makes it very hard. We are shooting for Thanksgiving week again this year. It seemed to be perfect the time before. The lesser of evils.

Alright, so I’m off to get some things done in my life: Organization, going through mail, putting up things, cleaning things and getting things back to normal. Doing all these things that have been calling my name as I see them in my house. What a gift of time the Lord has given us in this weekend. Thank you Lord for this little hibernation weekend! Thank you again and again!

Reading List in Review: My Recommendations and the New Year Weekend Update

It was a productive year as far as “reading” is concerned – only technically – I was really “listening” through Audible for many of these. I think I had a pretty good mix of books to keep me happy while on my commute, or at 1:30 a.m. when I can’t sleep. This time I think I will insert them in order as I liked them. ;-). That will give you an idea on a relative scale, as to how I enjoyed them, should you be interested in them as well. I’ll also give a comment or two on each.

  • Where the Crawdad’s Sing by Delia Owens – This one is at the top of my list and I can see why so many have chosen it and it’s become a best seller and eventually a movie is coming out, I think? Oh my. This one is very different. A girl mainly raises herself, with the help of a very trusting few. The things she has gone through, will go through, in the marshes of North Carolina. Oh yes. Read this one. There is mystery, wonder, strength, candor, suspense, empathy. You will like it.
  • Winter in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand – This one was well written. It had mystery, feeling, details, twists, turns. There were lots of little mysteries inside other mysteries. The characters were strong and true. The book was descriptive and painted a good picture of the story at hand and all the little mini ones going on. Yet something is still hanging out there in the shadows unexplained. Loved loved this one.
  • Green Lights by Matthew McConaughey – I mean Wow! What a guy. I first thought he was going to spin a conceited and cocky tail of himself, and maybe he does a bit, but I was very impressed. This is not your average Hollywood pretty guy. He’s actually a very intellectual, deep, complex and well versed individual. He’s a very good writer and story teller. I loved every minute of this book. Except for the beginning. It started off a little slow for me but quickly sped up. I hated for it to be over. His life and adventures – oh my gosh – you won’t believe it and there’s lots of humor. I give him a green light!
  • Running Against the Tide by Captain Lee – Well obviously this one made it upwards to the top. I love stories of the sea and also watched “Below Deck” until the show became more annoying than interesting with its bickering and horny crew members (sorry but the best way to put it) instead of how the crew manages the boat, the food, the guests. But the book itself takes Captain Lee and how he became a captain and how it led up through the years to being a boat captain on TV. I think if you didn’t know Captain Lee and you loved the ocean – you would love this behind the scenes of a captain book. He goes through what it takes to be a captain and all the pitfalls and scenarios that can happen in a such a career. I loved it. It helped having watch the show as I knew who Captain Lee was but he spoke very little of the show itself. Loved his book and was excited to get to read it.
  • Into the Storm by Reed Timmer – the story of a storm chaser’s life. I mean Wow! I read this one trying to understand how one develops the bravery to chase tornadoes. What makes them different? This was a psychological book for me. I am on the opposite spectrum and deathly afraid of big thunderstorms with their high winds and possible tornadoes. It was interesting for me. He tells in details some of the many chases of storms, including hurricanes. It was a thrill for me, with my heart beating loudly as I commute to work while listening. I couldn’t wait to get back in the car and head home to see how he made it through each storm. He even has a storm chasing dog. Can this type of person have relationships that last? Check it out.
  • The Next Wife by Kaira Roada – Well, this was, I believe, a freebie through Amazon first reads or something like that. It was on my phone where I had downloaded it earlier. One night at around 1:30 I couldn’t sleep and I clicked on it, on my phone, and mainly read this at night in the middle of the night, lol. I would read for an hour and go back to sleep, during the time that Mom stayed with us. So this catches your attention from the start. It held me all the way through. It even had a spot or two with humor but mainly you just want to know what is going to happen and see how the character’s react. Check it out. The storyline? A man leaves his wife for another person in their business and they all still work together. Just the dynamics of watching this play out is like watching a chess game with fireworks after each move, lol.
  • Three Years in a Walmart Parking Lot – by Sharon Waters – So, the writing is not spectacular as far as telling a tale, but it was very interesting in the beginning and about 2/3’s the way through. I was mainly interested to see how someone who has not RV’d got through this period of time just taking off in an RV. Toward the end, ummm, it’s like she got tired of telling the tale and wanted to end the book. So it kinda left me with a feeling of “I read this for what reason?”. But it’s making it upwards in my list because I was enthralled reading it and enjoyed it most of the way through. I looked forward to reading a chapter before bed every night. I remembered the “freedom” I felt for her and the “excitement” of the adventure. So much so that I will give her a break that the book petered out somewhat. Just know that the ending was not bad, nor dramatic, but just kinda ended. I think if I had known that I would not have been expecting some big reveal at the end where she finds herself and life is so worth it. I mean she could have played it up a little but the details started to drop off about 2/3rd’s through like it was just “finished up” hurriedly. So just know that.
  • Ellie Dwyer’s Great Escape by Diane Winger – Yep, picked this one b/c of the RV. Why not. So glad I did. It was very entertaining all the adventures/misadventures Ellie got into. With her spouse leaving her, several disasters occurring all around – she has to scramble to figure out what is happening and what to do next. She meets loving characters and friends along the way – will she find the answers as to why her husband left her? This one had humor. Quite an enjoyable book.
  • Fourteen: Daughter’s Memoirs of Adventure, Sailing, & Survival by Leslie Johansen Nack. Oh wow. This was a very interesting read. You want to see what happens next and how this ends. It was a bit dark as the daughter is abused along with her siblings in this tale – physically, mentally, and sexually as they are on a sailboat cruising the world. I won’t spoil it for you but all eyes are on this one to see how she handles it all.
  • Lucky Charming by Kate Chasten – So I just really was curious what this book would entail as Kate talked about how she got into being a yacht stewardess. Beware of her sassy attitude. It’s in person on the Below Deck shows and also comes through in her book. It was interesting all the happenings on the boat and interesting how each boat has a different dynamic, and all the experiences can be so different from boat to boat. I can’t say I can relate to her lifestyle. Seems like a really hard life. But I enjoyed learning about the industry itself.
  • Empty Nester’s by Carolyn Brown – A delightful tale. First chapter or so hard to catch your attention but push through it. I thoroughly enjoyed this cheerful “feel good” book as they travel in an RV and each work through life’s issues. Of course I picked it since there was an RV involved. ha. Sometimes the silliest things can sway you to pick a book.
  • Sailing into Oblivion: The Solo Non-Stop Voyage of the Mighty Sparrow by Jerome Rand – So I know I enjoyed this book, but honestly nothing stuck with me to tell you about it. I just simply went along with him in his journey as I drove to work and back. A sailing journey.
  • Sailing with Impunity: Adventures in the South Pacific by Mary Trimble. This was a pleasant read as you travel along with this couple on their dream trip. Again I don’t remember a lot but having watched several sailing channels, I was familiar with some of their routes – particularly Tonga. They get into some interesting situations. Just a pleasant read since I love to hear stories of sailing.
  • The House by Chambrae Blue – This is actually an old blog buddy/Facebook friend that wrote this book. This is not her real name but her pen name. The book is very different, a lot mysterious. It involves a man and a dog. It kept me entertained for miles. There were a few twists and turns and surprises. What is it that is floating through that house that makes it haunted? hmmmm.
  • The Beach House by Rachel Hanna – It’s obvious why I picked this book. Who doesn’t want a beach house to renovate? lol It was not a deep read, but a predictable but fun read. It was pleasant. Not a lot of twists and turns, just your basic “starting over in life, will I find love again as I renovate this new beach house?” Family shows up to complicate/help things. Basic but fine.
  • Float Plan by Trish Dollar – Ummmm I’d say Average. I think you can do better. It was just ok. That said, it caught my attention and kept it. It just wasn’t very deep, wasn’t a lot to it. Just mainly a girl trying to get over losing her fiancé who had committed suicide and she tries to move on in the love compartment. It was a little dark but I enjoyed the fact that she was on a boat. That is what I liked about it. How she managed to handle the boat and the journey itself.
  • Time Bandit by Andy Hillstrand – Oh, this one made it to the end. I guess I wanted more of the Time Bandit’s experience from the standpoint of the show “The World’s Deadliest Catch” but instead it was more about the life of the Hillstrand Brothers and their boat and all the crazy stuff they did growing up. I just didn’t get into it really. I couldn’t relate to their haphazard and rough ways of living. I did understand their wanting to be in a boat on the water and I can relate to that somehow as I have a calling to be on or near the water and never really answered to it except through books and shows, but it took me a year to finish this book so…I’m putting it at the end. No offense Hillstrands but I just couldn’t relate to much of it.

New Year’s Day

We had a very unruly day of unbelievable wind, clouds, rain, and tornadic supercells in parts of our mid state area. The limbs you see here are what’s left from the last bad storm a few weeks ago, when an F1 tornado came through our town.

I also chose to work on the house and put up Christmas and do laundry and put up our gifts. I love this kind of day after Christmas. It takes a few weeks to “flip” the house back but I enjoy the process. The house is starting to look bare but I’ll clean it good next, and then begin to put things back into place. A lot of time I’ll end up moving things around and decorating it back differently (meaning plants, pic frames, Nic nacs, lamps, etc).

Where’s Waldo?

I decided to leave the tree up until after the 15th. We still have Christmas to do with my SIL and BIL. So these are gifts left that have not been opened. Some are for our BIL and SIL and family and then some are for the Irelands Christmas. BIL and SIL – they are coming on the 15th from Knoxville and will spend the night with us, we’ll celebrate my birthday, do Christmas and they’ll get some things from our storage downstairs. This sounds so fun to me that they are spending the night. We will have a great time, maybe play some games, sip some wine, and get up and I’ll have some kind of breakfast thing for us to eat. I’m thinking eggs, fruit, bacon, avocado toast!

We also want to see our Ireland friends and need to set a date with them as well. We want them to come to our house this time. They have hosted us so much it’s embarrassing. I have been so ashamed of my carpets and floors in the past. And now we are in so much better shape for having company. I have known that December and January were going to be crazy and told Lisa it may be Feb before we can catch our breath. Once back from Texas and celebrating birthday dinners (mine) lol – and then having to work longer hours because of month end, quarter end, year end, and also missing time from work as we go to Texas – makes planning a lot this month, hard. I like to have time to focus on something and look forward to it and not sling something together. I will be more relaxed when Feb hits. I’m relaxed right now but I know how this month goes. It can be crazy with worry over “will I get it all done?” I don’t like the last week of any quarter but the last week of January really puts my stomach in knots. I want to avoid that if I can this year. But I’ll be much more ready to celebrate life come February.

February is my real new year! lol. January is just a practice. ha. February is my new hibernation month as they call it. I plan on downloading Final Cut Pro and learning it. I am also re-evaluating the blog, vlog, and may make some changes. I need to “have a meeting with myself” and outline a few things, realign some goals, and steps. This is fun for me. This is my hobby. I won’t go into my thoughts yet but all I will say is that I think I would like to grow the blog and vlog. I’ve always wanted to grow the vlog. But the blog I’ve kinda enjoyed keeping it on the down low. Because the more you do the more you can say. But I’m ok with growing it now and being intentional about it because I want to grow the vlog and spend more time growing it. I really haven’t had much time this year for research and learning or even training on my camera, or about YouTube itself. I just don’t have the spare time to go down each little highway that I want to go down. But it’s there for the taking whenever I do.

Caring for Mom has taken a lot of my hobby time away and I’ve struggled with that A LOT. If you read my blog at all last year you know that I’ve struggled with a lot of the changes. I’m glad to help Mom – so don’t miss my point. It’s an adjustment for her too. We’ve all had a lot of changes and with us including the loss of dear pets, in the last year or so. But at least we don’t have TWO MOVEs and two houses to get ready for her to live in this year. So that should gives us back *some* time. I am trying to figure out the best way to care for someone in another household though and how to work that into a doable schedule with minimal surprises for everyone involved. Like I will never be a fan of having my day planned out and getting a call “I need this now”. We will all be disappointed on a day like that. So I think we’ll try to stay on top of some kind of a schedule once the holidays, trips, etc settle down. I’m not worried about it. I just try to keep it all the forefront. One method is to ask Mom “what is your top three things you want done?” so we stay on radar with her needs and expectations as she depends on us for a lot.

Little Bit spent much of the afternoon and evening in with us. He’s smart. He knew storms and rain was coming. He slept for a long long time right here. He gets around good for an old fart! Let’s see how old he is- we rescued him shortly after moving into this house in 2008 as a little kitten George found at the lake access in Gallatin. Why he was at the lake access was interesting to me, but anyway, he came home with him. So he’s about 13. He does not act 13 but yesterday he seemed to move a little slower.

Meanwhile in Texas

Weather was not as bad in Texas and the front moved through yesterday. They (Katy and Little Roo) got a walk in on the ranch before the wind and cold really kicked up. We got to FaceTime with them yesterday and hang out. He loves his little lamb “Lamb-y”. He smiled more for us yesterday because he remembered who we were! He was glad to see us. That was heartwarming. We will see him again soon.

So I’m going to get a lot of things done in the house today. Tomorrow is booked so TODAY is IT! Tomorrow is my birthday but I’m planning on doing some things. I need to work on the schedule as it’s crammed full.

Here’s what I want to do today:

My normal weekend duties, work on the house, clean, organize, put up Christmas, pack for Texas, but still have some fun! Just not go anywhere. Work on my planner some. (I have stickers for my planner. My inner little girl will come out today.)

But here’s what I want to do tomorrow:

  1. Film a personal segment for Roger’s tribute (George will be at work, the house will be quite and I can focus and get it done).
  2. Get my nails done. It’s becoming urgent!
  3. Mom and I are celebrating my birthday lunch tomorrow
  4. Take Mom to look at curtains or whatever she wants to do
  5. Get her mail
  6. George and I are celebrating my birthday at dinner.

So happy new year to ya! Thanks for popping in to check on me. And hope your day goes well!