Monday, June 28, 2010

Summertime and the Livin' is. . . Changin'

Summer seems to have FINALLY arrived here in Oregon. It has been the wettest, coldest spring in 50 years and at our house, we have all mourned the dearth of sunshine and heat (except for Caspian--Mr. Anything-all-of-you-like-I-don't. He loves the cool and the rain.) Now the sun is coming out every day and the temperatures are rising and although I love it, it makes it that much harder to stay sitting in front of a computer working instead of out on the deck reading.

Have had a number of changes happening on this end that will make July an interesting month. First, Nicole has gotten the lead in a community production of "Up the Down Staircase". Ironically, the lifetime unschooler is playing a high school English teacher. :) She has almost 400 lines to memorize and she is shocking all of us with how well she can do it. Of course, we all take turns running the line with her, so I think we could be stand ins by the time the play starts in mid-July. In addition to the play, she has also gotten a job as a cashier at Sizzler's and starts this week. It will give her some good training and also some cash to use instead of relying on us--something that bugged her more than it did us.

Also, Joseph started this morning on an internship at the local VW repair shop. It is a family owned business that he has bought parts from, asked questions from and hung around in for years. I suggested he think about volunteering there so he could learn more about VW repair, meet people, and perhaps, maybe, someday turn it into a paid job and he decided it was a good idea. I am hoping, first and foremost, that he enjoys it and gains from it. A paycheck down the road would be icing. So, he will be gone each morning for a few hours and while I will miss him, I think it's a good step.

Coryn is getting ready to build his first computer (once Mom comes up with the bucks to fund the experiment) and he and Jon have a long list of what they will order as soon as I say "go". In the meantime, he has given his computer to Caspian. Coryn wondered what he would do in the interim between giving away his computer and building his new one . . . and decided to fill it with learning how to speak Spanish and other educational endeavors.

As for me . . I'm doing ok. Took a lousy fall a few weeks ago that I still feel if I move my arm wrong. My right hip continues to make me swear and wince and take a lot of aspirin. No more vertigo attacks though. I even drove last week and that felt great. Lots of work to keep me busy for sure. I am glad too--I like being busy and having projects to work on. I just wish I could smooth them out so they were less famine and feast. The only time off I have had in more than a month is when we went to Maupin. Other than that, I am putting in 10 to 14 hour days in an attempt to keep up. On the other end, however, I am hoping I can build up enough extra money for us to head out of town right after Labor Day and go on a 2 week vacation into the southwest regions. We didn't get a vacation last year, so we are more than eager for one this year. I know that with the kids geting older (14, 17 and 20 this year!), we don't have that much time left before they have other lives to lead that don't include family vacations.

That's the news from this side of the globe. If you stop by to read, let me know. I will try to keep you up on all the changin'.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Well for goodness' sake.
Little did I know that those two fires I spoke of last time were simply the tip of the iceberg. (How is THAT for mixing metaphors--and temperatures?)
Sometimes I think that we are very, very lucky that we cannot see the future. I think if I had known what was coming I would have just stayed in bed with the covers over my head.
Remember the missing 25 questions? If you don't, you need to get your memory checked or at least go back and read the last blog entry. Well, those fires turned into a out of control conflagration, a raging inferno. And I forgot to pack my fireproof uniform!
My computer did not JUST eat one document. It ate multiple documents. As I was working ono them, I would try to save and watch a document full of hundreds of words turn into a BLANK page. Zero bytes. NADA. And it did it randomly, sometimes minutes after I finished and sometimes hours. I called my first computer guru. He "fixed" it over the phone. Ah . . nope. So then I had Jon, Nicole's boyfriend and my second computer guru, spend an hour on it doing a lot of "hmmmms" and "interesting" comments. (Mine had been MUCH more colorful earlier, believe me.) He did more to help it but I still could not trust it. I spent almost ALL of Friday rewriting all the words that had gotten eaten.
Today I got up and worked on the upstairs computer which APPEARS to work ok. I rewrote until I was back where I had been and then went on to write another assignment. I am still wayyyyyy behind but at least I am closer than I was.
So the day had improved. The sun was FINALLY shining . . . I was getting some work done . . . and I went into my office to start packing a birthday package for a friend of mine (hey Bev!). I bent over to pick up the box, stood up, swiveled and promptly lost my balance and fell into a bookcase. Man, did it hurt. Moreover I was stuck and couldn't move. (And yes, thank you, I did flash on that old woman on the commercial who complained she had fallen and could not get up . . . and I even wished I had one of those call buttons around my neck.) In lieu of that, I called out to Coryn in the next room and had him come and rescue me. I've downed some aspirin, used some ice packs, moaned and groaned a lot and felt old. My arm is bruised (we won't discuss my ego) and I sure can tell I fell but I'm not broken and for that I am grateful.
So . . . enough sparks, embers, flames and fires. Please. I'm whipped. I'm worn out. I wanna spend tomorrow out on the deck in the sunshine taking turns taking a nap and reading but I won't. I will spend it at my computer, trying to catch up and fervently hoping that there are NO MORE FIRES. Because this firefighter is out of water. Out of energy. Out of everything. OK?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Putting Out Fires

I do not recall signing up to be a firefighter.
I didn't get the training. I didn't go to classes. I never learned to slide down a pole (gosh, I am SURE I would remember that part). I am familiar with "Stop, Drop and Roll!" but that is about it. So why have I been given the job of putting out fires for the last two mornings?
Morning 1: An editor could not find a document I sent in a couple of weeks ago by email. I was told the project was done, so I deleted the file. I had to start from scratch and recreate it. *Check*
An editor changed the slant of a particular test item and I had to rewrite three items. NOW. *Check*
An editor needed me to add "conflict/resolution" to a passage. NOW. Added 200 words full of conflict. *Check*
Now it's 11 a.m. and I still haven't started on today's assignments because I've been putting out fires.
Morning #2: I woke up to be told that (1) the document you sent of 25 test questions is BLANK and (2) the passage you sent [different from the ones mentioned yesterday] has only a paragraph on the page. Where is the rest of it?
My responses to both of these was WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!?!
I found the passage in its entirety for fire 2 and sent it in. She chalked it up to my being overworked but it was sent in its entirety the first time. The computer glitched, not me. As for the other one--the 25 test questions--they are GONE. The document is there. It has the right title. The page has nothing on it. A search turns up nothing. What does this mean? You got it. The first two hours of today will be spent recreating it. Believe me, I already had a day FULL of work to be done and do NOT have time for this. Doesn't matter if you have time for fires though. Even untrained me knows you have to put them out right now, not later.
So, you know what? I'm tired. I want to keep up and am grateful as can be for the work. I love my job, honestly. But I just don't remember signing up for fighting these fires. Why can't I have a flunkie to take care of them for me? Oh yea, I AM that flunkie.
Wish me a good weekend. Any guesses how it will be spent? Ooops! Time to climb on the truck. I can hear the fire alarm and smell the smoke from here.