Monday, July 29, 2019

Lou's Steel Mill Tavern

One of our library patrons came in with this story.

But right away allow me the disclaimer that I can't find a word of substantiation in the newspaper archives.

This story took place about 2 1/2 weeks ago at Uncle Lou's Steel Mill Tavern on Taylor which would put it on the weekend of September 27-28. Apparently, one of the Didiers was there with his girlfriend and they'd been drinking for aaawhile. They had an argument and Mr. Didier decided to leave. He was in such a hurry that he got his artificial leg stuck between the accelerator and the brake while he was in reverse. Did I forget to mention the artificial leg? Before the car stopped, he had run over 7 Harleys that were parked there in a row and totalled 5 of them. Of course this is all hearsay since there's not a word about it in the newspaper. How you can keep a story like this out of the newspapers is a whole other story!

Monday, August 14, 2017

I had the most interesting dream in color a few nights ago. J, I, Kyle, and his wife Elsipeth were riding in a speedboat on a beautiful river that was suspended in the air like a roller coaster. Kyle was steering the boat and we were zooming along at a terrific speed, the water splashing out and falling just like a log ride at an amusement park. Everyone was enjoying the ride and the scenery, then Kyle stopped the boat and everyone except me climbed out. I was sitting there alone blissing on the scenery and enjoying the beginnings of a beautiful golden sunset. Eventually I became curious about where everyone else went. When I climbed out of the boat, I discovered an opening that went down into a concrete bunker. The crawl space was narrow and twisty and finally came to a dead end. There was a hole above my head and I thought they must have all gone out through here. When I tried to climb out, the hole wasn't large enough for my shoulders to fit through. I retraced my steps to find the river empty. Everyone was gone along with the boat, not even a ripple left from its wake. The only thing was the river placidly flowing. I decided I needed to swim on by myself. I could see that the river went on forever, but I wasn't afraid. I just climbed into the river and began swimming. I did think about the fact that the sun was going down and I would need to find a way to climb down to the earth and find shelter for the night. Then I woke up. I had a strange feeling of peace and could still feel the river flowing and myself carried along in it. When I think about the dream I imagine that it was my psyche trying to heal itself, telling me to release my anger, my memories, and to just continue to flow in the river of life, alone. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Laughing is better than crying, right?

I've had the worst string of bad luck that I've ever had in my life. First my basement flooded as I cozily watched the rain fall outside my window secure in the knowledge that the new city sewer lines would handle the deluge. Ummmm, NO! At least I have a portable sump pump,  but then I couldn't get the basement window open to run the hose outside. I finally got it going and it ran most of the night. I woke up at 4 and the rain had stopped. It never got deeper than 3-4 inches, but my gas water heater was out. I tried lighting it, but no luck. I proceeded to spend a large portion of the day on the cruddy basement floor with a hair dryer trying to get it dry enough to light. I told J that I would have to cancel my annual Memorial Day kayaking trip to the Pine in northern Michigan if I couldn't get it lit. I remember he gave me a funny look when I said that.
At 8 PM, I finally got the water heater lit, and the trip was on. I just threw everything in the car willy nilly so I could load the boat the next morning. On the drive up someone dropped an extension ladder from the back of their truck and scared the bejesus out of me. I was afraid someone behind on the 4 lane would rear-end me. I made the rest of the trip without incident, pulled into the camping site, turned into a parking space, and promptly ripped the sidewall out of my tire on a stump I hadn't seen.

So, that changed the whole mood of the trip instantly! I was 20 mi. from the nearest town (not really a town, just a small huddle of houses, rental cabins and gas stations). Since it was the Saturday before Memorial Day after closing hours, there was no way I was going to get a tire before Tuesday and I started worrying about whether I'd brought enough food. The next day the forecast had changed from 70's and sunny to thunderstorms most of the day. So, when one of the local paddlers told me he was going to go search for a free used tire for me and go to Walmart to get a new one put on the rim if he couldn't find a free used one, I offered to go with to directly handle the payment. Nick, our illustrious trip leader, had already assured me that he'd known James for a long time and he was a good guy. Now if I hadn't been so worried about how much the tire was going to cost, and what was going to happen to my boat that was strapped to the top of someone else's vehicle if the weather cleared and the group decided to go paddling, I might have noticed the exterior condition of James's car. Let's just say there were a few scuffs and dents, and pretty quickly I learned how those dents came to be. He was going about 50-60 mph on gravel roads in the rain and it didn't help that his passenger side windshield wiper didn't work. He also said he'd slowed down just for me.  I really thought I was going to die, and  kept tightening my seatbelt. We must have stopped at 10 different houses out in the country, all of them rustically beautiful with animals, junk cars, piles of recyclables, etc... One of the places we stopped James told me he would start yelling as soon as he got out of the car because they were always naked. After myriad stops he said we might as well get over to Walmart since the sun was coming out and we might still be able to get a paddle in . I waited an hour in line at Walmart to be told they had no tires that would fit my Toyota Corolla. Really!? So, admitting defeat for the day we headed back to an empty camp site and I started worrying about my kayak being stolen as it waited at the get out on top of someone else's vehicle. When the group got back I learned they'd spent the day at the bar watching the race, so no one got to paddle. Nick decided we would paddle early in the morning because we were supposed to have afternoon thunderstorms so everyone turned in early. I was a little afraid of how Floki would react to sleeping in a tent, esp. with thunderstorms but he's a treasure, I just told him it was bedtime and he settled right down. In the morning I washed in the river, and instead of feeling like a Native American princess this time I felt more like an Inuit woman. I could see my breath and I swear the water was just this side of ice. This was the first time I took Floki on the Pine, he was used to the slow calm placid rivers of IN. The Pine is a different sort of river, there was enough water that rocks weren't an issue, but I couldn't help but remember last year's paddle and the woman who broke her leg when she got caught up in a strainer. This year someone told me it was because she was paddling with her legs hanging outside her boat. To be continued...

Floki was a nuisance for the entire paddle. Every time the water got a little turbulent he tried to climb up on me, so I had to use one hand to hold him down in the boat. He almost got me caught up in a couple of strainers. One time I got so close my paddle got caught in the crux of a limb and it pulled it right out of my hands. Somehow we managed to complete the paddle without capsizing and on the way back we stopped at a nice little pub for dinner and a couple of beers. When we got back to camp I found that James had called the Walmart again and found that actually they had 9 tires in stock that fit my car. He went to the campsite while everyone else was paddling and pulled my wheel off, drove to the Walmart in Ludington and paid for it and had it put on by the time I got there. I was so relieved and I was standing  there talking to him and Steve and a couple other people, when Steve abruptly fell down. He said something about his hip giving out. He got up started walking away and fell down again. The other guys were talking and didn't notice. Steve walked around the front of his truck and fell down while he was trying to climb in. I hustled over to Nick and told him I thought that Steve might be having a stroke. When we checked on him, he was incoherent, and had completely lost control of his legs. We got him out of the truck and lying down on the ground with an emergency blanket and Nick called 911. Mind you, we were 20 mi. from the nearest town in the Manistee National Forest. I have to commend the Michigan Emergency Responders, they were there in 15 min. They checked him for signs of stroke and checked his blood sugar and asked what he'd been doing for the day, and how much water he'd had to drink. They came to the conclusion that he was severely dehydrated. They told us to make sure he drank all  the water they'd put in his hand and to make sure he didn't go to sleep without doing so. He was cold and covered in blankets, and we all sat around toasting him with water, he'd start to nod off, and we'd make him wake up and drink. Finally, he finished his water and he was allowed to go off to his tent to sleep. The next morning I decided I'd had enough excitement, the others were planning on doing the water equivalent of a pub crawl somewhere up by Boyne City. I just wasn't into the idea and was too worried about money, and the fact that I hadn't called and checked in with J. So, I packed everything up and headed for home. The car drove great considering the unaligned wheels, and I stopped in Angola to visit my Mom and to tell her about the trip and how glad I was to be heading home to see J. I pulled in the driveway, walked in the front door to discover that J and all his furniture were gone! I can't even begin to say how hurt and angry I was. I had $15 to my name to last me for weeks until payday. J had rearranged the furniture and set up my old TV for me, so I'm sure in his mind he'd been kind. I later came to find that he "accidentally" cashed in a couple hundred dollars worth of my books for cash at Hyde Bros.  I'm still in the process of making peace with myself over this. He sent me an email telling me that he did this for me, that he was unstable, and that no one deserved the numbness and distance he'd been showing me. He didn't sound that unstable, considering he'd planned this in advance, filed for a change of address, and made arrangements for someplace to stay. He's living with his daughter this time. So wonderful for him that he has supportive family close by. I hope he's happy with his decision, he sure did screw me over royally.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

I love being retired. I am having so much fun. Most of my time has been consumed by my new companion, Floki. but we've done some fun stuff. Kayaked Lake James and Jimmerson together, and yesterday I took him along on the group paddle on the Eel River. I'm rather conflicted about the Eel River. I've never seen a river with so many tires in it before. Why in the world do people do that? There's also a section that used to be a junkyard and they cleared the land by bulldozing cars to build a wall on the riverbank. There are cars there from the 30's. There are sections that have heavy agricultural waste smell, and a high voltage power line to pass under, the kind you can feel humming in your body; but it's also the only river that I've seen river otters in swimming right beside my kayak.

Friday, June 24, 2016

I haven't written a blog post for so long, I almost forget how. I've stayed pretty busy this summer, doing a lot of swimming, kayaking, and I've read a lot of books. The main occupier of my time has been this little guy. His name is Floki and he's a purebred broken coat Jack Russel Terrier. When I met him at the breeder's his name was J.P. which stood for Just Perfect, but also jittery patella. His left knee is almost continually popped out. He never seems to have any pain from it, and I know this because when he does feel pain he makes sure everyone knows about it.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Last Day

Today is my last day of work and I am completely at peace with my decision. The library is changing faster than I'm able or want to keep pace with. The big change today was the decimation of our collection. All agencies are required to reduce their collection by 25% within the next week. I predict there will be some librarians taking heavy doses of pain relievers next week.  This is being done to facilitate a change to floating collections and to accommodate face- out shelving and RFID  tag installation. Yeah, that last expensive little process doesn't have board approval yet. Collections will be built by popular demand.  This means different things to different people. It strikes terror into my old hippie heart. I watched the MLS children's librarian sweating and almost crying while purging and packing  relatively new books from the collection to be transferred to the Main Library where they'll either be added to the storage collection or digitized by Internet Archive sometime within the next decade. The whole purpose of this change is to modernize the library and to make it more relevant. Apparently being a print book lover makes me somewhat of a Luddite, Well, I'd just like to give this little illustration, there was an alphabet book, Accidental Zucchini authored by Max Grover  that I brought home from work  for my boys when they were teeny. I didn't think it was that great, but my boys loved the bizarre imagery, and through their enjoyment I came to love it too. When I saw how battered and loved the library's copy was becoming I tried to replace it, but learned it was not only out of print, but also  there were sellers on Amazon trying to sell paperback copies of it for $50. Children's books don't stay in print very long so I've always tried to encourage parents to buy copies of beloved children's books while they still can. I  was overjoyed when I found an almost pristine used copy for myself at Hyde Bros. Bookstore. If either of my boys do ever have children, I'll gift it to them for a nostalgic little treat. My point is that it seems so careless to weed a library collection so abruptly and ruthlessly, even if materials are digitized. I sincerely don't believe that print books will disappear in my lifetime, that there are too many people who share my attitude about holding a book in their hands.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Over the years, I've seen the Asst. Mngr. buy a new house, two new cars, myriad suits, shirts, etc... while at work. Not only does he spend his time shopping and making calls about houses and cars, he also has the clothes he buys shipped to work. It's been driving me crazy, but I only have two more days of enduring this BS. Today, it's calling and consulting about repair work on the Porsche he bought while at work. Who would have guessed that the repair and parts for a foreign sports car would cost SO much. Well, just about everybody, that's who. After Tuesday, May 3rd I will be blissfully ignorant of what he desires in the way of houses, cars, suits, bearings for his car, etc....

I can almost feel the relaxation now.

Friday, April 15, 2016

18 more stinking days

18 more days until I begin my new adventure, and adventure it will be trying to stretch my pension to cover bills and groceries. I have one more major task to accomplish, buying my health coverage from the Affordable Care Marketplace. If only we'd managed to make single payer a reality, the process would be a lot less stressful. I'm hoping my low fixed income will result in a large subsidy, but I really have no idea of what to expect.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Today some gossip wended its way from sunny Florida all the way back to the Fort. A patron came in and said they'd seen our "friend" in Florida. "Our friend" was referring to the ex Grand Poobah, Susan. She was staying with a friend from her cooking club for a couple days and when the room she stayed  in was cleaned  after her 2 day visit, all sorts of empty bottles appeared. The comment that was passed along was that she has a real problem. Really? Yeah, I think I noticed that during the 20 years that I had to cover for her chronic absences.

Friday, April 1, 2016

I want to be at home right now, maybe kneading up some homemade bread, or working in the garden since the sun has finally peeked out after a solid two days of rain. Instead here I am on the first day of spring break, I've already issued more library cards in one morning than I usually do during a whole week. Soon, my life will be my own, to establish my own daily structure and activities. Everyone keeps saying that I'll be bored, that I'll want to go back to work.  I don't think so.... There's so many things I enjoy doing that I've let slide because I didn't have the time or the energy alongside a full work week.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

I Need a Vacation

I only have 47 days until my retirement date and I honestly don't know if I'll  make it. Tomorrow is the last day that I'm obligated to work, but I gave a date of May 17th in order to eliminate the gap  between pay and my first pension check. That was then and this is now, and now that decision seems tortuous. I have exactly three more weeks of programming and only 1 week even tentatively planned. It irritates me so much that the asst. mngr. puts in only 4 hours per day and then spends the rest of the day just hanging in the staff workroom on the computer or reading. He manspreads, laughs uproariously at his own jokes, and constantly casts a critical eye my way (M. E., believe you me,  the feeling is mutual!). He regularly requests help from other employees for the few paltry tasks that are his responsibility, even having some of his subordinates move tables around for his single program of the month. I move those same tables and chairs by myself twice a week and have for 30 years. Think of his position as similar to the vice president from House of Cards, the only importance is the title, because he accomplishes nothing of value.This was verified from his  own lips. A few years ago when a schedule change initiated by moi forced a change that was undesirable to him, he actually pouted and stomped through the workroom. Then while compiling his resume at work, he said, "It's going to be hard to get another job since I haven't done anything." Those were his actual words!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Lost the bees

Last night I got home to find no activity in the hive, even when I gave the entrance a friendly little scratch. I went inside to relax, but worry about the hive was bothering  so I decided to pop the lid and take a peek. The hive was dead, it had to have happened within the last few days. The bees didn't starve, they still had plenty of honey. There was a strange crystalized residue in the cells throughout.  I knew their numbers were low, but something killed them all at once. Another strange thing, while cleaning out the hive (back breaking work) I found the queen cage that I installed last summer after the hive had cast off a swarm and gone broodless for weeks. The exit from the cage was sealed with propolis. I cut the cage open and surprise, surprise there was the queen with her attendants entombed. There was no problem with the way the cage was installed, and it's possible that the bees sealed her in after she died, but it was shocking to discover her with the little blue dot, her poor life cut short by an unwelcoming welcome committee.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


There's another change coming at work that's just going to make the employees miserable. I think it's definitely a case of " be careful what you wish for" from the public. They've been clamoring to be able to place holds for the entertainment DVD's. Since each person can have up to five holds on their card, I predict there will be a substantially longer wait for the movies. The browsing collection will empty out and there will be NO new movies on the shelf. Another undesirable result will be the extra number of people getting library cards. The timing of this is exquisite. My last day is May 17th. and this new policy goes into effect in May.

My exodus is right on time!

Monday, March 14, 2016

There are exactly 9 more  Mondays to endure before my retirement. I really want to cash out my three weeks of vacation, but don't know if I can make it.

There's one homeschooling mother that I just can't abide. She comes in almost every Monday evening. Her children are wildly uncontained as they enter the building. They flail and  loudly and constantly vie for her attention. I'm not sure why since she's a complete shrew. Every time she comes in she stays until she's browbeaten one of her children into sobbing. EVERY SINGLE STINKING TIME! She seems to derive some sort of satisfaction from verbally wearing them down until they cry. It teeters on the edge of child abuse w/o her even lifting a finger. If my job wasn't dependent on my silent endurance I'd tell her what I think of her emotional sadism.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Only 73 days now, but the wait seems interminable. This last month I've learned that shortly after I retire things are going to be changed at work. Some of the changes I see as a positive and there's one biggie that I'm going to be overjoyed to miss.

They're going to change the process for buying incidentals from local merchants. Now there will be money budgeted in advance that can be spent for things such as  holiday treats, craft supplies, refreshments for programs, etc... This is a vast improvement on the current process that requires a paper copy of a purchase request be submitted  to the district manager who sends it back within the next month if it doesn't get lost in the process. Then arrangements have to be made for the manager to do the actual shopping which results in sometimes receiving something similar to what was needed a month ago. I can't tell you how many cookies, candies, balloons, paper plates, etc... I've purchased in circumvention of this policy over the years, all from my own measly salary.

The meeting room is going to receive a much needed facelift with new lightweight  tables and chairs. As the situation is now, I move all those broken down heavy furniture pieces twice a week and I have for the last 20 years.

Now, on to the change that I'm going to be overjoyed to miss:

So, when library materials are checked out, they're added to the branch collection where they're returned, then the pack mules, I mean librarians are responsible for balancing out their branch's collection by pulling, packing up, and shipping materials somewhere else. How this is going to work is anybody's guess, but I sincerely don't believe it's going to go well for either the patrons or employees. What I do know for sure is I and my tricky back aren't having any part of it. Instead I'll either be swimming at the lake, riding my motorcycle, paddling my kayak, or lounging in my garden with the bees, a book to read and a tall glass of green tea close by.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Full of piss and vinegar, still have 74 days of work. I want to cash out my vacation, but don't think I can hang for 2 months w/o another week of vacation. My house re-fi is completed. J found out his student loans will be reduced based on his income, which was a huge relief to him. Who ever thinks they'll almost complete a degree, run out of money and never recover the will to soldier on and finish it? No one, but it happens. J was left with no credentials for all the hard work invested other than those damn school loans.  He gave me a promise ring and promised to marry me, but I'm not sure I'm ready to take that leap. If he hadn't already walked out on me once I wouldn't have as many doubts, but I'm so old, twice divorced, jaded. I just don't think I can muster the required blind faith .

Thursday, February 25, 2016

I need to be in my own private space with my own private misery. I only have 81 days to my retirement date. I had to move it back to allow extra time to pay off medical bills and push up another little pile of money. It's not a great length of time but still seems longer than I can bear.

I'm especially miserable today because of some private life events. J gave me a promise ring,  and when I asked him what he was promising, he replied that he promised to marry me. Considering the fact that in all the 7 years we've lived together I've never pushed the idea of marriage, his answer was slightly underwhelming. I liked my son's answer to the same question better. When  he gave his girlfriend a promise ring he promised to always love her. Well, that was then and this is now. They married in May, 8 months later they had a fight and Christian told her he hated her and wanted a divorce. After giving her the silent treatment for four days he apologized and said he had no idea why he'd said such an awful thing. Why do we hurt the ones we profess to love?

I came home last night to find the dishes still piled high despite the fact that J had the last two days off work. I resolved to ignore that and have a nice evening together. I just sat down at his computer when the PornHub site popped up. It discombobulated me, but I rebooted the computer and thought no more about it. But when we sat down to watch Trevor Noah on the big screen, guess what popped up? PornHub again!. J's immediate reaction was WTF, and then he said it must be malware causing a glitch. I said nothing about the same site popping up  just an hour before on his computer. While watching Trevor Noah, I reached over and companionably patted him on the knee, but when I did he instinctively shrank away from me, almost as if he found my touch repulsive. We have had sex exactly two times in the last 2 years. I've tried to come to terms with the fact that we're both getting older and that J's libido isn't very lively. Since J had committed weeks before to filming the B-Movie Monsters at a neighborhood bar I had some time to myself. As soon as he left I polished off a bottle of wine at a pretty rapid clip, and then the tears started flowing. I went to bed and cried myself to sleep, and in the morning I thought, Good I'm done with all that, but I'm really not. I am hurt. I just don't understand. What does he want from me? Does he just want the security of being married and having a more financially stable base (Yeah, I'm not paying the  student loan bills he incurred before I ever met him.) Does he just need companionship and think of me as a friend? It breaks my heart and makes me weep.

So far this year, I've had surgery and had to push my retirement date back, I've refi-ed my house, suffered the nervousness of submitting the final paperwork for retirement and it's only February. I still have my tax return to file and I'm just unwilling to make any more major life decisions right now. I just want to go home and hide my head.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

It's as though there's a horrible plot afoot to keep me from retiring. I've scheduled my appt. to have my retirement paperwork filled out, but couldn't find an appt. open till the very end of March. I wanted to retire then, but instead I'll be cooling my heels for another 3 months. It seems like a cruel joke to drag this mfing process out for another 3 months. I don't know if I can bear it. I could bridge the gap and just say to hell with it and live off my supplemental retirement fund until the pension checks start coming. I don't want to be imprisoned at home, not having a spare penny to my name while I interminably wait. I have the opportunity to switch jobs with another employee, but it would be similar to jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Not only do I not want to work as many hours, I really don't want to work at all anymore. I want to putter in my garden with my bees and ride my motorcycle, paddle my kayak, and I don't want to be enslaved to my paycheck.

I don't know if I'm making the right decision or not. I don't know if I should marry J or not. I don't know if I should send the letter to Chrish I wrote or not.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Why is that when there's one person you simply can't stand at work, you end up in the next cubicle? Your dislike swells to loathing as you listen to every inane comment they make, their full throated laughter at their own jokes, the grinding of their molars on the handful after handful of pretzels going down their skinny craw. Then their phone alarm goes off as it does each and every stinking day. Even though the phone is within inches of their hand, the chiming  goes on and on until they're able to muster the energy to move their hand the inches required to shut it off.  It's going to be such a happy day when I don't ever have to see his face again, or hear his hard soled shoes slapping the floor as he regales us with  his words of wisdom in his special authoritative man voice.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The doctor's office just called. They will not give me the results to my CT scan without another office visit. That tidily elevated my blood pressure and I headed directly to the scanning center that conducted the test over lunch. All that was required was signing a release form and the scan report and images were handed directly to me within minutes. It's taking me a little bit of effort to understand the test results, but I get the general idea. I still have a large kidney stone between my kidney and my bladder. It's too large to pass and will need to be surgically removed. The stone is too large for the extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy treatment, so surgery it is. There's no possibility of just waiting it out, the stone is too large to pass and the three episodes of crippling pain I've experienced leave no doubt I need treatment asap. The next question is what caused the kidney stones in the first place, and I'm guessing it's because I left a bladder infection untreated for too long. I did go to my GP for a urinalysis, and was prescribed two concurrent rounds of antibiotic. It didn't help and I had to wait for a couple weeks to get an appointment with the urologist who is now holding  my treatment hostage to another consultation fee. The treatment costs approx. 10,000. I hope my retirement doesn't have to be delayed because of this, or someone may have to die!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Well, I had my CT scan today, the doctor will receive the results from the test on Monday. The scanning center is also supposed to send test results to my email. Surprisingly,  the technician administering the test asked me if I'd had a sudden weight gain or loss. I did gain a lot of weight over the summer, couldn't understand it. I'd never been that heavy even immediately after childbirth. This past month that extra weight has melted off, just haven't had much appetite, and the medication has left me feeling a little nauseous. It's better to feel that way than to exhaust myself with constant trips to the restroom. The technician was guessing kidney stones, hopefully it won't be cancer and they'll have an effective treatment plan that will fix me up quickly.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The New Year hasn't had an auspicious start for me. I was so sick and had to use several vacation days to limp through the first week of 2016. J is a grump and all I see of him is the back of his head and all I hear is how dire the coming year will be. Who knows? He may be right, according to Baba Vanga (immediately brings to mind Baba Yaga), Barack Obama is the last US president. Her predictions are horrifyingly accurate, but I'm curious about the predictions she made that resulted in the 15% error rate. I always want to take a peek behind the curtain. I've started my retirement  knitting project. I comfort myself with  images of chillin' in my springtime garden with a book, something cool to drink, my knitting, wearing my stylish knitted cable-front tunic and just listening to the Golden Sisters buzz.   I'm using Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy yarn, and I love the cool drapiness of it. The pattern is for a thigh length tunic, but I hope to successfully modify the pattern into dress length. I bought extra yarn, and cross my fingers that I bought enough. Here's a pic of the progress to date. I have exactly 88 days to finish it.

We had our family Christmas early, and Sara really liked the socks I made for her. I think they turned out pretty well for a first time two color knitting attempt.

Monday, December 21, 2015


Only 100 days until retirement. I'm going to try to cash out my remaining 4 weeks of vacation, but don't know if I can hold on for that long. I am just so tired of the public and their whininess and incessant needs.

For instance, tonight a man came in inquiring about a meeting that was supposed to be at our facility, according to an email he received on his phone. The email supposedly originated from Kentucky. I'm not sure why a Kentucky politician would be meeting for a question and answer session in IN.   When I checked the schedule there was nothing. He still insisted on staying for 30 min. past the supposed meeting start time, just to make sure. Meanwhile he felt obliged to convey his repellent  political views to  non-receptive staff. Yeah, I hope I can hold out with that vacation.

Saturday, December 19, 2015


Today, only 30 min. till closing, a young woman walked up to the information desk and asked if I had any recommendations for her since she'd  just finished  reading the Fifty Shades of Grey. I had no suggestions because I don't read that crap,  but willingly googled titles for her. As I was writing names of series (there's an alarming number of bondage series, it's become quite the trend), she started asking, "Do you have this title? What about this one? Since there was no way for me to look up more than one thing simultaneously I placed the note on the desk and said, so you do have a list of specific titles? She snatched the note with series titles I'd been jotting and said she could look them up herself and stalked off. I hope all her dreams come true and someone beats her soon.

102 more stinking days of this bullshit!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Forest healing

This weekend was filled with nature. Saturday morning I decided to check out Tel-Hy. I'm not sure if it's within Huntington's city limits or not, but if not it's very close. The nature preserve consists of two trails through the forest, one along the river bank and the other keeps to the high ground in parallel. I went early in the morning, but didn't see many creatures. I heard an eagle's scree, but the only creature I saw was this teeny tiny snail. I did notice the residual odors of a skunk's den, but thank goodness didn't see those either. Despite being so close to town the high riverbanks muted sound and it was a beautiful peaceful place to spend the morning.

Sunday I paddled the Pigeon with Jean, Nick, Ruth and her brother, Steve. He came in shorts and sandals and had never kayaked before, but of course it was me who went into the drink. That's the first time I've gotten that wet when it was cold and it definitely impressed the possibility of hypothermia into my mind. Last year when we paddled the Mississinewa in November two canoers went in, and even though they had a change of clothes they still looked miserable for the duration of the trip. I would be in much worse shape with my long hair and no way to get it  dry and myself warm. I'm realizing that my skills are not up to any challenging water, and I'd much rather capsize in the summertime. Actually I didn't capsize, instead we had to portage around a fallen tree and while going down the bank I tripped, fell and let go of my boat. The current had it out of my reach, but that didn't stop me from trying and before I knew it I was in up to my waist. Changing wet clothes in the woods was an experience I have no need to repeat, but if I keep paddling realize is probably inevitable. Jean's trying to talk me into committing to the Manistee River trip the end of May and since I'll be retired then, I just might start planning now.
I have zero tolerance for the problems and attitudes of John Q. I have had more than one lifetime's worth of interaction with the great unwashed. They are scrupulous in demanding their desires, but they're easily distracted, oooohh look at something shiny, flashy, Disneyfied.  I lose count of the times I've found the one item they just asked for only to find it tossed in the return bin. So worth my time to scour the building looking for their one particular needle in the haystack only to find it spurned and cast aside. Wait! Didn't you just ask me for this item out of the tens of thousands that are here a few minutes ago? and now you no longer want it? I can't stand this stuff anymore, it's driving me crazy. I long for the time when my schedule is my own, when I'm no longer a public slave,  chained by my need to continue paying that neverending mortgage for my seriously dilapidated old house.

Right now I hate my life, loathe my work, feel abandoned by my partner. All I can do is hold on, keep breathing, try hard not to snarl. Only 2 more hours of the great unwashed and then I can go home and hide my head, re-work the knitting on the cursed pair of socks I'm making. I'm almost afraid to give them to anyone I've had such bad luck while making them.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I almost deleted my blog today. When I retire I'll lose all my photos anyway since my online work  presence will be erased. It's an uncomfortable feeling to see 30 years of life and work erased, even if it is by your own hand. At my last performance review I was instructed to clear out programming files even though a good portion of those files were added by other employees. I've gotten to the point of discarding almost everything since programming is so individualistic. I like the idea of future employees going to the files and finding virtually zilch. Here's a tree invent your own damn wheel.

I have 112 days until retirement. I count down the days with great anticipation at the same time admitting to trepidation. Am I making a colossal mistake? Will I have enough money for retirement? Will I end up on the street? My health is starting the long slow decline. Most days I feel like doing fuck-all.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Overheard a little girl pretend reading, "You have to come to my party, you can't just sit there and play on your phone all day." Her mother was sitting 2 ft. away on guessed it... smart phone. Her expression never changed, don't know if she was so entranced by her  phone she didn't hear it or she just didn't care. Either way, that little girl was petitioning in as polite a way as possible for some attention from her parental unit. In a couple years Mom will probably be wondering why her child is struggling at school and having behavioral issues. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Fawn River Nature Preserve

Drove up to Fawn River Nature Preserve  for a hike with J and the weather couldn't have been more  sublime. The entrance to the preserve was 800 ft. down a lane and  through a vine covered archway and was a puzzle to find.It was so warm we hiked without coats. According to the ACRES guidebook, the trail was only 1 mi. in length but nicely hilly to stretch our kinks out. We climbed down the river bank and walked along the water's edge. Maybe I'd even paddled through this section before. The Fawn is completely different type river from the St. Joe, curvy with lots of current and dead-falls in the water. We didn't see any wildlife until we were in the car headed out and then we saw a gang of turkeys in the middle of the road, but they stealthed away before we could get a photo. What a beautiful day.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

I Flowed the Saint Joe

Paddled the Flow the St. Joe for the first time. I woke with a sore throat and dithered about going for a while. The temps were only in the 50's with showers predicted and I wasn't sure if I was capable of the effort. J helped me get the boat on my car and I arrived just before the ending bell for launch. Only a few people brought their own boats, most paddled livery kayaks. I paid my fee and got the boat to the launch in time to catch the last van back to my boat at the put in. I was feeling harried and not so sure of my decision, but as soon as I got on the water, all was well. This section of the St. Joe is  broad and flat and seemed more like lake paddling than other rivers I've paddled. The current was slow, but the scenery was magnificent, with the leaves still changing colors and the breeze riffling the water. When we arrived at the lunch spot we were made cozy with a log fire and a feast spread with sandwich fixings and veggies and fruit. They also had a bluegrass band to serenade the paddlers. Everything was going splendidly until it started to rain. I stood around in the rain for awhile and watched as half the paddlers opted to bail instead of going for another couple hours. I decided I didn't want to leave my boat unattended while jockeying the car, so opted to finish the paddle in the rain. I passed a couple other paddlers, but then realized that I wasn't really sure of the location of the take out, and it brought this story to mind. The first time I heard about it I thought it was funny that someone had to be rescued from Pigeon Creek, but when I started thinking about paddling without a guide who knew exactly where the take out was located, I wasn't quite as cocky. The river banks although gorgeously beautiful are not generous with landmarks. Just as I started to worry, the event organizers puttered their pontoon up the channel to the take out. Otherwise I guess I would have just kept paddling till I got to Fort Wayne. As it was, I paddled approx. 8 mi. and was glad I braved the elements.