Monday, June 25, 2007

Take the cake

Andrea turned another year older today. There's not much I can say except how much she amazes me, and how much I love her. Her favorite dinner includes revenge. She's tall but not yet elegant--working on it. She's learning to choose.

Parents sometimes talk about children as being their legacy. That almost but not quite touches it.

I touched the surface of the ocean, and the waves have made the ripple mighty.

Happy birthday, Andrea. Blessed be!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I've got Time?!

I have two days off in a row and only a half day of work on Monday! I can do whatever I want! I spent the whole day with my family, and I can sleep in and do stuff!! I watered my plants in the rain! I pet the cats! I got myself two new pairs of pants! I sat on the deck under the gazebo and read a book! I ate a wonderful lunch at Rock Bottom! And tomorrow, I can do more stuff and I'm not at work I'm not at work I'm!!!!!

Kami will not be able to continue this post as she has exploded.

She'll be back.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Must ... finish ... projects ... Plus, Andrea gets shoes

I'm typing with my new, wonderful, deep purple fingerless gloves that a friend knitted for me. It's cold in the office, where yesterday's weather likes to linger, and they're perfectly warming especially across my wrists where I often suffer pain from carpal tunnel syndrome.

Rory reminded me that I'm neglecting my poor office. I've tiled the minimum space and then I abandoned the finishing work for "later." You all know about later, that mythical future time when there will be peace on Earth and no one will have to earn a living, when houses will paint themselves and my favorite peony will be worshipped as a goddess in certain circles.

Or maybe your later is different.

Anyway, it's past time to finish this puppy, er, office, off. I have to finish tiling first, tiling which I enjoy once I've got all my duckies in a row and put on some music. It takes about an hour to lay five tiles, not counting cutting time, and I've gotten to a stage where just about every tile will need to be cut. I think I've got six, maybe seven uncut tiles to go.

But this is all blathering, thinking about work that needs to be done. At the root of all this is a desire to finish. I want to finish Masks. I want to finish the office, and the porch project, and the vegetable garden (although finishing anything in a gardening sense is even more mythical than later.) There's too much juggling and it's time to set some of the pieces down.

This is probably all brought on by the work schedule. The day after tomorrow, I'm off. I'm free I'm free I'm free! Yee! Just for a day, but that's enough compared to, well, no day. I'd like to finish something that day.

In other news, my daughter Andrea and I went shoe shopping today. I got a pair of shoes for work that are, ahem, somewhat un-work like but I don't think anyone will look close enough to notice. They enclose the toe and the heel, a requirement. They are not sneakers. Voila! Perfect. (Don't mind the skull and crossbones print all over them--it just looks like a geometric design from a distance and who looks at my feet anyway? So there!) Andrea picked up her first set of heels for her 8th grade end of year celebration. I can get all teary-eyed at how my little girl is growing up and choosing (she actually planned on borrowing my heels--which I needed for work and that's how we decided we both needed at least one pair of 'other' shoes) to wear nice shoes and nice clothes to a ceremonial event. Instead of being teary-eyed, though, I'm just so very proud of her it makes me grin. I think she's realized that her jeans and t-shirt lifestyle is a safe place to be and that being safe all the time won't get her to where she wants to go. So she's trying something different, and it's very awesome. You go, Andrea! Mom won't cry. You're not going away. You're becoming (in more ways than one) and that makes me happy.

Misty, aka Mistah Fluff, our long-haired gray mackerel kitty, has leapt on my lap and declared "meh-eh." And now she's purring like crazy.

You said it Mistah. Meh eh!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

A good day

Today the air calmed, so when I walked into the garden after work the fragrance from our roses kept kissing my face. Kissing is the best word I can come up with. You catch the scent, and it catches you and you want to chase it all at once. All the varieties of roses have their own personal scent, somewhat like a human being does. Lagerfeld is so heavenly it's almost overpowering. Blue Girl is sweet but still has that classic rose sharpness that stabs our nose and says rose perfume. Oldtimer would be candy sweet except it's gentle and softened by musk. All these roses and more mingle into a whiskey blend that stops me in my tracks, but stopping is a mistake. You lose power if you stop. Your nose dulls to the scent while the never-still air runs off with the scent. You just have to keep moving, and if you don't get another kiss, well, you'll have to go steal one by burying your face in a blossom. They feel nice. The petals have that coolness of silk combined with a texture that reminds me of youthful human skin. That creeps me out if I think about it too much.

Also today I got to watch the goats pigging out on blackberries. In a heroic assault my husband and my son tackled the fencing project and finished it, on Father's Day no less. At first the goats were nervous. I'm sure they thought it was a nasty trick. But greed overcame their fears and shortly after I got home from work they started feasting. Serious feasting too. The romans would have had nothing on these goats, who behaved as if we starved them. Especially Skunk, of course. Skunk's body has deepened and she's got quite the belly on her, meaning that she has to act the hungriest of all, grunting and commenting while she gorges herself.

They were, and are, very happy goats. It couldn't have happened without my son's hard work, and I hope he felt real pride. I think he knew he was supposed to, and said as much, as we stood on the deck and watched the goats milling around the edges of a massive blackberry wall. He may not realize it, but he made Rory's Father's Day special and good.

It's going to take the goats a good while to eat those berries down. I expect though that in the war of goat vs. blackberries, the goats will win, especially since they have victorious veteran goats on their side. All hail Skunk, mighty goat general.

It was a good day. I hope most everyone had a good day, though I know not everyone will. I had some young adults go through the checkstand today, three sibs. They bought about $60 worth of candy, pop and chips, and two Father's Day cards. After seeing the total, they decided to put the Father's Day cards back because they were too expensive. They'd call dad instead, because he'd like that just as well as a card. I'm guessing, since they'll be calling, that they won't be seeing him in person and therefore sharing the candy, pop and chips with him. They gave me a $100 bill to pay for their stuff. Who knows. Maybe their dad is a jerk. Anyway, it made me sad. It felt good to come home to family and to smell the roses.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Part time work means never having to say I'm available

Before I start, heh, I love the Moody's comment about a period agricultural event. If only ...

And doubly before I start again, I apologize for the repost. This was meant to be posted here and ended up on INK due to some weirdness of Blogger. Eh, I'll live with it, because I'm essentially lazy.

I've been griping about my work schedule for a couple of days now. Apparently part time has been translated into Kami working six days in a row, getting one day off (Wednesday) and then working some more followed by getting Saturday off. Okay, yes, I'm looking forward to the ensuing fat paycheck. But dang! I have stuff to do, people! Once again I'm facing an unhappy chat with the manager which may not become necessary if, on the upcoming Thursday, I look at the schedule and see a heap of days off in a row. Problem solved. Normally I make excuses for management along the lines of so-and-so is on vacation or what's-her-name is sick so we have to fill in, yay checking account. In this case, though, a managerial type is on vacation and there is no such thing as filling in from the ranks for that position. Other supers fill in, not us grunts. They even pulled a super from another store to help. So what gives??!!

What gives is someone who doesn't like to do scheduling, or any paperwork for that matter. Rather than deal with the issue by making everything as automatic as possible (by making the schedule almost identical each week, shuffling people around only as needed to cover vacations, etc.) the manager has chosen to just fill shifts with qualified personnel in pencil apparently at random until all shifts are covered and then tack the schedule on the wall. Which is followed by us recipients of said schedule looking at it and scratching our heads wondering WTF. This negates such niceties like being able to say with fair certainty if you can make the picnic in two weeks or the Friday meeting down at the local burger joint that happens every other week. There isn't even a pattern as to shift or post. Nor is there much advance notice--it's posted week by week, one week at a time Sunday-Saturday on Thursdays, period. How in the world can people plan weekend stuff with their families if they only know if they'll get the Sunday after the Saturday off two days in advance? I've never seen a schedule done this way, dartboard style. I hope to never again. It's terribly inconvenient for everyone, including the schedule maker, although he probably doesn't see it that way. For him, short term, it appears to be the least stressful way to fill positions.

He'll be retiring soon. I like the man, and yet, yay!!

He needs to retire. In the meantime, apparently working part time means never having to say I'm available on a given day. Boo, drat.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pass the Epsom Salt, please

I've been working like a maniac in the garden again (I guess there's a case to be made for writing 'still' rather than 'again'.) Today I put in about ten hours solid. It's looking up out there, but man, there's still so much to do and I can't keep this pace up. So now it's damage control, sort of. There's really no damage when I give up on stuff--just weeds move in and I don't get all the seeds planted that I want to.

Most seeds, with a few exceptions, can hang out for a year or three and get planted during a different year. The germination rate drops to be sure, and you have to store them carefully (cool-ish temps, dry, dark) but otherwise they're a low-maintenance carry over to the next year. Less seed to buy next year, I guess, but I'm a bit disappointed with myself. I mean, come on, if I'd kept up my mental schedule of getting at least one type of seed in the ground every dry, workable soil day once the growing season kicked in I'd be golden right now.

Man, I really want to get corn in this year. Corn doesn't keep very well.

Kami scowls at the computer, trying to think of a reasonable way to get corn in this year.

Kami thinks about a tractor.

Kami's scowl at the computer deepens as she considers the expense of renting a tractor.

Kami thinks about fresh corn grown in her own garden, pesticide free, sweet, and those tall, handsome stalks whispering in the wind.

Kami thinks more about a tractor.

Kami looks at her wallet.

Hey, hand digging isn't that bad, is it?

Ugh. Pass the epsom salt, please. I need to take a hot bath and not think about corn. Ugh! No corn, no corn, no corn--corn corn corn corn corn corn Corn!

I guess we'll have to rent a tractor. Or get the roto-tiller started. Shake shake shake, shake the corn field!

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Sometimes a splurge-y purchase is something that adds nothing. The next day that pair of shoes might be entirely forgotten. The pizza will be eaten. You might desperately want to forget the movie, and pretend you didn't spend good money to go see that turd-come-to-life.

Other times, it transforms quality of life.

We brought home two large boxes, and Rory spent the afternoon putting the contents together with intermittant help from me. When he was finished, we had a gazebo centered on our deck with real outdoor deck furniture, cushions and all, on it. I've seen places with outdoor living spaces. I hadn't imagined we'd end up with one so soon, or that it would come together so quickly. And it fits, really fits the house. It's comfortable to sit there. I spent a good hour reading and felt as cozy as if I had been lounging in our living room, only with the incredible feeling of fresh air. And when it rains, it's nice out there, to be outside without getting drizzled on and yet I get to bask in that rain-scented atmosphere with the tattered clouds drifting silver among the deep green firs. I used to stand under the narrow eave with the rain drops dripping just past my nose and watch the thunderstorms. Now I can sit, or lean on the rail, and dream-watch.

The cats have given their stamp of approval and nap on the cushions in all kinds of weather. After it had been pouring last night, Claire, our allergic-losing-half-her-hair gray short-haired mackerel kitty, came in perfectly dry. She could wait out the weather inside without having to be let in.

Oh yeah, I think I forgot to mention, I love it. Did you catch that?

In garden news, the hollyhocks now have leaves as big as pumpkin leaves, and the buds keep getting bigger and bigger, the stalks taller and taller--how big do these things get again?

In goat news, we're ready to start stringing fence. We also need 15 more steel posts. Soon, soon my fuzzy darling goats will be unleashed on the unsuspecting blackberries.

Those blackberries are starting to come into bloom. When the weather warms again we'll have bees everywhere humming happily. I'm sure they're eagerly awaiting the blackberry bloom flush, as the poppies have pooped out. Oh, how those bees love the big, orange, oriental poppies. The bees swim inside them, drunk with the sheer quantity of pollen, purple pollen that turns the bees purple and makes it hard for them to fly.

Talk of blackberries makes me think of August, when the berries are ripe, and the August Babies Birthday Bash, and sleeping on the deck. Mmmm.

It's all coming back to me, the things I missed during winter, those things outside. I love being outside. Tomorrow it's supposed to be sunny, so hopefully I'll be there. Outside. Oh yes, even if it rains, I think I'll still be there, outside.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Getting things done

Around here it's been like "Getting Things Done with Delores". For non-fans (people with a real life?) of "Dead Like Me," Delores is a middle manager character who viewers discover has webcams all over her studio (except in the bathroom) where people can watch her getting things done. She describes it as pressure relief for those who want to get things done but don't have the same energy as her--and they find her inspiring. When the main character goes to stay with Delores she is taken a bit aback by the pace Delores keeps, washing dishes, vacuuming, changing light bulbs, putting up new contact paper in the cupboards (her blog viewers voted on which one since Delores couldn't decide between the two,) etc. Anyway, for whatever reason, be it seasonal, hormonal, meteorological, cyclical, lunar, solar, stellar, pschic or any reason beyond my ken, I've been on a cleaning binge. And when I go outside, I weed like a demon. Like the main character in Dead Like Me, I'm a bit taken aback by myself. I mean, good gods, I even ironed my altar cloth.


To answer a few questions (thanks for the comments!) the Nanopubye blog will eventually resurface at the newly redone Nanopubye site, when the webmaster manages to get to it. She has a lot on her hands, hoping to set up with a much less crash prone server. So all that content hasn't disappeared. The site did go poof without warning, due to a crash I presume, but no data was lost and all will be well. Unfortunately, until I update my confuter (someday) I suspect that the format will involve frames, which for me will mean I'll be reading things in long, single word columns and some options will be invisible. Such is life with an old Mac.

In other news, the garden and puppies are growing apace, and we have a visiting dog who will be staying with us for the weekend--perhaps you've heard of Ris' Beau. Although he's a decent-sized dog of much mixed heritage, he's the smallest dog. So far he's settling in nicely. Soon he'll wear himself out chasing, being chased by and playing and roaming with the other dogs and will probably take a long nap. Also in other news, the Nissan (pushing steadily towards 300,000 miles) had its engine light come on again (groan!!) and so I'm taking it in today, dreading the news. If the Nissan dies I'll be back to driving the awesome but gas-hogging truck. The truck is less gas-hoggy these days, though, as Rory discovered a loose hose that squirted gas (how the truck ran like that I'll never know) and plugged it back in. The gas odor whilst running vanished (no surprise there) and the gas mileage improved (also no surprise.) Still, with nationwide gas prices rising to equal the cost of Hershey's chocolate syrup, I'm not excited about driving another vehicle.

Best get to the auto shop. Mustn't slack off my pace, or my viewers will start complaining how I'm just not getting as much done around here a la Getting Things Done with Delores.

P.S. -- My new pov color is purple, same as the old pov color. So predictable ...

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Return

Well, it looks like it's official. The Nanopubye blog is dead, toast, gone, entirely inaccessible, even possibly deleted. I've emailed the webmaster for the site and maybe, just maybe, it got archived, but she said on the front page that she archived the *forums*, saying nothing of the dozen or so blogs that were reasonably active there.

Too bad, I guess.

Which means I'll have to employ brand new skills and increasing levels of craftiness in order to do what I love the most--create illustrated and entertaining full color posts on a very outdated computer--on this blog. It'll be a challenge. Sometimes I can access some of the pic-sites, sometimes I can't. We're talking one day I can access site X and do whatever and the next I can't, which brings to mind an image of a MIB-style operative smiling as he sees that I've logged online and holding his finger over two keys, one saying grant access, the other saying deny access, and the finger waggles between the two like a weird caterpiller. Hey, I might even be able to post movies, or links to them, eventually, as I get this all figured out. If so, y'all definitely got to see the puppies playing in the snow when they were tiny.

Tiny no more. The puppies have grown into seven month olds, aka white horses.

But I digress.

So this is the officially semi-new full time Kami blog, which may be a yay or a boo depending on your POV. Catch ya later!