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I'm happy, married, and looking forward to sharing my world with you! If you're interested, that is!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Vain? Me? No way!

So I've never considered myself vain.

I've never been all that concerned with my looks, no more, I dare say, than any girl.

I've never been obsessed with clothes or makeup, although admittedly as I get older, I want to look better.

And younger.

Ah, there's that word, younger.

I've always been told I look younger than my age.

I'm 54.


5 decades + 4 more years.

ALMOST 5 more years, in just a couple of months.

My mom doesn't look her age (39).  (Thanks, Jack Benny!)

So I sort of always expected to look younger than my chronological years.


Yesterday I went shopping at Nordstrom Rack, in Wayne, NJ.  It was the pre-grand-opening grand opening, by invitation only.  I was the "plus 1" for my girlfriend.  We went inside, picked out a few things to try on and got on line to use the dressing room (it was crowded!).

They took me in first and the girl told me she'd put my friend in the room across and catty-corner from me.

Later on, after champagne and mini appetizers, we bought our stuff and went to the Bahama Breeze Island Grille for dinner.

As we were walking in, my "friend" told me that the girl who brought her into the dressing room told her she was putting her across from her - wait for it - MOTHER!

The only reason I didn't go postal and/or jump in front of a moving vehicle in the parking lot is because my "friend" really does look a LOT younger than her 37 years. In fact, she barely looks 20. So I guess even if I looked 45, I could have been her mother.

Good thing you don't tip the dressing room attendants. THAT one would be very, very, VERY poor.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Yes, Believe It or Not, Still Alive and Kicking!!!

Rumors of my death are highly exaggerated...

Nope. Not dead (thank God!).

Newly employed, as of October 1, working for my former boss from three jobs ago. I have a new title - Operations Manager. I do lots of things - manage the office, create PowerPoints and spreadsheets, answer the phones, order supplies, work with vendors, work with customers. I guess I do a little of everything, and I'm hoping to make myself indispensable so I won't ever get laid off again.

Of course, when I win enough in the lottery not to have to work again, then they can lay me off.

So what's new in my life?


* I have a beautiful new baby great niece who was born on 10/8. She weighed 6 lbs, 11 oz, and was 20-1/4" long. She's just beautiful and will hereby be referred to as "my beautiful great niece G." She's not mine so I won't post pictures of her but suffice it to say that you've never seen as beautiful a baby girl as her, except her cousin, my other beautiful great niece E.

* My mom had some surgery late last week, and we had a minor scare today - she had a stent put in her femoral artery and once she came home she noticed her ankles were swelling. We were a bit worried about the possibility of a clot but after a doctor's visit and an ultrasound/bilateral venous Doppler, the verdict is:  NO CLOTS.  Just a lot of fluid in her tissues from the IV fluids they were giving her in the hospital.  YAY!  Mom's okay!

* Hubby's radiation treatments are over. He's gone to two follow up appointments, one at the urologist's office and one at the cancer center. Neither were conclusive because neither did blood work - apparently you don't do that for at least a couple/few months after the radiation is done.  In fact, although they're doing some bloodwork in November, we should really wait until next May's test results to shout "We're cancer-free!" from the rooftops.

It's not as bad as it sounds. They all assured us that he'd be fine, that we'd be happy with the lower PSA numbers, but apparently doing the bloodwork too soon won't give us the real picture. His body is still busy fighting the radiation.

I've seen a vast improvement in some of the symptoms - he's not falling asleep at 8pm, as soon as his head hits the pillow, like he was doing after a week or two of treatments.  He's much more alert when he's driving, although I admit to watching him like a hawk to be sure his eyes don't droop, he doesn't look sleepy, and if I ask him to explain the internal combustion engine or baseball one more time to keep him talking, I think he's going to start slapping me around! (Not really, but he'll probably get really annoyed with me!)

* This new job of mine is good. I've discovered they really have no problem with me making changes or updates to their systems, filing, ordering - really, I can do almost anything I want if I think it's going to be better, more efficient, etc. I am a bit of a mouse when it comes to doing without asking first, but they keep on telling me to just take the initiative, do what I want, change what I want, just let them know what I'm doing so they can find it, file it, get it, send it, etc. It's nice to just make a decision and implement it, even something so small as changing how we label something in our Dropbox files because it makes more sense my way...

* The economy is NOT doing as well as people would like to think. For instance, gas prices/heating oil prices are low, so they're not doing an annual Social Security increase. Yea, but what about everything else that is INcreasing, like taxes, food, transportation, etc. Not only did I lose my job this past January 31, my sister lost hers a month or two ago. My other sister is temporarily on leave (without pay) because there isn't any work in her company. My best friend just lost her job. Her daughter was laid off at the beginning of the summer.  If everything is so great, why are people losing their jobs?  (This is not open for political discourse either, this is just a personal rant!)

* It's about 80 degrees today, sunny and beautiful.  Of course this weekend we're due for two cold fronts that will apparently drop our temperature to sub-freezing levels. I guess while I've been cursing the fact that I put my summer clothes away these past two days, I should be glad I have my winter sweaters and work pants out and ready for fall. Or winter. Or whatever decides to rear its ugly head.

* I'm trying to make some changes in my time management, specifically in my free time. I want to read more, catch up on Downton Abbey (I'm only up to S2E3), make time to be more creative, and really start on the Marie Kondo method of tidying up my life. If you don't know what I'm referring to, just click here:  Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-Decluttering-Organizing. The idea of reducing my clothing to just what I really like, what really brings me joy...  I might be down to only one or two pairs of black pants, not the 10 or 15 I now have!!! (Just for one example...)

Well, it's 5pm and I'm going to leave now - took 10 minutes to write this post...  I'm going to try to stay up on this here blog'o'mine since I'm going to be spending serious time in front of my computer for the foreseeable future... So hopefully I'll be back soon, much sooner than 3.5 months...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Señor Don Gato Lyrics

You're quite welcome.  Now that this is stuck in your head...

Saturday, February 07, 2015

A New Reality

I did pretty well last year, doing some regular posting about LEARNing and 30 Days of Lists...

But I fell off the blogging wagon a while back - life just got too busy.  WORK got too busy.  That's where I used to do most of my blogging, in the early hours before anyone else got there.  My usual start time was 7:30am...

But then WORK changed...  I got a new boss, my 5th since I was there, the 3rd in just over a year.  New people were hired, I helped train them.  My job changed.  I took on another person's job when she quit.  We reorganized yet again, and I made it through that restructuring unscathed.

But then the new year rolled around.  You can see when something is going down because the Boys' Club, those 4 men with VP or Director after their names, started keeping their doors closed for meetings.  That's always NOT a good sign.

On Wednesday, January 14, I got an email requesting I attend a Business Update meeting in the HR meeting room the next day.  I knew I was being let go.  There were two other people invited to the same meeting, none of whom was in the office that day, but with 5 minutes of receipt of the email, they had either IM'd me or called.  We all knew our lucky streak was over.  We knew we were being let go.  People/my husband tried the ole "Maybe you're getting promoted" shtick but at publishing house W, you don't get promoted in the HR department.  They just hand you a bunch of extra work and ask you if you want to take over some new responsibilities.  And after about 4 years and almost 1000 people losing their jobs, you say yes and hope for a good raise the next fiscal year...

So the next day we all went downstairs and sure enough, we were laid off.  My severance package precludes me from saying anything bad about my company, but in all honesty, I don't have anything bad to say.  I've been very lucky in my career.  I worked for a company that was successful but run a bit less than efficiently, and I worked with some of my best friends in the world there.  Then I moved here and while one of my best friends followed me over for a while, I was "friendly" with my co-workers but none of them came even close to my SDC posse...  But I've loved my ten years there, and always thought I'd retire (early) from this job, but I guess the consultants had other ideas.  I learned a whole different side of books and publishing and the job was really fun and easy, without any stress or grief from the executives.

So I've applied for unemployment benefits, I'm going to email the HR person to make an appointment to go in and sign my severance contract so they can start sending me my checks, and I'm quite frankly going to hope that I learn to keep house well enough that hubby doesn't age overly quickly with me staying home...  He plans to retire this June, and move on to another job of some kind, to keep busy (read:  Energizer Bunny in lieu of "he").  I'd love to stay home and just find something to do, perhaps a part-time job or some volunteer work...  We'll see what happens.  Thanks to my severance and unemployment and the fact that we don't live beyond our means and couldn't care less about designer names or extravagant cars, restaurants or vacations, we can survive.  It's just a matter of how bored I get or he gets...

Who knows?  Perhaps I'll get back to blogging more regularly...  Maybe I'll have the time to do some things that are a bit more creative and artistic and maybe I'll even share them here...

For now, I'm off to empty yet another box of all the stuff I've accumulated in ten years and sent home these past two weeks.

Monday, November 17, 2014

All About Those Books

LOVE this!!!
Kudos to The Mount Desert Island High School and Mary Ellen and the Readers~

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween!!!

I don't particularly like Halloween.  I don't remember liking anything about it as a kid except the candy.  Candy corn, especially.  Candy corn and Kit Kats.  Candy corn and Kit Kats and Nestles Crunch bars.  Yea, I could go on...

I'm not big on costumes, or masks, or even giving candy to cute little kids who ring my doorbell.  That's because even when I was sort of enjoying that part of it, there were the 16-year-olds standing there with pillowcases, wanting/taking candy but not even making an effort to dress up.

And these days I'm not all that comfortable calling them on it - what's to stop them from pulling out a gun and shooting me?  So I don't give out candy anymore - is there such a thing as a Halloween Scrooge?

Tonight we're going to my SIL to see my great-niece.  I asked her (she's 4) what she was going to be for Halloween.  Her response?

Vampire Elsa.

Really?  She's FOUR, how does she know what a vampire is?  So I asked her.

"It has pointy teeth and blood."

Okay.  Either she's growing up too fast or I'm getting old too fast.  Maybe a little of both.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Kidney Stones

Yea, the title of this post gives away the punchline...

O.M.G.  I ain't never birthed no babies, so I can't compare, but oh.my.God.  The pain!  The God-awful pain!

I have no history of anything like this.  My mom had kidney stones years ago, and I found out (yesterday, in the ER) that they're hereditary and it's likely I'll have a recurrence.  NO.EFFIN'.THANK.YOU.

We were up at the lake; it was garage sale weekend and we only had Saturday since we had a Cousin's Club picnic on Sunday.  We got up and into the car by 8:30, stopped at a few sales and hubby bought a few things:  a gasoline-powered pressure washer and a brand new shop vac for $30.  I bought 4 jigsaw puzzles for my mom. 

We stopped at Dunkin' Donuts to get an iced tea each, and a bagel for me.  A whole OTHER story in itself, a story for another time...  We got into the car and drove to the next sale.  I took a sip or two of tea, then a bite of the bagel.  Literally ONE bite.

After that I stayed in the car while hubby got out to check out a sale and all of a sudden I had THE.WORST.PAIN.IN.MY.SIDE.IMAGINABLE.  It was 1000x worse that my WORST gas pain, and I've been in a lot of pain from gas...

I was panting.  I was sitting, standing, bending, stretching, laying down - NOTHING would ease the pain.  It was so bad I told him to take me to the hospital right away - this was NOT normal.  It was nothing I had ever felt before.  We went back to the lake house - it was only 5 miles away - and picked up all our stuff; by now the pain had eased a bit.  I told him to take me to the nearest hospital, St. Claire's in Dover, but I also said if I didn't have another episode to go to our hospital, Mountainside in Glen Ridge.

I had another bad one on the way.  I can't describe to you how bad it was.  My mother said it was worse than childbirth.  While I can't confirm that, I can tell you it hurt like holy hell!!

[Edited 10/31/14:  I had him take me to Mountainside Hospital, close to our home, when the pain decreased. I was worried if they admitted me, he'd be at the lake without food...}
They took me right into ER Room #1, started an IV line of fluids, and gave me an IV dose of painkiller and anti-nausea medicine.  The painkiller was incredible.  From the second they inserted it into the IV line, my body felt as if it weighed 800 pounds and was sinking into the gurney.  Hubby said I was as high as a kite.  Everyone sounded small.  Small and far, far away.  Immediately there was no pain. 

I asked, but they don't provide doggy bags of this painkiller.  Rats...

I had one more episode in the hospital so they gave me another dose of that good stuff.  But then they discharged me.

He didn't want me to walk all the way to the parking lot; I couldn't have anyway.  I was LOOPY!  He sat me down in a chair by the door.  I told him to beep when he got there, if my eyes were closed.

I saw the car pull up so I started to stand.  Slowly and very carefully I started to stand.  He hopped out and ran around to get me.  As he took my arm, he muttered, "$hit.  I didn't."  He tried to open the car door, and it was locked.

The automatic door locks on our Subaru are "UP" for lock and "DOWN" for unlock.  He mistakenly hit the lock button.  I just stood there, swaying a bit, saying helpful things like, "You didn't."  "I'm dizzy."  I went in and asked for a hanger but apparently hospitals don't have things like hangars available.  In the meantime he tried his best to pop the window, and use the windshield wipers taped together to reach the DOWN button.  I came out in the meantime and there were two police cars there.  They refused to help - "We don't do that anymore.  They're calling the Fire Department to help you."

I went back inside and the 21-year-old heavily made-up receptionist used really big words to ask me how I was going to "rectify the situation."  I asked HER for a hangar.  She asked ME if we were going to drive home to get another set of keys.


Even in my drug-induced stupor I knew that wouldn't work.  Our keys were locked IN THE CAR, YOU DIMWIT.

Then he came running in to get me - the wipers worked!  I sank down into the car and we came home.

I slept for a couple of hours, then was up for a while, then took a Percocet and went to sleep.  Overnight I passed part of the stone and the rest of it this morning.  I vomited a little bit, but not too much - I think it was the jalapeños on the bagel...

 I feel a thousand times better today - thank goodness. 

More stories for you later this week....