Saturday, 27 September 2014

Weekend Wrap-up

Sigh.....I'm so glad it's the weekend!    I can hardly believe I made through another of work without screaming out loud or jumping off the roof. Though I did threaten to do the latter at one point.  

We're about to formally kick-off our charitable campaign and another group has chosen to hold an event the same day and time as ours.  I wasn't too worried as I felt the two events were so dissimilar we wouldn't be attracting the same individuals. However, on Wednesday I learned that someone from the other group was talking to though who had purchased tickets for our event, trying to convince them to attend long enough to pick up their lunch and then return to the office for the other session. What a great display of our values; cooperation, respect and professional.

When I took my concerns to our management adviser, she pooh-poohed them.  I think I know why, as she joined us for a canvasser meeting the next day, and there was no one who paid less attention.  It was clearly obvious she feels no connection to what we do or why we do it. I suspect her opinion is indicative of most of management.

This point was proven even more  strongly, when later in the day, I learned the office is planning a safety drill just a half hour before our event.  Not only does this mean our adviser has no intention of helping us set up, but there is a good possibility those attending will be delayed as they are required to attend a de-brief post drill.  

It was at this point I suggested I was ready to leap off the roof.  AND I am terrified of heights!

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It was a good thing I had yesterday off.  I slept in, then went for breakfast, did a little shopping, had my hair done, and just had a relaxing day.  Later I went for dinner with friends, then came home to watch our Riders play football.  It was a debacle!  We've lost our starting quarter back and our back-ups are just not ready  Our defense kept us in the game, but we lost 24-0.  To add injury to insult (literally) with four second left in the game one of our better receivers went down with a serious injury.

I was in bed by midnight but was awake until nearly 5 a.m.  I tossed and turned, planned the program for the kick-off, made mental lists of all the things I need to get done, and tried desperately to relax enough to go to sleep.  At 4 a.m. I gave up briefly, spent a good half hour writing out the program and my lists before I crawled back into bed.  I guess I should have done that sooner!

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This morning I took care of some of my personal to-do list, filled the car with fuel, got my oil changed, had my nails done, and stopped by the dollar store.

I finally got my marble jar.  It will go to work with me on Monday.  Every marble represents a month remaining before I plan to retire.  At the end of each month I will remove a marble from the jar and when I've lost all my marbles I'm done!

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Our weather has turned cool again, with rain and wind.  I had thought I'd get outdoors to gather the leaves that have fallen but it is far too wet.  Instead I'll stay indoors, watch more football, and maybe catch up on my sleep!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.


 


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Random Sunday

Wow, it's been more than a week since I've posted.  It's been a busy week, but I think it's more a case of, if I have nothing good to say, I ought to say nothing at all.  And then too, I have admit I'm a bit of a procrastinator!

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Work has been...work.  We're in the run up to our charitable campaign, one of my staff will be retiring next week so her workload has to be transferred to another and I've been tasked with finding her replacement. I still have to write a number of performance reviews, add this to the regular meetings and daily tasks, and there is lots to do and not enough hours in the day to get it all done.

I've switched my schedule to work 9 hour days in order to take most Friday's off. Having a three day is wonderful and takes away some of the stress.  I start work at 7 a.m. when there fewer people in the office, less interruptions, so more seems to get accomplished!

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After work, I come home tired and ready for nothing more than a quick meal and watching a bit of television before I head to bed early.  Even checking e-mail, or in on Facebook and catching up on blog reading has been more than I can manage recently.

My current show of choice is Big Brother. I know it's pure fluff, but fits my mood perfectly.  Watching these young people scheme and maneuver into positions of power reminds me of.....the office.  This season there was only one "older" competitor and he did well but, though he thought he had a strong alliance, was voted off.  He left expressing feelings of hurt, as the younger competitors no longer need him.  Like I say, just like the office!

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With Friday off, I planned to sleep in.  Ha!  Sami had other ideas and I woke at 7 a.m. to her sitting on my chest tapping my face with her paw.  When I didn't react quickly enough, she let a little bit of claw out (not enough to break the skin) to get my attention.

I spent the morning in the yard, mowing my little bit of lawn, and cleaning out many of the containers. We've had a couple of nights of frost and the tender annuals just turned to mush.  I thought ahead this year so still have a number of mums that will continue to bloom for a couple of weeks more.  The snapdragons are doing well too, along with the nicotiana which is sheltered in the front flower bed.

Here's a visitor to our yard my son found.

He called it an albino spider, and I Googled it and there really is such a thing.

I've never seen one before, have you?

It was lovely and warm, so I took my coffee and the weekly flyers out to the front patio for a little relax between chores.  Then it was off to the grocery stores.  We have five within a 10 block radius of home, so I tend to see who has the best prices for similar items.  I hope I save enough that it offsets the driving around.

Later, I went out for dinner with friends.  It was really wonderful day!

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Saturday was housework day.  I was up early again to feed the cats, but went back to bed for an hour or so.  Laundry, cleaning cat litter, taking out the garbage, clearing clutter were all on my to-do list.  I didn't get the vacuuming done, that should get done today.

I also made some homemade soup and baked an M&M's blueberry pie.  The soup is potato and leek, just a few ingredients, easy to make and soooo good.  I chopped up a leek and a quarter of an onion, cooking these in a tablespoon of butter until tender, about five minutes.  Next I added three medium potatoes, peeled and cubed, and a container of chicken stock to the pot and brought it to a boil.
While the recipe suggested not adding any thing else until the potatoes were cooked, I added in salt and pepper, garlic powder, and dried parsley flakes.  When the potatoes were cooked  I did not the half and half called for, as I decided after mashing the potatoes in the liquid, it was creamy enough for me.  To serve I added in a little bit of grated cheese.  Totally yummy! 

I had cut the recipe in half and this made about three to four servings.  I'll have lunch for most of the week.  

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Today, I actually got to sleep in.  Well, sort of.  I was up several times in the night, so after getting up to feed the cats around 7, I went back to bed.  I turned on the radio thinking I'd get up in a few minutes but I fell asleep and didn't wake until nearly 9!

I've got a bit of housework to finish; vacuuming and floors to wash, and then it's time for football. There are two games, back to back today with our Riders playing the last game.  Our quarterback was injured a couple of games ago and will be out for the season.  The replacement starter is a young man, with little experience so I suspect our chances of many more games is limited.  But I'll still cheer them on!

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Have a wonderful week everyone!




Friday, 12 September 2014

Friday Funny

Recently, in a large city, a poster featuring a young, thin and tanned woman appeared in the window of a gym.        
 
It said:     "THIS SUMMER DO YOU WANT TO BE A MERMAID OR A WHALE?"          
 
A middle aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.     
 
To Whom It May  Concern:          
 
Whales are always  surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans).   They have an active sex life, they get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. They have a wonderful time with dolphins, stuffing themselves with shrimp.   They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Barren Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia. Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs.   They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans.   They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.     
 
Mermaids don't exist. If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis.   Fish or human?   They don't have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them, not to mention how could they have sex?   Therefore they don't have kids either.   Not to mention who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?     
 
The choice is perfectly clear to me; I want to be a whale.          
 
P.S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver and a coffee with my friends. With time we gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room it distributes out to the rest of our bodies.   So we aren't heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy.   Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, "Good gosh, look how smart I am!" 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Baby, it's cold out there!

I'm in Saskatoon working this week, and I brought my camera hoping to take a walk along the river. What I forgot to bring with me is a heavy coat and gloves.

Just last Sunday the temps were around 28/29C (82/84F) but yesterday and today the temperature was close the freezing as I walked the 4 1/2 blocks from the hotel to the office.  By the time I came back in the evening it had only warmed up to 7C (44F) Tonight it's supposed to drop to below freezing!

Apparently our late summer has been interrupted by winter.  Thankfully it's not as bad as the weather they are getting in Alberta.  You can check out some of the photos from the snow storm here. (Because CBC won't let me share...even though I would give them credit!)

Anyway, it's meant I'm sticking close the hotel, though I'm hoping to get together with a old school friend tomorrow evening.

To add to the misery, today at work, we got more news of upcoming changes. There will be more consolidations of workload (not my area, but I have friends who are affected) to larger centres outside of our province.  In our area, we've been informed that our ratio of employees to managers will be increasing, which means of course, we'll be reducing the number of managers.  Other changes are coming in the way the work is done, requiring a radical shift from what is now the norm.  These last changes hit the employees the hardest since there are no specific details to give them.  Everyone wants to know where I will, what will I be doing, who will I report to?  At this time, there are no answers, just more questions.

I'm safe at this point, because I'm indeterminate and my current group is working on a pilot project. Two or three years from now...who knows?  A good friend is a much harder place.  She's currently in an temporary position in our area, with three weeks remaining before it ends. Her substantive position is in the area where the work is being transferred to another office.  She could return to that position until the end of March.  Although our manager assured us today that everyone will be taken care of, it's still a scary and unnerving time for her and others, and hard for those of us who want to support them as much as we can.

Of course, as managers we'll be expected to put aside our worries and concerns to "manage the change".  We're expected to be cheerleaders of the change, encourage our staff to express their concerns and then embrace the change, yadada, yadada.  I`ll bet any money someone sends this stages of change poster


When those who make these decisions in their offices far away in their towers of power, they don't think or wonder about those who will be affected.  It's just cold, hard numbers that they look at.

It really is a cold, cold world out there.


Saturday, 6 September 2014

Another Random Saturday

After a long weekend, I shouldn't have had Friday off, but I did.  I'm going to be working in our Saskatoon office next week so I switched my Friday off next week to this.  It made for a very short work week.  I could really like a three day work week...as long as my pay didn't decrease. :)


I even took a few hours off as vacation on Wednesday, because the sun room window was finally repaired.

This is how it looked back in July when we came home to found it shattered.

I (and the cats) have been living with the cardboard for nearly two months.



This is how it looks now.  Hooray!

Though I must admit I was a little worried when the repair man said "Oh I've never fixed one of these before".  The two guys estimated it would take 45 minutes to fix.  

I had to leave for work for a meeting when they'd been there for well over an hour.  They were gone before my son left for work an hour later so it took double what they expected.


******
Yesterday, I headed into the office to pack up my laptop and briefcase.  I should have done it on Thursday but it was a crazy busy day and I simply ran out of time before my day ended.

As well, I wanted to get away on time as I was heading to the hospital.  My friend K (travelling friend and co-worker) is back in the hospital.  She had a bronchoscopy a week ago Friday and was told if she had any neck, back, or chest pain she should return to the hospital.  As she told me, she hit the trifecta and J took her to emergency on Wednesday morning.  She was admitted to the ER and then moved a room later that day.

She'd had a ultrasound earlier on Thursday but the results of the bronchoscope weren't known yet. There was some thought she might have a blood clot but that was ruled out.  This is her third hospitalization this year so we're all hopeful the doctors will determine what is going on with her lungs this time.

******
After my quick stop at the office, I did a little shopping.  I love browsing Winners/Home Sense.  I don't always find anything but it's still fun to look.  This trip I found bed pillows for $9.99/each and a new purse.  My old one was falling apart so it was time to find something new.

Of course, the ones I fell in love with were $150+... those stayed at the store and I brought home this one for about $50.  It's got lots of pockets, an absolute must for me, with a removable strap.  I transferred everything over today and the old bag is in the bin. It served me well.

******
My arm is nearly back to normal. The ache has moved up the arm above the elbow but is far less a nuisance when it comes to typing. I've quit wearing the brace and only occasionally feel the need to take a pain killer.

Of course, now I feel like I'm catching a cold.  It started with a very sore throat on Friday morning, has moved into my chest, with a dry cough.  I took a trip to Walmart this morning to pick up cough syrup, lozenges, and cold and flu tablets.  

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I have no longer have an excuse either for not getting my housework done.  Darn!  Today I did laundry, cleaned cat litter, did dishes, and scrubbed the bathrooms.  I got caught on my blog reading (I wasn't as far behind as I thought), and had a quick visit with my daughter.

I'm pleased to say she's doing very well.  She isn't calling every day or so to tell me how lonesome she is, which is wonderful.  She's started selling some sort of catalog home and garden products.  It's similar approach as Avon, with home parties or book sales.  With this endeavour, her full time and other part-time job she's been keeping herself very busy.  It sounds too, like she's been spending more time with friends.  

She even told me a few weeks ago, she's glad I pushed her to leave.  To hear her say thank you tells me she's really starting to grow up.  Good thing (or maybe about time) since she'll be 33 in December.

*******
Tomorrow I'm taking a friend out to breakfast for her birthday.  Thank goodness for Facebook, otherwise I'd never remember.  

I also need to pack for my trip, get some more housework done (blech!) and watch Rider football (hooray!).  

Have a great weekend everyone!