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good news...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
...or not, depending on how it all evolves. I was so frustrated, angry, distraught, confused, and generally all round miserable by the time I got home last night, it was time to do something different. After cursing and swearing all the way home, venting when there was no one around to hear all my @#$% and &*+?, I felt like I had run out of expletives.

So I went today to apply for another job. I've been thinking about it for months, and finally decided it's time to make a change. Partially due to the people who have been hearing me say all these years: Life Is Too Short To Be Miserable. When they start quoting it back to me, it's pretty obvious: 1) they retained the message, and 2) they understand it's something I need to hear/apply/take to heart. Funny how we can get to the point of one day suddenly realizing: 'I sound like my mother'... and now here I am hearing my long-lived quote coming out of my daughters' mouths. Even funnier, or ironic, is that I have had this particular job app. in my car for a couple of months, when someone gave it to me at church, and I was not yet ready to foment change. I got to the front door of the store, and realized I already had what I was going in there for, so sat in my car in the parking lot and filled it out.

I told someone I know there is great danger in using the 'h' word in reference to employment. And I know it is not truly appropriate, that if that were my only complaint/concern, I have to admit that the things I have been counseled about are all legitimate. But I do feel 'hounded'. And I do feel like I am continually in the sights/crosshairs. Like I am the one getting continually bashed in 'whack-a-mole'. So though I cannot use the 'b' word, this situation is untenable.

No reason to expect anyone else to change, so it has become obvious I am the one who needs to make a change. For the several references required, as you would expect, I named names of people who love me. Why would anyone give contact information for someone who would have disparaging comments to make about reliability, trustworthiness, timeliness? So...we'll see...

too stressssed...

Monday, June 29, 2015
...to keep doing what I am doing. It's been a rough day at my place of employment. Though the work itself was not difficult. I was cooking in the Aprons' food demo. booth making a salad with shrimp. It was, according to all the people who tasted it, pretty good. I am not a shrimp or seafood eater, so I did not try it myself, but all those passers-by who said they were shrimp lovers reported it to be really good. A number of people commented on the fact that the shrimp were tender, and tasty, so apparently they have had some experience with eating some that have been likely overcooked and tough to chew.

It's a pretty simple recipe with the salad being romaine lettuce, topped with diced up avocado and mango. Which would make a great salad in my opinion. But then you add the shrimp that has been cooked under the broiler for about five minutes after you sprinkle on some seafood seasoning. And mix up dressing that is mostly Cesar, with some honey and hot-wing sauce. I tried to tell everyone who got a sample on a little plate, that I reduced the amount of spicy stuff by one half: adding only one tablespoon of hot sauce instead of two that is listed on the recipe.

There are so many elderly people with digestive problems who come in and like to try new recipes, as well as moms with small children who want to see what we're cooking. So I generally will only include half the amount of spicy ingredients instead of deliberately following the recipe. Trying to remember to tell people: If you want yours at home to taste just like what you are eating, you need to know I only used half the quantity the recipe calls for, of the tear-inducing, fire-breathing stuff.

I guess it was good, most people had positive comments. A number of people said they did not eat shrimp, and several reported they were allergic, with one guy saying he would take the recipe and substitute chicken for the seafood. Which would be a good, tasty idea, but if I were doing it you can rest assured I would be leaving out the hot-wing sauce entirely.

another armadillo sighting...

...or possibly the same one who has established residency in the neighborhood. Scooting along with remarkable speed through the vines, leaf mulch, undergrowth. Looking like it might possibly be the same one I saw a  couple of weeks ago, with great curiosity. And much alarm due to thinking: nocturnal creatures in the brightness of mid-day?

Health and safety warnings say "Beware". It could be suffering from some type disease that would cause an animal that we rarely see nosing around, out for a morning stroll. So though I am fascinated by them, and exceptionally curious about the little armored things, I am torn between chasing through woods and keeping my distance. Like those dogs that perpetually chase motor vehicles: what would they do if they actually caught one?

This little guy was apparently resting under P's vehicle, parked out under the trees. She called me when she made startling noise, opening the door, and it came scooting out. We watched it dash off towards the neighbor's yard. A whole lot faster than you think they could move. Mostly due to the fact that we only see them deceased along the right-of-way on their armored backs with legs up in the air. Not moving at all. I think I read someplace they have an unusual 'startle reflex' that causes them to jump straight up in air when frightened. Which explains how they die so often on road ways, hitting the underside of a vehicle.

He/she/it was about the same size as the one I saw recently, so it might be the same. Which would be an indication of those little oddities thinking (do they think or is it all instinct?) this is a relatively safe environment. Maybe establishing a colony? To reproduce and have another generation of armadillos to perpetually plow up the entire neighborhood?

the most recent road trip...

Sunday, June 28, 2015
...took me to Decatur on Friday. And on to SC on Saturday. And back to west GA on Saturday night, to flop into bed so I could get up and be at work on Sunday morning. From 7 am to 4 :15 pm.

On Saturday, we went to this very difficult place to find that has hundreds and hundreds of daylily plants and dozens and dozens of hostas. I was able to be very conservative: did not buy a single plant at the daylily farm. But did buy a little moss fern plant when we stopped by a garden shop, though I did not let all those annuals and perennials tempt me into buying a load of stuff I would have to find a place to plant when I got home.

It was raining on me when I left Decatur Saturday before daylight, and most of the way back across the state when I got home about dark. Good, now I wont' have to water everything for several days.

lunch at SAE...

Friday, June 26, 2015
... was 'bird dogs'. When F. went in the kitchen she immediately started heating up the fryer. And when the grease got hot enough, started cooking chicken nuggets. That she cut in half, while I was lining up dozens of hot dog buns in the big metal pans. Then filled each bun with nuggets, squeezed honey-mustard salad dressing over, and sprinkled grated cheese. The hotel/buffet sized pans filled with buns and chicken nuggets went in the oven just long enough to heat up and get the cheese good and melt-y. Bird Dogs.

I cannot provide nutrition information, but suspect you don't want to know. I ate one nugget, with a squirt of honey mustard and two fries.

this is an amusing story...

...that I probably will not be able to retell with nearly as much hilarity as when I heard it.

I got up this morning (this in not yet to the funny part) early to drive up to Decatur to spend the day. Having loaded up my car last night (does this sound like "Ground Hog Day" movie? Since I did the same thing last weekend?) with stuff for donating to the yard sale that will occur in the morning from 8 am till 2 pm. Good Luck With That. I can guarantee the shoppers will be here long before the appointed hour, looking for the best stuff, rooting through carefully sorted and arranged goods, demanding bargain.

Forgot F. had to go to work for several hours this morning. When we made the plan for me to come and spend the day, it was due to this Friday being an off day, which happens every other week. But me being sadly math impaired, I obviously got my weeks mis-counted and mis-laid the one where she did not have to go across town to prepare lunch for the hung-over, unappreciative crew at SAE frat. house.

The story is about an adventure the SAE guys had one day this week. They are as unclean and unkempt as you would expect unsupervised teenaged boys to be. Having never been taught some of what many in our society would consider basic survival skills. The sort of things usually taught young girls when they are in the early teens: sorting laundry before you throw it in the washer, how to operate the appliances, clean a bathroom, basic food prep. and 'clean up after yourself' skills. This group of privileged guys, probably never put their own dishes in the sink, much less loaded into the dishwasher, completely in the dark about life-skills, headed towards highly paid engineering positions in leading firms nation-wide.

They saw a rat, creeping out of a hole where there were several bricks missing in a retaining wall, just outside the dining room window. The door to the dining area does not completely close: constantly leaking cooled air to the great outdoors, never totally closed. Anything that is out there and wants to come in merely walks through the opening: squirrels, skinks, any creeping thing.

So naturally the rat can stand up on his hind legs, put on his bow-tie and bowler hat and stroll in at his leisure. The report I heard was when she came in to work the day after the rat incident is that the room looked like there had been a fire drill and everyone dashed out the door: turning over tables, chairs, drinks, couches, futons, cushions flying through the air. Total Chaos. Or possibly a tornado had touched down in the dining room.

The guys, when they finally showed up for lunch, said they noticed the rat creeping in the door and tried to stop it. I say: it's a wonder it was not trying to escape as nasty as a group of several dozen frat. guy can be in their personal hygiene skills. They chased it around the room a couple of times. Someone thought to go upstairs to the living quarters and get the two dogs that live in the house. While the guys down in the dining area were chasing the rat with an assortment of golf clubs, turning over chairs, couches, tossing cushions with abandon. I am surprised the dogs did not dash for the door when they had a chance. But they eventually caught the rat for the bumbling gold-club wielding guys. Do you have a mental image, looking like a cartoon: a dozen guys, wearing shorts, ratty T-shirts and flip-flops, hopping around the room, yelling and flailing about!

travelin' Georgia...

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
... on those back roads over the weekend, including all those U turns when I would realize that I was getting farther away, rather than closer, to where I wanted to be. Lots of farm land, with neat rows of planted crops stretching out to the horizon with tall pines in the distance.  Dark green healthy fields of corn standing tall, vast acres of soybeans with leaves rustling in the summer breeze, growing in the bright sunshine.

Tidy little country churches, with cemeteries close by holding devoted generations of members. Sitting along country roads, peacefully awaiting occupying members to appear each Sunday morning. One congregation somewhere in my driving to and fro had chosen the name of: "Exceedingly Grateful Ministry."