Wednesday, October 28, 2009

General Update


I almost started out by saying ‘Not much is going on’ but that is so not true. The garage is down, we are prepping to pour concrete but the weather is not cooperating. You can follow our demolition and building project on the garden blog, there is a list of links at the top right corner, which will be added to as posts about the garage are added.

We’re both giddy about the garage. Matt really really wants to get the concrete down, because as soon as that is done he will really be able to WORK on it. The concrete is really the only barrier for him to get started building. I’m giddy about it because I want it done. I’ll have some workspace in there and I want to start working in my new space ASAP. I’m looking forward to planning the new space, decorating, etc, too. I can’t wait. Plus, we will be able to move a lot of stuff out of the house, which will make it feel less crowded, which will be glorious.

In other news, I’m sending a basket of jewelry along with a friend to work tomorrow to hopefully get some sales, which will pay for my website rental for another 3 months or so and another parts order, because I need to get some beads for a project, some wire for a project, and I really need a new batch of clasps, preferably gold. Wish me luck on my sales! It is very strange, as I’m picking out things (send this, don’t send that) I find that I look at this stuff and think: “But, I like that! I don’t want to see it go!” I need to try to get over that. I understand it is a common issue for crafts and arts people, but still. It’s not like I wear a lot of jewelry! Why would I want to keep everything?? Fortunately I do have pictures of everything, and that will be enough.

Both sets of ‘rents are doing well. I’m meeting mom tomorrow for brunch at the French bistro (good coffee and crepes, here I come). Matt’s parents took us out to dinner on Saturday, during which time we had an adventure. We found a purebred Vizsla running up the middle of the road on the S-bend. He would have been killed for sure. He hopped in the car with us and after we called the numbers on his tag (both DC area codes) we wandered around looking for his people. After dropping him of at Ray & JoAnne’s, we found the owners and while they seemed nice enough, we kind of wish the dog were still with us. Between his breed and training, he was a multi-thousand dollar dog with a great temperament, and we got the distinct feeling from his owner that if he hadn’t found the dog, well, he just would have bought another. If we find him loose again, we’re keeping him.

By the time we got to the restaurant we were like Give Me Food and Hot Tea. Now. I had ribs, everyone else had prime rib. We were hungry.

We went to the Gettysburg Outlets on Sunday and I found the knee boots I’ve been looking for (dressy boots, not winter boots) for half what I was expecting to spend. I also found that they opened up a Pendleton outlet, by god, and I’m thrilled with a capital ILL over that. I got a red red coat. It was more than I’d wanted to spend, it was red red, which is a color I’ve never really lusted after. It is a little big but I now have the name of a very good tailor in town so I will be paying her a visit to fix that jacket and another I have. It is really nice.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Max's Trip to the Beach, part 3

We walked down the beach a whole bunch. My people wanted to look for pretty rocks and sea glass. I got bored with that and started sniffing around this thing when we got close to it:
There was something really interesting in here!

I got really excited and spent almost half an hour worrying about the thing, trying to find it and get at it:
And then I ran this way trying to figure out a way to get at the thing:
And then I had an idea! Opposable thumbs! I needed someone with opposable thumbs! I know people with opposable thumbs!!
So I went and yapped at them, and got one of them to follow me:
Here's dad with his butt sticking out, trying to find what I'm looking for:
And here's BOTH of us with our butts sticking out trying to find what I'm sniffing for! Oh Boy! I LOVE SNIFFING THINGS!!
And you know what it was? It was one of those plastic things you can fling into the water for your dog to chase! It was orange, you can see a bit of it here! Unfortunately it was really stuck and opposable thumbs wouldn't help.
I had a long day, but it was great! I met a girl dog who was visiting the beach for the first time, too! She was a rotty, and she could walk right over me! Oh Boy!

I slept almost the whole way home....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Max's Trip to the Beach, part 2

Then, mom wanted me to come with her. Away from the water! Why do we have to go away from the water!?! I like the water!I followed dad a bit helping look for rocks, shells, and beach glass.There were a LOT of dead horseshoe crabs all over! I didn't like how they smelled, so I stayed away from them. My people were really surprised at this!

Can you see the side-crawling crab? I couldn't! It is really well camouflaged.
We found a crab shell that looked like a cheetah!
And I walked out on some wave breaks. Mom kept my leash on this whole time, can you believe it!

I've still got my leash on! Why won't she take the leash off? Was she scared I was going to jump in? I wouldn't think of jumping in! Hmm....I wonder what would happen if I jumped in?AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Look what we found!!! Mum called it serendipity, but I thought it was just a pail.
Wait until part 3, where I find something stuck in a wave break!!!! OH BOY!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Link

Under 'Freunde,' please visit me-crane, ukraine. It is by a coworker's daughter, who recently moved to Ukraine with the Peace Corps, to teach teaching.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The New Administration

President Obama, VP Biden, then DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and USFA Administrator Kelvin Cochran, who was in a class with my mother here once. Very nice guy.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Max's Trip to the Beach, part 1

(as dictated by Max, with notes * from his mum)

For the past couple weeks, my people have been talking about a beach. This is a word I’ve never heard before, so I didn’t know what a beach was, but they kept saying I was going there, and it would be in the car with my collar. Oh Boy! A Ride! In the CAR! With my Collar!! I LOVE MY COLLAR! It means I’m going on a Ride!! IN THE CAR!!!

So, early Sunday morning we got up and it was cold! So I got to wear my sweater, too! I LOVE MY SWEATER!!! When we got in the car I got to ride on mom’s lap almost the whole way there!! Mom took a picture of me from her point of view.

This was the longest car ride I’ve ever been on! I usually only go for rides in the car when we go on hunting trips as a Pack to kill a pizza and bring it back to the den.

I think she got tired of me on her lap, though, and she made me go lay down in the back seat after we crossed a big, long bridge.

(*this is the Bay Bridge at Annapolis. It is very high and very long, and it is really the only way over to the shore, unless you want to drive about 4hrs out of the way. I know some people who WILL NOT drive over the Bay Bridge)

I got my first sniff of salt water. It smelled weird!

After mum pushed me into the back seat, I tried to take a nap but I couldn’t, so I just stared at her for the next hour trying to will her to let me back on her lap. She eventually did.

After we stopped for some food (I LOVE FOOD!), we drove through a place with a lot of water and water plants and birds, but no buildings. And we parked right on a sand dune!

They put my leash on me. I don’t like my leash, but I learned to tolerate it and I walk on a leash really well. I wanted to sniff and wee on everything!! I LOVE WEEING ON EVERYTHING!! But they kept pulling me along towards something over the small hill.

It was a really big bath tub without soap!! It moved! And it smelled weird! And the ground was all sand!!!!

It came at me!!!And it got me!!! And my paws got wet. And then it went away….and came back again!!!
And the foam moved and twirled and ran away, so I chased it. I LOVE CHASING THINGS!! And then it got me again!!!!!

And there were other things, but I’m going to take a nap now. Blogging is hard!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Introspectrus, part 4

I never did do the last Introspectrus that I’d originally planned, and I can’t even remember now where I was going with it. So, I think I’ll just keep this going with whatever musings/thinkings/worries/deep thoughts/etc that occur to me at the time.

I have recently been thinking about indulgence, needs, wants, compromise, dreams, and sacrifices. Choices. I think some of this is coming with the change in season, some is coming with the changes at the house. Some is coming from my back-to-the-grindstone weight loss plan as of October 1. Some is of course due to the change in my job and all the paperwork I need to fill out for that. That part has been a PITA. Some things are something else altogether. So, I’ll cover them here one by one.

Seasonal: Our garden was huge this year, and now it is starting to draw to a close. We still have some crops in, yes, but most of them are done, need to be cleaned up, and I haven’t had time to get around to it yet. Some of it can wait until spring. It is a natural life/death change that comes with winter. I didn’t have much help with the planting and harvesting, and it looks like I’m not going to have much help with the clean up, etc, either, but I know he’s busy with the garage teardown, too, and that is a trade-off: help getting some garden stuff done, or nothing getting done on the garage teardown/rebuild. It is an acceptable trade-off to me. So I’d best get a move on if I’m going to get the garden put to sleep. This kind of trade-off is something I have a hard time remembering and realizing. Learning compromise, all over again.

House: I’ve been waiting for 8 years for this damn garage to come down and finally…FINALLY… it is happening. I cannot TELL you how happy that makes me. Sure, it is going to be an imposition, as any teardown/rebuild can be. Sure, it won’t happen like we want it and we’ll have to readjust our plans. I’m prepared for that. Sure, we probably won’t have it under roof before the cold weather really hits. Well, we might. I’ll be really surprised if we do.

Once it’s done, though, we will have much more space to move things from the house. Storage. A canning kitchen, so I’ll have a cooler space to work since the garage is built into a hill. Matt will have a workshop out there. Etc, etc. I’ll have some space out there, too. This is a need for both of us, some ME space. A retreat, somewhere to be alone. Right now in our house I cannot be anywhere inside that I cannot hear him doing whatever it is he’s doing (TV, music, computer, etc) or he cannot hear me (say he’s napping and I’m cooking). It’s been an issue. We also will have space to store building supplies out of the weather once we start working on the house, which has also been an issue.

I know Matt has been wanting to get this rolling faster and earlier than October. For some reason, though, none of it got started over the summer. I’m really not sure why. Part of it was Avoidance Of The Building Inspector. But it turns out that wasn’t going to be a problem (see a future post on my garden blog).

Weightloss: Not much to say here. Jody lost weight. Jody plans on losing more weight. Enough said. Sacrifice, need, want.

Change in Job: OMFG, how can someone or a group of people put so much damn work into something just to have it turn out to be….more of the same? No change, nothing new, same idiot manager doing absolutely nothing. Just hurry up and…eh. Nothing new, sorry! What a waste of energy! It is a horrible feeling. It is like sacrifice, but without any benefit.

Deciding how much more money to put towards my retirement funds is another story. I’m actually going to talk numbers sometime soon in another post, which will probably surprise some people. I think this is a topic that is sort of waltzed over by my particular age group, and a lot of people don’t bring up actual numbers and percentages and don’t necessarily know where they stand when compared to other people in my age group (I am NOT asking anyone to tell me their dirty little secrets). 34 is not too young to be planning for this, and as I don’t have kids and don’t plan to, if I play my cards right hopefully we will be able to retire earlier rather than later.

I will talk more about this later, but the long and short of it is that I will be bringing home some more $ per month than I did before, though I’m not entirely sure how much…not good at math, add in taxes and other withholdings and I just can’t figure it out. But I will have some more money coming.

Which is why I’m going to buy a dulcimer. That goes under the heading of ‘indulgence,’ because unless it has been purchased out from under me, I’m probably going to be purchasing this sweet-looking cherry hourglass Folkcraft dulcimer.

Why the hell am I buying a dulcimer? I’ve been asking myself this question, and I’ve talked myself out of it a dozen times in the past 2 months. I used to pseudo-play the guitar, and I did sing in the chorus and concert choir for years. No other instrument experience, though I’ve been told learning the dulcimer is fairly easy. But you know what? I’m going to buy one because I want one. I’m going to buy one because I haven’t had any vacation this summer because I was hoarding my vacation time because I wanted to get paid for it because I wasn’t sure I was going to have a job come 10/1, and because I’ve had a long, hard, stressful summer and dammit I want one. So, yeah, want and indulgence.

And the guy in the video, Bing Futch, has some wonderful instructional videos on Youtube, so he will be my unwitting copilot in the dulcimer journey.

Dreams: I haven’t talked about dreams yet. I have dreams, things I want to do before I die. Matt does, too. Everyone does, some more achievable than others. I don’t know what *it* is for me yet, though, like Jenna does. And I’m coming to terms with that. Slowly, but still. I hate not knowing something, and not knowing something like this really really drives me nuts.

My mother, 67, and my father, 71 (I know, strange names, but they’re easy to spell), have been married for about 36 or so years. I wouldn’t personally use the term ‘wedded bliss’ to describe their relationship, but it seems to work for them.

My mother often talks about a list she has of things she wants to do or buy after my dad dies (assuming that he dies first, of course). She’s had this list for years. It was a running joke at her workplace that someone would look around my father’s funeral and say “Where’s Pat?” and someone else would answer “Oh, she’s at the shelter, adopting cats.” Dad won’t let cats in the house now, and getting cats is top on her list of things to do after he goes.

I always thought that was so sad. I mean, who’s to say you will have money to do what you want to do after he dies? Who’s to say you’ll be healthy enough? But no, she’s not the type to actually tell my father “Suck it, I’m going to do what I want to do!” so she spends her life with a list of things to do after he dies. It makes me so ill to think about….

….then I had lunch with my dad this past week, where he dropped the bombshell (to me) that he’d given up good jobs and the hope for a nice business all his own….because mom would not leave Gettysburg. Bam. I was shocked. I never knew that. Puts another spin on things, doesn’t it? Not everything is so one-sided. I'm not saying either of them is justified in holding the other back, they chose this life. just seems so sad to me to spend your life with someone you love, but at the same time not be able to do something you really want to do.

Compromise? Sacrifice? I’m not sure which I would call these situations. Maybe both? But it really has me thinking about what we give up for those we love, and should we really give up things we want for people we want? Or things we need for people we need? Or things we need for people we want? OR (this is the last variation, don't worry), things we want for people we need? Hmmmm…..