Friday, July 31, 2009

Previously, on Wayward

So now that I've been incommunicado for nearly 2 weeks, it seems rather appropriate that my last post was titled The Blissful Sound of Silence. But believe me, it wasn't intended. I was just going through a bout of the shittys, at least that's what mom called it--a cross between feeling blue and lethargic capped off with a truly impressive 2-day PMS episode, followed by the actual 3-day event, all while trying to tie up loose ends at work, home, and with travel arrangements before we leave on our Oregon/Idaho road trip.

The trip is beginning to sound like it will be a series of reunions kicking off with my 20-year high school reunion, followed by a get together with my mom's family in Portland to meet my cousin's new baby, followed by a get together with my dad's family near Sandpoint, Idaho for grandma's birthday, where, as of July 26th, there is also a new baby (not grandma's, though). We have managed to set aside one non-driving day in Portland to do whatever we want. And since most of our trip is to visit my friends and family, I've helped Scoob scope out some options and he's planning out what we do on that day.

I booked most of our hotel rooms for the trip last night. Jeez, it never ceases to amaze me what downtown hotels can get away with charging. Seriously, $28 per day for valet parking when the public lot across the street is $10 for overnight parking? Let's just say the rates for our hotel in Sandpoint, ID were far more reasonable, and parking's not an issue.

I worked from home again today and took the kitties to the vet. They're due for their rabies shots, and I've been a little worried Dozer might not be feeling well. Sure enough, Dozer has a bladder infection so we've started pilling her twice a day, which is almost as terrifying for her as going to the vet, so I'm sure I'll be real popular around here by the time we leave.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Blissful Sound of Silence

There's really not much noteworthy news here, but that's made for a lovely, relaxing weekend. I finally made the roasted cauliflower again for dinner last night along with a bite-sized version of chicken picatta with pasta.

Boy was that a dumb move. It was 80° in the house and not only did I have the oven on, but I was boiling water for the pasta, and cooking the chicken in a separate pan. All at the same time.

Dumb, dumb move. But it was easy, fairly quick, and yummy. We'll either have the leftovers for lunch and a salad for dinner or the other way around today, but I'm definitely not cooking over a hot stove/oven today.

So a while back, we'll say 8 weeks or so, about the time we started sleeping with our bedroom window open, I began noticing a small chirping noise at night while in bed. I asked Scoob if he could hear it, but he said he couldn't and I couldn't figure out what it was. I thought it might be some kind of bird, but the chirps were too regular. So maybe it was an alarm of some kind. At any rate, it was a fairly quiet noise and I began to tune it out.

The last couple of weeks the chirping has gotten louder and Scoob can now hear it. It's been driving him nuts and he hasn't been sleeping well because of it. So Friday evening we began to investigate where it was coming from. Our townhouse units are so packed together it was almost impossible to tell, but Scoob determined it was coming from the patio next to our bedroom patio.

When Scoob talked to the neighbors living there, they said they hadn't noticed a thing, but when he went back they admitted that it was their smoke detector. It was the low battery warning. Scoob explained to them that if they don't change the battery, the smoke detector will not work in the event of a fire, and in that case there's really not much sense in having the detector, so please, either change the battery or disconnect the detector. They seemed rather surprised by this concept. Go figure.

Anyhow, they changed the battery and we've had two blissfully chirpless nights. What I don't get is how (or why) they (and their two small children) lived with that noise for at least 8 weeks and didn't seem to be bothered at all by it. If it was loud enough for us to hear in a completely separate building, I can only imagine how loud it must have been inside the home.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Productive Friday

Can I just say I love summer hours? It still boggles my mind that the company is requiring we take unpaid days off and is laying people off, yet we still enjoy a 4-hour work day on Fridays, leaving at 1:00 pm, and get paid for 8 hours. I don't understand it but I love it. I better enjoy it while it lasts—summer hours end Labor Day weekend.

So today I arranged to work from home because I had a bunch of running around to do and I thought if I could get a jump on it today, I wouldn't be stuck trying to get these things done over the weekend.

What I accomplished today:

Worked late—until 2:30 pm (no one would ever mistake me for an underachiever).

Had the oil changed in my car—In addition to my regular 300-or-so-miles each week, I've driven to Humboldt County twice, and Roseburg, Oregon since the last change and we're heading to Idaho in a few weeks but I was already 2,000 miles overdue (which is nothing compared to the 10,000 miles I went between oil changes last time)

Had the tires rotated—you thought I was derelict in my duties with the oil change? It's been 36,000 miles since I rotated the tires. No wait, I bought the tires 36,000 miles ago because I had destroyed the last set by not rotating them enough. Some learn these lessons more quickly than others.

Returned the ruined curtainsI was very happy that Ross gave me a full refund for the curtains, and without any hassle. I browsed a bit through the handbags (the handles on mine are fraying), shoes, and curtains, but left empty handed and happy about it.

Went to the library—I finally finished Sor Juana (it only took 4 months). It got pretty slow there for awhile, about 200 pages of slogging, but then it picked up for an engaging ending. So after all that heavy reading, both literally and figuratively, I'm rewarding myself by gorging on some Nora Roberts.

Got my hairs cut—I get my hair cut about as often as I do the maintenance on my car. My last haircut was in November. Mom, same cut, just shorter again (a little shorter than I'd like, but oh well).

Blogging to you about my day—and all before 7:00pm!

Half days rock!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Heck Yeah!

Exciting, exciting news and I have to share!

I got a letter in the mail today from UC Davis... and my student loan is paid off in full!

That news may not have had the same effect on you as it did me, but you can bet your badonkadonk I did a little tailfeather shaking dance around the house. Now I only owe on the federal student loan.


One thing the school mentioned in their letter, aside from the 4 paragraphs begging me for more money, was whether or not I wanted UC Davis to return my original promissory note, which they will do upon request. Is this something I should do? If the note is paid in full it's no longer a liability, but I'm somewhat inclined to ask that it be returned to me.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Since we don't have a yard of our own to garden in, I've decided to share some OPP--Other People's Porn. Gardenporn, that is.

Mom is a master gardener, as is her mother, and was her mother. I did not seem to get this gene. Where I can manage to get something to grow, I cannot make it flourish like they can.

Last summer, Scoob and I made a trip to mom's and he made a calendar of all the wonderful flower photos he took. This summer there's no calendar, but plenty of beautiful photos. So without further ado...

Mom's Mother's Day poppy is still blooming.

The yard is a sea of gloriosa daisies.

Shasta Daisies.

Some gorgeous day lilies. I didn't know it but each of the lily's blooms only last for a single day, hence the name. (Duh.)

No idea what this is, but it's purdy. She may have called this a bubble flower or balloon flower.

Pin cushions.

And a butterfly. I so can't believe I got him in focus!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pay no Attention to that Woman behind the Curtain

When I was in Oregon last weekend, Mom and I went to Ross where I finally found some curtains that I liked for the closet door opening. I've only been looking since March, but part of the reason it has taken so long is that I don't want to spend a lot of money on this. So when I found curtains I like for $8 apiece (I need 2) I was thrilled. Score! (And no sales tax, to boot.)

The curtains are a sheer tan fabric with faint cranberry bands and cream and dark brown threads running through it backed by a lightweight golden fabric. Lovely. I was totally jazzed to get these up this weekend, so yesterday I laundered them--wash in cold water; gentle cycle; tumble dry low; iron as needed. I followed the cleaning instructions to the letter. I used the hand washables cycle on the washer, and the delicate cycle on the dryer.

Wouldn't you know it. The sheers did a Shrinky Dink and are now a full 2 feet shorter and narrower than the golden backing.

When I took them from the washer, I even thought, "these are lightweight enough to air-dry, but I'll follow the instructions." Bugger. You think after all these years I would learn to listen to myself from time to time.

Well, I'm certainly not driving back to Oregon to return them, and it would cost nearly as much to ship them back and have a new set shipped to me. I'm going to at least try to return them to my local Ross, even though I'm sure they won't have anything to replace them with.

Ugh. I hate going to Ross here. People seem to have so little respect for other people's property and they rummage through the merchandise as though they were going through someones used cast offs.

Funny, this isn't the first time I've written about the vast differences between shopping experiences in California and Oregon.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


So, it's been about two weeks since the big announcement at work. Things (meaning sales and the economy in general) haven't plateaued or turned around yet for the publishing industry and my company has begun making more drastic cuts and began laying people off.

One of the people working with me on our website is being let go and we lost someone in our cartography department. Company-wide they're letting 20 or so people go. So far, our division has only seen the 2 layoffs.

In addition to layoffs, our upper executives have taken another pay cut and have asked all employees to take one as well. Well, they didn't exactly ask; asking would imply that you actually had a choice and could choose to opt out. Oh, and they didn't exactly call it a pay cut either—officially, it's summer furlough. If you're going to call a pay cut a furlough to make it more appealing, they should call it furrlough—not only does that make it more appealing, but cute and furry too!

Basically they've "asked" all employees to take 6 unpaid days off between now and September and our paychecks for the next 6 pay cycles will be short a day. One furlough day is scheduled for the Monday after the 4th of July and another is scheduled to coincide with the Labor Day weekend, but the other 4 days we can schedule at will with our managers. The company expects to resume regular pay sometime in September.

So, seeing as how my 3-day weekend has turned into a 4-day weekend, I've decided to tack on another "furrlough" day to make it a 5-day weekend and I'll be heading out of town yet again. I'll be driving north again, this time to visit my mom and grandma in Oregon, and Scoob will be staying home with the kitties.

Mom has a plan for the weekend. Bing cherries are ripe, so we'll be heading out to the orchard on Friday to pick and eat sweet cherries right off the trees until we have purple poo. I think mom has a gardening project in our future too. She mentioned needing a truck to haul something home, so we'll make sure whatever it is will fit in the Subaru and do that. And yesterday morning she left a message on my phone that I should pack some grubbies so I don't ruin any nice clothes. Doesn't that just sound like a thrill-packed weekend? Maybe not thrill-packed, but it will be enjoyable and relaxing.

I'll be leaving just as soon as I quit typing and finish packing my duffle. So on that note… if I don't post again by Saturday, have a fantastic 4th.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I finally bit the bullet and registered for my 20 year high school reunion in August. Or at least I think I did.

You see, I actually tried to register on Saturday. I'd received a message over facebook that it was the last day to register, but when I went to the registration website, I discovered that I needed an ID number from an invitation, that I didn't receive.

So I followed the instructions on the website and left a message. When they returned my call today, we did the registration over the phone. But then they had a computer glitch, though they assured me I was registered.

Now it occurs to me that I have given out my credit card number over the phone, was unable to get a confirmation email (due to the glitch), or a reference number over the phone (again with the glitch), and agreed to pay a sum that I have only the rep's word is the amount that will be charged.

Geez, I'm normally so much smarter than that. I'm sure it'll all be fine, but it was just a reminder of how easy it is for someone to access another person's finances.