Category Archives: work

Woeful Wednesday

I don’t know why, but for the past month or so, Wednesdays have proven to be the most exhausting and problem-filled days of the week for me.  Everyone seems to go into crisis.  I get more phone calls.  Coworkers need more things from me.  Administrators are around more.  Things get hectic at the regulatory board of which I am a member, so I get many emails from the office needing immediate replies.

I typically don’t dread any day of the week, but I am starting to dread Wednesday.  Even Monday is better.

Which day of the week, month of the year, or holiday could you do without?  Which do you welcome?


Our daughter phoned yesterday, full of excitement about some wonderful Chevre goat cheese and creamy Brie she had discovered at a farmers market, as well as the thrill of being held up as an exemplar of paperwork perfection at her work during a Medicaid audit.

This surprises me. In elementary, middle school, and high school I could have presented her as an exemplar of the biggest flibberty-gibbet, fly-by-night slacker of my acquaintance.  I guess maturation happens, but I never expected this from her!

Who or what has surprised you, for good or for naught?

Bear Ballyhoo

I just don’t like meetings very much. If you have information to impart, just send me an email.   I’m particularly bad at brainstorming meetings – you know, where you write down all your outrageous idea on post-it notes, or on huge sheets of paper stuck up on the wall.  The moderator ALWAYS starts out with “every idea is valuable” and warns everyone not to bring up negatives.

This is hard for me. I’m a problem solver and when presented with a problem and possible solutions, my brain immediately starts working through each solution to see if it’s viable, if it could solve the problem.  Of course, most of the ideas that get thrown out at brainstorming meetings are ridiculous and can easily be ruled out as good solutions – but only if you’re allowed to rule them out.  As I’ve never been able to stop my mind from looking for the logistics in brainstorming meetings, I tend to sit quietly, taking notes.  Luckily my boss knows this about me and she rarely asked me to take part in these kinds of sessions.

But boy, Build-a-Bear could have used someone like me in the meeting where they decided to run a “Pay Your Age” promotion one day last week. If you brought in your child, you could get a bear for your child’s age… and even if you were getting the bear for yourself, the cap on the price was $29.  Here’s one of the many news stories from Thursday:

“Pay Your Age” could only have come up during a brainstorming meeting in which everybody had been exhorted to listen to all ideas fairly and not comment. It’s hard to imagine a lot of experienced business people not being able to think through the problems with this marketing ploy unless they were cowed into silence. How could they not know there would be an immediate and huge response to them basically giving the bears away?   How could they not figure out that a few employees in the stores would not be able to handle the crush of customers?  And how could they not think about the natural reactions of people with their kids standing in line for hours, being jostled by the strangers in front and behind them?

Obviously my observations are in hindsight, but I’m pretty sure if I’d been in that brainstorming meeting, my brain would have come up with a lot of reasons why this wouldn’t work – at least in the way it was rolled out. But would I have said anything or just taken a bunch of notes about how stupid meetings are?

So bears. Yea or nay?


For the most part I’m not a fan of new words. I like the words we have and I always have to remind myself that we only have the words we have because at some point somebody made them up.

But every now and then a word comes along that I can embrace wholeheartedly. One of those words is “staycation” – a perfect way to say you are vacationing at home.

Today begins my first day of a nice, long staycation. Because  I’ve been with my company for quite some time, I have a generous number of vacation days and also because of my workload, I don’t get to use too many of them for a chunk of the year.  Now that my big program is out the door, I have to get cracking on these vacation days.  This means a week plus off now, the rest of the Mondays in the summer off and then the entire of State Fair off.

This week though is strictly for hanging out and working on some of the stuff that hasn’t been getting done the last few months – cleaning, straightening, cleaning, yardwork, cleaning. Did I mention cleaning?

On Day One I’m going to make strawberry jam and make some basil-infused oil. I know that doesn’t sound like cleaning, but I do have a mammoth list and it has cleaning projects for every day as well as some of the more fun stuff.

What new word can you embrace?


Today’s post comes to us from Ben.

Pastor Mike married us. And he baptized both kids.

A few years after that he moved back out to the West coast; a place where his soul really belonged.

We’d message on FB occasionally. He was learning to play guitar and I’d ask what he was listening too or what he was learning to play.

Johnny Cash was a common subject for both of us. Johnny’s ‘American’ series of recordings were some of our favorites. Mike would give me a verse from Tennessee Stud or Delia’s Gone and I’d give him the next. It was a neat way to connect with one of my favorite people.

Mike died of a brain tumor this winter.

I’m lighting a production of ‘Ring of Fire’ at the Rochester Civic Theater. It’s a Johnny Cash retrospective. Not much story, just a lot of his music played by 5 different singer/musicians. The other night at rehearsal they practiced Delia’s Gone.

I thought of Mike and how, maybe to no-one but myself, this show was for him.

I left rehearsal and headed for home. Checked some fields along the way. Stopped to check on our neighbor’s house since they are gone on vacation, stopped to close the gates at the end of our driveway and saw a motorcycle coming down the road. And I sort of groan inwardly… dang bikers. Thought I better get the gate shut quick.

As the bike gets closer I see it’s more of a scooter and a couple about my age on it. I say Hello and pull one gate shut. They pull up a little closer and call my name. And when they take the helmets off, it’s John and Mary.

Pastor John who was associate pastor with Pastor Mike.

I’m pretty sure Mike sent them out to see us tonight.

And I thought of this group of Baboons and Serendipity again.

Got a favorite religious person?




Last Friday I got off work at noon and spent the next 4 hours weeding my brains out. We have a 20 X 10 foot garden bed on the north side of the drive way that contains perennials and vegetables like beets, turnips, chard, carrots, and celeriac. The weeds were horrible.  Not long after I finished weeding, the most lovely, gentle rain began, with no wind or hail.  It was perfect.

When have things worked out just right for you?