Saturday was blustery and rainy here, a good day to stay home and clean and cook. I made some Tuscan white bean and chard soup, and Husband made goat leg in the tagine.
We stream MPR classical when we are home. About 3:00 the music went silent. We had lost wifi and the Internet, and our land line phone went dead. I waited about 20 minutes for it to go back on, and then phoned the local phone company that provides our cable, land line, and Internet. First I talked with an Internet guy who transferred me to a phone woman. I guess phone service takes priority over Internet service and he thought I would get better results talking to the phone person. She had me unplug and then restart the modem that controls all the services, but that didn’t help. She then transferred me to a very nice man named Leonard, who said we probably needed a new modem, and that he would get in his truck and come right over to replace it.
All the support folks I spoke with said there were no reports of service interruptions in my neighborhood. We waited for Leonard for more than an hour when he finally phoned and said that something on top of a utility pole at the end of our street had melted, and that he and another guy were fixing it. All their custmers in our neighborhood had lost their service and I was the only one who phoned to report it. Husband took the dog for a walk and saw Leonard and his coworker up the pole fixing whatever it was that melted. By 6:30, everything was working again.
I am waiting for the neighbors to hold a parade in my honor for saving the day. I also am impressed with the local phone company for sending out service technicians on rainy Saturday afternoons.
What are some positive and/or interesting customer service experiences you have had? Have you ever saved the day?
YA came into my room on Friday and asked me if I wanted to go to Lowbrow for breakfast on Mother’s Day. Lowbrow is her favorite. My favorite breakfast place is actually Black Coffee & Waffle but I would never attempt going there on a Sunday. It’s a very small place and they only make the waffles when you order them, so service is slow. Since my favorite was out of the question, I said sure to Lowbrow. YA wasn’t able to do a reservation online so she was forced to use the telephone and talk to the restaurant live (horrors). They said all their reservations were full but they had a few tables held for walk-ins.
We decided to go right away at opening (9 a.m.) but I was dismayed when we turned the corner and there was already a robust gathering outside the door…. In the rain. As is always the case on Mother’s Day, there were quite a few large groups – you could see through the windows that the tables were already pushed together and set. It took about 15 minutes before we made it inside and the couple in front of us took the last free table. 90 minute wait. Believe me when I say that spending 90 minutes with YA before she has eaten is not a good way to start off your Mother’s Day.
There is a new little restaurant across the street from Lowbrow; it looked fairly empty so we headed over there. They did have a table for us but before we sat down they showed us the Sunday brunch menu – a prix fixe with a starter board, a choice of three entrees (only one of which was a vegetarian option) and a choice of two desserts. Neither of us was too interested and the $45 per person price tag pushed us right out the front door.
It took us about 2 minutes to decide to drive to Perkins, where we know they don’t take reservations and where there are lots and lots of tables. No wait and a special Mother’s Day menu with lots of strawberry options. YA had the Fresh Strawberry Pancake stack and I had the Fresh Strawberry Belgian Waffle. It was farther from home than we had planned on, different menu than we had planned on. It was more crowded and noisier than we prefer but we had a very nice time. We topped off our experience with a quick trip to Trader Joe’s (YA adores Trader Joes), which was also very busy, doing a whopping flower business! Ya gotta love Mother’s Day!
When was the last time things didn’t go as planned for you?
Talking about animals…. Again… I heard the song ‘Sky Pilot’ by The Animals.
How many of the baboons have served in the military? Thank you for serving.
Anything you’d like to share about your service?
Any comments about the song?
I got started planting corn on Friday. Checked seed depth and placement.
Then I got rained out. It wasn’t supposed to rain until 7:00 and then only a little bit. Well. It started raining about 4:30. And it doesn’t take much before it’s sticking to the wheels of the tractor and planter, and the press wheels and closing wheels. And once that happens, seed depth is affected and it’s time to stop. And it rained all evening and we got an inch. Then another half inch the next day. And another inch Thursday. And I was dealing with Commencement Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday so the rain was OK. A lot of other guys got corn got planted though. Big equipment and many guys working a lot of longer hours than I do. Kudo’s to them. I talked to one guy who not only finished planting corn but finished planting soybeans as well. He said, “When we start something we go hard.” I guess. And it’s more than just him working it too. So it goes. We’ll get there.
Commencement went well; a good bunch of people, and while there were some minor technical issues, nothing serious. My work student, April and I hung a few lights last week, before they placed the stage. Monday, the IT guys had the projector hanging and running and the screen up before I got there at 10:00 AM.
April and I then hung the rest of the main lights, we got all the ground stuff running before I went home Monday evening about 7:00. It should have been sooner, but I had some issues. There was a high impendence air gap* in one of the fixtures that daisy chained to several others. And I numbered some of them wrong. Twice. I spent two hours trying to figure out what the heck was going on. Part of me just wanted to go home and deal with it in the morning with a fresh mind. But I knew I’d lay in bed thinking about this. I knew I had to fix it before I went home. Ah. Yep, Brain Fart. Numbered them appropriately and I went home and slept well.
It always comes down fast; a lot of helpers picking up chairs and the IT crew get their stuff down quick, and April and I got our stuff down quick and we were done with the hard part by 9:00 PM. Hauled my stuff back to the theater and the truck showed up for the rental stuff and I was home having ice cream by 10:00 PM.
AND! None of my appendages or internal organs fell off, or plugged up, or turned red, or swoll up! Yay me! I can do this!!
Last week was Kelly’s birthday. This week was my birthday. And Friday the 12th was our 33rd wedding anniversary. We don’t celebrate too hard. (we all took the day off and slept in) There’s a big family reunion happening on Saturday. It started as a ‘cousins get-together’; my nieces and nephews; that set of cousins. Some from Florida, some from South Carolina, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and various places in Minnesota. The cousins getting together turned into the whole families getting together and we’ll celebrate all the birthdays in May (There’s at least 6), Mothers day, our anniversary, our son and DiL’s anniversary, and our matriarch, my mom, turning 97 on the 16th.
Kelly and I always laugh about going to the all-night grocery store about midnight before our wedding because she wanted 3 gallons of lime sherbet for the punch the next day. I remember saying “Where are you going to put it!??” in her tiny little apartment freezer.
Kelly’s taste and smell are coming back after her covid. And she’s got a bit of a cough yet. My nose still runs, but I’m good otherwise.
We were running errands the other night and taking the scenic route and heard, off in the corner of a parking lot, a Jazz band. They were playing New Orleans jazz and it was really fun and we parked and listened to them for a few minutes. We tried to find out if they do this every Sunday night or it was just a jam session, or what, but we didn’t find anyone that spoke English. Man, they were good!
Signed a contract for insulation for the shop. Found some ‘reject’ windows at a lumber yard that I decided to add. Used some chalk and marked out the floor for the walls and doors. Talked to some HVAC and LP guys about how big of a heater I’d need and where to put the LP tank.
My college boss made a comment about the next show opening in 2 weeks and my head kinda went blank for a minute. Heck. My focus was just on getting through commencement. I knew there was another show at the end of the month, but I hadn’t really looked at the calendar yet. It’s fairly small, and fairly easy. (and to be honest, I’m waiting for this whole thing to fall apart, but I didn’t say that out loud). So, I better work on that next week. I still haven’t gotten the college shop cleaned up from the play we closed on April 29th because we went right into concerts and then right into commencement. It’s making me crazy.
Then I’m doing another show opening the first week of June. Another in July, another in August, and then summer’s over and I’m back at the college. Bother.
What are your summer plans? Did you play with matches?
This is the first year that I’ve done the major spring clean up without YA. Even when she was very young, she could come behind and put clippings and yard waste into bags. These days she particularly likes to spread out mulch; most of the seriously dirty yard work she leaves to me.
It’s been rough to have her out of town this week – no one to pick up after me and no one else to sling around bags of mulch. The fact that it is suddenly quite warm has been a shock to my system as well. In fact, on Tuesday afternoon, after I had been working in the back yard, the idea of carrying the full yard bags down to the boulevard was more than I could stomach thinking about.
The picture above is real. I put the bags into the back of my car and drove them down the driveway to the boulevard. So sad although to my credit, the car was already backed out of the garage and the keys were hanging right there on the fence.
Makes me think that if YA ever moves out, I’m going to have to bribe her big time to come help me with the yard every spring!
What home projects do you wish someone else would do for you?
The first real day of gardening for me includes attacking my creeping charlie. While I was working, I remembered the Godzilla comparison I wrote about a couple of years ago. But since getting rid of creeping Charlie is a good thing in my world, how could I be Godzilla, a horrible, scary, destructive monster.
I was thinking through all the Godzilla movies (yes, I’ve seen them all, even the Matthew Broderick) and it occurred to me that in the Japanese films, Godzilla went through a “nice-ification” over the years. In a few of the movies, Godzilla actually comes to the rescue by fighting off worse monsters (Mothra, Ghidorah, Gigan, Megalon, etc.) When Godzilla became a father in Son of Godzilla, he really mellowed.
This is a more common occurrence than you realize. I can think of a lot of characters who morph from the bad guys to good guys. M.A.S.H. is the best example; although Frank Burns never redeemed himself, Colonel Blake started off as a lame head of the unit before he sobered up and became beloved of this staff, then Charles started off as a pain-in-the-patoot and gradually became just one of the guys. Diagnosis Murder had a string of hospital administrators who started out as impediments and eventually became supporters of Dr. Sloan. Hamilton Berger, the DA on the first Perry Mason series eventually toned down his attitude and even asked Perry to represent a friend of his at one point. Lots of long-standing series went through this.
I’m glad I can still be Godzilla in my creeping Charlie battles without feeling guilty for destroying Tokyo!
Any bad guys that you actually like? Or morphed into someone you could like?
As of Sunday morning, I am re-retired! Although I’m doing a few hours a week of finish-up, my programs ran last Friday and Saturday and were a big hit, so I’m done. Phew.
I knew before I went to bed Saturday night that one of my treats to myself would be a trip to Gertens. YA and I got most of our plantings already (we’re big Bachmans supporters) but there were just a couple of things we still needed. I slept in, had a late breakfast and then headed out. I knew that it would be crowded; it was a gorgeous morning and the first nice weekend day we’ve had to far this “spring”. And I was correct, it was very crowded; even the overflower parking lot across the street was full, with folks waiting for others to leave in order to snag their parking spot. It felt as if everybody in the Twin Cities was there shopping. All 12 outdoor cashier kiosks were open with lines at each one and the place was crawling with customers and employees. I saw at least four different young men retrieving carts from all over the place.
I only needed plants for 3 baskets, including Dragonwing Begonias (which I adore) and I also wanted to check out raspberry canes. The winter was not good to our canes and I thought I’d get a pot to fill in a sparse spot.
As you can see from the photo, I came away with much more than I intended. A pretty yellow peony, a beautiful dark purple iris and two dual-color dianthus jumped onto my cart while I was pushing it around. And the raspberry canes looked good, so got three pots instead of one. I texted YA to say I shouldn’t be allowed to go to Gertens by myself!
Any places you are too tempted by to go by yourself?
Baboons, meet Phoebe our Corgi puppy. We are getting to know her. Corgi puppies are reputed to be terrors, and that would be true of this puppy. She is now 9 weeks old. Ever curious, she gets into all possible crevices and under and behind furniture. Her little hind end is really cute sticking out of whatever trouble she has just found. When I let her come outside with me to “help” me garden, she discovered digging. She also appears to be a food-driven dog, stealing Bootsy’s food at every opportunity. She is smart. She is learning to ring the dog bells at the front door, and already gets that anytime she is outdoors, she should do her potty duty.
The morning frenzy is a challenge. When I get up in the morning she wants to be fed, to be petted and cuddled, sit on my lap, bark and yip. And bite. This dog’s baby teeth are razor sharp resulting in little cuts and abrasions on our hands. A short walk down the block and back seems to help a lot.
Bootsy, the elder Corgi, seems to have recovered from the deep offense of this puppy moving in, graduating to sniffing and stealing the puppy’s chew bones, then hoarding them on the couch. At least I know where to find them. She also makes forays into the dog bed we acquired for Phoebe. Bootsy had her own which she snubbed for years. She is making friends with the puppy.
She is fun and challenging in the manner of puppies. The neighbors are noticing her and come to play and admire Phoebe, too.
I am the chairperson of the regulatory and licensing board for psychologists in my state. We are all appointed by the governor. They are entirely volunteer positions. We receive no remuneration for our services. The Board is self funded by fees our licensees pay, and those fees mainly go toward secretarial and legal services. There are only seven of us on our Board, as well as a secretary from an agency we contract for services. I am proud of the work we do protecting the public and efficiently licensing providers in our state.
Our Board must abide by State procurement rules for acquiring goods and services. Because of my role as chairperson, I get all the emails from the Office of Management and Budget Procurement Office that the head of every State agency receives. I was tickled last week to get an unintentionally funny email from the Procurement Office asking if we were interested in purchasing clothing for our agency that had our logo on it. If we were, the Procurement Office would send us a list of vendors who could provide the clothing and logos at State approved rates. They suggested we set up a room where employees/members could go to purchase the clothing. I should mention that we don’t have a logo.
Husband thought we should order berets. (He is the Board complaint investigator by virtue of being married to me, and the Board not having anyone else who would do it pro bono. ) I thought mortar boards would be fun. I also thought our logo could be a brain with lightening bolts coming out it. As there are so few of us, though, it probably wouldn’t be cost effective to put in an order.
Did you ever wear special clothing for your workplace? What do you want your logo to be?
I heard the song the House of the rising Sun on the radio the other day. Why is that song so cool, so iconic? I know it’s about avoiding a life gone wrong, but it’s so fun. I love that guitar opening, the organ, the rhythms, and the harmonies. And there are so many bad covers of it. (Dolly Parton? Really? Really. Her version is barely recognizable.)
A busy week again. I did finally get concrete in my shed. It’s going to be awesome. We thought it would be last Thursday. Thursday turned into Friday turned into Monday turned into Tuesday and finally Wednesday before concrete actually showed up, but I have cement! Thursday they checked it out, Friday they excavated all the dirt. Monday rock was delivered and they moved that inside and packed it and put rebar in place. Nothing on Tuesday and then concrete delivered on Wednesday. Two trucks, 18.5 yards. Thursday they came back and took the forms off and backfilled the dirt. And Friday, yesterday, they plan to cut the lines in it. I shouldn’t drive a tractor on it for at least two weeks while it fully cures. Concrete is a fascinating material. Magnesium trowels smooth it out, but steel trowels bring the paste to the top. I don’t understand why that is. They had to go rent a power trowel and they bought a soft cut saw. They have a lot of this equipment, it’s just down in Florida, where the boss is starting a second branch. Business is good in the Concrete world.
Barn swallows came back on May 2. The sandhill cranes have been around again. The pheasant is still strutting his stuff. All of those things remind me of Steve.
And unfortunately, the coyotes are back too. Bailey had a good eye out early one morning, and Kelly got a shot at one of them. Surprising, the coyotes ran a half a mile away, and made a second attempt. I fired again just to scare them off, too far away to think I could actually hit one. The dogs spent quite a while following the scent. The next day, the dogs chased them away again before they got so close and they haven’t come back since then. Yet. Good dogs, good dogs. Extra treats for you.
Kelly got a sore throat last Tuesday which turned into Covid by Thursday. A few days later I got a sore throat, but I’m still testing negative and other than a runny nose and cough, I’m doing OK. Thankfully. I have things to do. And I’m starting to get a complex. Back in 2019 I got through commencement and then I got cellulitis on my leg and spent a week in the hospital and wasn’t allowed to get in the tractor for a month. And then, of course, last year and everything. I’m starting to think it is commencement that messes me up. I didn’t have any issues in 2020 or 2021 when we didn’t have commencement ceremonies or any of this spring business.
I put the outdoor faucet back on the well house and hooked up the hoses so it’s a little easier watering the chickens. This week at the college was the concert, just the one on Thursday night. Because band rehearsal is Monday and Wednesday and choir rehearsal is Tuesday and Thursday, I never see a full rehearsal of both groups so I have to make up a lot of stuff as I’m going. It’s just the way it is. Educated guesses are helpful. This is nothing new…it’s been the norm for a few years. But at least I don’t go to my office after the show and pout anymore. Or come home and drink.
Next week Monday and Tuesday is set up for commencement. Wednesday morning is l nurse pinning ceremony on the commencement stage, and that evening is the regular college commencement. It all comes down Wednesday night and Thursday I’ll see what else I can find to do. Takes me a few days to get everything put away at the college theater.
Haven’t had any ducks now for a while, even the two males that I had flew away I think. Chickens seem to be doing OK but they have started hiding eggs in random places so my daily collection is down. I have to check all the corners and dark places to see if there are eggs hiding in random places.
Still have seven guineas. Baby chicks will arrive June 1.
The oats finally started to appear on Wednesday when the temps got up to 60°. Finally getting that green haze that makes me so excited. Whew. Sure is nice to see it growing and know I didn’t screw it up.
Got the snow fence down one day. It was kinda fun; between my knee and shoulder, the snow fence has been a pain. Literally.
Watching corn prices, it’s been over $6 / bushel since last fall, and usually drops in the spring as this year’s crop acres are predicted. I had 2000 bushels in storage from last fall. I sold that this week; missed the highest price, but it’s sure better than when corn was $3 / bushel. Predictions for this year’s crops are 91.99 million acres of corn and 87.51 million acres of and the “experts” say they’re not worried about the late spring in the northern states.
I see a few people cutting grass. That’s coming next.
I’ve done some fieldwork with my tractor buddy Bailey, and I’ve got the planter ready to go.
The co-op spread corn fertilizer late Thursday so I can start planting corn if the weather cooperates on Friday. Between my three meetings and a show Friday night.
I’m having a very busy week with both my programs running (one today, one tomorrow); several trips to the office have been required, including most of today at the warehouse and all of tomorrow at the warehouse. This is stressing me out.
To keep myself somewhat balanced I’m trying to keep up with my reading; reading is my #1 de-stressor. Currently I’m reading Boys in the Boat (actually listening on CD and hoping I actually finish by Blevins), a biography of Shirley Jackson, The Dark Queens about Brunhilde and Fredegund in the 6th century, finally got started on John Dyer’s Illusion of Gravity (John is an occasional baboon) and then Wolverine’s Daughter by Doranna Durgin that I picked up for $2.50 in a bookstore in Nashville last October. A nice mix of genres so that at any given minute I can pick up something that seems the best of soothe me.
As you can see from the photo, Nimue likes to help me read, especially if I’m sitting on my bed when I read!