Thursday, October 31, 2013

Where Have All The Trick-r-Treaters Gone?

My goodness, I have a lot of candy left!    Last year I ran out, so this year I guess I over-bought.    Our community specifies that trick or treating goes from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.   And although it had rained all day, it was warm and merely damp by evening.    Even so, there was no steady stream of children, just dibs and dabs all evening.   I started out giving one piece, but by 7:00 pm I was handing it out by the handsful.     I had every good kind of candy I could find, and what turned out to be my biggest temptation?    Laffy Taffy!   I gave away the Snickers and Reeses and Twix and ate bunches of that nasty artificial putty-textured stuff.    Yum.   My daughter in Louisiana is always thrilled when we have a low turn out up here, because the leftovers all get mailed down to her.   Except that she'll miss out of the Laffy Taffy because there isn't any of that left!
 The highlights this year?  Well, my grandchildren, of course.    But I also met a Prince Charming (I told him I've heard it all before and was no longer impressed), and a recent divorcee who repurposed her wedding gown (she showed me her wedding pictures) to symbolize her efforts to build a new life.     And one young couple, pushing a very little guy in a stroller, told me flat out that he couldn't have it but they were still hoping for some candy.   I gave them two handsful because I know that feeling well! 
Maybe cutest of all, one little boy spontaneously looked up at me (before I'd given him a thing) and declared to his daddy, "that is a very nice lady!"   Another child told me earnestly that some people do scary things on Halloween and he does not like that one bit and he was happy I was not scary.   I think I was probably wearing my Grandma Face, and it was nice to have it noticed.

My friend did more work on my house this week, to my delight.   I know he doesn't really have the time to spare, so it was especially sweet.  He put my basement sliding doors back on track so that I can hide the messes within.    And he added wire and created a place for my 2 meter  radio antenna to come into what will be my shack once I am done buying the equipment I need (with a cleverly inserted length of fishing line to pull up the coax for my second antenna when the time comes.   The 2 meter has already made a difference, because when I attached my HT and put out a call, I got responses on several frequencies, way more action than I usually scare  up!  :)    He also stayed for dinner, which was my favorite part of all.    Anyone who likes to cook and doesn't have anybody to cook for anymore knows exactly what I mean.  :)
This weekend is search and rescue training,  and I've somehow twisted my foot.   It hurts like heck to put weight on it, but my plan is to walk it out until it either gets better or bad enough to need treatment.   No sense babying it.    It will be interesting to see how my plan works out.    One thing I know, if I walk out with the group into the brush, I need to keep up until we get back.    No slackers allowed.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Nearing Overload

I have been complaining about wanting something new to do, about needing to add something to my schedule, and claiming that the Universe would provide it.   Boy howdy, that Universe is always listening!   I opened my mouth once too often and ended up on a bunch of Search and Rescue projects this week.   I am not complaining, not really, although it certainly sounds like complaining when I say it out loud, but I am now on 2 sub-committees, in the middle of reviewing a bunch of lawyerly issues and documents, and planning the Christmas party to boot.    Too bad I can't afford to quit my job, because my hobbies could certainly fill my time!

This has been another busy weekend.   Yesterday was cold and rainy, but I worked an amateur radio station at the Boy Scouts Jamboree on the Air, letting scouts of all ages work the radio and contact other hams and scouts in a variety of places.   Our tent had four stations and between us we made contact all over the world, including many states, England, Italy, and Scotland.   At my stations kids talked to people as young as 3 years old (a little girl named Hope who did an amazing job!) and to adults who had been scouts 50 years ago.     Some of the scouts went absolutely nuts over it, and I expect to hear them on the air someday soon because they wanted all the information about how and where to get their license.   Others were more nervous about the whole process, but I won't be surprised to see them consider amateur radio somewhere down the line when they've grown out of their nerves.   Lots of fun for me, although it got mighty damp and chilly after 7 hours in our open tent!     Afterward, dinner and a movie with a friend, made it pretty much the perfect day, despite the weather.

Today was spent on another radio exercise,  an emergency drill in our local ARES group.   I got to work the digital Packet station for the first time, while also copying voice traffic, and that was a lot of fun, as new things generally are.   One of the guys offered to help me set up a Packet station at home which was good on several levels -- mostly because I'd like that, but also because I think this group is finally accepting that I'm planning to stay.  :-D

And now it's back to those many documents and a review of the dreaded legalise.    I thought I had packed my lawyer hat away forever, so it needs a little dusting off and I can't help but hope for rescue in the form of a better way to spend the afternoon.   But it has to be done, so I'll pull on my Big Girl panties and get to work.   

After that, barring a better offer, I'll put together a few more blocks of the baby quilt I started an embarrassingly long time ago.    The blocks have been done and spread on my craft room floor for almost six months -- it's a good think nobody's pregnant!

I hope you are all having a fabulous weekend, filled with fun.  :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Preaching Again

I visited today with a woman whose husband will not live many more hours.   She told me that two months ago he was well, appeared to be healthy, and was just going about his usual business.  Two months.    Obviously I see this stuff in hospice pretty often but I must not believe it because it feels like a new priority-spotlight-crisis every time.   

So now I am running around again like Paul Revere (or chicken little?), raising the alarm.     And trust me, I'm preaching the same line to other people and to myself.     But I've got to say it to you, too. 

No kidding, no matter how much you love what you are doing, find some time for the people you love and those you would like to.   Find somebody to snuggle up.    Because no matter how much you love your job or your hobbies, I don't think those are the things you will cherish if time suddenly runs out.    Do and say whatever you would wish you had done or said if it turned out that you are under a two month limited time offer.   Because even if it isn't two months, it IS a limited time offer.

You may now return to your regularly programmed life.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cutest Garage Sale Sign Ever!

I saw this garage sale sign on my way home today, just a little way from my house.   I had to share -- just thought it was the cutest thing ever.      I wish I were so creative!  :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Around The House

I have been busy this weekend, lots of goings on at work,  but not as productive at home as I'd like.    That lazy streak is never far from the surface with me, but I did get a few things done.    I did 'finish' painting the white part of the front porch (the blue trim still needs some touch up) -- actually, the whole porch could use another coat or two of paint and a whole lot of clean up.   I didn't do a very good job.   But I finally ran out of paint and decided that was as good a way as any to decide that the job was complete.    Even a poor job is a big improvement, as you can see from the before and after photos!

It took me several days just to unpack my gear from the Search and Rescue training and get it cleaned and ready to go if I am called out.    Once that task was done, as a reward to my aching feet for getting me through all the woods-trekking last weekend (and to remove a lot of white paint from my bad habit of painting in bare feet), I went for a long overdue pedicure this week.   I found Serenity Spa, the cutest ever salon, right here in Saginaw.   Jessica did a wonderful job, my happy toes were filed and smoothed and painted Princesses Rule Pink.  :)

I did accomplish the usual odds and ends -- changed my sheets, got groceries, wrote a thank you note, did some research projects for clubs I am in, spent an evening with my grandchildren.    I also finally packed and mailed a little housewarming gift to a friend's daughter who just moved to a new apartment.    I don't know her very well, so I tried to make a little "blessings box" that I would be happy to receive.     I included local honey (with the wish that her life be filled with sweetness),  one of my potholders (protection from harm),  a candle (light through darkest times) and a foot scrub (love of friends and family to ease every burden).   Definitely not a big deal - the gift cost less than the postage -- but it was pretty cute, if I say so myself.  I hope she likes it, too. 
Tasks still on the list for today are laundry, maybe a baking project (it is wonderful baking weather today!), CW practice,  some general housework and, I hope, a walk out in this glorious weather.     Tomorrow I will be doing a funeral for one of my patients, and getting ready to start the week all over again.   

Monday, October 7, 2013

Aching All Over!

What a week!    My grandson broke his arm -- another playground accident, and just a short time after injuring his eye.   Not a good month for the little guy!    He was most upset about missing cello practice but they were able to tape the bow to his splint and he soldiered through.    What amazing perseverance, I have a lot to learn from him!
This was also the weekend for my Search and Rescue Operations training, which included night searches, navigation, and a bunch of other stuff that was all new to me.   We spent about 16 hours in the field, which was actually a forested area with a lot of underbrush, searching day and night for clues.    The leaves are turning and falling, and the forest was absolutely beautiful, despite the rain.   The night searches were magical, with different sounds and smells and the sight of our flashlights scanning through the woods.     There were slippery leaves, mud and forest critters, and it was hard to ignore the sheer beauty of it to focus on clue finding.  In our classroom we saw (and rescued) a very large wolf spider, something I'd never seen before.
We didn't know going in what we were searching for, beyond a vague description of an imaginary person, but as it turned out, some of the clues were quite large, while others were pretty small.   In one exercise the clues were playing cards, and the red backs of the small cards blended into the fallen leaves pretty well.   I know I missed a bunch of them in the underbrush and that was frustrating.    We hiked what felt like a million miles, and then worked our way through fallen trees and thick underbrush, always searching.      It was beyond exhausting for this old body, but SO much fun.    And although I was sometimes sopping wet, my Vasque boots kept my feet warm and dry the whole time!  :)
There was a lot of compass and map navigation -- I really like learning the navigation skills and am getting better with a compass, shooting bearings, but still get turned around sometimes in the forest with the map where there are few landmarks and need a lot more work on that.    As is so often the case, I didn't do as well as I wished or as badly as I feared.     But I know that my skills will get better if I work at it, and I know that being good at it is important to me because I might some day be able to be of benefit to the community through this work.