Friday, February 26, 2021

what's your favorite?

I have a problem with those sites that require security questions then give a list to choose from.  For instance, they suggest "What's your favorite food?" as a security question??

Honestly,  my favorite food today might not be my favorite food tomorrow or next week or the next time I try to login to the site, y'know what I'm saying?  Similarly:  favorite song, favorite  movie, favorite celebrity... Enough with the "favorites", already!  Mine change.

So I usually end up with my childhood nickname or my high school mascot - things that plenty of people already know about me - as my security question.  Ah well, Security Schmecurity.

But here's a post of some of my RECENT favorite things

The earth's tilt.  Anyone else noticed the days getting longer?  Despite the fact that most of us were f-f-f-f-freezing last week, spring is on the way.  I've noticed I have more light during my early morning rides into work.  I no longer arrive with the stars still out, but rather with the sun just starting to peek above the horizon.  Still freezing, but lighter toward the East.

We're not quite to the point of this commute photo I took last spring, but we're getting there!

Arizona.  No, not the state.  I still have yet to visit that sunny mecca, but I've recently discovered the music group, Arizona - who by the way is based out of New Jersey?  Sample tune [here].

Local pathways.  Along the lines of brighter days, I have renewed appreciation for the local multi-use paths and their upkeep.  With the recent snows, it's nice to know that the pathways are there and will actually be plowed/ brushed right away.  I just have to figure out how to get out of my neighborhood.

Not my photo.  I  Googled

Speaking of Google... it's certainly nothing new, but let's pause for a bit of gratitude.  It came in handy at work again a couple of days ago.  Most of us are pretty well-versed in dietary restrictions and special textures commonly required by residents in our facility.  A new admit came in with something not so common, and I wanted to make sure we didn't naively give him something he shouldn't have.  

I looked to the hefty 3-inch reference binder, chock full of dietary information.  Knowing it would take me a while just to find the particular page of this guy's condition, I said, "screw it, let's google".  Long story short, I learned stuff, and we didn't send Jim to the hospital.  Took less than a minute.

This hood thing.  Lastly, I recently purchased this hood thing for myself.  It seems silly, actually.  It's like a hoodie without the sweatshirt part.  But it's SO comfy and warm!  

Just putting it on, in the house, for the excuse of taking a  photo makes me happy...

...for now.

Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
5. List your five most recent favorite things.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

bring the heat

Happy Sunday, y'all.  The start of my "weekend".

I'm happy to report that I've felt very little adverse effects from my second hit of the COVID vaccine.  Had some mild muscle soreness develop a little into the day after, but it was all gone by evening.  I'm actually glad I felt something, because otherwise I would have wondered if the thing was doing anything!

We were concerned at work because a number of us were scheduled to work the day after our shots, and we didn't know how each would respond.  For the most part, people felt mild "crappiness", but were able to work just fine.  Our boss was relieved as she'd struggled quite a bit the day after her second shot.

"I felt like butt", in her words

I did start receiving texts from one coworker early Friday morning, however:

So yeah, that particular coworker soldierly dragged herself in for about an hour and then went home to "vomit in peace" once we were able to establish coverage for her.  Any voodoo attempts apparently didn't work. 

I'm still fantasizing a getaway.  It doesn't even need to be a warm getaway, although that would be nice.  But I'd be happy with a trip to the mountains, maybe a sunny ski resort.  "Sunny" being the operative word.

Although I've spent most of my life in Colorado, I've not skied (I had to google to see if that's the correct spelling for past-tense of ski) a whole lot.  I didn't learn to ski until I was 19 and in college and actually got a P.E. credit for my efforts.  Then there were the university years when, who had money for lift tickets??

There was one season there when I wasn't a broke student and also had a boyfriend who liked to ski and take me along.  We would load up early on weekends and hit the slopes.  "Hit" being the operative word in my case.  But I was young and could easily bounce back, literally, from the many wipeouts.  

That was many years ago, and snowboarding wasn't a thing yet.  Now, I watch snowboarding and it looks like fun.  Back in the 70's, when skateboarding was in a heyday, we kids spent our days zipping around and I became relatively skilled myself.  I now have the front teeth crowns to show for it.  So I think I would have picked up snowboarding pretty easily.  Sometimes I'm tempted to give it a shot.  I wonder how it would feel all these years later?

Okay, then again, maybe I'll just count "survived my COVID vaccine" as this winter's physical accomplishment...

Thursday, February 18, 2021

any plans?

Trying not to look like
I'm taking a selfie
Received my second hit of Pfizer COVID vaccine today.

Others who've gone before said the second one hits a bit harder than the first.  I feel like my normal self so far, about six hours into the ruckus.  Give it time...

My shot giver made a bit of small talk with me as he readied the syringe.

"Got any plans for the weekend?", nosily.

"Nah, mainly just recovering from this vaccine, I suppose"

"Aah, you'll be fine!", confidently.

Then he injected me and went right into his spiel about the awful things I might experience.

No foliage to sit among while in observation mode this time. The shot people were in a big room in a different building from last time. But still a comfortable enough waiting area.

In other work related updates, SurpriseMe has seemingly returned to her normal mellow self with no mention of Saturday's disturbance.  We know not to ask.

I did notice today that she still has the mysterious bandage.  Stitches?  Seems a long time for a tattoo.

I checked the archives to see what I was blogging about a year ago.  Not much, really.  I'd just bought a new winter parka to replace my old faithful 20-year-old winter parka that had served me well through many a freezing time.

Well, now I'm very grateful for that new parka as it has proven itself a worthy replacement.  It's been so c-c-c-cold here lately like much of the country.  Yay for good outerwear!

This time last year, we were blithely oblivious to all things pandemic.  COVID was mainly that coronavirus thing in China.  We walked around willy nilly and naked faced.  I had a part-time job that included preparing buffet items.  What's a buffet??

Now I'm sitting around, compliantly 6 feet or more apart from masked people after being inoculated for my different job, wondering what side effects will kick in and when.  Early trends seem to show positive effects from the vaccine.  Obviously, I hope that holds and that more people can get vaccinated if they want...

... and that we're blogging happy (social?) things next year.

Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
2. What were you writing about last year at this time? What has changed?

Sunday, February 14, 2021

chocolate and mystery

"Take a picture, it lasts longer". Remember that snarky comment? Well, it's not wrong.

We made some chocolate covered strawberries at work yesterday as a little Valentine's Day treat for the residents.  Needless to say, we salvaged a few for us lowly workers.  I barely managed to snap a pic before they were gone.

As the little party in my mouth was happening, I realized I'd never had a chocolate covered strawberry before.  How is that?  

I think I ate a chocolate covered cherry once and was not impressed, so subliminally swore of chocolate covered fruits?  
Well, count me back in the game.

So Happy Valentine's Day.  I don't know about y'all, but it is F-F-F-F-F-FREEZING here today.  Quite invigorating, really.

Yesterday was a rather interesting day at work.  I went in expecting a ho-hummer as everyone who was scheduled is highly competent with little need for direction.  For the most part, that ended  up being the case after a rocky start.  For matters of privacy, I will refer to these coworkers by their food preferences to summarize.

BaconEggSammich had left early the day before as she was experiencing much cramping and heavy menstrual flow (sorry guys).  I was actually concerned about her amount of blood loss as she looked rather pale when she headed to Urgent Care.

BowlOfCereal has been having troubles with her left hand and shoulder and had undergone a few tests this week to seek solutions. She's not happy about any of the possible fixes. 

Normally even-keeled SurpriseMe drug in seeming emotionally upset.  When I asked her about it, she replied, "If I talk about it, I'll start crying".

It was a day of the walking wounded.  BaconEggSammich was actually in good spirits as she'd been given Valium and a blood transfusion and happily announced, "I'm wearing a diaper!", but probably shouldn't be putting in a full day of work.  

BowlofCereal was fine as always, but still stressing about impending possible surgery.  SurpriseMe livened up to her seemingly old self as the day went on, but remained our chief concern. She told me she'd tried to get someone else to come in for her, but gave up after two turn downs as it was so last minute.

She never did open up about the cause of her distress.  To further add to the mystery, she had a conspicuous fresh bandage around her left biceps.  If  not for the bandage, I might've settled on assuming a loved on had died or fallen ill.  

But... the bandage.

So, a day in the life of this Den Mother.  A bum arm, a diaper, tears and a mysterious bandage.  

At least there was chocolate.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

chase the cares away?

I came across this article a few days ago with tips for quickly increasing happiness, particularly in the middle of a pandemic.  Oddly specific, yes, but certainly relevant these days.

In summary, the recommended five quickie activities are:

  • Organize your errands (having a plan reduces stress)
  • Message someone important (today's "socializing")
  • Check your vacation day balance (visualize good times)
  • Watch relaxing nature videos (increase in amusement and curiosity)
  • Write a journal entry (gain control of your emotions)

Okay, nothing earth shattering.  

I'm pondering how much of this stuff I already do.  For instance, yesterday, I organized my errands, sort of.  I was a bit bored and decided to clean my office. Woopy doo.  But, in doing so, I decided to post my old vacuum cleaner for sale.  The vacuum cleaner had a new owner, and I had some fun money within an hour.  Win!

Message someone important?  Hmmm, well I read some blogs and commented.  Does that count?  I say, "yes", because blog friends are certainly important!  Win!

Check my vacation day balance?  I haven't specifically checked my available paid time off, but I have been pondering a little COVID-safe getaway to Arizona.  I've never been to Arizona, but it sounds so warm right now.

Watch relaxing nature videos?  Well, I do take video-watching breaks, but not necessarily relaxing nature videos.  I actually like to watch action-y videos in natural settings like skiing or snowboarding videos, mountain biking and other extreme things I don't do well.  While not necessarily relaxing, they do increase my amusement and curiosity ala, "how do you even do that?!" and/or "how many bones did THAT break?!"

Lastly, writing a journal entry.  Well... yah.  This counts, right? Win!


Additionally, I did another of those Tortoise and Hare races on Sunday.  This  month's was a 5-miler.  While it was a bit chilly and windy, conditions were much better than last month's slip 'n' slide.

In perusing the event photo gallery and "finding myself" in one photo, I found it ironic that I look so alone. The main reason I do these things is to get out with the other runners while managing the virus spread.  

Photographer dude musta had a zoom lens.  I swear, there were other runners.

I managed to pass more tortoises than hares passed me, thus adding a little to my point count.  All in all a fun time.

I'm thankful these little races are a thing, in this time of so many canceled things.

What are you doing to get/stay happy?  (PG-13 version)


Monday, February 8, 2021

the unfeverish

As with most workplaces that are open and operating, ours has a check-in station just inside the front entrance.  Sign in, take your temperature, declare yourself hale and hearty, don the daily facemask, etc...

One day last week, I went through the usual morning screening.  The thermometer indicated my temperature at 94.6F, which has been pretty typical lately.  A nurse happened to be following me in, and he noticed my sign in.  

"You should get that up to at least 96.0. 94.6 seems inaccurate."

Oh, okay, I'll just turn my heat dial a little more to the right.  What did he mean, "get that up"??  Like I can just regulate my body temperature on demand?  And what about "seems inaccurate"?  The company-provided thermometers are inaccurate, and somehow that's my fault? Was he asking me to lie on the sign-in sheet?  

I explained that I'd just ridden my bicycle in, and outside temps were in the low 20s, end of story.  I continued on in to work.  What was he gonna do, tackle me because my temperature was too low?  I kinda wish I'd asked him if he'd like me to lie about my temperature.  Yeah, that's what I shoulda said.

I'm recalling that now as I'm currently waiting for the outside temperature to "get up".  

I have an errand that I intend to run on my bicycle, but it's still quite chilly out. 

Come on, Earth.  Can't you get your Northern Hemisphere temperature up higher and faster?

Wolfgang borrowed one of our cars yesterday to go skiing.  His Jeep was having some work done at the shop, hence the borrowing.  He'd ridden his bicycle here on Saturday and left it when he got the car.  When he returned, it was dark, blustery, and cold out, so we loaded his bicycle into the car, and I gave him a ride back to his place.

After I returned home, we had the following long-winded text exchange:

Yep, we'd loaded up the bicycle but forgot the helmet - the helmet he'd intended to wear on his ride into work this morning.  Luckily, he has a spare helmet, so I plan to just deliver the left-behind sometime today once it gets warmer.  

But that pic... does the helmet look rather tiny to you?  I've noticed that effect a few times before when I've taken photos at arm's length of something I'm holding.  The thing I'm holding looks tinier than in real life.  

To me, this maybe looks like a helmet for a baby.  Maybe I really am abnormally inaccurate, and that nurse has me pegged.

And yes, I realize the photo was not necessary to get my point across.  But I'm of the generation that doesn't text at lightning speed.  A pic and an "Oops" says it.  Use the technology, that's what it's for.

Linking up (a little late) with Mama Kat for the prompt:
6. Pick up your phone, tell us about the last text exchange you had.

Monday, February 1, 2021

at least he didn't call me Karen

I was chatting with a coworker on Saturday, and we got on the subject of last names.  One of our rehab patients had an interestingly spelled  last name, so I asked him how it's pronounced.

"Well, in America, it's 'Carpenter', but the original French Canadian is '[SHAA] + [PON] + [TEE] + [AY]'"

"Oooh, I like it.  Let's use that one!"

So we were talking about last names, and my coworker told me that her mother didn't take her father's last name when they married.  Mom didn't feel a need to change it, and she liked her last name well enough, thanks.

I changed my last name to Magnum's when we got married mainly because, if we had kids (which we did), I felt we should all have the same last name (which we do).  Other than that, though, I miss my "old" name.  The current one is pretty bland and not [SHAA] + [PON] + [TEE] + [AY]

Additionally, since marrying, my last name is often misread.  My last name is Barker and, more often than not, people read Baker.  Quiz time, did you read Barker or Baker?  Be honest?

I'm this:

Not this:

But honestly, I feel like neither.  For one, those depictions are both decent looking men.  But OTHERWISE, although I've had my married name longer than I had my maiden (such a strange phrase) name, I still feel like the original me with the original name.  My maiden name was simple, one syllable.  I consider myself a minimalist, after all.  This Barker/Baker business gets to be a drag.

Yesterday, Meego and I went shopping for some dressy clothes.  He's becoming eligible for student internships, and while openings are rather sparse during these COVID times, a few are dotting the horizon.  If he manages to get an interview, he probably shouldn't show up in jeans and a hoodie.

We were at the men's clothing store where we've gotten such items for Chaco and Wolfgang in the past.  As such, I have an established account there under Chaco's name but with my email.  Our salesperson pulled up the account as we checked out, telling me I'd receive my receipt in my email.  He wanted to confirm my email and recited...

"Carlo Baker at..."

Carlo Baker??  Who the heck is Carlo Baker?  Oh look!  I found him!

And this guy's name isn't Carlo either

I'm still waiting for my email receipt.  Maybe I should give the bakery a call.

Do you like your name?  Have an opinion on wives taking husband's names? Does yours get butchered?  Or baked?