Tuesday, March 30, 2021

foster feet

Later today, I'm off to the dentist to sheepishly get fitted for another fake tooth.  Please tell me I'm not the only one whose dog ate their original.

This morning, I went to the gym, which is about a mile away.  I felt like walking to/from instead of riding my bike, so that's what I did.  As I was returning home, I saw a guy out for a run on the other side of the street.  He was sort of prancing/running, like he was working on his form or something.

Then I noticed his bright shoes and figured he was breaking in a new pair by overemphasizing things, getting a good feel.  Kinda high-steppin' it.

Back at home, I opened my instagram and saw that a local running store had some shoes for demo.  Get a pair, put them through your paces, bring them back and report.  Free.  On closer inspection, I was pretty sure they were the shoes prancing guy was wearing this morning - conducting research for his demo survey for the store, most likely.

So of course I had to join the fun and bring home a pair for myself.  It's like being a foster mom.  For shoes?

What will they tell me?

I checked online and learned they retail for $130.  Buyers can pay in 4 easy payments of $32.50.  And now I'm wondering, WHO makes shoe payments??  I won't even do car payments.

Anyway, I'm caring for them until Sunday when I will report back on their disposition and what kind of home would suit them.

Until then, I must keep the dogs from eating them.  Pretty sure I can't use HSA money for foster shoes.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

the week that wuz

I'm happy to say that my Wednesday Monday blahs disappeared as mysteriously as they arrived.  I guess Yaz and I will never know what that was about.  Nauseous girl chalked it up to a change in a prescription dosage, and thankfully we're all none the worse for wear.  The remainder of the week unfolded in its own unique way.

Wednesday, during my stupor, I managed to make it possible for our dog, Penny, to get hold of my partial denture.  It's the cheapest form of tooth replacement, and I have it for that bum tooth I had extracted a couple years ago.  I like having the freedom to take it out.

I know better than to leave it laying around willy nilly, but that's what I did when I was potatoing on the futon.  I thought it was out of Penny's reach, and then I forgot about it.  Later, as we were eating dinner, Magnum noticed her chewing on something.

He reached down and, "Oh, it's yer tooth", then placed this pink mangled thing on the table.

"Ah, Fudge!", or something like that.  Couldn't believe I let that happen.  Anyway, I had to make an embarrassing call to the dentist the following day.  

The director of the care facility where I work made the happy announcements regarding loosening of COVID restrictions this week.  Family members can come for inside visits again, complete with hugs.  He also mentioned that dog visits will start again.  These are dogs that are trained for "comfort care", not family pets.  I've only seen their photos.  

And now I'm thinking, "They let those dogs in, I'm not gonna get much work done."

Today was the final Tortoise and Hare race for the season.  This one a 12K, or 7.5 miles. Beautiful morning for it with temps about 40F, sunny and calm.  

My designated start time was 8:57am.  I was at the park with time to spare, but wasn't giving strong attention to the time clock, and was nearly late.

bringing up the rear,
two seconds late, still getting dressed

It was a good time with a good turnout, and I'm happy with how my run went.  Nice way to finish out the series.

almost managed to catch one more "tortoise" 

but she wasn't having it

Such a nice difference to two short weeks ago when we were struggling through two feet of snow.  Much more fun than shovelin'.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

that time I was a potato

 Yesterday, a little after getting home from work, I went over to the futon with the laptop and remained there, inert, for a couple hours.  Most days, I would maybe go for a short run, or go for a walk with Magnum, or do a quick grocery run before a shower.  Afterwards, maybe do a little sketching in the new sketchbook I bought for 12-year-old me.  But not yesterday.  Yesterday, I just felt like a potato.

I chalked it up to "Monday blahs" because Wednesdays are my Mondays, and left it at that.  Today, I was talking with my coworker "Yaz". She and I had worked together yesterday too.  She mentioned going home and laying around until about 6pm.

"At that point, I decided it was too late to do much else, so I just went to bed", according to Yaz.

She went on to say that her boyfriend woke her up in the middle of the night saying that she was "radiating a lot of heat".  She responded by rearranging the quilt a bit and going back to sleep.

Both Yaz and I woke up feeling just fine this morning and had an uneventful work day.  After I got home this afternoon, Magnum and I went for a typical little walk, and now here I am.  But the events had Yaz and me wondering if something was up.  Another of our coworkers left, feeling nauseous, shortly after coming into work yesterday.  Yaz and I weren't nauseous at all, just felt like potatoes.

Magnum joked about one of the COVID vaccine conspiracies:  we're being injected with something that will be activated when the evil oppressors activate a "kill switch".  Yaz, me, and the nauseous coworker all got our COVID vaccines on the same days.

"Maybe they were testing the kill switch yesterday", obviously.

Anyway, I did get myself a little sketchbook a week or so ago to occupy my downtime.  12-year-old me got excited about new sketchbooks, and I realized 56-year-old me does too.  Easily entertained, both of us. 

the first 'break-in' sketch

the one after shoveling a bunch o' snow

fabric folds practice with ridiculously low slung, ridiculously baggy jeans FTW

and this, wanting still life after a run

Starting tomorrow at the care facility, the residents will have a lot more freedoms from COVID restrictions since they and the remaining staff have received the vaccine.  I'm looking forward to that, and I'm sure most of them are too.  

Group dining?  Maskless Bingo?  Let the mayhem ensue.

Monday, March 22, 2021


 ...the deck chairs on the Titanic?

There's much grumbling mumbling going on at the care facility where I work.  I've mentioned that our CEO made the COVID vaccine mandatory for all staff by April 1.  We all figured it would have eventually been made a requirement for employment, but April 1st felt a bit abrupt.  Then there was a stressful mad dash to get it done in time.  For some, that is.

Others have decided to say, "Fine!", and turn tail.  We're losing a LOT of nurses, and other departments are losing people as well.  My crew is losing five that I know of.  

From people I've talked to, they probably would've been fine to get the vaccine later on down the line, but it was the principle of being told, "do it now or else!".  Not gonna lie, it rubbed me the wrong way too after we'd been told we'd have plenty of time to ask questions and learn more.

So now, those of us that gave in and got vaccinated lickety split are understandably worried about short staffing.  When I last checked the company website, there were still a crap ton of job openings.  April 1 is less than two weeks away.

Morale has slipped, I can feel it.  I feel it in myself as well.  I mentioned here also that my well-liked boss recently gave notice and is moving to a new role with another senior care company.  Good for her!  Many others are seeking alternatives, it's gonna be a downward spiral.

So I dunno, I'm not feeling a lot of loyalty right now.  Honestly, this was just meant to be a semi-retirement job for me - something with a good purpose to keep me busy and bring in a bit of fun money.  

I've decided I'll stick it out for at least another couple of months since  

  1.  I want to see what happens after April 1st and management's response
  2.  I'm curious to see who my boss's replacement will be.  And somewhat ironically,
  3.  I happen to be the Employee of the Month for March.  Seems bad form to put in notice in the middle of my "reign", with plaque etching still warm *snicker

Ever dealt with short-staffing/ low workplace morale/ inflexible upper management?

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

ya dig?

I woke up this morning thinking of things I would do today.  Then I remembered I could barely make it out of the neighborhood.  Feels like COVID lockdown all over again.

It finally stopped snowing Sunday evening, but, ugh, what a mess.  I remember thinking, last Friday when we were anticipating the storm, that in a week's time, it would all be gone.

Gonna need to rethink that one.

I went out yesterday afternoon to clear more snow.  A guy was at the adjacent house doing the same, digging out his Volvo.

"It never ends, does it?", I said by way of small talk

"Yeah", he acknowledged.  And then, "This is my first snowstorm."

Omigosh, his first snowstorm was a 2-footer?! 

He's from California, visiting our neighbors.  Southern California, I take it.  But he said he was having fun playing in the snow.  He was planning on starting the drive back today, but doesn't know if he can get out.

And I was thinking sunny California sounds wonderful right now.

Magnum and I ventured out for a little reconnaissance trek yesterday.  We eventually made it to a nearby walking/bike path.  Some cross country skiers had blazed a nice little trail for relatively easy footing.  I could really use some snowshoes about now.

I do love Colorado, though.  And I love having four seasons.  Some people around here are ranting about the lack of snow removal from the city.  They compare it to the amazing snow removal in the mountain towns.  

Thing is, we don't typically get storms this big.  Plus the mountain towns don't have nearly as many miles of roadways, sidewalks, paths, etc.  We're not equipped.  Our main roads are "clean enough" for the most part, but residential streets are far down the list of priority.  It's up to the big trucks to blaze a trail for smaller trucks until eventually the little people can get out with some help from the sun.  Volvo guy will probably have to wait.

We lived in the Ogden Valley of Utah during the early 2000's.  There were 3 nearby ski resorts, and snow removal was incredible.  Ski resorts don't make money if people can't get to them.  Despite major dumpings of snow each winter, our kids never knew what a school snow day was until we moved to Colorado Springs.

The first time it happened, they awoke for school and I told them school was cancelled.

"What?  Yeah right.", and they proceeded to get ready for school, thinking I was joking.

"No really.  There's too much snow.  School's closed"

They ignored me, had never heard anything so ludicrous.  Why would I be so mean as to tease them like that?  I eventually convinced them and, thus, the snow day was born to them.  Good times.

All this snow makes me think I'd rather be in a resort town now.  I'd rather be skiing.  I'm pretty awful at skiing, but still...

Sunday, March 14, 2021

let it... no

"Nothing's really happening, maybe the predictions were wrong"


That's what we said yesterday afternoon while continuing to brace for the epic snowstorm.  It finally started to spit some snowflakes around 11am, but  nothing appreciable and nothing was sticking.  Around 9pm last night, we shoveled a few inches of wet snow from the driveway and back deck.  No biggie.  

This morning, however... We've got a good 2 feet out there.  And it's still snowing.

I think I shoveled a ton of snow, and that's not an exaggeration.  And I only got half the driveway in the process.  It's really just to get a foothold because even if the whole driveway is clear, we can't get anywhere by car after that.

I took the dogs out first thing because dogs gotta go out.  Long-legged Merlin managed to frolic about, but poor Penny.  She was literally adrift.  I have since shoveled a suitable bathroom section.

I was at work yesterday when things barely began to happen.  Thankfully, I'm off today, but I did have a text from a coworker when I woke up this morning.  She asked if I could come in because "Diana and Mia got stuck in the snow on their way in".

I told her I couldn't drive out of my neighborhood but could probably walk, assuming the main roads were somewhat clean.

She texted back saying it was all good.  Diana managed to make it in.

What about Mia?

I'll just leave them to it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

how did I get here?

I have this photo tacked up in my home office.  It fell out of a box of other photos when we were moving in to this house.  I thought of chucking it back into the box, but paused and decided to tack it to my cork board.

Not sure why I was making that face, that smirk. But I can remember being that age - about 12 or 13 years old.  I was thinking more about who I was and what I would do in the future.  I was becoming more independent of my parents.  I was noticing boys, and subsequently, my clothing and hair choices.  Note the precursor to the Farrah hair of high school.  Clothing would need to catch up.

I remember reading - in a magazine article or such - about getting back to your "true" self as an adult.  The article suggested thinking back to when you were about 12 or 13 years old.  I guess that is supposedly our "true" self age?

So that's why I tacked the photo up.  To remind me to be myself.  

I'm thinking of this because Astrid over at A Multitude of Musings posed the question of what 12-year-old you would never believe about your current self.  

Well, the answer for me would easily be my current job in geriatric nutrition - specifically the "Front of House" side of things.  Certainly health and nutrition were of interest back then, but more the science of it.  And  geriatrics?  Nope.  Serving geriatric meals?  Heck no. 

But things change and life leads us down paths we don't anticipate.  I started out post-college life in the corporate world, which made sense to 12-year-old me.  In addition, I

  • ✅ got married and had kids
  • ✅ was a busy volunteer mom 
  • ✅ did some teaching and tuting
This food and nutrition gig is all right, though, mainly taken on as a part-time "retirement" job.  Then the boss made me lead Den Mother.  I waivered on that one, but 12-year-old me said to do it.

Today, our boss gathered us and announced that she's resigning.  She's accepted a position that is a step up for her, and it's a good time for her to move on.  We're all a bit wary as she's a well-liked manager, and we're bracing for what could happen next.  

As she gave us the news, she noted that any of us should feel free to apply for her position once the opening is posted.  I swear I caught a brief telling moment of eye contact.

Oh, hell to the no.  Shut up 12-year-old me.  You don't know what you're talking about.  And wipe that smirk off your face.

What would surprise 12-year-old you about your life right now?

Monday, March 8, 2021

lamb days and moolah

I'm a bit late to the party, but happy March!  If there's any truth to this lamb/lion business, we're in for a doozy of a finish because our March has come in like the cutest little lambkin.  

I did another Tortoise & Hare race yesterday, this one a 10K (6.2 miles).  The morning was B.E.A.U-tiful for it.  Sunny, calm, temps in low 40's.

Prior races had been run in 2 separate "heats", but our county just loosened COVID-19 restrictions to the point where we were able to have one large(ish) race.  Rather than a mass start, T & H races are run such that each runner starts based on a predicted finishing time.  In theory, there is a "mass finish".  


This race accomplished it quite well, I'd say. 

I started the race with only one other person and spent much of the early plodding feeling mostly alone.

By the turnaround point, however, things had gotten noticeably more crowded.  


The homestretch was reminiscent of the olden days, having to jockey for elbow room.  

Honestly, it was fun but felt a bit alien after nearly a year of social distancing and apartness.

Welp, may as well put my vaccine to the test.  For science.

 In other news, I see Mackenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos' ex, is remarried.  Her husband was a science teacher at Mackenzie's kids' private school.  He's going to help give away her billions.  I wonder what it feels like to have THAT much financial freedom.

From what little I know about Mackenzie Scott, she comes across as genuinely wholesome and certainly charitable.  I could see us hanging out, talking about our kids, comparing thrift store finds... oh wait.

What does one discuss with the third richest woman in the world?  Skinny jeans vs. Mom jeans?  Maybe I'll find out some day?