Saturday, March 28, 2009

Procrastinating ...........

I am a master of the art of procrastination. I can spend the whole day on "this and that" and get absolutely nothing accomplished. I can find many reasons why I can't or I shouldn't do the things that I need to do. I have been known to expend more energy and time avoiding a task than it would take to go ahead and just do it. Once I get in a spell of procrastination, it keeps getting worse until I am at a total standstill. I'm almost at that point now.

It's time for a refresher in time management and organization. I need to get out my "To Do List" notebook and write down all those little tasks that need doing, as well as all the big projects floating around in my head. The little tasks usually don't take long to do, so if they are on my list where I see them every day, I will get them done.

It's the projects that never seem to get any attention. I never feel like I have enough time to really work on them, so I don't even try. I need to take each project and break it down into manageable steps. Then I can work on one step at a time.

You can see that I've read those time management books. I know what I need to do, and I know how to do it. Now, if I can stop procrastinating long enough to follow the proper steps, I'll be in good shape.

I'll start it tomorrow.....

Friday, March 27, 2009

"The Associate" - John Grisham .........

John Grisham's newest book seems to be a rewrite of his book "The Firm". Kyle McAvoy has just graduated from Yale law school when he is approached and blackmailed by a character named Bennie. Bennie wants him to take a position at a prestigious law firm and steal confidential information. Kyle attempts to outwit his blackmailers and save himself.

As Grisham does in other books, this one recounts the abuses of the legal system and tells of big New York law firms that charge $800. an hour.

Like all of Grisham's books, this one is very readable and entertaining. The ending, however, leaves many questions unanswered and seems rather abrupt. It is not his best book, but is worth reading.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A weekend of yard work .......

We had a nice weekend. It was sunny and the days warmed up after cold nights. Saturday we cut the grass for the first time this year. It was nice to get back on the lawnmower. Of course, by August, I will be very tired of yard work.

Saturday, we also started work on our raised garden beds. We got all the boards cut. Sunday afternoon I painted the boards with redwood deck stain. I'm hoping that the stain will keep the boards from cracking and bowing so bad. We are making 3 beds - two will be 12' x 6', and one will be 6' x 6'. You can see one of the beds we now have in the picture. It's a square made of railroad ties which have completely rotted. Also, the current squares are not deep enough. We're using 10" boards for the new beds. I called today to get prices on truck loads of top soil. I'm hoping we can get the beds put together one night this week.

I've started a long list of chores I need to get done outside. Everywhere I look I see something else that needs to be done. I'm tired just thinking about it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

"Night and Day" - Robert B. Parker ..........

This is Parker's eighth Jesse Stone novel. Stone is the Chief of Police in Paradise Massachusetts. The novel revolves around two separate cases. The first is the report of lewd conduct by the school principal for checking the undergarments of female students before a school dance. The second is the case of a peeping tom who calls himself the Night Hawk. His activities escalate from watching at night to invading homes and taking pictures during the day.

This is the first novel I've read by this author. It was easy and fast to read. There is very little description. Dialogue moves the action in short clipped sentences.

This book was entertaining, but it made no impression on me. Good book for a quick easy read.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Welcome Spring! ......

Spring is officially here - finally! Everything is turning green - the fields are a bright green and my yard is beginning to look alive again. This is such a pretty time of year - things look so fresh and clean.

I always thought the calendar had it wrong. The New Year should be in the spring instead of in the middle of winter. This time of year is more suited to fresh starts and rebirth. This is the time of year to throw open the windows and let in the fresh air. It's time to clear out the clutter in our lives as well as our homes.

I've never been a cold weather person. Summer is my favorite season, but spring is a close second. So, I'm welcoming spring with joy and anticipation.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A front porch afternoon ......

After endless days of clouds and rain, the sun finally made an appearance today. It was a beautiful afternoon. I went for a walk across the fields behind my house and saw lots of trees that were damaged by the snow we had a couple of weeks ago. Almost every pine tree had large limbs or the tops broken off. I hate to see the trees damaged like that.

When I got back home, I settled down on the front porch with a book and a Diet Coke. I can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon. It reminds me of summer afternoons when I was a child. I would walk to my Grandparents house after lunch. Grandma was a reader - she loved mysteries - and every afternoon she would sit in her rocking chair on the screened-in porch and read. I would sit on the couch beside her and read her copies of the Ellery Queen magazine and the Alfred Hitchcock magazine.

We didn't have Cokes at home - if we were thirsty we had milk, tea, or water. But Grandma always kept Cokes on hand and we were allowed one each afternoon. I don't think I've ever been as content as I was when I was reading a book on the screened-in porch with Grandma and an ice cold Coke. She's been gone 42 years, but I still miss her.

Monday, March 16, 2009

So many moles, so little time .......

Mazie Grace is still busy catching moles. She catches several every day. so the total must be over 100 by now. There are still plenty for her to catch.

As you can see in this picture, I have a lot of sweet gum balls to rake up if it ever stops raining. I'll probably need to cut grass within the next few weeks. A lot of the yard is still brown, but there are patches of green that have grown. My yard is a mix of weeds and whatever. It was a hay field before it became a yard. We never planted grass - just cut whatever came up.

The last few days have been boring. The rain has kept us stuck inside in front of the TV watching movies. Or rather, sleeping in front of the TV while movies played. Hubbie is on call this week, so we have to stay near home. I'm hoping next weekend will be pretty and we can work on our garden squares.

Note: The dark spot under Mazie's nose is a mole hole the other are sweet gum balls.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A message from Maggie May .....

Dear peoples on the innernet,

This is Maggie May speakin. I been layin here tryin to get Mommy to pay attenshun to me instead of the puter. She said she is tryin to read her bloggies. Well, I think she should pay attenshun to me instead, since I am the queen of the house. Mommy said that since I was hoggin the puter, I had to write her post. I can do that.

That other cat - Mazie Grace - was in my house awhile ago, but I chased her behind the sofa. When she came back out, I put my fingernails in her and made her run away again. She don't belong in my house. Mommy finally put her outside. Good!

I been a good girl this week. I been givin lots of head butts, kisses, and lovin to Mommy and Daddy. But then, I'm always a good girl. I been up for awhile, so I need to get me some sleeps now.

This is Maggie May sendin you kitty kisses xxx

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Doctors and insurance companies .......

I took my Dad to our family doctor today. The purpose of the visit was to have the wax cleaned from his ears and to have a small skin cancer burned off his cheek. We were at the office for 2 1/2 hours. We were in the waiting room for one hour, before being taken back to an examination room where we sat for almost an hour and a half. We ended up seeing the doctor for a total of 5 minutes and the nurse for 5 minutes.

Now, I know from experience that a visit to the doctor requires patience. My Dad, lost his patience several years ago. He started asking what time it was after only fifteen minutes. Each request for the time became a bit louder - just in case they didn't hear him the last time. Then he announced every few minutes that they certainly were slow. Into the second hour of waiting, he decided that everyone must have gone to lunch or maybe they were having a picnic somewhere.

At one point he became convinced that they had forgotten we were waiting in the room, and he wanted me to go out and tell them that we were there. Finally he had enough of waiting and he wanted to go home. Well, I wasn't about to leave after waiting all that time, so he had to tough it out.

Eventually we did get to see the doctor and got his ears cleaned out so he can hear if you yell loud enough and got the skin cancer burned off his cheek. He's back home now, in his recliner taking a nap.

I know that the doctors and nurses are doing all they can to get to everyone as fast as possible, but that is a long wait especially for someone who does not feel well. When I was working, we had to have a written excuse from a doctor if we took a sick day. If I felt too sick to go to work, I was too sick to go to the doctor. That meant that once I felt better, I had to take another day off in order to get my written excuse.

Insurance companies - now they are a real pain to deal with. I went to the drugstore yesterday to get my Dad's prescription for Prevacid refilled. The insurance company declined the claim, saying he had reached his maximum allowed amount of the drug for the year. I had to call the doctor's office and ask them to contact the insurance company to ask for an exception so he could get a refill. Of course this will take some time to go through all the channels. In the meantime, he will run out of medicine. Thank goodness, it's not a medicine that would be dangerous for him to miss for a few days.

I think we need a complete overhaul of the health care system in this country. It gets worse all the time. Even people who have insurance, have a hard time getting anything covered.

Later - an update .........
The doctor's office just called me. The insurance company will not cover my Dad's prescription. They suggested I get him Prilosec OTC. Of course they suggest that - it's over the counter and they won't have to cover it.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A gorgeous weekend ........

What a change from last weekend, when we had 8 inches of snow and nighttime temperatures in the single digits. Today was sunny and up to 80 degrees. This is my kind of weather!

Hubbie took advantage of the weather and washed his cars. The green one on top is a 1968 Road Runner and the blue one is a 1969 GTX. He spends all his spare time and money on these vehicles. They are both completely restored now. After he finished with his cars, he decided to try and catch up on his sleep. He worked over 100 hours last week. Tomorrow we will clean up the limbs in the yard.
I wanted to spend as much time as possible outside, so I weeded flower beds and picked up some of the smaller sticks. I saw so much that needs to be done outside. I'm anxious to get the garden squares set up and planted and the flower beds planted. It's still a bit early, but spring can't be too far away.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A snowy cedar .......

This picture shows how heavy the snow is. The weight of it has bent some tall, thin trees all the way to the ground.

Would you believe that this cedar tree was a tiny seedling that came up in my flower bed years ago? I pulled it up and set it out in the yard, never thinking it would take root and grow so large. OK, so now you know that I am ancient.

Snow destruction ....

This is a picture of the limbs which were broken off my pine trees by the road. Limbs and trees are down everywhere. The snow was a wet snow, which means it accumulated on the trees and limbs, until the weight of it brought them down.

Sorry the picture is so dark - it was almost dark when I took it and I am not a photographer.

Mazie Grace was back in the birdfeeder .....

Mazie Grace liked the snow because it brought lots of birds to the feeder. Thank goodness, she didn't catch one.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mazie Grace relaxing on a snowy day .....

Mazie Grace cuddled up on the sofa this afternoon. She likes this fur throw. Maggie May does not like it - she won't even walk over it. It is very warm and soft..

Snow, snow, snow, and more snow .........

It started snowing yesterday afternoon. My hubbie works for the electric coop., so anytime there's bad weather, I'm left to manage on my own. He went out to work at 3 PM. At 10:30 PM my electricity went out. I curled up under a blanket, but I was concerned about my Dad. He is 95 and lives at home with 24 hour nursing care. He normally heats with electricity. I had bought a kersosene heater with kersosene for him to use if the electricity went out. The aide who was staying with him did not know how to fill and light the heater, and she said the lantern didn't work. When hubbie got home after midnight, we went to my Dad's - took him a lantern and candles and got the kerosene heater going. When we got home, we went to bed since hubbie was due back at work at 5 AM.
When I got up this morning it was getting rather cold in the house. My house is heated with an electric heat pump, so when the electricity is out - I have no heat, no lights, and no water. I got bundled up and went out in the garages looking for our kerosene heater. I found the heater and a container of kerosene, but could not find a siphon to get the kerosene into the heater. I looked everywhere, but couldn't find anything that would work.
Meanwhile, the aide staying wih my Dad called and said her husband was there for her, and she needed to leave. Dad cannot be left alone, so I had to get to his house. I got my car cleaned off and headed out. Of course, the roads had not been plowed and the bottom of my car was pushing snow. Then, there were limbs broken off trees all over the road. 4 wheel drive trucks were in the ditches, and here I was creeping along in my Nissan Maxima. I made it to his house, but almost got stuck in the driveway. During this time, they had found another aide who would come if someone could pick her up. We got her to my Dad's to stay with him. I got his siphon and made it back home.
I got my kerosene heater filled and lit. In no time the house was warming up. Maggie May, Mazie Grace, and I bundled up on the sofa. I even had enough water in the teapot to heat on the kerosene heater and make a cup of coffee. Things were looking up. If only I had more water and was able to flush the toilets, things would be great. Finally around 6:30 tonight my lights came back on.
I went to check on my Dad again around 7 PM. He still didn't have electricity. It's now 9:30 PM - I just talked to the aide and they still have no lights, but everything is OK. I just hope he gets his electricity back on tonight. I worry about my Dad. I would have brought him here, but he is unable to walk and there is no way I could get him out of his house, in the car, and into my house - especially with the snow.
These pictures were taken this morning. We got several more inches of snow after I took them. This is the most snow we've had in years. I was unprepared for this, but I have learned my lesson.