Thursday, May 27, 2004

Ah, the joys of homeownership.

About 2 weeks ago I noticed an awful stench coming from the bushes next to the house. I assumed some poor lizard or frog had croaked (haha frog - croaked) and was stinking up the place. After about a week I noticed what was causing the smell. Not a dead animal, oh no. It was a columned stinkhorn, Linderia columnata. We've had smaller ones pop up in the grass, but I guess they weren't big enough to put off a nociceable stench. This one seemed quite happy in the wood chip mulch under the shrubs and put off quite a smell. They attract flies which pick up their spores and spread them around to start new foci of ickiness. Last night as I was watering, I noticed the beginnings of a half dozen or so new stinkhorns. I kicked them up in hopes they'll dry out.

We've also been having water pressure issues. Our area of town is booming with new development which seems to be putting a strain on the water supply. We can't even properly water our lawn on watering days because the pressure is too low for our sprinklers to work. Our dipshit neighbors now water EVERY day as a solution to the problem. Gee, thanks, it's not enough that our pressure is horribly low on watering days, but now it's low every day. Hubby is going to call the county utilities to see what's up and to see if we can tie into the reclaimed water without an irrigation system (will they just let us hook up a hose and sprinkler or do we have to shell out the big bucks and have a proper system installed?)

Last night as I was walking the dog, the every-day waterers asked about our pressure. I wanted so much to yell at them since last night was a watering night for even numbers (us) and not for odd numbers (them). It's not necessary to water a lawn every day. In fact, it's better for plants to receive a less-frequent heavy watering (this promotes deeper root growth) than daily light waterings (which promote shallow roots more prone to drying). A properly maintained Bahia lawn, which most of our neighboorhood has, only needs watering once a week to 1o days. Bahia is fairly drought tolerant and has an amazing ability to green up after a good rain.

Friends of mine upgraded to St. Augustinegrass when they moved to their new house. They bragged and bragged about their upgrade to fancy grass. It looks about the same as Bahia to me (same ugly thick blades) and is not drought tolerant and also is susceptible to several bug pests and fungi. Now everytime they complain how much water it needs, and how it has dead patches, hubby and I secretly gloat. Our lawn may look like crap when it's dry, but as soon as the rain starts, we'll have a lush, thick lawn again. Yeah, I'm a snob.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

The woman from work who was battling cancer lost the fight yesterday. I feel so sad for her and for her family. She was a wonderful person who was known by just about everyone at work and was friends with many of them. She also was very devoted to her family, especially caring for her sick, elderly mother. She fought the cancer to the end, keeping hope that she'd get well.

She'll be missed.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Contact from the other side.

I had a cool phone conversation with Dad and Stepmom last night. Over the weekend, Stepmom had gone to see a psychic with a couple of her cousins. The psychic woman is a John Edwards type who converses with those who have passed to the other side. Stepmom said she rarely is chosen when she goes to those things, but this time the woman picked her out. She saw "people" from the other side (although she didn't identify them) and said that Stepmom had dealt with some rough emotional times recently. Stepmom's dad passed away last year, and I know she had a very bad time with his decline and eventual death. Then the psychic said she saw a child of Stepmom's. Stepmom said she had no children of her own, but the psychic was insistent, so she said that I'm her honorary kid. Psychic asked if this "kid" was expecting, so Stepmom replied in the affirmative (much to the shock of her cousins who didn't know, and who's parents lived next door to my childhood home, so they've known who I am for a long time). Psychic asked if said pregnant woman was having fears (Oh God, yes) and said not to worry, that she saw a girl baby and that all would be fine. She also said something about me having problems with birth in a past life, but that I'd outgrow it in this life.

Wow. I'm not sure how I feel about psychics and past lives and all that, but it was pretty cool anyway. I hope she's right on about the no problems part.

The rest of the evening went downhill. Hubby stopped for McFastfood on the way home and got some baaaaaad food poisoning. Coming out of both ends bad. He informed me of this at around 1am when he woke me up as he came to bed. Within 5 minutes he was in the bathroom puking again. I've been dealing with my share of the queasies and can't deal with vomit on a good day, so it was rough for me, too. He decided to go prop up on the couch, which I agreed was probably a good idea. Within 15 minutes or so, he came back to bed, and thankfully passed out. I would've been happier if he had stayed in range of the bathroom on the other side of the house, but I understand not wanting to be alone when feeling shitty. Hopefully he's gotten everything worked out of his system now. Yuck.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The saga of lazy coworker (LC) continues....

It seems he's been disappearing, not doing his assigned work, and making up stories about it. We share him with another lab which gives him a lot of freedom and unsupervised time and apparently he's been abusing it. Yesterday a woman from the other lab came to me and informed me that he hasn't been doing the work he's supposed to, has been AWOL the last 2 or 3 days he has supposedly been working for them, and her supervisor is pissed (yet unfortunatley out of town for an unknown amount of time). So she and I spoke to my supervisor about the situation.

I ran into her again later in the day. In the interim, she had run into LC and asked him where he was the past 2 times he didn't show up. He claims that one day he had to pick his mom up from the airport. OK, it's possible, but that doesn't take all day, and he never said anything to me or my supervisor about it. He claims that on the other day, he was in the field working for my supervisor and that my boss was supposed to have called the other boss to let him know about it. One small problem: both my boss and I were out that day, and my boss didn't send him to the field. I'm thinking that tale was a big fat lie. The airport tale likely is, too. I informed boss of this and he's going to have a chat with LC. I'm thinking about pulling LC aside at some point and having a little heart-to-heart with him as well. He's putting us all, including himself, in a really shitty situation. The more he abuses his freedom, the less he'll have, and I really don't think he wants me or anyone else making unsheduled visits to make sure he's working.

All this basically means that the other woman and I will now have to babysit LC. I'm going to have to keep a detailed list of what he's supposed to be working on, both in my lab and in the other lab, and check up on him to make sure he's doing the work. Oh joy.

I think LC also pulled another fast one on us. Boss got mad a couple weeks ago when he couldn't track down LC (as usual), so LC gave us all his cell number so we can call him. Yesterday, a coworker was looking for LC, called him, and LC claimed to be in another area at work. Except he kept breaking up, and sounded nervous as if he was lying. Coworker is pretty sure LC was in his car.


Hubby goes a couple times a week to train with a martial artist who gives lessons from his home. Earlier this week, hubby went, and parked on the side of the road partially pulled onto the right-of-way between the roadway and sidewalk. When he returned to the car, he found a post-it note stuck to his windshield with the letterhead of a towing company and a written message telling him not to park on the grass. It was late, so hubby didn't bother trying to find who put the note on the car. The next morning he called the towing company and explained the situation. The person didn't know of any employees in that neighborhood, but said they'd look into it.

Here's the deal: Parking on a county roadway is not illegal and you cannot be towed unless your car has been abandoned for 7 or more days (the cops will come around and put an abandoned vehicle sticker on the windshield, with the date of placement. Seven days from that date have to pass for the vehicle to be "abandoned".) Hubby may try to find the owner of said sticker when he goes back tonight. He's also going to make a copy of the state statute regarding county roads and place that on his windshield. If this person has his car towed, they will be responsible for any charges incurred, and could be considered guilty of theft (not that he'd pursue charges). Most likely, the towing company won't remove the car anyway.

He wouldn't have been upset if someone had left a note asking him nicely to not park on the grass. But when someone leaves a note with towing letterhead on it, it looks a lot like a threat, and it changes the whole situation.

Monday, May 17, 2004

The all-day queasies suck ass. Saturday I made it into Barnes and Noble for all of 5 minutes before I had to ask hubby to take me back home. The couch has become my refuge. I wish I was there now, but am at work, feeling like crap.

Hubby's been really sweet through this. He's been making all the meals (or ordering delivery when he's not feeling up for it). Yesterday he bought groceries and picked up some extra things he thought would help ease my tummy.

My chicken noodle soup is ready. Time to attempt lunch...

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Last night I had a dream that I was rich and bought the property my childhood babysitter owned. There's a lot to the story...

My parents were both working parents, and divorced when I was 4, so daycare was needed from early on. My aunt knew a woman from church and introduced Mom to her. She was a grandmotherly type who had raised 4 boys of her own, cared for state babies, and babysat a few other children for extra income. We all called her "Aunt Eugenia" and she and her husband became family to me. Aunt Eugenia and Uncle Cecil lived on her family property. The family had been a farming family and had originally owned a huge chunk of land, complete with fields and orchards, although over time, some of it had been sold off. There still were a good 10-20 acres left. There were 4 houses on it, she and Uncle Cecil lived in one, her brother and 2 sisters lived in another, her uncle lived in another (and after he passed away, her son and his family moved in) and another sister and their mother lived in the last house. They still had a large garden that the family sowed and cared for, a chicken coop, geese, and even a pig one year. Every summer, Aunt Eugenia would can the harvest. I remember us kids shelling peas and snapping beans for her. I probably ate half of what I shelled, but she never complained - I think she was happy we weren't bugging her for junk food. They also grew strawberries and I remember her making batches and batches of jam.

We kids only had a few simple rules to follow, and we knew not to break them. Aunt Eugenia was kind and fair, but she would lay down the law if necessary. The paddle on top of the fridge was a very real reminder of that. We weren't allowed in the front yard unless she was with us. They lived on a very busy road and had lost several pets that way. We weren't allowed in her gorgeous flower gardens or in the vegetable garden. We weren't allowed to keep secrets from one another. All the kids had to play fairly with one another.

The flower gardens were amazing. Her front yard had a rock retaining wall and stone steps. All along the wall and in the crevices between rocks were all sorts of flowers. She had another huge flower bed in the back yard. Those flowers were her pride and joy and they were gorgeous.

As long as the weather was good, we were usually outside. We'd roll down the big hill in her backyard, and sled on it in the winter. We made pretend forts in the forsythia bushes and would climb the pine trees. Sometimes we'd sneak in the chicken coop and scare the hens and watch the feathers fly. On rainy days we might all go visit at one of the houses. The house her son moved into was a big old farmhouse with connecting closets and neat little rooms to hide in. Her grandmother had a beautiful Persian cat that I always wanted to go see, even though their big dog usually tried to jump on me and would scare me.

Sometimes if Aunt Eugenia needed to run an errand or go to the doctor, Uncle Cecil would watch us. He was quiet, but loved the kids. Every afternoon, he'd have his highball. If Aunt Eugenia was out, we kids would have 7-up "highballs" in real glasses with Uncle Cecil. We thought we were the shit then!

Even when I got too old for her to babysit me every day (she only took care of small kids) she'd still watch me if I was sick and Mom couldn't take time off work. We kept in touch with them and would visit every now and then.

When I was in high school, one of Aunt Eugenia & Uncle Cecil's sons needed money. Everyone thought it was a bad idea. He was a scumbag who bounced from wife to wife, had a child from an earlier marriage that he barely had contact with, and was always into a get rich quick scheme. He decided to start a business selling medical equipment. But he didn't have the money and needed capital to get started. Aunt Eugenia decided to take a loan against the family property to the tune of $1 million. The family all felt it was a bad idea, but she was the type who put her children first. So, she loaned the money to her son, and of course, the business failed and he lost it all. The family coulndn't pay the bank back, so the bank forclosed and they lost all the land. The bank did allow them to keep the smallest of the houses, where Aunt Eugenia, Uncle Cecil, and her sister moved. Uncle Cecil passed away a few years back, and Aunt Eugenia's health declined. I'm not sure if she's even still alive.

When I found out about them losing the land it broke my heart. The family had worked and lived on that land all their lives, and it was supposed to be passed on to the children. I know it probably would have been divided up and slowly sold off, but it was sad to see it gone all at once. The people who moved into Aunt Eugenia's old house didn't care for the flower gardens and eventually tore them out. Whenever I visit home, I feel so sad when I pass by there.

In my dream last night I bought back the land, restored the houses and gave them back the the people that were such an important part of my childhood. I wish things could have ended more happily for them.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Note to self: Working at microscope while queasy = bad idea.

I saw on MSNdotcom that you can win the Osc@r M@yer Weinermobile for a day. This reminded me that I once saw it driving on 441 outside of Commerce, GA. I'm sure I nearly ran off the road as I watched it go by. If you know where the drive-in theater is/was in Commerce, that's where I saw it.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Ooooh, blogger has a fancy new setup. That's what I get for neglecting my blog for several days.

Actually, I haven't really been neglecting it. I've been busy at work, dog tired, and MIL and a friend of hers came to visit. Hubby is the only family/friend who knows about my blog and I don't want to risk anyone discovering it by walking in on me while blogging.

We had a nice weekend. I told Mom about the peanut on Saturday. She got very excited, to the point where I almost wished I hadn't told her. She kept talking about how she'd babysit, stay with us for a week or two, take the peanut to the assisted living facility on days she volunteers. Uhhhhh....NO! First of all, I want to actually give birth to a baby before worrying about all that. I don't even know if it's viable, and don't have my first OB visit for another 3 weeks. I don't know that I'll want her around the house for a week. Extended stays with my mom don't work. She gets very pushy and overbearing, and that's the last thing I'll want while healing and adjusting to a newborn. I also am not keen on the idea of her trucking a baby around. She gets confused easily, has back & neck problems which make it difficult for her to lift even light objects, and the ALF is a dump. They've also had some violent patients there, most of the patients smoke (a lot), and I'm not comfortable with the whole atmoshpere.

Mom had settled down by Sunday, and we took her, MIL, and MIL's friend to a local art festival. Hubby and I had a grand time there and even bought a few things. I got a kickass necklace made with venetian glass. The ladies all wore out pretty quickly from the heat, so they sat in the shade while hubby and I trucked around.

Everyone (who knows about the peanut) has been asking me how I feel. I think I spoke too soon when I said I was feeling really good. I started getting the queasies this weekend. I felt crappy for a good bit of both days, and now that I ate lunch I'm not feeling too hot. But I'm not complianing. All I ask for is a healthy baby.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Another goofy day at work. We discovered this morning that a room we use needs to be cleared out before tomorrow. Apparently renovations are scheduled, but we weren't informed until today. Joy.

Boss was looking for lazy co-worker and neither he nor I could locate him. Boss became angry and informed me that he's gonna lay the smackdown on co-worker...he busted coworker slacking off last week, and coworker got a reprimand a couple years back for disappearing during working hours. At that time, another employee who was legitimately out running errands spotted him around town on several occasions when he was supposed to be at work. Lazy co-worker has been copping an attitude and I can never seem to find him when I need him, so I'm not too sad that he's in trouble. I guess he didn't learn from last time.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The blood test came back positive - it's official! My first appointment isn't for another month, but I spoke to the doctor and everything seems OK so far. I freaked yesterday when I started spotting, but she said it's normal and OK as long as the blood is not bright red. She also wants me to wean off the Paxil. I skipped yesterday's dose and I feel very sleepy and twitchy today. I may take a dose tonight or wait till tomorrow.

This weekend, hubby and I went to an RC airshow. It was my first and a lot of fun. One of the models was an AWAC, complete with a rotatating radar dish. There were all sorts of planes and even jets, with real miniature jet engines. From what I've heard, those suckers run around $6-10K each. Most of the models had little pilots in them, many of which resembled the plane's owner. Too cute.

My family has a cool history with RC planes. My uncle was a world champion RC glider pilot (page 6 of the link). He and his team designed and built their champion plane, "The Gobbler". Sadly, he died of colon cancer when I was 12. I really wish hubby could have met him - I think the two of them would've had a lot in common.

Things at the show were fine until a coworker of hubby's showed up with his two boys. Said coworker is sexist and racist and will spout off whatever pops into his head regardless of whether it might hurt/offend someone. He treats his wife like crap (as evidenced by multiple phonecalls hubby has overheard at work.) He also is heavy handed with the boys. The younger boy is maybe 5 years old. He was being a little whiney, but not totally obnoxious. So coworker told him to stop and slapped him on the face. This caused the little guy to start crying, so coworker stuck his fist in little boy's face and pulled out the old "I'll give you something to cry about" which turned the little guy into a sobbing mass. A little while later, the little guy was playing in some leaves and shrieked at a bug that scared him. Coworker's response was "Quit scraming like a little girl."

I hate situations like that. I didn't say anything, but knew I should. The guy is horrible to his kids and thinks nothing of it. I chicken-shitted out like always. Hubby has encouraged me to hang out with this guys wife, who is very sweet, and I get along with very well, but I don't know how to handle their situation, so I never initiate any contact with her. If he ever starts any of that shit in my house (the only time they ever come over is when we have big parties, since we're both uncomfortable around them), he'll get the riot act and a boot out.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Arrgh, we're having power interruptions at work again. Nothing like sitting at the computer, having everything shut off and the backup battery alarm to make you jump. I'm just waiting for the nasty alarm on an incubator next door to start buzzing. It's horrible. We had a brownout/outage last week that seems to have fried our VERY EXPENSIVE incubator. The one that's already been fixed twice in the 3 or so years we've had it. The one that costs at least a grand every time. The piece o'shit will not keep to it's set temp but instead likes to warm up to a nice stifling 30C. If I was growing enterobacteria (gut bacteria - the lovelies like E. coli) all would be good. But I'm not. I'm giving the fucker another day, then I'm calling the repair company. Oh joy.

I'm switching to a new OB/GYN. In order to even get an appointment with her, I had to go in this morning for a blood test. If it comes back positive they'll schedule me - and they don't usually do a first appointment till 10 weeks when they do the ultrasound. So, when I call back, I have a ton of questions, like can I stay on the Paxil (old doc said it was fine while I was TTC, but if I got pregnant, we'd have to see) and I've had the trots all weekend and am a little concerned about that. I'm also having pains when I move/stretch certain ways. I know it can be a sign of an ectopic, but it may just be from my whacked-out bowels, or leftover owies from the cysts. And I'm trying to do all this stuff on the sly, because I don't want to tell the boss until after the first trimester is over. Which is hard, since his office is attached to the lab, and the weather is lightning-y shit, so I really don't want to play lightningrod on my cell outside.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Woot! I'm preggers!! So far I've taken 3 home tests (2 very sensitive and one less sensitive) because I'm so excited and can't believe it. First thing Monday I'll set up an appointment with the doctor.

Hubby and I have only told one friend. We want to wait until we're more sure this is a viable baby. The friend I told lives in another state (won't spill the beans) and told me all about her two miscarriages while TTC her second, and all about the pregnancy with her second child. I was very curious about it all and pumped her full of questions which she always happily answered. She's a wealth of knowledge and a great friend, so I wanted to let her know.