Monday, January 31, 2011

Staying Open

I've decided not to go private.  There was another way to resolve the conflicts with my blog and I decided that was the better route for me for a variety of reasons.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Photo Post

The first three photos are all the same bush.  The first taken in the spring time.  The next two taken this month.  The second one was after the Jan 12th storm which gave us about 10-12 inches and then last after the Jan26/27 storm which gave us another 16-18 inches.  And of course, all the snow from the blizzard and beyond is still there.

 This is our picnic table.  That little dark line about 3/4 of the way down on the left would be the top of the table.
 One of the light posts on our fence after the most recent storm.  It looks like it's wearing a little hat!
 And of course - what photo post would be complete without the Boom Doggie.  This is after the Jan 12th storm.  Sadly, I did not get any photos of his failed attempt to get to the back of the backyard after the most recent storm.  That would be when he sunk up to his neck in the snow and I thought I might have to go rescue him.  You can see here what difficulty he's having - and imagine another foot and a half of snow on top of what's in these shots!  But - just so you don't worry about him, I have shoveled a pooping ground for him.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thinking about going private

I'm thinking about taking this blog private, with only approved readers.  Some things have happened today and that I have learned today are leading me in this direction.  Of course, I'm not quite sure how to go about it so it may take a little time! I also want to let people who read this blog, and who wish to continue doing so have fair warning to do whatever sign up is necessary, so it won't be immediate. 

Good neighbors, bad neighbors

I have some really good neighbors.  No, make that great neighbors.  With A laid up with hernia surgery, followed by pneumonia, I've got snow removal duty.  After another whopping storm last night, I got some help from the neighbors.  While I was clearing the back half of our driveway, one neighbor cleared off the bottom half and another did the sidewalk and the walk to our house.  Usually, when A is not working, he would be out there with these guys helping out the various neighbors who don't own snowblowers or who are at work.  It's one of the things I love about our neighborhood.
But then, there are the bad neighbors.  The ones who are inconsiderate.  The ones who shovel out their car and leave the snow in a big pile out in the middle of the street, making it hard for other people to get in their driveways.  Yup, we have bad neighbors too.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Family Friendly Workplaces - my thoughts on what it means

I believe that the work place should be family friendly in all ways - to mothers and fathers as well as to spouses or children who have care giving responsibilities.  This is how I view it....let's say you and I are both women.  We have the same job title, same job responsibilities, same expectations from management in terms of quantity and quality output and receive the same pay and benefits.  The only difference between us is that you have children and I do not.  If you need to adjust your work day to accommodate your parenting responsibilities, I'm fine with that - if you are fulfilling your responsibilities - same quantity and quality work product as mine.   If you are not - you don't get a pass because you have a child.  I shouldn't have to bear a larger burden for the quality and quantity of the work product because I do not, while you receive the same pay and benefits.  I am in favor of employers allowing flexible schedules, etc for parents/caregivers.  But - equal work for equal pay - wasn't that the battle cry?  We childless women get unfairly labelled as mean or unfair or insensitive, if we expect that those getting pay that is equal to ours do work that is equal to ours.  You want to cut your hours - no problem, but recognize that it comes with a cut in pay.  Recognize that reduced hours may not provide your employer with the quantity of work product that they need and the employer may have to seek another solution.
It's a myth that we can have it all.  It's a dangerous myth.  I think that myth has caused problems.  People think they can have the 4 bedroom house in the suburbs with 2 cars in the driveway, 2 kids, successful careers, annual vacations, the perfect family life with lots of "quality" time and not have to give anything up.  Well - you do have to give something up.  Most of us anyway.  There are trade-offs and choices.   To get that house, maybe you give up the quality time.  To get the quality time, maybe you scale back the career for a while.  You can't have it all.  And don't blame those of us who expect you to hold up your side of the bargain.  You can't tell the mortgage company that you won't be making the next month's payment with no repercussions any more than you can tell your boss that you can't give them work product they hired you to provide without repercussions.

So, to wrap this up...Bottom line - the work place should be family friendly - with all definitions of family considered.  But there needs to be a balance.  The give can not be solely on the side of the employer.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happiness is....

...that today is not yesterday!  Seriously - yesterday was crazy hectic.  Way too much going on at work.  Some stressful.  I was here until almost 10 with meetings.  But - I managed it all.  I got everything that needed to be done - or at least could be done accomplished.  When yesterday was done and I finally got home to my husband and the Boom Doggie, the only thing that would have been better was if there was a nice cold bottle of Bailey's in the fridge.  I had to make do with wine.  Now, some of yesterday's mad rush has left me with a boatload to do today and tomorrow - but it definitely won't be as hectic.  And best of all - it's hump day!  WOOHOO!  Halfway to Friday!  And, I'm going to the gym after work.  I've been a slacker in the fitness department and the pants are getting tight, so back to the gym it is. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

RIP old friend

An old family friend passed away this week.  He was a good man.  He was the father of a friend.  When my father passed away, this poem by John Holmes was read at his funeral.  I want to share it, in honor of Chad.

Death this year

Death this year has taken men

Whose kind we shall not see again.

Pride and skill and friendliness,

Wrath and wisdom and delight,

Are shining still, but shining less,

And clouded to the common sight.

Time will show them clear again.

Time will give us other men

With names to write in burning gold

When they are great and we are old,

But these were royal-hearted, rare.

Memory keeps with loving care

Deeds they did and tales they told.

But living men are hard to spare.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I did it!

I worked the snow blower!  A had to be at work at 7 am yesterday, which meant he needed to leave super early since the snow started falling around 10 pm the night before.  That meant it was up to me to get the driveway and sidewalks cleared.  I had bugged A to get a snow blower that I could handle.  I just could not use the other one we had - too powerful.  So, we sold the other one and bought a new one.  And, there I was yesterday, clearing our driveway, getting the sidewalks cleared and damn proud of myself. Unlike A, I did not go halfway around the neighborhood helping clear out the nice neighbors (as opposed to the not nice neighbors) because 1, there were plenty of able bodied men out there doing that and 2, I still have a bit of a cold and was just too worn out.  But, I got our stuff done.  Yay me.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New Year's Resolutions?

I'm not too big on New Year's resolutions - but I do have some goals.

As always - lose weight.  I put back on some of the weight I lost last year.  I want it back off.  Part of that is getting out of my holiday eating habits and back to normal ones.  I also need to kick up the exercise.  In general, I want to be healthy - and look good.

Reduce debt.  With the truck loan paid off, that amount will be going towards reducing debt and increasing savings.  I also plan to use the increased take home resulting from the reduced FICA tax for the year to reduce our debt.  I think we'll let A's increased take home go to savings, since his is less predictable.

Finish the sweater I started knitting for A about - ohhhh - 8 years ago.  I also would like to knit more for myself.  I want to knit myself an Aran sweater and a jacket.  I also want to knit mittens - for someone.  Don't know who, but it's something I want to tackle.

Learn to let go of the negatives in life and to anticipate them less, thereby reducing my stress.  Sometimes I prepare too much for the bad things I think may happen.  That causes me stress and why should I create stress for myself!

Stand up for myself when people do treat me poorly.  Again, this will reduce my stress load.

Continue to take Fridays off in the summer.  I loved that last year.  Also, look for a weekend when A & I can go to the Cape together.  My mother doesn't push things (unlike my MIL) but she mentioned that she has only seen A once since last Christmas - and that was when she spent the night with us on the way back home after having had emergency surgery down in New Jersey.  It wasn't much of a visit.  So, it would be nice to get out and see her - plus I just love the Cape.

Get myself to real live knitting stores more.  And take a lesson in something I don't know how to do yet in knitting or want to learn to do better.