October 21, 2018
Mosaic in St George Greek Orthodox Church
Before I get going here, I want to say that it is not my intention to suddenly be all holy and preachy. This is something I'm doing for me. Romeo isn't interested, and likely won't be. And I don't really know how to explain my interest in Orthodoxy. It is rather the culmination of many things over years and years. Some of the history of religion classes steered me one way, but much of it like I said, accumulated.
I sat here for 10 minutes trying to figure out a way to explain it. I just can't.
The service was long. It's a good thing I took 1/2 of one of my anxiety meds. The last thing I wanted was to feel sick or get a migraine. I was almost late. But apparently coming at a certain time isn't a big deal at this church. I arrived at 9am, but there was a steady stream that came in dribs and dabs until about 10 or so. And it was long. It ended at 11. I didn't really notice because it was all new and unfamiliar.
In so many ways it was mystical. The incense, the singing....well I didn't participate much because I didn't know about the book that takes you through the service. I met Abbey, who was standing next to me and asked if I were "new". And I left feeling that I might be home.
October 19, 2018
Northern New Mexico
It's been a crazy week, but what's new? It seems like every week is crazy.
For some strange reason, I am unable to post comments if I'm using the Safari browser, but when I use the Firefox browser I can comment on your blog. This just started a few weeks ago and is still happening. Maybe there is a change in settings I changed without knowing, or blogger changed something .......... or something, haha. I admit I'm not a computer nerd. I should have taken that darn IT class.
I am currently taking a 16 week class at a Greek Orthodox church, which basically teaches us history of the church, and what it means to be Orthodox. I think this interest is rather odd since I've spent the last 10+ years denying the existence of God. I can't explain it properly. It's just a feeling that I need to go. So, I'm going.
We had a nice taste of winter this week, with blustery winds and chilly temperatures. It's supposed to be fall ~ my favorite season. Romeo shut down the evaporative cooler a couple of weeks ago & turned on the furnace. The cooler is covered during the winter for a variety of reasons. But a few days ago we had howling winds and Romeo had to go up on the roof and tighten the straps that keep it on, and then again when he got home from work. It was a nasty day ~ when the wind blows that hard the sand, leaves, and whatever else is laying around is swirling about getting in your eyes, mouth, ears.....there's nothing that is uncovered that escapes it. Windy days are not my favorite.....
There was a new balloon in the Fiesta this year:
I named it "Gogh away", lol.
Enjoy your Friday and the weekend to come!
October 12, 2018
Foggy Texas morning....
My class is moving along. I made a 99 on my exam which surprised me, although I figured I did well, that was higher than I anticipated. I have a rather sizable assignment due on the 21st, and as you likely guessed, I have not started on anything but the mental preparation. Which sadly doesn't amount to much. Thinking, thinking. If only I had an eidetic memory. Although it's not great for those horrible memories that time inevitably glosses over. Still, I might be willing to chance it, haha.
Work ~ going well, there are always those crazy moments where the road becomes a little bumpy. I was having a regular conversation with "Jessica" when she mentioned she will be taking her social security benefits at 62. She then explained that by the time she is ready to retire, she will have a savings next egg of over 50,000. She doesn't believe in "leaving money on the table", and I have to say that it made a lot of sense. I have been thinking of doing the same. Romeo and I will talk about it tomorrow when we go to the Harvest Festival tomorrow. ****Actually, she would not have that much money in her nest egg. I did a bit of research last night and I won't be jumping on her bandwagon ~ she is not considering how much of the benefit will be deducted based on her earnings.
The view I have at my desk.....
From a few years ago....
The Balloon Fiesta is nearly over, which means traffic will be much more reasonable. I'm not affected by it very much, but many of my co-workers are. We've had good weather and the balloons flew all but one morning. I didn't go ~ I wasn't really interested in getting up at 4am! But it is nice having the view on my way to work, and for an hour or so in the morning.
I am starting a different sort of class this coming Monday, one that will be ongoing for about 16 weeks. Luckily I don't have to pay for this one. I'll discuss it more as time goes on. Right now I feel like keeping the details to myself.
Well, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
October 6, 2018
The kids were so cute at the Greek dances..
I don't know what the dollar bills were for, I assumed as a fund raiser...
I wandered around becoming hungry for a gyro, but there was literally tons of great smelling food. I was wishing I could have a beer to go along with it, but as I drove there, I abstained. Drat.
I don't know how I managed it, but even though I wanted the baklava sundae, I walked by without getting any. Doesn't a baklava sundae sound delicious?
The church was beautiful, with many example of fine mosaics. It is a small church, but very elaborate in decor. I've never seen so many icons in one place before!
The only dark cloud on this fun outing was I went alone. Romeo had a large chore he had already planned to do. He is not much on things like this, so if I can't talk him into going, I go by myself because I don't want to miss the experience by refusing to go without him. :-( Kind of a good/bad thing.
I also attended the church tour, as I can write a short paper about it and be rewarded with extra points in class. I have one more extra credit opportunity, so I might attend a lecture or visit a church denomination I've never been to before. There's a Quaker church in Albuquerque that I've heard is very interesting to visit.
That's it! If you ever have the opportunity to go to a Greek festival, I suggest you go hungry!
October 5, 2018
Having a bit of fun.....
The majority of the time I was in Texas, I stayed with my sister on "the acres", which is the small ranch just outside of Comfort. Mom doesn't have a spare bed, and I had no interest in sleeping on the small couch she has, and sharing a bathroom with the caregiver (who is not meticulous in cleaning that bathroom). It's about an hour to Mom's from her place, so spur of the moment visits are rare, although we did do just that on my last Friday.
We did some shopping of course....
Mostly we took walks, did some cooking, hung out. When we were kids, we played together pretty well until those hormone laden teenage years, where we basically went our separate ways. The last 20 years we alternate between having plenty of phone conversations and not. My sis doesn't really like to talk on the phone as much as I do. We discuss Mom's situation, and wonder if we need to find a nursing home, or if CG (care giver) can handle it for a bit longer. And we nearly always promise each other that we will remain active so that we hopefully won't end up in the same condition. We laughed, and talked.
Foggy morning walk....
At one point I had made up my mind that Romeo & I would retire in Texas, somewhere close so that my sis so that we could do things together......but I remembered that when we did live close to each other we didn't see each other often (although to be fair we both had little kids then). She has grandchildren she sees often. I realized that my fantasy would not be the reality. And I would miss living in Albuquerque and my friends here. Who knows what the future holds? I haven't dismissed the idea, but it resides on the back burner for now. We are probably 4 - 5 years from retirement, so there's plenty of time to re-visit the idea.
One last pic for now.....
October 2, 2018
My Mom, me (on the left) & my sister
My flight to Austin went very well. I lucked out and was "issued" a window seat, which I always prefer due to my motion sickness issues. Son #2 picked me up and we headed out to Dripping Springs for lunch where my sister met us. She had picked a real Texas joint that looked like it had once been someone's ranch, where we enjoyed great bbq. Then I had to say goodbye to Son #2, who had work on Monday, and we headed off to Comfort. Comfort is a small German town west of San Antonio that is very charming, small and clean. I realize now I never saw a "tag" in Comfort. I wonder what the teens with angst do in a place like that. I do love the town, and if we ever do move back, would be one of my choices to live.
I spent nearly all of Tuesday with Mom, cooking for her and her caregiver and going through old photos. I took quite a few pictures of pictures ~ are they pics squared now? Haha. Still, even though Mom was doing OK (likely because I was there visiting) I could see the decline, and the advancement of Parkinson's. A slight tremor in her hands. The vague focus of her eyes. It makes me so sad every time I see her. Many of her health problems are due to the lack of exercise. The Parkinson's depression erodes the desire to do anything. It's a very vicious cycle.
I think I over-did the pictures because at one point she said she had enough and was exhausted. But for awhile, I saw a glimpse of the "old" Mom. Now I can't talk to her about anything that is stressful or could cause her anxiety. That basically leaves weather, or the birds at the feeder, or making fun of something silly on TV. We don't even have the same views of politics that we used to ~ her caregiver (who is also her ex-husband, but not my Dad) has truly influenced her views. One of the things I dislike about him, but there are many of those.
Mom & Dad....
I chose this photo because they look so happy, although I don't think either one was truly happy together. Dad waited until both of us girls had graduated from high school before divorcing Mom, who probably should have divorced him many years before. I don't want to be maudlin here, I did have some happy childhood moments. In my opinion the children of unhappy parents have to work hard and purposely to find happiness in their own lives. It took me years and one failed marriage to find it.
More on the best part of the trip later....
September 22, 2018
Years ago at the Harvest Festival
Yesterday was exactly the crazy day I figured it would be, but I was fairly confident that I could get it all done. The exam was exactly what I expected thanks to the exam study guide. I think I did well, if not an A a solid B. The best part was that the uni was pretty much empty, so no problems with parking. I arrived 30 minutes early, enough for me to do a quick review. After the exam was over I treated myself to an iced coffee and a stroll around campus, enjoying the cool air and the lack of students. It was nice.
Racquetball was so fun! We played for a couple of hours. I was playing well....I keep telling them I should get a shirt that says "I am nothing if not inconsistent", but over the years most of the players I've met say the same. One day you can do no wrong, you're "on".....the next day you can't get the ball to the front wall to save your life. But I was glad to be playing well since I won't play again until I get back, which is a whole week.
I had a break in-between, so I took care of mail ~ mostly throwing out ads, and shredding the rest. This is not my favorite job, so I tend to let weeks of mail pile up before I do this, which of course, makes the job harder. Last year I made a resolution not to do this, but (predictably) I fell back into my old habits half of the time. But it's done. So there.
When I go see my hairdresser, I have to drive to Corrales, which is across the river. Did I consider that it's Friday and people are leaving work early? No. Did I consider that I'll be leaving around 5:30? Well, yes I did figure that, but the traffic was nuts. So, I was late getting to her place by 10 minutes, so I decided that I over-booked myself, and put off taking the Rodeo to the mechanic. I will have to figure out how to do that with my schedule after I get back. In the meantime, it's not an urgent issue, I just need them to figure out why my temp gauge goes over the mean in certain situations.....it hasn't happened for over 2 weeks now (of course).
Weather in San Antonio
Weather in Albuquerque
So, as you can see, there's not much difference in temperatures, and truthfully, I was surprised to see the humidity levels in Albuquerque listed so high. Normally our humidity levels are around 15-20%. But we sure beat the pants off of San Antonio in sunshine.
Well, I have things to do, so have a great Saturday!
Well, I have things to do, so have a great Saturday!
September 20, 2018
Tomorrow is test day. I am taking a few minutes break from writing my cheat notes ~ which we are allowed to take, mind you ~ because I'm so sick of it all. When I read her study guide, it's obvious that she expects that all we do is breath, eat and sleep her class. Of course, part of it is that my memory isn't that great, and never has been. I always have to put in twice the effort that most people do to do well. And it's exhausting. But I will be at the UNM library to take the exam tomorrow morning at 9am. Then racquetball from 11-1. Then a few errands until my haircut at 3:30, where I will have to caution my hairdresser that I must be at the mechanic by no later than 5:30 because they close at 6.
Saturday will be laundry & packing. Sunday I will be off to Texas. I can't wait!
September 17, 2018
Natures corn dogs, hahahahahaha
Last week our accountant (who does the payroll) called me to her desk to explain that there are weeks I'm not quite getting to the required number of hours to "maintain" my designation as "full time". I'm running about 30 minutes short every other week. Here's my schedule:
This week I work Monday - Thursday, 8 to 5
Next week I work Tuesday - Thursday, 8 to 5 & Friday from 8 to 2 (w/no lunch break)
Normally I have no problem meeting the minimum hourly requirement. But now that I'm taking a class that meets on Tues & Thurs from 11 to 12:15, and I have to leave 40 min before class starts to find a *@&# parking place & run to class, then 15-20 min to get back to work (and eat lunch at my desk), I'm running an average of 30 min short. If I don't find a way to get 30 more minutes, I'll loose much of my PTO (paid time off, which is vacation, sick leave, and those days the Docs decide not to work, but I need a full paycheck).
So, now I have to cut out my lunch hour on Wednesdays on the short week. Which means there's not one day on my short week that I will have a lunch break. Pete is such a bastard....
September 16, 2018
Morning glories on campus
Wow, this weekend went by in a flash. I studied Saturday morning, then showered and dressed for my trip to the bookstore to buy the blue books for the exam. They went up from 25 cents to 35 in the last year. I just don't understand why they still use them when we could just staple 8 pages of notebook paper together. It's easier for them I suppose. It's not like 35 cents is gonna break the bank ~ the main annoyance is I'm only on campus twice a week, and I run to class and then run back to work, so I don't have time to stroll around, looking at flowers and making trips to the bookstore.
Unfortunately I spent most of Saturday afternoon studying and preparing my notes sheet that we are allowed to take to the exam.
This morning I was up with the birds at 6am, made coffee and studied some more. Enjoyed a reprieve by playing racquetball this morning, helped Romeo clean house, did laundry, baked a cake for a birthday party on Wednesday and then went back to studying. I've read all the material for this week and took the quiz, so all I have left for this week is study. I did come to my office and wrote a few more notes, but the truth is I'm saturated with it and don't want to do it anymore.
I will be ready to step on to that airplane next Sunday ~ at least I will be out of town. I am not taking my books or anything else, I will just have to work hard to catch up when I return. At least I say that now ~ I may change my mind and take the book so that I can keep up. Just thinking of catching up is exhausting.
The cake is "cappuccino cake" from Mary Barry's cooking bible. I was really worried because it has more sugar than flour, although I did realize that cocoa powder is really bitter. Still, it smells good so that's something! And the frosting is one of my favorites, whipped cream. The twist is a small amount of instant coffee in the whipped cream, which is the only coffee in it. So, seems a bit of a stretch to call is cappuccino cake, huh? I'll let you know the final outcome, because I know you're dying to know, haha.
September 15, 2018
I think I previously mentioned that I realized I would be out of town for our first exam. I e-mailed the professor and she asked me to remind her a week before...which I did. Then I had to e-mail her to let her know when I was available, got that worked out. But when I asked her if I could have the exam study guide, she said it would be available on 9/18. Which would only give me 2 days before I take the exam. So I had to e-mail her again and ask AGAIN. She finally sent it to me yesterday. Honestly, we could have wrapped this all up in two e-mails tops, but between the two of us I think it took 8. College professors ~ they have no idea what efficiency is. And why wouldn't she just include the study guide to begin with? Clueless.
My god, what will I talk about after graduating?
Ms. Loud (you remember her???) has been gone for a little over a week ~ she went on a trip to Louisiana with her Uncle, who is also single. They like to travel together and seem to get along quite well. It has been so quiet at work! It was a really nice break as far as I'm concerned.
This week has been crazy. On Wednesday, my Mom's caregiver called me at about 9:30 to tell me she received a call that son #1 was in an accident and was in jail. Apparently this low life was pretending to be my son. However, J (the caregiver) didn't mention to me that he asked for $$, so I went into a tailspin, trying to contact both of my boys, neither of whom were answering the phone. Then I thought to call #1's wife, and nearly called the ex wife (I did place the call but hung up immediately). So I sent a message through FB to her asking her to call.
~#1 called and told me this is a scam that's going around.
~#2 texted me "why" when I told him I really needed to talk to him....sheesh
~#1's wife called, and we chatted for a few minutes, I now have her phone # in my contacts.
Best of all I received a text (although at this point I was so panicked I didn't look very close at who sent it) asking me if all was well, and I thought it was #1's wife and replied with a short narrative on what was going on and ended with "and I accidentally called Sue*, yikes!" Whereupon the next line was "This is Sue*". OMG. I was so embarrassed, but she was pretty cool about it and said she was glad all was well.
Between the parking, and the scam and the professor I feel like a frayed string. I think studying is just what the Dr would order, haha.
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