April 30, 2020

Happy one minute, sad the next......






Today started out with such promise.  Everything was going good ~ we made it to Costco just as the special time period for seniors ended, which didn't matter since the store was very quiet.  We snagged toilet paper, paper towels, and almost everything I was looking for.  Except for unsalted butter.  What the heck?  Nothing but salted butter, not that there's anything wrong with it, but for my baking I prefer unsalted.  Meh.  I'll get it next time, or at my local grocery store. 

I planted my teeny tiny garden.  My hollyhocks have grown to the point that they take up about 1/4 of the space....but they are so beautiful, no way am I taking those out.  This is what they looked like last year...

Then I watered the heck out of it all because I haven't had anything planted in the garden space for two years, and it was dry as a ball of cotton.  And, later that afternoon, it was looking great.  Nothing was wilted.  And then the dog went out and jumped right on it.  She didn't really ruin anything, just trampled one of the marigold's.  I was mad.   Romeo then reminded me that I forgot to buy something to keep her out, said he would go to Lowe's tomorrow morning to buy something and grumbled that he was missing out on his workouts.  Then I said "ditto" and that was that.  He took out the dog, and I took that opportunity to retreat to my office.  Oh, neither of us was really that mad.  It's like the sticker you step on in your freshly vacuumed carpet.  It's annoying for a bit, then you get on with things.......

I suppose that my uti isn't helping since the antibiotic makes me feel headachey and yucky.  I'm glad I only have a few more days to take it.   When I don't feel great, I am cranky.  I hadn't had one in a couple of years.  The doctor did call in the meds for me, but they wanted me to go to the lab to have it tested to make sure it's not resistant to the antibiotic, but I didn't .  I just don't want to go to a hospital, or lab, or any place like that right now.  So, if it doesn't clear it up I'll go, but I think it will do the job.  Funny, my bosses wife had one the week before ~ maybe it's all the sitting and not drinking enough water?   I suppose it's as good a reason as any. 

How tired we all are of being locked up at home.  Sure, we have projects, and laundry and dinner to fix.  But we are wishing we could go get our hair cut, or our toes painted, or have dinner out.  We are chomping at the bit to do something we used to do.  Knowing that it could happen soon, in a few weeks or maybe a month is making us antsy.  Ready to get out there!  For now, we still need to stay at home.  Maybe my Doc would be willing to prescribe me something that would make it more fun? 

Love, 365






April 29, 2020

Uncertainty......

Mt Fuji, Japan
Not my photo but it was too beautiful not to share......

So, here we are at week 6  of the shelter at home order.  My co-worker and I are adjusting ~ quite easily ~ to working 2 days a week.  Of course, the unemployment money makes that a lot easier to deal with.  My work pay has dropped to 26% of my usual paycheck.  *Jenny (coworker) said she is earning more money on unemployment than she was when working full time, but the majority of that UI money comes from the CARES act which adds $600 per week to our qualified UI.  My UI without the CARES act money is really not very much money.  So, even if I do win the hearing it will not be an earth shattering amount.  I really don't see how I could lose the appeal, but we'll see.

Jenny has also mentioned that she is considering not returning back to full time.  This experience has shown her that she can easily live on less money.  I doubt seriously that she will do it though.  She is used to spending quite a lot ~ especially for her grand-kids.  It will be interesting how that goes, because I think that if she asks, she may not hear what she wants to hear.  I already mentioned that I really don't want to work by myself on Monday or Friday ~ something she has said to me many times.  So, she thought taking off Wed/Thurs (or Tues/Wed depending on our weekly schedule) would work.  I don't think it will go over well, but it's not up to me so.......

I am planning on working at least 2 to 3 more years ~ I want to pay off my suv, and put a little more aside before I retire.  But we will see.  My boss half jokingly said "I'm never going to be able to retire!" this week.  He is referring to the state of the business right now, which is not good.  Their bank account is bleeding money, and not very much is coming in.  I understand their concerns.  In most ways I am ready for us to return to full time.  But there are still a few things I need to accomplish here at home before we do.  But when will that happen?  In dentistry they are talking about all kinds of crazy things, like making sure patients are tested before they have work done.  I don't see that working out, there aren't enough tests.  And because the tests take 4-6 days to get, just how accurate will they be?  And my boss asked me yesterday how I felt about wearing a face shield all day.....oh, I would not want to do that.  
I would rather they put up the plexiglass barrier than wear that awful thing all day.  Or wear a mask and a pair of safety glasses....

Neither option looks like fun though.  The docs haven't yet set an actual date to return.  First it's mid June, then it's the first of June, now it's May 11th?  The indecision is driving me crazy, even though I know that it's true ~ there's a lot of speculation.  But dentistry is a bit more essential than going to the department store, so I do anticipate that we'll be back at it soon. 

Take care of yourself, and check on your family, friends and neighbors!

Love, 365

April 28, 2020

Hurrah !! ........


Just a quick update........because I know you have been breathlessly waiting (not).....
I received 3 weeks worth of unemployment benefits this morning!!  Yay!

Romeo asked me if it was because of the letter I sent, but no.  They probably got that today.  And I'm sure it's in the round file.

:-)

Love, 365

April 24, 2020

Might as well be happy...........

My friend and I baking Lazarus bread last year....

I have given up the stressful, frustrating and depressing activity of trying to reach the unemployment office.  I've had more success sending them snail mail so I wrote a truthful letter that I mailed out today.  It may make no difference at all.  But it doesn't matter ~ I have a hearing in about 10 days.  I hope that all is resolved following the hearing.

And I've been thinking of happiness and how it's been missing from my life the past week.  Sure, I realize it was my reaction to it that was the problem.....But I challenge anyone to be cheerful when you've wasted hours and hours of your time with no result.  So, off to the next project!

Romeo and I slow cooked a roast, and I made a practice run at making prosforo (a type of bread used in my church for communion and for non-Orthodox to enjoy after the liturgy).  It turned out pretty, but the flavor was not there.  I'm going to try again with sourdough starter next week and see if that helps.

From inside the house it was a beautiful day ~ but we are now getting our spring winds, so not so great when you're outside.  I meant to walk on the treadmill today, but I never did.  A testament to the wasted money of home gym equipment, haha.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Love, 365

April 23, 2020

Teary, snotty, frustrated rant............

This is sadly so true that it pains me to even post it.....

In the past two days I have made over 200 calls to NM unemployment office.  I imagine that before I finally give up for the day, it will be around 400.  I never get to anyone.  After I call I hear the "greeting" in both English and Spanish, press 1 for English, press 1 to verify one thing,  then press 3 to verify another thing, then enter my SS# and wait for the system to repeat the number, then press 1 to agree I put in the right number and after that is the "all of our customer service agents are currently helping other customers...please try your call again later".  Going online doesn't help, I need a live, actual person.  

I spoke to someone on Tuesday, and she said she looked over my claim and didn't see any reason why I shouldn't be receiving my weekly payments.  "Why don't you wait until Thursday and if you don't get it?".  I asked her to transfer me to her supervisor so that I wouldn't have to call again, but eventually I was disconnected.   

I get that they are overwhelmed.  There were thousands of claims entered this week  across the U.S.  Even here in New Mexico, where the population is low (because there aren't many jobs here) there were probably a lot of new claims this week.  So I know, but it does not help when you are desperately trying to reach them to clear up whatever fracking  problem there is, it is demoralizing.  I feel like I don't matter.  Even though I realize there's no one sending me to the "try your call again later" message, that it is all the system trying to handle all the calls, I just want to scream and cry.  

I suspect the woman who answered my call on Tuesday didn't actually look at my claim.  Perhaps she was taking over for someone who needed to go to the restroom.  

Right now I can envision all of the workers gathered in the break room having a needed cup of coffee, and a stale donut because they probably didn't have lunch.  And despite the compassion I have for them in their current position, I certainly hope they act compassionately to those that are lucky enough to get through, who are probably yelling, screaming and probably crying as well, because this system is hopelessly broken.  

Love, 365

April 21, 2020

Noooooo............


Well, I discovered ~ shortly after I had written my post letting eveyone know that I finally received an unemployment check ~ that the money was from our state tax refund, not my unemployment $$.  My co-workers said that the check was deposited on Tuesday morning, so I thought I should just wait.  

Nothing.  

So, maybe they don't have the correct bank routing number?  Or the checking account number?  Although all that information is still the same from the last time I collected unemployment.   Or are they postponing my payments because of the appeal to back date my claim?  That appeal meeting is not until May 5th ~ arghhhhh.

So now I am forced to call.  I have been calling for the last half hour, and cannot get through.  It is either busy, or if I do get the recorded greeting, once I go through all the steps I get the message that they are busy and I should call back.  This could take all frickin day.  Seriously.  One of my co-workers that called spent hours trying to get through, and finally was able to leave a message.  Three hours later they called her back.  😔

I also had to throw out the chuck roast that I accidentally left out all night while thawing it out.  

Who did I piss off?

Love, 365

April 20, 2020

Vacation ~ from work.......

And they always say: Allergies!!!

YES!!!

It's hard to believe, but it's been almost 5 weeks since I've worked a full week.  Because we have 4 front desk staff, we split it up, so 2 of us work Mon/Tues and then the other two work Wed/Thurs.  Although I would prefer life to go back to our regularly scheduled routines, I find myself enjoying some of this time off.  So far I've not used more than 2 days of paid time off, so I have plenty (for now) for visiting family later this year.  Well, of course that assumes that there is improvement and they lift the travel ban.  I wish I had a crystal ball, because I'm only allowed to keep 2 paid days off into the next year.  If I don't have the opportunity to go out of state, I will have to use it somehow or lose it.  And that's not happening.  

Good news though, I received my first two weeks of unemployment money this morning.  Unless something changes, I just certify each week.   On May 5th I have the hearing about back dating my claim, so if that goes through, I'll receive that as well.  So, I paid my utility bills and other essentials.  Luckily my bank will give me 2 months deferment on my car payment, and they've reduced our auto insurance too.  Apparently there has been a reduction in car accidents since we aren't on the road ~ much.  Our traffic remains steady, but not like it would be if school's were open and people that can work from home.  I wish I could work from home.  Every time I go to work, I become paranoid, and wash my hands so much that I quit wearing rings.

This morning on the news they were discussing whether or not we need to disinfect our groceries, implying we really don't need to.  I will probably continue doing it, although I find it a giant pain in the butt.  

Take care of yourselves, and check on your friends and neighbors!

Love, 365


April 19, 2020

Christos Anesti! Alithos Anesti!

It is traditional to have red eggs at Pascha (Orthodox Easter)
Red represents the blood of Christ
The shell represents the sealed tomb
Cracking the shell represents the shattering of the Gates of Hades
Christ is risen!  Truly He has risen!  
O, death where is your sting?  O, Hades, where is your victory?


The bread is called tsoureki, a sweet bread with unique spices that give it a wonderful flavor.  I intended to make it yesterday, but I discovered I didn't have enough yeast and there is no yeast to be had at the grocery store.  I ordered some from Amazon ~ what else to do?  It might be weeks before the grocery store restocks it.  So, my second batch of tsoureki will be baked next week....

Christos Anesti! to all of you.

Love, 365




April 17, 2020

I'm always up for a challenge..........

He is so adorable....

I had originally planned to travel to visit family and this cute little guy in March....but you all know what happened.  As my work hours were reduced from 34 to 8, I had to decide how much of my paid time off to take ~ or not to take.  One of my co-workers took all or most of her PTO and now is fully on unemployment.  Which I thought about doing.  I let my family know that I will likely use all my time off while waiting for the pandemic restrictions to ease or be lifted, and probably wouldn't be able to come this year.  

In the meantime, I finally had my unemployment claim filed successfully ~ oh my how difficult they make it to file online.  And forget calling......it is forever busy, and even if you finally get the answering system it will tell you at the end that you must call back.  I filed for a back-dated claim, and they're actually going to send it to a hearing on 5/5 at 2:15pm.  If I don't call then, the hearing will be cancelled.  Ah, well.  If they approve the back dated claim it will mean more unemployment money, and if they don't I will just move on.  I have only used two days of paid time off, and still have quite a bit I haven't used yet.  I will wait until next Tuesday to decide if I'm going to use some of it or not.  

So, maybe I will be able to go later this year, although I am not excited about flying these days.  

Take care, and check on your friends and neighbors, y'all!

Love, 365

April 16, 2020

Looking toward toward the future........



There's been a lot of discussion about "normal life" on social media, the radio, etc.  First of all, prior to the pandemic I'm not sure normal is a good descriptive word.  Chaotic.  Self centered.  Lacking in empathy.  Those are just a few that popped into my head.  When we are allowed ~ and there is some question about when this will happen ~ to resume our established routines, will we return to what we were before?  Will people be more appreciative?  Maybe.  For awhile.  All you have to do is look back in history to know that when disasters like this one happen, how long do the lessons last?  9/11. Katrina.  Ebola (which is still lingering on).  Aids.

Sure, we think of them now and again.  I don't know if it's just the USA that is guilty of this, but I've noticed that our memories are deficiently short.  Depending on the severity of the disaster, it might last a little longer.  Most of all I hope we all remember to be thankful for all the things that we are finding difficult right now.....attending church services, buying toilet paper at the store, being able to find anti-microbial wipes.  Gratefulness.  I certainly hope that will be a new "normal" when we aren't forced to be at home all the time.

Take care of yourselves and each other.....

Love, 365


April 11, 2020

It's a sun shiny day..........

Over the past couple of weeks, I've watched these trees in the park go from bare, to buds, and finally to flowers......

How is every one doing out there? We are healthy and well....going outside for walks and runs; practicing our social distancing.  Which is not always as easy as it should be, as some people just aren't paying attention.  I haven't really had any problems, but on the news last night they reported you shouldn't run or walk directly behind others.  Apparently if they cough or sneeze the droplets will drift on the air behind them and then you walk/run right into them.  This does not help my paranoia.

I generally try to always be positive ~ to look on the bright side of things.  But this morning I woke up and felt despair.  And realized that when I am not feeling positive and happy, I tend to draw inside myself.  I must present a positive attitude to my Mom, to Romeo.  There are very few people I can confide in when I'm not doing well.  It is a burden of many of us I suppose.  But wow, it's exhausting.  So, if you have a funny quote, a great joke, or something of that nature, please respond to my post with it.  I would really appreciate it, thanks.....

And now for more memes......









Stay safe and don't forget to check on your friends and neighbors!
Love, 365

April 7, 2020

Contemplating options and other random thoughts.....

There are times when you need a rainbow unicorn butterfly kitty....

I really thought I would be posting something every day.....but as it turns out I just don't have that much writing in me.  I read yours everyday though.  It helps me get through the day, your blogs and my coffee.  I am very appreciative of the snarky, creative stuff that I read.  One of you listed a pro and con on the viral apocalypse that I thought I would take a stab at.

Let's do cons first, because I'd prefer to end on a more positive note :-)

~Well, I'd say one of the biggest cons is the fact that none, or most ? are earning considerably less money, or perhaps no money at all.  Some of us have filed unemployment, which may help us get through this period except that by the time you've spent 2 hours on their website you realize a monkey on crack probably could have done a better job designing theirs.  But I do feel bad for those that are processing all of those claims.  Could you imagine??  Or, worse yet, answer the phones.  That's one job I wouldn't want to do.
~You are stuck in close quarters with your spouse/kids/mother/father ( & etc) for many more hours in the day than you're used to.  It's like walking through a pond with a thousand snapping turtles.
~You get a sudden craving for something you don't have in the pantry or fridge and are forced to find an equivalent.  So, you want ice cream but settle for frozen peaches you've blended into a smoothie type thing.  
~You have to eat your own cooking.  Really, you're going to eat frozen dinners for weeks on end?  No matter how skilled or unskilled you are, you're going to want something that doesn't have freezer burn.  I'm not really sure fast food should be named food....I will have to think about that one.
~There is nothing left to do except organize, or clean, or laundry because you already finished all the unfinished crafty projects you had lying around.  TV has lost it's appeal.  We become manic for something to do that will satisfy your need to accomplish something fun.  
~We can't buy more crafts or projects because we're cutting way back on expenditures. 

Pros

~You start thinking that this "preview" of retirement isn't as bad as you thought it might be.  I've become addicted to my morning walks!  It's a miracle.....
~You leave off cleaning your desk, because hey! there is always tomorrow....or next week.
~You don't feel the need to wear makeup or jewelry or nice clothes.  Who cares?  Today I ran into one of our hygienists at Costco, and I didn't care about no makeup because I had a face mask on.  Lol
~You discover that your spouse has an ironic sense of humor that you never appreciated before, and, oh by the way, he talks to the dog.  A lot.  Which takes some of the conversational pressure off of you.  
~Sleeping in.  This is not guaranteed though.  Most mornings I wake up at the same time I do when I work, but the difference is I can lay in bed and browse my phone.  For like, an hour.  Or until the smell of coffee drifts up to your nose, because your spouse has to get up and feed the dog and always starts the coffee.
~Nearly everyone you encounter on your walk smiles, says good morning or at least waves a friendly greeting.  
~And the memes......









 Be safe, and check on your family, friends & neighbors!
Love, 365

April 2, 2020

Social aloofness.........

Shiprock, New Mexico.....

Today I took my walk early ~ I left the house at about 8:10 am or so.  Now, I am not a "morning exerciser".  I prefer late morning and later.  But the parks and walking paths around here are becoming too crowded.  So this morning I left early to avoid the crowds, which isn't like Chicago or New York by any means.  But, if you recall, Romeo counted over 100 people on his walk on Monday, which is about 70-80 more than he normally encounters.  

Luckily, it was chilly but the sun was shining.  The walk was so pleasant.  I am now, at least during the corona virus self-isolation/distancing issue, getting out before 8:30.  

Yesterday I didn't walk, and honestly I felt a bit depressed ~ probably because I did way too much sitting.  So, I'm going to make myself get out early with one caveat...if it's windy I will walk indoors on my stupid, boring, annoying treadmill.  I'll tell you, although I'm grateful to still have it, I really don't enjoy it that much.  

I also took a chance and went to the grocery store to pick up a few things.  To my great surprise, I found bread flour and regular flour, milk, eggs, etc.  Now I have plenty of bread flour, which I was getting low on.  Since I bake all of the bread we eat, it's no bueño to not have bread flour.  And Romeo bought white, bleached, "fortified" flour, which is total crap....well, at least to a baker it's crap.  Yesterday he made a white cake and I told him to use the flour HE bought, but did he?  No.  Ugh, on some things we're driving ourselves crazy.  It doesn't help that he is losing his hearing.  Every time I say something he always asks me to repeat it.  I guess now I will walk right up to him before I say anything.  ARGHHHHHH, he needs to get his hearing checked, but knowing the man like I do, he probably won't consistently wear his hearing aids (you know, the ones I'm sure they are going to recommend).  

Well, that's enough bitching for today, right?  Well, except for this:

From #Shitology:

After all the stupid things that
I've done in my life, if I die
because I touched my face, 
I am going to be pissed.

Stay safe, stay home ~ don't forget to check on your friends and neighbors!

Love, 365 

April 1, 2020

Staying home........

Spring, making it's way to New Mexico....
This is a foot bridge over one of the major roads, on my walk route....

Two weeks ago at work we were given the news that beginning the next day !!!  we would be cutting back on what we are doing in the (dental) office.  No cleanings.  Emergency treatment only (broken tooth, severe pain, infection, etc).  That day we worked like crazy folks, calling to cancel/move appointments.  My work hours have gone from 34-36 hours to 12 or so.  Yesterday was my last day of work until April 8th.  I have 3 weeks of vacation time remaining.  One of my co-workers plans to take all of her pto time, then go on unemployment ~ and said she will not come in for those two days a week once she is on unemployment.  It's understandable.  I've been wondering if I should do the same.  But I'm one of those people that needs time to think about stuff.  Sometimes I need a long time to think about it........

I did start a silk ribbon embroidery project.  It's been years since I've put my hand to something like that.  

Romeo is going nuts.  He takes Sioux out every day, and has started incorporating a little running into his outing.  But on Monday he texted me (while at work) that he saw so many people in the park, he was curious so started counting them ~ and came up with over 100!  Normally you might see 20 or so people on the 3 mile route.  He decided to go earlier to avoid the majority.  

One of my friends posted on FB that her cats are becoming irritated that she's home all the time ~ I replied that on the other hand, dogs are celebrating, their people are home!  All the time!  Lol....

 And now, for the funnies....












Stay safe, y'all, and for goodness sake, stay at home!

Love, 365

It's the little things that make you crazy........

A swallowtail visited my butterfly bush.....he/she(?) was about as large as my hand. This was a tough week.  We are on week two of being sho...