Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted anything, hasn’t it? I wish, as SassyFemme and Hotflash have insinuated, it was because we’ve been enjoying our new mattress but, alas, ’tis not so.
Let’s see if I can recap the past couple of weeks — put your seats in and tables in their full upright positions because there’s gonna be some turbulence.
Because I had one of my staff retire the week of my last post, my staff is now down to half coverage. I “ordered” a temporary from the local agency to help fill in some of the gaps and, the girl they sent us started on Tuesday, March 27th.
On that same day, we had training for our C.E.R.T. team, for two hours. The training was on duties and responsibilities if the local nuclear power plant has a meltdown, and they have to bring the school children here to our facility (which is part of the emergency evacuation plan). I had to forego the training since I had to train the temporary.
On Wednesday, I had a voice mail from the temp calling in sick. Actually, she called in and said that everyone in the house was sick — turns out she’s a single mom, just recently separated. Hey, it happens, right? I mean, if the kids are gonna get sick, it’s almost always going to be at a time that is least convenient.
Wednesday evening we had CPR and AED recertification for 3 hours.
On Thursday I had a voice mail from the temp saying that the day care provider wouldn’t take the little one, since she’d vomited at 3:00 that morning and they have to go at least 12 hours without vomiting before they can be re-admitted to day care. Since it was my staff member’s last day, I had to leave my own office closed in order to go over and say good-bye.
Friday the girl showed up — 15 minutes late. She has about an hour commute but the weather was clear, roads were dry, and I was a bit perturbed. When she left here Friday, I told her she had to make a good effort on getting here on time.
Saturday we had one job lined up and an estimate we had to give. We were on the road by 9:00 Saturday morning and, by 2:00 had finished up at the job site. We arrived at the prospective customers’ house about 2:30, took a tour of the grounds, and left around 4:00. We got home about 5:00 and I sat right at the computer and began work on our invoice for the job we did, and the estimate for the job we were looking to get. Lisa fixed dinner (called the local pizza delivery place).
Sunday we sort of hunkered down a bit, stayed home and did some housework, laundry, and other putzing around.
Monday the temp showed up 15 minutes late, again. On top of that, she informed me that she had to go to court and would be leaving at 11:45. She didn’t return after that.
Tuesday the temp showed up 15 minutes late, again. I had given her some self-training packets (designed very well by some of our professional development folks) so that she could become more familiar with Excel. My student aide informed me later that day that the temporary had been on the web most of the day signing up with eHarmony and other online dating sites. I reminded the temp when she left Tuesday that she really needed to make a better effort at getting to work on time and that she was to be here, ready for work, by 8:45, not just screaming in the door at 8:45 (or later).
Wednesday morning I came in and there was a voice mail from the temp saying that her son had an abscessed tooth and that she had to take him, first, to the doctor, then to the dentist. She got in about 10:30. She did a job and, after the job was completed, I instructed her to keep working on the training module. I’m not really sure what she did, as I was buried under a pile of grades.
I went to the grocery store after work and got the supplies we needed to make our Easter Basket Cakes for our weekend trip to Pennsylvania. After dinner, I baked two layer cakes — one “Funfetti” and the other chocolate. We figured we’d decorate/ice them the next night.
Thursday morning I came in and, once again, there was a voice mail from the temp saying that she couldn’t get her drivers’ side door closed on her car. She arrived around 11:00 and, as she was settling in at her desk, I told her “This isn’t going to work.” I told her she had too much “stuff” going on at the present time and that she needed to get things taken care of in her life before she could think about settling into a job responsibly. I gave her the option of finishing out the week on Friday, and she accepted.
After work, I hurried home, fixed dinner and, after dinner, we set about our tasks of making the cakes look like Easter baskets. We dug out the tops of the cakes a bit and, while Lisa “anchored” the cakes with toothpicks, I dropped green food color gel into some water, then into a plastic bag full of coconut (for the grass). We gathered up all the goodies (peeps, chocolate malted milk balls, M&Ms, etc.) and packed them into a bag, along with the two cheap-assed Easter baskets Lisa picked up at the dollar store (we used the handles from the baskets for our cakes). After we frosted the cakes (one pink, one purple), we put them into carriers and began packing for our trip the next day.
Friday morning I came in and, without much surprise, noted the voice mail light illuminated on my phone. It was the temp and, not surprisingly, she wasn’t planning on being in on time. “Not that it really matters…” was how the message started off. She went on to explain that there was “…this Easter thing…” at her son’s school and she was going to go to that and planned to be in the office around 12:30 because “…I want to use the computer to update my resume.” Can you believe the BALLS?
When she arrived at 12:30 I simply told her “Don’t take your coat off, I’m sending you home.” I signed her time sheet and sent her on her way. Good riddance. That’s what I get for trying to be nice…
Lisa picked me up at 2:30 and we started our 200 mile trip to Lisa’s sister’s house, where we would celebrate Easter with her family. We stopped in Elmira for dinner around 5:00 and then continued on our way, arriving in Tunkhannock about 7:30.
Saturday we got up and chatted with Lisa’s sister, Diane, until she left to go to her part-time cleaning job around noon. We headed over to Meshoppen to visit Lisa’s grandparents (both will be 92 this year) and then over to see her parents. We got back to Diane’s house around 5:30 and helped her peel potatoes, chop veggies, and make other preparations for dinner the next day.
Lisa’s relatives arrived around noon and we had dinner at 1:00. We had a great time and got a much later start on our trip home than we wanted to. We stopped off at my Aunt Wanda’s on the way back through for coffee. My other aunt, KayAnn, was there, and I learned that she had an appointment up in Rochester on Tuesday at the Elizabeth Wende Breast Clinic – her doctor had found a lump. I made plans with Wanda and KayAnn to have them drive to my house Tuesday morning, and I’d take them to the clinic. We got home Sunday night about 10:00 — we unloaded the car, then dropped into bed.
Back to work — solo again. Buried under a mountain of grades, exams, surveys, and accreditation documents that need “fixing.”
KayAnn and Wanda arrived at 8:00 for KayAnn’s 8:45 appointment. We had some coffee and chatted a little, then left. First they did a mammogram which showed the lump her doctor had found on physical exam. Then they did an ultrasound and a needle biopsy. After everything was done, they took us to a room and talked to all of us about the findings. KayAnn was scheduled for a breast MRI on 4/16 at 11:15 and we would know more at that time what we were looking at and how she might have to proceed. We were at the clinic until just about 2:30 and, famished, looked for a place to have lunch. The aunts left at around 5:00 and I sat and knitted the rest of the evening away, needing something soothing and relaxing.
Lisa mentioned that morning that Simba “…just doesn’t look right.” He’d been quite the turd since our return from PA, laying on the recliner and really not moving much except to eat or potty. I got his treats out and thought I’d see just how energetic he was (he loves those treats). I shook the pouch and his ears perked, his head lifted, and he gingerly got down off the recliner and slinked/limped to me. I told Joe not to let him out that day, because I was concerned he’d gotten injured, even though we couldn’t find anything external on him.
I talked later that day with KayAnn who was having a meltdown — the realization of cancer hitting her hard, once the numbness wore off. I assured her that calling her children was pointless right now because she didn’t have the answers to the questions they were bound to have. I had her laughing in just a few minutes, and she thanked me for that.
I went grocery shopping after work and, upon my return home, found that Simba wasn’t any better that night, so I vowed I’d call the vet the following morning.
I called the vet at 9:00 and they told me to bring Simba right in. I got him there at about 11:00 and, to my surprise, Simba cried and yowled the whole way there, and while we waited in the waiting area. He’s NEVER done that before. Later I realized that the yowling in the waiting area was likely because there was a little girl there — and he’s terrified of kids.
They checked him for urinary blockages and a physical exam revealed no obvious injuries or other maladies (enlarged organs, growths, etc.). The vet told me that cats are prone to a syndrome that is simply referred to as “Fever of Unknown Origin.” The best course of action was a round of antibiotics and some cortisone. The vet wanted to keep him overnight for observation. I left with an empty cat kennel — with that hideous sinking feeling I had last fall when we took our beloved Tigga into the vet just before we lost her. I didn’t relish having to tell Lisa but she took it well, after I assured her that the vet didn’t seem overly worried.
I went home, did some laundry, and sat and knitted.
I stayed home on Friday — it was the last day of spring break and I knew nobody would be at the college. I called the vet and was told I could pick Simba up anytime I was ready. I headed straight over and, after paying a bill of just shy of $300, I went home with our boy — who was markedly improved. He is to be on a regimen of cortisone for the next week, and has an appointment back at the vet’s office next Friday.
I hunkered down at the computer around 8:30 and began the laborious task of preparing tax forms for Joe, Lisa and myself. Trust me when I tell you that income tax preparation is complicated exponentially when you have a side business. Finally, at 4:30, I couldn’t take it any more and gave up for the day. I put some more laundry in, emptied the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen and started dinner, and waltzed the dustmop around. We had a quiet evening, chatting quietly about nothing and everything, and went to bed relatively early.
We were supposed to work Saturday but the weather had other plans. That was fine with me. I told Lisa that, while I should sit down and work on the taxes some more, I just didn’t have it in me mentally to do that, so we decided to get out of the house.
We went to the Home Depot to look at and price pavers, chipper/shredders, and toilet handles. We paid for the handle and went to Harbor Freight Tools next. After Harbor Freight we went to Lowes to look at some unfinished oak cabinets that I’d seen there. We pretty much spent the whole day just out and browsing. We decided to have dinner out and, after we got home, sat down and relaxed in front of the idiot box. We watched The Departed — good movie.
We spent Sunday doing domestic stuff for a while. I got a call from my father and, after that, a call from Wanda. While I was on the phone with Wanda, Lisa got a call from her sister. It seems that Lisa’s father went to get treatment for prostate cancer (which he’d known about in the fall before they left for Florida) and they found a 6 cm by 8 cm malignant mass in one of his kidneys. And they hadn’t yet begun to address the prostate cancer. At the same time, Lisa’s mother had to have laser surgery on her eye to get rid of some calcium deposits that were affecting her vision (from the diabetes).
Lisa went next door to fix Mary’s dryer and, while she was gone, I put dinner in the crockpot, cleaned two of the three bathrooms, changed out 3 blown bulbs in the ceiling fan, changed the sheets on our bed, dusted, and washed both pairs of my sneakers.
We chatted some more over dinner and watched Dexter and The Tudors, then went to bed.
We woke up this morning to greasy, slushy, snotty roads — a far cry from the 8-12″ of snow they had forecast, but bad enough to fuck up traffic nontheless. There were 11 accidents reported when I checked the traffic report on MSN and the traffic reporter on the radio was indicating that there were vehicles off the road all over the place.
KayAnn had to cancel her appointment for this morning and has rescheduled it for Wednesday — I’ll take Wednesday morning off to go with her.
And that is why I’ve not been around much — busy at work, and busy at home.