Friday, September 28, 2007

By Request: My Picture

My dad, my son, my friends wanted a current photo of me and of me and Riley so G took this photo yesterday. I'm wearing my new size 14 jeans. And they fit. Not tight! Riley wanted to run and play and wasn't all that interested in having his picture taken. I have to work on my facial expression. I look tired and annoyed and I wasn't.

Riley and I walked 2 miles plus a walk in the woods this morning which may have been an additional mile. Riley found mushrooms, something icky which he swallowed and a dead chipmunk. I had hoped all that excitement and a tummy full of lunch would have him in the mood for a nap--but not so much.

I made myself a veggie burger with cheese, tomato, bacon, lettuce and am ready to settle in with Kathy Reichs new mystery which is already overdue at the library. It's rainy and muggy and perfect weather for a good book. Hope you like the picture!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Kudos To Library Staff

Thanks to your interest in finding out what I said to get myself fired-- my visits doubled on the "dates" when this happened. Close to triple digits on some days. Wow! And all from readers locally! Revenge IS best served cold. I'm loving it.

Time Is On My Side

Yesterday I put the dog in his crate as usual for a Tuesday-- like I was "going to work" and went instead to my studio to do whatever I wanted. I sorted a bit. Sewed a bit. Packed things in containers. And a whole 4 hours went by in a moment. I made this little "hot" number yesterday for my "Just When You Think It's Safe" quilt. It's going to be very RED. In fact, everything I have been making in the last few months has been red. And black.

This is rolled up and piled on the table. I liked it much better spread across the floor in my bedroom. It's the background for "something" but I have no idea what yet.

Today I will saute a nice ripe sliced tomato with butter, salt and pepper and then add some cream and grilled summer squashes and let it all heat through for a most excellent lunch on an unseasonably HOT September day. Could hit 90.

THEN. I will get out my stretched canvas and my paints and I will PAINT. I've had painting on the back shelf of my life long enough. It's time.

Tomorrow my walking buddy and I will toast her new bathroom remodel with Prosecco. This has taken so much longer than planned and better be worth the wait! Most everything arrived broken the first time, needed to be reordered, some was again broken or the wrong size, reordered and then the carpenter installed things and one piece had been measured wrong and therefore ordered wrong, and then the plumber had to come, and now the carpenter again. I think it's almost 18 months.

Am I crazy or shouldn't the building supply house open the boxes when they arrive and check the condition before shipping things to the client's house? Did they really think she wouldn't notice that the expensive Italian sink bowl was cracked? That the vanity was the wrong size? That the faucet had parts missing? That the mirror was broken? Would they notice if she refused to pay him?

I guess my expectations are too high.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I just tore through the five stages of grief over the loss of my job and Saturday I arrived at Acceptance. I accept responsibility for writing things relating to the library staff in my blog and the consequences of doing that.

I also admit to being pretty darn happy about not having to go into work at the library any more. I was surprised by that. Subconsciously, I must have been looking for a way out and found one. I think if I had been paying more attention to myself and the way I felt about library things I could have made it easier on everyone and just gave 2 weeks notice. It would certainly have been less messy.

I also think that when I look back on this birthday--it won't be as the one they ruined--but as the birthday I was set free. I've been giving this a good deal of thought. I was miserable and so bored by my job. Nine and a half years is a long time to do the same thing. It was way past time for me to move on.

The "new healthy eating plan" and all the exercise and weight loss have made me less inclined to accept things that don't work for me. Not that I'm self centered or anything but I am focused on my own well being for the first time in many years.

There is one thing that is making me a bit sad. Two custom made wool circle skirts that I now fit into again after 25 years, and they are back in style (woo hoo), and I had planned to wear them to work this fall and winter. Not many reasons to wear a wool circle skirt and cropped Geiger wool jacket around here. I would have been overdressed at work but so what. I LOVE those skirts. And I always felt like a princess when I wore them in Europe in the 80's. Short jacket, high collared white blouses (I saved them and they fit also), swirly skirt that made the most luscious sounds as the wool slid over the lining, cute European shoes and expensive designer wool scarves (Perry Ellis) around my shoulders. I was so looking forward to dressing like that again. I'll find a reason to wear them-- I did work hard to lose the weight and should enjoy the reward.

G and I spent the weekend burning our way through several huge piles of branches and cut down trees. Then G rented a brush hog and cut down all the brush on part of our 4 acres. It is all clear cut rolling hills and trees now and will look wonderful in the winter.

I need to keep after G and get him to cut down ALL the small white pines on our property. I hate those trees. They block all the sunlight when they get big and shed huge amounts of acidic pine needles. All the other varieties of pine trees are okay with me. They can stay. And I like the oaks. We've cut down most of the maples and sick birches. Our neighbor has pretty maples we can enjoy in the fall but I don't need them around my house making a mess. G and I rake up all the neighbor's maple leaves and drag them back to our house to shred for compost. And since we removed all the junipers from our yard, my crabapple trees are recovering from apple-cedar rust which nearly killed them. I didn't know the rust overwintered in the junipers and then attacked the crab apples anew each spring. Geez!

G and I are working our way around the weedy flower beds (they got weedy because I can't garden and then work standing up - without a break- for 4 to 5 hours at the library-- my back can't do both)--digging up what we want to save and spraying the rest with Round Up. When everything is good and dead, I go in and dig out everything, rototill, add dirt and compost and start over. It is sometimes easier to do it that way than to try and straighten weedy things out. And I have different ideas on plant combinations now. I am a Master Gardener. I did just complete a two day landscaping design seminar. I have one large bed replanted and everything looks so fresh and nice. I even made a new obos (balanced rock pile) for the new bed-- 8 rocks high. The central vac guy thought I glued them together. I offered to unpile them to prove they were balanced and dry stacked. He declined. I've made three piles so far and they get better looking each time. This new one makes me smile each time I walk past. It's a zen thing.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Waiting & the Rest of the Story

My daughter brought over a bucket of tomatoes picked in Woolwich before an overnight frost. Must be a low area. We haven't had a frost yet and my tomatoes are still out in the garden on the vines. So I will wait and see if these will ripen. G likes fresh tomato soup.

Riley is waiting to go on yet another long walk. He has chipmunks to chase and birds to track and grasshoppers to catch and lick. He also has neighborhood dogs to visit and romp with. This dog's life is pretty great.

Riley let me sleep till 10am this morning. What a dog. He's curled around my feet as I type this. Licking all kinds of good things off my shoes. If a dog can love me--I can't be that bad a person, right?

My birthday experiences. Let it be stated here that the day was completely ruined and any tears shed that day were over my ruined birthday and not any painful guilt over wrong doings. They had two. In nine and a half years. Two. No coaching by my direct supervisor. At the time of the incidents I was told "don't do it again". Period. That was the extend of any warning, management or anything. Don't do it again. And I didn't. But when they needed ammunition for their attack--those two incidents were numbers 1 and 2. Number 3 was my blog. They read to me parts of my blog which offended them. Showed disrespect to them and the library. This post will also be thought to be disrespectful.

After one hour of this, I was expected to go out for coffee or lunch to "hash things out and clear the air". And then they announced to the staff at the desk that they "were whisking me off for a celebratory birthday lunch". I nearly vomited.

I did not eat. We did not hash things out. We didn't clear the air. They ate lunch and we talked about mundane items like mice and bats in the house. I had an iced coffee and tried not to be sick all over myself in public.

We returned to the library and the birthday congratulations of staff who were working and of the patrons who overheard. Hugs, smiles and good wishes. Can any of you imagine how strange and awful this was for me? I was in shock. Blindsided. And THEN, dear readers, I was expected to work the remaining two hours of my scheduled shift.

After work, went home to walk the dog, eat the birthday sushi a library patron had made for me and delivered to the library with a sweet note and sit and think. I decided I could not agree to the terms necessary to continue employment. I emailed. And during my work shift the next afternoon the director came down and announced that "Joanne is going home, now". So that was how my dream job ended. Joanne is going home, now.

I'm finding out that my daughter was very right about what would happen "after". That's when you discover who was really your friend all along and who was only a co-worker with no loyalty to you as a person. That's all sifting out right now and it's a revelation to me. I've never been in this situation before and I have worked all my life.

My husband was a corporate trainer for over 30 years and he was stunned by the incompetent and unprofessional behavior exhibited. Even at the store level in his business, job coaching was done in a more professional manner-- and not by college graduates or people holding a masters in business management. Rather, by people trained to manage employees effectively.

So that's the story. I was rude to one patron, once. Don't do it again. I made a statement that a staff member took offense to and complained about. Once. Don't do it again. I won't even get into to the fact that someone was standing right next to me when this statement was made and didn't hear anything offensive. Also, the statement as read and printed in a letter is incorrect. That isn't what I said. Or how I said it. They also don't have a record of what the staff member said to me. It involved a physical impossibility. I never did it again. Co workers not wanting to work with me? Who. I have worked with one person for over a year (11 hours a week) and she has no complaints. I asked. I think she would have noticed if I had "poor customer service skills". I think everyone would have noticed that over the nine and a half years I worked customer service. I don't think I would have been given performance increases if I had such poor skills. Disrespect? Guilty. I am posting this.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Status Report

The kahlua chocolate birthday cake was (is) delicious. I recommend it to all of you and will print the recipe as soon as the cake effects wear off.

The birthday pot roast dinner was fantastic. Slow roasted all day, with mashed potatoes, green peas and cole slaw. All my favorites.

I got great presents.

I got fired.

I am now free to do a shocking library "tell all" posting. But not right this minute. LOL

Sometimes we think things will be awful and when they happen--it turns out to not be awful. It turns out to be good. I am happy about the turn of events even though they were exceptionally bizarre. And trust me -- it was bizarre. I will miss my friends. I hope they will believe what they know in their hearts is true of me and discredit the things that will be said which are not true. I am the person you always thought you knew. Trust that knowledge.

I have no regrets other than not walking out of yesterday's meeting a free woman. I let them ruin my birthday. And I cried because they ruined my birthday.

Today my family and friends did what they do best and made me happy again. Thank you!!!!! All of you, from California to Germany, your support and love has made all the difference today!

Status Report

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's My Birthday

Today I am 61. I wore a blue dress that I bought in 1987. Twenty years ago I was this size and weight. Sort of a time warp thing. When I began this "healthy eating plan" I set a goal of wearing the blue dress--a favorite of mine-- on my birthday. Nine months later I actually can wear it.

This will be a birthday I remember forever. For good reasons and for terrible reasons. The terrible reasons won't be discussed here until I discuss my First Amendment Rights and my blog with an attorney. Yeah. Terrible.

A friend brought "birthday sushi" to the library for me. I just finished it for dinner. Delicious as always. I think I could eat my friend's homemade sushi everyday. Just amazing.

The comments wishing me a happy birthday have been welcome. You are all so very dear to me! Who knew I would make such enduring friends in such an electronic forum.

Both of my children have called and we had wonderful conversations. My two dear girlfriends both took time to call even though they are very busy. My walking buddy called early to schedule a "birthday walk" and we did 3 miles and laughed and talked the whole time. My co worker and friend surprised me with a fabric bouquet. Very nice surprise and thoughtful. I was even surprised to be invited to a birthday lunch by two of my co workers today with the hour when I should have been working covered by another co worker.

Right now I'm tired, confused, questioning everything, wondering if I should even be posting. Life does come at you fast.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Happy Wedding Anniversary

Thirty nine years. And with no actual "Will you marry me" from G. Nope. Never asked. And no engagement ring either. I did get a wedding ring. Nice wide gold band. And now I have diamonds.

We've had good years and really awful years. But we take care of each other and are good company on long car rides and winter evenings. We garden well together also. And make each other laugh.

Today I was happy to be married to him. I was sitting in my "breakfast chair" talking to G and watching the puppy play and looked up and what to my wondering eyes did appear--a BAT. Clinging to the silk lining of the hanging lamp shade. G calmly collected the BAT, showed it to me and the pup and then took it outside. A BAT in my HOUSE!

Now I think we may have to move to a house without a BAT.

Oh, G thought TOMORROW was our anniversary. He has only remembered it correctly once--our twenty year. With flowers (20 white roses), dinner and a diamond wedding band presented with raspberry cheesecake-- my favorite. Lovely memory!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September Roses

The Japanese beetles moved on to other places this year and I have a small vase of rose buds on my counter. In other years, before Japanese beetles, I could gather a vase of large rose blooms in September --for our anniversary. Maybe next year.

Here I am. Sixty pounds less of me. Today I wore pleated slacks with a white tee TUCKED in and my small belt on the last hole. People were very complimentary. Said I was just "wasting" away. I would prefer "waisting" away. Still room for improvement in the midriff area. And upper arms.

On Monday Riley ate a "bad" mushroom and got very sick. Vomited for almost an hour. G took him to the vet along with the remainder of the mushroom. Riley ate the fungus on my watch and I had taken the uneaten parts out of his mouth and saved it in case it was "bad". Then I went to work and G got home and the fun began. Riley is on boiled beef and rice. The vet also filled Riley's tummy with liquid charcoal to counter the poison. Riley is FINE. No worries. But he did scare G. I'm just relieved that it was gastric and not neurological. Cause I love that dog.

G and I searched the yard for mushrooms and filled a quart garden pot with them. I dug them up with my newly manicured nails. See how much I care! The mushrooms are round, low to the ground and covered with tiny dots. Cruel. My favorite pattern (dots) on poison mushrooms. I think I will have to make a "evil" quilt about these mushrooms with "bad" dots rather than happy ones.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


I'm borrowing an image from a blogging friend. It really and truly suits me. In the Chinese calendar I'm a DOG. And an artist. And messy. And usually dressed in blue.

September. My birth month. I think of the whole month as MINE! So I will be unbearably cheerful and bouncy this month. Going to be married 39 years on the 15th and be 61 years old on the 18th. I'm hoping one of those occasions involves cake and ice cream.

I FINALLY made it to SIXTY POUNDS LOST. All of July was one big plateau and I didn't gain any weight and perhaps lost 3 pounds for the whole month. August was better and I made the effort to walk three or four miles a day. There were also a number of 800 calorie days in August. Not good but I wasn't hungry.

Riley is now old enough to walk several miles a day without danger of injury to growing hip joints. And this pup has the longest legs! And his head is getting so big (he's smart) and his coat is so shiny and guess what? He loves me. And I love him. I don't even mind that he smells like a dog. And believe me, that's something!

September is also the month when something is in bloom that makes my nose run like a faucet. I wish I knew what it is. Ragweed? Goldenrod? Could be any of the grasses with seed heads. Anyway, I am never far from my hanky.

I have to call and give the central vac guy the okay to replace the existing system with a new system and install an extension into the second floor so I can vacuum the guest suite and the stairs. Won't that be nice? He's also going to place the collection tank in the garage for easy emptying and as an added bonus-- we'll be able to vacuum out the cars with the central vac hoses. And I have to find doggie day care for Riley for Friday when G is at work and I have a Master Gardener class. Landscaping.

My brother is calling the bank to straighten out my Dad's annuity. The annuity my Dad says he never bought. I guess we've entered that scary part of elder parent care. Glad my brother offered to help me out on this. I was out of my depth with banking stuff. Especially "you say- he says" discussions.

So, 2 mile walk and an allergy tab and it's Tuesday so G and I will be grilling hamburgers for lunch. Well, I'll have a veggie burger but it's delicious. Tomorrow Indian food with a friend. It's all good this week. September. What's not to love???