Friday, May 27, 2011

Rhubarb Pie For Breakfast

Although leftover Pizza and apple pie (not generally eaten together) are two of my favorite breakfasts, Rhubarb Pie ranks right up there too, especially with hot coffee.  We had fresh homemade pie with my mother late last evening, but were feeling the affects of a wonderful dinner and couldn't give the pie the attention that it needs to be fully appreciated.  This morning I can!  Awesome!  I grow the Rhubarb and mom makes the pies, although she says her pie making is coming to an end as it gets harder to read the recipe and get the measurements correct.  This one was certainly perfect though!

Yesterday turned out to be busier than expected.  When I checked Facebook at noon, I had an invitation from Heidi of Caribe Restaurant inviting Ron and I to a food bloggers dinner hosted by Dole, at their restaurant.  They'd had a cancellation and decided to offer the tickets to us, as good customers.  What a thrill!  A chance to meet "real" bloggers, and have an awesome meal as well.  We accepted and really enjoyed the occasion.  Pictures tomorrow.

The new fence is in place
Although we had been told 5 to 7 working days for the fence to be completed, I had stressed the fact that because I had multiple dogs, sooner would be MUCH better.  It worked!  The fence went in yesterday, and other than a few minor glitches things went well.  The estimator had not ordered that style that I had intended, but this one looks great and I am quite satisfied.  He also botched the chain link portion of the order, so the posts were not tall enough for the existing chain link that was to be re-used - so we ended up with new chain link too.  While the installers were waiting for the new chain link and the new gate to be delivered, they added some extras to the board fence, things that would have taken us a lot of time, but so easy to do with their specialized equipment.  Love it!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Employees As Livestock

Yesterday was NOT a good day.  Because we had a meeting scheduled for 7:30 I went in early anticipating something important.  NOT!  Our director announced that she was moving a couple of the managers, so all the peons (she didn't say that, but it was inferred) would have their cubes moved so we could remain under the thumb(s) of our fearless leaders.  Great timing too, people retiring, others filling in on their jobs, and everyone attending classes for the new accounting system.  Like we all have the time and inclination to move.  No consideration of who needs room for filing cabinets - we get to walk down the hallway to retrieve our project files, rather than having them handy.  My 5-foot cabinet which is totally filled will not fit into my new cube.  To make things even more fun, my co-worker JoAnn is retiring, I'm currently doing her job while she uses up her vacation days, and I have to fit HER files into my new space too.  And the new cube is smaller than my old one - because the cubes near my fearless leader are all "standard" which means too small to work in.

I love my job, but hate the fact that employees are consistently treated like livestock rather than individuals.  That's not true in all offices, but has become a tradition in ours.  It's also been a tradition that when "they" want someone to leave, that person is bullied until it happens.  Subtle bullying, hard to prove, but obvious to the individual and their co-workers.  We are watching it in action right now.  Time for a meeting with the new CFO - we'll see if she is actually what she seems to be.

In all my years of working here, I have never had a really good manager.  I have had nice ones, hard working ones, managers with people skills and others with the personality of a wolverine, but I have never had one that combined all the appropriate characteristics of a good manager.  We have them in our office, so I know they exist, but it's not likely that I will ever have the chance to work for a person I can admire both as a manager and as a person.

Several of us were lamenting the fact that we did not take the retirement package, and wondering if we would survive the next year.  Things will only get more stressful with the budget issues, not enough workers, and the new accounting system.

Gotta start buying more lottery tickets!   

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


The yard looks pretty weird right now

Posts are set and a temporary fence is up.  It consists of light-weight mesh fencing between our yard and the neighbor's and old exercise pens strung along the alley.  The side fence is strong enough to keep the neighbor's Westie from wandering into my yard, and the ex-pen creates a boundary.  Now at least the dogs can be off leash with supervision, and all approved of the change..

Being without my fence sure leaves me feeling vulnerable.  I particularly miss the chain link along the side of my house, and double-check the lock on the side door every time I walk by.   Argus has been told that he must be extra vigilent until the fence is replaced.  It's uncomfortable having my yard open to the alley, but it did provide the opportunity for a nice chat with a pleasant neighbor from across the alley who I haven't spoken to in several years - privacy fences DO have some disadvantages.

It's been three days now and no sign of some virulent form of e coli, BUT I will not be eating medium-rare burgers at a bar anytime soon.  Thanks for your concern.

The morning got off to an early start as we have a "required" meeting at work at 7:30 - my normal starting time is 8:00.  Because the legislative session ended with no budget in place, lay off notices go out next week, effect July 1.  Presumably the meeting concerns that situation.  In a better world, the new accounting system would NOT go live on July 1 as it will just make everything so much more difficult when we finally come back.  Hopefully the Governor stands his ground on this, and if we go out EVERYONE goes out, except for those jobs required for our safety - patrol officers and prison guards come to mind.  Although no one can afford to be out of work for weeks, everyone is preparing for it.  Yesterday we were discussing the projects we have lined up for the enforced vacation.   LOTS I could do around here, as long as I would not have to spend any money to do them.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011



Looks like it's going to be a very busy summer.  After years with no pups, or just one small litter, we are doubling our options this year.  Penny came in season earlier than anticipated, but we're going to go ahead and breed her too.  Reebok's pups will be raised at my house, Penny's pups at Jess's. This will be Jess's first litter, although she's helped with many over the years.  Penny's health testing (ears, eyes, thyroid, cardiac) is all completed except for hips and elbows which have been rescheduled for today.  A dog must be two years old for OFA to rate their hips, and Penny just turned two.   She's being bred to an older dog, so he is scheduled for a sperm count later this week, just to be sure he's up to the job.  Hopefully both processes will have good results!

When OFA evaluates and processes Penny's hips she will be assigned her CHIC number.  I love the little bumper stickers that OFA sends out with the certificates.

Health-Tested Parents For Healthier Puppies

Monday, May 23, 2011

How Dumb Was That?

Woke up this morning feeling a bit nauseated.  KNEW I wasn't pregnant (!), so what else could it be?  What did I eat?  Was it food poisoning again?  Salmonella from handling raw poultry?  What did I eat over the weekend?  Oops.  That burger?  How could I have been so stupid!  I'm pretty health conscious and quite well read on the subject.  I pride myself in (normally) making good choices.  After working in the yard all weekend, we went to our favorite neighborhood bar last night.  Ron had his normal Wild Rice Turkey Burger and I selected the Light (1/4 lb.) Burger with all the fixings - and without giving it much thought I asked for it medium rare.  I NEVER order burgers that way, only steaks.  What was I thinking?  The burger seemed a bit soft and tasteless, and when I checked I could see that it was very pink inside and decidedly under-cooked (even for medium rare).  So what did I do?  Added more ketchup and ate it.  What should I have done?  SENT IT BACK!  The Waffles Fries were good, as was the Cosmo, Ron was chattier than usual, and we had a good time.  I gave it not another thought - until I woke up feeling queasy.  Although I'm not a hypochondriac, I know this will be preying on my mind today . . .  Bet I don't do this again!

The fence guys are supposed to arrive at 11:00 or call if they won't be here on time.  Am betting they will be late and won't call.  Hate to waste my vacation time waiting for someone.  It's been a lot of work, but I guess we are ready.  Now to survive 10 days without a fence.  Although there will be a temporary fence, the dogs will be going out on lead as no temporary fence will stand up to a Dal pursuing a rabbit, squirrel, or the neighbor's cat.  Hope the neighbor's Westie will also be kept on lead, but the fence ought to hold her.

Argus and Mariah
Mariah is doing well in her new home.  Gets along well with her Dalmatian housemate, but still a bit uncomfortable with the Aussie.  The biggest adjustment will be the fact that her new owner will be at work all day.  Mariah is used to having Ron around, and going in and out all day.

Josie and Argus have been incredibly playful all weekend and I've returned some of the dog toys that Mariah was determined could be destroyed.  Josie is delighted to have her favorite catching toy back, and Argus races around the kitchen/family room with the squeaky rabbit. A pair of knotted jean legs left from a newly created pair of cutoffs became two additional dog toys.

The Northern Lights Azalea
The yard is gorgeous right now.  All the rain has made the grass grow like mad and fill in the thin spots, and the Hostas are so lovely when they are young and fresh, and before bad weather, slugs and sun take their toll.

The Rhubarb is doing well, and the first harvest was delivered to my mother who will make a Rhubarb Custard Pie later this week.  Hopefully the plants are not damaged by the fence project.  A number of perennials were moved and others are surrounded by small fences in hopes they won't be trampled.  Hopefully the yard, the dogs and the people all survive the project!