Sunday, March 22, 2009

Signs of Spring

Spring didn't slip in this weekend, it burst on the scene with flowers and birds and a very high pollen count.

Aside from the pollen which has everyone gazing through crusty eyes at the lovely flowers, there are other signs of spring.

The dogwoods are blooming, poor things. I hope we don't have another freeze.
The azaleas are beginning to bloom, a sure sign there will be another freeze.
The daffodils are actually passed... we have had a weird winter.

And of course, my local roadside produce tent opened this week. Right now, they have mostly tomatoes, citrus, and potatoes, but just wait!!!!! I'm so excited.

I think I'll plant something.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Garden

I am working on my imaginary garden, which may or may not become the real garden. I am wishing I had the creativity to take "found" objects and make a nice planter garden and not a junkyard with flowering weeds. And so, I need to find large containers that look nice and don't cost a bundle.

This weekend, I am going to plant some seeds in my cardboard egg cartons and hope to get a jump on the herb garden. I'd plant outside, since it is in the high 60s, but last year there was a hard freeze at Easter. Anyway, I like the planter idea, since I don't really have space for a yard garden. And I hate digging up the yard.

I'm off to work. Thinking of a garden...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Harry Potter & the Meaning of Life

Jaci posted about an abusive ex who tried to "friend" her on Facebook. The question was sort of, can you be friends with exes (it depends), but really, what do you do with someone like that? Another friend, in answering one of those Facebook/ e-mail list things said that there is one person he really hates (or would like to see dead or something).

I suppose a lot of people have someone like that. A person who harmed us in such a way that even though we move on, do great things, have great families, love our jobs, blogs, or dogs; the mention of his or her name causes us to feel a jolt of adrenaline and see a montage of pictures of horrible things that happened at that time.

I don't really have a person like that. I'm sort of self-centered and don't get that attached to people. If I am attached, they are still here and haven't done anything terrible. I guess I'm lucky that way.

But there is one person whose name makes me start spewing a repetitive list of his sins. He is a former boss. One of the saddest things is that, if someone told him that I hate him to this day, he'd get that vague, confused look he had (OK, the normal look) and say, "Kathy who?" And then, he'd be pleased that he had affected me to such an extent while remaining completely untouched himself.

As much as I'd like to say, screw him, he's trash, I can't fight the visceral pain that shoots through me when someone is stupid enough to say his name in my presence. It makes me angry with myself that he allow him to affect me. For someone whose Bogey-man is an abusive ex or a person who did real harm to them, it's much worse. How do you keep from continuing to be victimized? Really, not just on the surface.

I don't know. But I have an idea, and I got it from Harry Potter. Seriously. In Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkabhan, the doomed defense against the dark arts teacher de jour, Professor Lupin, taught them how to fight the Bogey... a monster that took the form of whatever most frightens a person. And the way to fight it is to make it ridiculous. If you can take the fear (or in our case, the truly horrible person) and picture him in a ridiculous way, you laugh at him and he loses his power. Really. Not just on the surface.

My other idea is stolen from another writer Martha Grimes. Her character was a mystery writer who dealt with the people who made her feel powerlessly miserable by writing variations of their murders. Safe and satisfying.

That's all I've got. I'll let you know if it works for me. Let me know if you have any ideas.

Hero girl

Who makes up these hero names? The putting together the picture is cool, but "The Astonishing Whipped Jones"? It sounds like a diet dessert, or something else I'm far too reserved to mention...
And speaking of reserved, does my hero look like a preschool dominatrix or what?
I found the hero thing on Walking Within the Spiral. If you want to be a hero, check out Super Hero Factory.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Brought to you by the letter "K"

I am feeling guilty about not writing. I think I've mentioned the old "tax season" excuse. I'll add a small ocular migraine excuse. And a complete lack of quality sleep excuse. Anyway, that's enough of that.

Annie pulled out this pass along game, so I decided to give it a shot. You have to answer these questions with an answer using the first letter of your name. You can't use the same word twice and you can't use your name as the boy or girl's name. Since my name is Kathy with a K and there are only about 10 words that start with K, I may regret this. But here goes.

1.What is your name? Kathy
2. A four letter word? Kiln
3. A boys name? Keith
4. A girls name? Kelly
5. An occupation? Knitter (not to be confused with the hooker)
6. A character? King Arthur
7. Something you wear? Knee-socks
8. A food? Kisses
9. Something in your bathroom? Kitten (I am not kidding)
10. A place? Kenya
11. A reason for been late? Kinko's had a pen sale.
12. Something you'd shout? Keep the &*(% off my lawn, you miserable little wretches!
13. A movie title? King Kong
14. Something you'd drink? Kool aid
15. A musical group? Kinks
16. An animal? Koala
17. A street name? King Street, Charleston, SC
18. A type of car? K-car (remember those?)
19. A song title? King Tut

I think I cheated, since I used a variation of king several times. Oh well. Sue me.

Back to work....

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Zest Green Terry Cloth Tube Dress

Many years ago, my grandmother gave me a dress for my birthday. I was about 17 and although I was not as fat as I thought I was, I was not skinny. Part of the problem (as I saw it) was the boobs, which were all I saw when I looked down. And so, my grandmother may she continue to rest in peace, whose fashion sense was ... well, hers, gave me a size 7 terry cloth tube dress. A Zest green terry cloth tube dress. I tried it on, and I looked like a Zest green terry cloth sausage. I smiled and said "How thoughtful!" because even then you could take me out in public.

I got home and put it away, which is what I do with things. About four years later, I took out the Zest green terry cloth tube dress still in it's original box and wrapped it in (new) birthday paper. I made a birthday cake, and took both of them to my friend Courtney for her birthday (March 12). She loved the cake and laughed hysterically at the dress. Then she said, "How thoughtful!" because she, too, knows how to act.

My birthday came on July 30, and Courtney gave me a lovely, thoughtful gift. A newly wrapped Zest green terry cloth tube dress.

Courtney & I passed the dress back and forth for several years. When we drifted in different directions, as buddies often do, she had the dress. Imagine my joy when after several years without seeing her, she dropped by on my birthday with a present.

The dress is somewhere in my shed, I think. It may or may not be in it's same box. Although I've missed Courtney's birthday this year, I may see if I can dig it up for next year. It's not every day that you find a friend who knows the proper response to receiving a Zest green terry cloth tube dress. "How thoughtful!"

Happy birthday to Courtney. I hope this is a joyous year.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Let me begin by saying that I abso-freaking-lutely HATE daylight savings time. What kind of weird hybrid of government, science, and banking conspired to come up with this idea? Does anyone really believe that any daylight is saved? Didn't they pay attention to all that stuff in school about the Earth's rotation and axis and seasons and stuff?

Many years ago, one of our SC Congressmen spoke out against daylight savings time. He said that if there were more daylight hours, the crops would burn in the fields. Since the man didn't know the meaning of the word "irony" (or many other words), we think he was serious.

Back then, the argument was about saving energy. Is energy saved? I don't see how, since I have to turn on the lights in the morning when I get up. And I spend the day in an office with more natural light than most, but still have the lights on. And then I go home and close the blinds and go to sleep. My brain is screaming that it is warmer and there should be light --- real light. My mind is saying, go to sleep, it's still tax season.

The only time that daylight savings time didn't bother me was when my oldest son was a baby. He had been born on January 10 and lived on his own schedule. (Still does, but that's another issue.) Since I was able to stay home with him, I also lived on his schedule. Robert didn't care what the clock said, he woke up when he was ready. Once the clocks changed, his wake up was an hour later and OH JOY!!! so was mine.

Babies and burning crops aside, who does this help?

All I can think is that it is a part of the factorization of the United States. We send children to school to learn to sit still and follow bells. Reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic aside, the main point of modern education is to civilize children so they can sit still for hours in a factory job and get to work on time. The main point of daylight savings time is to twist the natural flow of light and dark, spring and fall, warm and cold, so we can work all the damn time.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I can see clearly now...

The sun is shining and the birds are singing and the weeds are flowering. I have to work this morning, but the "day off" Thursday has made me feel sooooo much better.

Even though I spent most of Thursday at St. Michael's catching up the bookkeeping and didn't get around to the REST OF THE LIST, I feel wonderful. I quit the St. Michael's job, but somehow managed to get on at least one volunteer committee. My sister rolled her eyes. (It was on the phone, but I could tell.) "Kathy, only you would quit a paying job because of overwork and take on a nonpaying job in its place." Yep. It's so much easier to work if there is no money involved. And I'm not really on the committee... yet.

I went back to my regular job to a pile of ... well, you know. But my attitude was so much better that I managed to sort through the previous day's crap in about an hour and breeze through two large tax returns and a mega payroll without crying once. And if my prayers sounded like, "Oh for God's sake, what were they thinking?" well... at least I smiled a little as I said it.

Today after work we are going to an oyster roast at Bob's cousin's house. I am really looking forward to this. I hope my oldest son and his wife and kids can come too. Bob's cousin lives in a wooded area, and baby Gabe would LOVE to run up and down the hills.

And now I'm off...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Not much

There is very little to say. My friend has lost her husband, and I cannot be there to help, if I could help. I know that she has friends and family surrounding her. I am sending strength and courage. That is what I would need to get through something like this.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Time out

I am not going on & on today. I am too tired even to complain and whine. I am taking off tomorrow. I will catch up on my other jobs and my house. And maybe, me. I haven't decided whether to just say, "I'm taking off" or to claim illness. If I claim illness, I will probably get sick. It's in my nature. I feel guilty for lying, so I make it not a lie. Sad. So I'll probably say I am taking the day off and if he complains, I'll tell him to kiss my ass, I'm going to go work for the SC Employment Security Commission and hunt down the greedy SOBs who pay their employees as contract labor so the employee gets stuck with a 15% self employment tax. But that's just a pipe dream. The state isn't hiring.

When I agreed to be scheduled for all open hours (9-6 M-Th, 9-5 F, 9-1 Saturday) I really thought he understood I wouldn't actually be there all those hours. I'd make sure it was covered and take off to do things that need doing in life. Shopping, cooking, going to my son's music program. Instead, he has scaled DOWN his time at that office ("I need to be flexible" --- to see his grandson's play baseball), while if I need to run out, I am letting him down.

Oh, crap... that's going on and on, isn't it? OK, well I won't go on and on about how his idea of me being the office manager is that he calls me every hour (and on Sunday afternoon) and tells me to tell people things, he leaves me lists to do (I really hate that), he switches every decision I make, and that he wants me to do the crap things he hates to do.

And I won't go on and on about how he said I should put in "extra time" on the weekend to do the work that requires concentration, while still working 5 1/2 days a week doing every damn thing on all of the damn lists...

I'm sure you are glad I have spared you...

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Kim, at The Diary of a Wicked Stepmom has given me an award. It's for uplifting & other good stuff, and I am honored. Since Kim is one of the people who lifts me up, it means all the more. I am to send this on. I am sending it to at least one person who has already received a few of these, because she also lifts me up.

To Annie who has a bunch of awards, and deserves them.

To Lydia, who doesn't blog a lot, but is a great friend:

To Carolyn, who always gives even when she needs to take support:

To Jaci, who makes me laugh every day:

To Lynnette, who also already has this, but still, sometimes you just gotta give someone another award!:

and to Dina, who always makes me think, and in a good way:

And Kim, even though you sent this to me, I have to regift. Thank you.

To those who received the award, pass it on, put it on the mantel piece, hold it in your heart. Thank you all.