Thursday, June 30, 2005

More Work Stories

Me at work, again- Posted by Hello

Another grainy newsletter photo! Why did they photograph me without my safety glasses on? Hello OSHA?

Our 'outside guys' were a wonderful source of stories. Talk to anyone who has to visit private homes as a part of their employment and you'll see-

There was an older technician, probably in his late 60s who must have impressed one of our female customers... she began scheduling repair visits and requesting him only. By the second visit, she answered the door in a negligee. Being that she was also older, and heavyset, he wasn't impressed. The third visit also included the negligee, but this time she lured him into her garage on a pretext... and locked him in!

Have you ever been expecting a service visit, left for a minute and returned to find a No Access Tag hanging on your door?
Another of our techs was requested to add a bedroom jack, right behind the headboard of a woman's bed. Although our guys weren't supposed to move furniture due to the potential for breakage, he pushed the bed aside. Noticing a dildo under the bed he just couldn't help himself... he placed a No Access Tag on the toy, with the words "Sorry We Missed You" proudly displayed. I'd have loved to see this woman's face when she finally went to play with her toy.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Tales Of A Co-Worker Past

Me, at work- Posted by Hello

Apologies for the grainy photograph. I scanned this from an old company newsletter.

I used to work with a woman I'll call Pearl, since she really was named after a gemstone.
Pearl was a nice enough woman, the kind of person who'd give you the shirt off their back, but was unbearable to work with.
She lived five minutes from work, but arrived exactly ten minutes late each and every day.
Pearl favored bright colorful clothing, and always had shoes to match any of the hues she happened to be wearing. One day, after dressing in the dark, she was appalled to find she'd come to work wearing one orange shoe paired with a pink one. She scurried home to correct this situation, on company time of course!
She constantly bragged about the neighborhood she'd bought into, and the investments she'd made, yet she'd bring in several empty milk jugs daily, and fill them with the bottled water provided by the company.
Pearl would bring shopping ads to work, read them and make lists, then take a long lunch. Upon her late return, she'd spend another five minutes storing her perishables in the breakroom fridge, and heaven help you if you'd stashed a lunch earlier in the morning- if lucky, you might be able to find it squashed behind Pearl's groceries.
Then she entered her craft phase. She began bringing in supplies, and making fancy photo albums, then stuffed cats, and finally those straw hats decorated with flowers which were meant to be hung as decoration.
The few times she actually worked were a disaster. She was in her late forties, and claimed all the technological changes were too much for her.
When required to work with intra-company workgroups she was frequently asked to put a "real technician" on the line. Did that embarass her... nope!
Just prior to her retirement I happened to quit smoking, and you-know-who received the brunt of my withdrawal pain and anger. When I started back up several weeks later, Pearl mentioned how mean I'd been. I didn't apologize, because that, dear Pearl, was the way I really felt about you!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Tree From Hell

Manzanita- Posted by Hello
A friend who is retiring in a few years and bought property not too far from us as the crow flies recently emailed and mentioned he's looking to buy and plant some manzanita on his property this fall.
I immediately emailed back, and sent some photos asking him if this was what he was talking about... this tree from hell.
We have tons of manzanita on our property. It mostly seems to take on a bushy shape if left on its own.
The tree shown above has been lightly pruned, showing a little of the beautiful bark it's known for. We have several trees up the driveway which have been heavily pruned and look fine.
The problem, other than being prolific, is that they're a fire hazard.
In fact, our next project is the removal of all the bushy manzanita growing on the perimeter of the property, and going back a way into the forest.
Our friend has been invited to bring a backhoe and take all the manzanita he desires, but I doubt he takes us up on the offer!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Oh, To Be A Cat-

Knucklehead relaxing on the deck- Posted by Hello
The past few weeks have been busy. Although we'd already weeded the property, the late rains brought everything back up. Luckily the new growth isn't as tall and thick as before, and I'm seeing that columbine has replaced the lupine which was growing earlier in the spring.
I'm carefully weeding around the columbine, but oh my aching back!
We're still picking up small branches and twigs from the oak which died, and chipping them rather than burning. Now that we have a scanner, we've noticed how many fires begin with a burn-pile getting out of hand, or through the use of equipment on the dried grasses.
We're taking advantage of a few cooler days to try like hell to finish this all up.
Then, just maybe, we can sit on the deck and enjoy the view- just like our cat (pictured above.)

Friday, June 24, 2005

Stuff Portrait Friday!

A perfume-

Something you forgot to return-

Something you stole... not really him, but I stole his heart! Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Intangible Haunting

In the "spooky room" November 2004- Posted by Hello
When we purchased this house, we were delighted to find the former owners had taken the two-car garage and turned it into another bedroom.
The garage doors had been removed and replaced with a heavy-duty door. Two windows and a slider leading out to the deck were added. Another closet was installed, and a dark green carpet and two ceiling fans pretty much finished the room off.
Upon moving in, we called the realtor to find out whether the former owner had meant to leave behind the extremely heavy, quarter circle base upon which you'd set a woodstove; which was leaning against the wall in that room.
The realtor later got back to us with the news that we could have it. We asked why it was in that room, and were told the room had been in the process of remodeling as the former owner's mother had been ill and moved into the home. They'd intended to put in a woodstove, but the mother had died before it was installed. Of course I asked whether the death had occured in the house, but the realtor claimed not to know.
We rarely have need to go down there. I have a couple of pieces of furniture stored in the room, and we recently bought a guest bed. The grandson's toys are usually strewn about, and even some of my less favorite artwork is displayed, so it's not as if the room were empty... but it always feels empty.
There are no cold spots, no noises at all, in fact the room seems a little too quiet.
I don't feel bad vibes, but I do feel a sort of quiet disapproval when I am there.
Most of our guests deposit their belongings in that room, only to come back upstairs later asking whether they might borrow a sleeping bag and sleep up here with us, on the floor in the living room or even the office.
The few people who actually sleep downstairs have usually enjoyed mass quantities of liquid joy before retiring, and would have fallen asleep anywhere.
The one constant is that everyone who goes downstairs, even for just a moment, props that door open and leaves it open.
We thought about installing a small bathroom, and maybe a mini-fridge, to make guests more comfortable; but I'm thinking it would be a huge waste of money.
We occasionally still get mail for this lady who I believe resides in our guest room, and so I do know her name... it was Sandy Claus! I swear!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A True Story

I swear! Posted by Hello
Around 1991, my soon to be husband and myself decided to rent a home together with our children while we began to shop for a house to purchase.
Depending on visitation schedules, we normally had between one and five kids living with us at a time, so we needed a fairly large home.
Luckily, we found a rental in the city of Fremont, California, which suited our needs.
This was an older building, built around the 1950s, but not what I consider an old house.
The weekend before moving day, the children were all with their other parents, so we had the opportunity to begin bringing a few items over.
While putting some things away in the master bedroom, we suddenly heard heavy footsteps on the roof, right above our heads. We weren't expecting any work to be done, so husband-to-be headed out the back while I went out the front to see who was up there. No-one was on the roof, and there were no ladders or work trucks nearby!
We went back to work, talking about this potential ghost,when it happened again. Once again we head for outside, in a much bigger hurry... and still nothing and no-one was on the roof.
For a while, these footsteps seemed to be contained to above the master bedroom, and over my eldest daughter's room. If there's one person a spirit should not haunt it's this girl, because she won't put up with it! She actually seemed more irritated than scared by the whole thing.
Like most families, we liked to gather together in the living room to watch TV in the evenings, and you guessed it- the ghost began walking above there!
Now I've heard the odd noises houses can make, creaks, groans and whatnot- but this sounded exactly like a large man in workboots going about his business. The strides could actually be followed by us witnesses below.
Finally one evening we heard the footsteps, then there was an ominous quiet. My soon to be husband says "Hon..."
I heard two of the kids audibly gasp, and turned my head to the left just in time to see the microwave levitated about a foot above it's stand! It moved about four feet away, and dropped to the floor with a crash.
The microwave had been placed partly blocking the view out the kitchen window, something I had to do due to size constraints.
Not wanting to further scare the children, I commented that the ghost must not have liked the view blocked, and I picked the appliance off the floor and put it on the kitchen counter.
After that we'd still hear the footsteps on the roof, but as far as I know the spirit never came back inside. Shortly thereafter we purchased a home and moved.
My husband was a telephone installer/repairman, still working in the area when he was called to install a phone in that house. It had been turned into a sort of half-way house, with about five men residing there.
The customer remarked to my husband that he definitely wasn't planning to stay there long... and my husband didn't have to ask why.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Give Me Your Tired, Your Wretched, Gardening Shoes!

My Gardening Shoes- Posted by Hello
Somewhere in BlogWorld was issued an edict, post a photo of your gardening shoes!
I believe it was OldRoses, or perhaps Crazygramma, or maybe even Sylvana.
Well here they are, in their faded glory! Those thick, Skechers soles are perfect for non-skid climbing on our steep slopes, as well as that extra oomph accomplished by actually jumping on the back of a shovel to get it to dig into this hard clay soil.
Hello Skechers- you're getting a free ad here. Email me for my size and mailing address... I'd love another pair!
Since I've mentioned some of my favorite gardening blogs, let me also direct you to Greenie. Just maybe he'll post a photo of his gardening shoes too!

Note: Greenie posted his gardening Skechers too! Take a look!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

It Could Happen!

Picture this! Posted by Hello
Just another gratuitous assless chaps posting.
It really would be better than the cover of the Rolling Stone!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Another Plant Question!

A hillside planting

A close-up- Posted by Hello
Is this St. Johnswort (Hypericum)?
It's slowly taking over a hillside, which is fine with me as the hill is too steep to be useful and it crowds out the weeds!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Something You Think No One Else Owns

Mould of my teeth, from a recent implant surgery. Posted by Hello
You don't have my tooth moulding, and you probably have the class not to display it!

Stuff You're Obligated To Keep/Display

A retirement gift- Posted by Hello
This display is currently downstairs in the guest bedroom.
I appreciate all gifts, really, but an angel for me?
Like a friend said- What Were They Thinking?

What Was I Thinking?

I really wanted more of an adobe color- Posted by Hello
The wonderful Kristine hosts Stuff Portrait Friday, and this week I thought I'd play along...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Meme Craze!

My fibbin' brother and me- Posted by Hello

I was going to post a sentimental essay today, as it's my 13th anniversary...
but we had a disagreement early this morning, so I decided the meme would put me in a better mood. When Mr. S(O)B realized I was online during yardwork breaks he quickly apologized. Hey- I've discovered a new weapon!

Here's the meme-

I am from coffee cake from Bisquick and Neapolitan ice-cream, because, well, there were six different opinions in our household.

I am from the pink stucco house in the fog, up the steep hill near the Pacific Ocean, where our books always had a musty smell.

I am from the camelia bush in the shade by the front door, and the sleddable ice-plant on the back hill.

I am from a Protestant/Agnostic mix and reserved, from Norman and Dorothy, Fred and Edna, and Earl and Alice.

I am from both picnic lovers and bathroom readers. (Paperbacks only!)

From "Take those wet clothes off, you'll catch your death," and "Be home by five" which was always dinnertime.

I am from Methodist, then Lutheran. Sunday school (fun) then church (oh so boring.)

I'm from Alamogordo New Mexico, via England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Austria and France, macaroni casseroles and Chef Boyardee spaghetti. (ewwwwww!)

From the time my next younger brother saved a boy from drowning (his explanation for coming home with mud up to his neck,) the time my mother was putting little red X's on the family calendar which I helpfully marked off the days she'd missed, leading to the birth of my youngest brother... and the first (and only) time my mother swore! (This wasn't the same occasion.)

I am from the box of family pictures my mother always threatened to leave to me, which I now have, and in the process of sorting and scanning. Wonderful memories ensue each time I work at the task. All those familiar faces, and best of all... those smiles.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

April (and May and June) Showers Bring-

Unknown Wildflower- Posted by Hello
The late season showers have brought up some unknown flowers, this being one of them.
Any ideas as to what this is?
I know I'm going to feel so stupid.
It's a Mariposa Lily! Much thanks to EJ!

Friday, June 10, 2005

So Call Me A Copycat!

Me- Alamogordo, New Mexico Posted by Hello
Here goes, 100 things about me:

1.) I'm female 2.) and retired.
3.) I love the color blue 4.) but not red.
5.) I'm the eldest of four 6.) and my sister is mad at me for posting about her.
7.) I'm married 8.) twice so far..
9.) I'm using a teak outdoor bench as a couch 10.) but own two china cabinets and two curio cabinets.
11.) I own a Toyota 4Runner 12.) which is paid for.
13.) I live in a rural area 14.) but have lived in both urban and suburban places in the past.
15.) My favorite hobbies are gardening, genealogy, 16.) and blogging.
17.) I have three children 18.) and one grandson.
19.) I worked 30 years for one company, 20.) which I hated. Don't want to name the company, but it's initials are SBC.
21.) I hate telephones 22.) but I love email.
23.) My high school was in a coastal town 24.) so we skipped school (sometimes) and went to the beach.
25.) My best friend from childhood sends me those awful annual Christmas letters 26.) but doesn't return emails.
27.) I love receiving emailed jokes 28.) but hate emailed chain letters, especially the one's with hugs.
29.) I painted my living room an unusual shade of a peachy orange 30.) which I don't like.
31.) I love taking photos 32.) but not posing for others.
33.) I hate cabbage 34.) but love brussel sprouts.
35.) Gambled for the first time on my honeymoon 36.) and won big at Keno!
37.) I believe in ghosts 38.) and lived in a haunted house. Story to come on Halloween!
39.) I've been to Telume, Mexico 40.) where my first spouse threatened to throw me off a pyramid.
41.) I have three dogs 42.) and two cats.
43.) I make lots of "to do" lists 44.) and lose them.
45.) I sing badly 46.) so I don't.
47.) I don't like spiders 48.) but I do like snakes.
49.) My kids urge me to dance those old 60s and 70s dances 50.) so they can laugh at me.
51.) I have two Ouija boards in my home office 52.) which I'm afraid to use.
53.) I have three TVs 54.) one of which is only used for the Playstation.
55.) I love to go barefoot 56.) even though I tend to get injured.
57.) I cook mostly Italian food 58.) and Mexican.
59.) I know a little Spanish 60.) but can swear in 4 languages.
61.) I had blonde hair when I was little 62.) it's still somewhat blonde if highlighting counts.
63.) I love gold 64.) but dislike silver.
65.) I once played spin-the-bottle 66.) and it landed on the grossest guy, which is why I played only once.
67.) I hate cleaning house 68.) but like doing dishes.
69.) I love Cabernet and Merlot 70.) but dislike white wines.
71.) I love Macadamia nuts 72.) but hate almonds.
73.) I live miles from nowhere 74.) but people still drop by.
75.) I'll watch autopsy shows 76.) but can't bear to watch surgery on live people.
77.) I used to want to be a stewardess 78.) or a witch.
79.) I own tons of coffee mugs 80.) but use only one.
81.) I love coffee 82.) but can't abide tea.
83.) I enjoy receiving flowers 84.) but not supermarket bouquets.
85.) I'd rather go camping 86.) than to stay at a hotel.
87.) I have two desks 88.) and they're both usually messy.
89.) Houseguests are welcome 90.) for no longer than 3 days.
91.) I keep two sets of cookware 92.) because my son is a vegan.
93.) I have two credit cards 94.) and pay them off monthly.
95.) I don't eat bologna 96.) but I have Spam in the cupboard.
97.) There's a photo of assless chaps on my site 98.) but they're not mine.
99.) I almost stopped blogging recently 100.) until I noticed Greenie added me to his blogroll. Thank you Greenie!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Rainy Days & Thursdays

...more bad weather- Posted by Hello
Well... we were heading into summer, until yesterday that is.
Tuesday I learned to drive the garden tractor, and it wasn't a pretty sight. Don't get me wrong, driving the thing is a gas. It's these hills which make me nervous.
It didn't help that my friend EJ told me about a local who tipped his, and died in the resulting fire.
Afterwards, I went back to weed-whacking the areas the tractor won't reach, and we're still not done with the property! The plan was to continue weeding yesterday.
Now it's raining...
Great for the well, but I foresee new weeds sprouting as I type.
We get to start all over again.
Wish me luck on the next tractor run. I'm just praying that sucker doesn't tip.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

This Is Why My Off-Deck Plant Selection Is Limited

A four-legged visitor- Posted by Hello
I love to watch these guys, and they love my plants.
Last year someone ate my supposedly deer resistant agapanthus.
They love the flowers on my daylilys.
One day I was watering and felt something was missing... my 5' tall fountain grass was entirely missing. There wasn't even debris.
So far they haven't touched the rosemary, oleander or foxglove. So far...
And it appears this lady is pregnant!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

On A Darker Note...

my postcard- Posted by Hello
About 12 miles up the hill from here is the small, and I do mean small town of Wilseyville. This is where the infamous Charles Ng and Leonard Lake committed their mass murders, and buried their victims. This happened long before I moved here, in fact I was unaware of the close proximity until a friend remarked upon it.
Normally crime is pretty tame in this region. An example of our local police report from the online version of our local paper goes as follows:

12:54 a.m., Wilseyville - Reporting party can hear some kind of screaming between her house and West Point. Possibly a mountain lion. All is quiet on deputy's arrival.

6:54 a.m., West Point - Unpleasant odor in area all night. Call transferred to CDF.

8:17 a.m., Valley Springs - 911 caller reports that wife and kids are gone. Deputy refers him to a divorce lawyer.

The first report amuses me. Mountain lions are a protected species. This matter should have been reported to The Department of Fish and Game, and they have very specific rules as to when and why they would track down a lion. I do understand the callers fears. During a bout with insomnia early one morning, I heard what sounded like a woman screaming her heart out. By the time I grabbed the gun, I could hear that this woman had traveled quite a distance, still screaming, through thick underbrush. Any human being who could do that wasn't someone I'd particularly need to save! I later learned I was hearing a mountain lion.
As to the second item... the Sheriff was called due to a skunk? Looking back at this- that mountain lion was heading toward West Point. There could have been a carcass in the area, although I'd imagine it would take a while for that smell to ensue.
Item three is just too damn funny.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Show Me The Money!

The Birthday Boy- Posted by Hello
The grandson had his 3rd birthday last Tuesday!
With a stack of presents to open, what first caught his eye? A $10. bill I'd affixed to the front of one of the gifts!
He immediately stuffed it in a pocket and went on to the rest.
When I later asked what he was going to buy, he replied joyfully- "CANDY!"

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Firewood and a cat- Posted by Hello
We finally hired a crew to cut down that 80' oak tree I mentioned in an earlier post.
It was quite a sight, watching the climber and the intricate ropework needed to keep the falling limbs from destroying the house and deck.
After the upper branches were removed the tree was toppled. You can see in the picture just how it fell.
Now to figure where to stack all this wood.
I see a backache in my near future...

Note: If you've come to this posting by Googling: wood + "intricate ropework" + "quite a sight" thinking this was porn, I apologize.