Monday, March 31, 2014

Searching

The  search continues for a plane in distant waters, while closer home the search for a little girl who has been missing is still on. It is hard to contemplate dissapearance in an ever connected 24/7 world.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

From a Speeding Highway - Issue 8


I haven't done one of these in quite some time. The dump truck is actually hanging from the bridge. This was taken during the last big snowstorm that came our way on February 12th-13th.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Sick Days

When you are 23 and have freshly arrived at the work place, you are so happy to make a biweekly paycheck that you barely pay attention to the piece of paper that is your pay slip. Then one day, in a fit of green passion you sign up and go paperless and with that one act you never ever see your pay slip again.  A year goes by, may be two and you are now planning a big vacation or may be thinking of getting married. Bottomline, you need to look into your leave balance to figure out how much leave you have at your disposal. That is when you notice for the first time that you seem to have an outerageouly high number of sick leave hours compared to annual leave.

"Who needs all this sick time?", you mutter savagely under your breath and cast an evil eye on the slightly over weight, balding puddle of incompetence that happens to be your middle aged co-worker. Fast forward a few cliched years during which you got married (with or without enough annual leave to cover the escapade), bought a house, had a baby (three months of job protected leave - thank you Bill Clinton, ye patron saint of the working mother). You are fatter and wiser and know better than to make fun of greying co workers.  Because now, you are a serial user of sick leave. 

Come winter, your home (your pride and joy) turns into a den of disease and malaise thanks to your little baby (your other pride and joy) and her little friends who miraculously transform into incubators of every cold virus known to mankind at the hint of the first winter chill. On a positive note, you are longer alone in your misery. Yes, there is the temperature taking punctuated by a glug of cough syrup or a thimble of tylenol but there is also the lazing in bed, reading a book or sharing a cup of ginger tea with lots of milk and biscuits - with a little person right next to you.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Farewell to 2013

2013 was not a good year, but not a bad year either. It was just this side of blah. The most I can say about it is that it passed by without having to much to recommend it by.

I went back to work sometime towards the end of 2012 but felt the full brunt of managing a career and a household sometime in the middle of 2013 when the Gherkin started preschool. We went through a harrowing weekend in July during which the Gherkin was potty trained- much against her wishes. And just like that she was off to school with her school bag and lunch.  The new school turned out to be a very different animal than the home based day care she attended before.  For once, we had to stick to regular drop off and pick up times and gone was the luxury of rambling down the sidewalk to drop or pick her up. On the positive side, the Gherkin loves her new school and we are quite happy with all that she is learning.

We had the Boy's parents stay with us for most of summer, which was a haze of good food induced lethargy. Nothing much was accomplished. Even my summer garden refused to flourish as the neighborhood raccoons (who had been going hungry after Billy's death) decided to make a meal out of my measly tomatoes and eggplants.

Somewhere in the middle of all this I got selected for the Advanced Leadership Program at work. Yay!

The Gherkin and I visited Salt Lake City in November where my mother spent the summer with the little sister. Much fun was had by all. Then soon enough it was December and a whole bunch of parties later here we are. It is 17 F outside and I have a fever. But this is only the 3rd day of 2014 and I am but a hopeless optimist!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Two Years Later

the mayhem continues in a bigger picture with more babies!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

The Gherkin Turned Three

The Gherkin turned three, surrounded by all her grandparents, a big party and two birthday cakes. We had an year's worth of milestones and accomplishments to celebrate - greater independence, expanded vocabulary and new friends. For the party at home, the Boy wanted a Pineapple Upside Down cake. So Pineapple Upside Down Cake it was.
For the big party, the Gherkin wanted a white cake with pink and purple flowers. This was settled after perusing the cake aisles of several grocery stores during the previous month.  She had a sudden change of heart on the night before and wanted a rainbow cake instead...but it was too late. The white cake with pink and purple flowers was already ordered and so a white cake with pink and purple flowers it was. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Billy

I have always wondered what would happen if Felix,our neighborhood cat got run over by a car? I have always imagined myself being bereft. After all, Felix has been there for as long as we can remember - the proud prowler of the neighborhood, the owner of our rooftops and the patroller of our collective decks.

Today I find myself in that same situation as I think of a neighborhood without Billy, our neighbor. He passed away early this morning, in his sleep. He was eighty three.

Before that he was cranky, old, ornery Billy who wore shorts no matter what the weather gods sent his way. Pants were against his religion. The only time he wore a pair of pants was to shovel snow after a massive snow storm. Even then, he wore a pair of shorts over his pants!

And before that, he was the first one to come over and welcome me to the neighborhood. He bought me a set of our house keys, apparently the previous owner had left them with him. He mowed our lawns, washed his red pickup religiously and had long conversations with the mailman and anyone else who happened to walk by. The conversation would almost always end with a mention of Costa Rica and the time Billy spent there. Oh, and he loved Lite Beer.

A fall outside his home lead to a hospital visit, which in his advanced age lead to one complication after another.  In the midst of his failing health, he managed to keep up the orneriness intact. During a recent hospital visit, the nurse was gently urging him to take his medications as her shift was coming to an end and she would have to leave. With the straightest of faces and the softest of voices, Billy asked her to pull up a chair because he had no intention of taking all the pills and making it easy!

In the end, he went to the great beyond like he lived. By himself and on his own terms.