171/365 Another project

There is a team at my company that works on a particular project. Several members are very well-versed in my area of expertise, but ask me to to their harder evaluations. They also ask for help close to deadlines, forcing me shuffle other work around to accommodate them. I did so during my vacation, but said I would only give them 2 hours. I gave them 3.

Today they asked me to finish the evaluation* in 1.5 days. I am completely over my head in work through mid-July at the earliest so I told them no. It felt good.

*which was never promised


170/365 Door-to-door election campaign workers

Our local electoral district has 33 candidates for county council at large in the primary race. Add the candidates for governor, senator, house of delegates, county executive, comptroller, attorney general, and our district council member, that’s 45 candidates which translates to at least 42 (three are unopposed) knocks at the door and flyers in the mail or on the doorstep.

I figured out who I was voting for weeks ago and I am tired of the campaign workers. So much so that I made a sign for my front door.


169/365 Accents

This is less of a whine and more of a request for advice. I have a very difficult time understanding people with heavy accents — not people from English-speaking countries, but people from, say India or China. I work with several and while I concentrate on their words, I can usually only understand about a third of what they say. I hate to ask them to repeat what they said, but sometimes I have to — and often don’t understand that either.

What should I do and how many times is it appropriate to ask them to repeat themselves?

168/365 Hard to pronounce names

Clare is dating someone with an apostrophe in his name. It is a Native American name meaning first born son. My whine is not about the name or any other hard (for me) to pronounce name. It is about being corrected every time I try to pronounce it. He doesn’t correct me, but both my kids do. I think I pronounce the part before the apostrophe pretty well, but it is the part after the apostrophe that I always get wrong. (I say /key/ when it should be /kay/). I hope they date long enough for me get it right.

167/365 The Voice

I recently read an article about depression that described it as a voice in your head saying bad things about you and making you feel worthless. While I don’t consider myself depressed, I do have a voice in my head telling me that I did or said something stupid. This is part of what wakes me up at night and part of what leads to those bad memories I talked about last week.

I am sick of that voice and you’d think that by the ripe old age of nearly 62 that I would have banished the voice, but it persists.

166/365 Stitchfix (again)

hx7ipldo2ysubbdvdkweStitchfix disappointed me this quarter. I got my shipment yesterday and for some reason the robot thinks I am an apple-shaped late-middle-aged woman with flabby arms*, but shapely legs** who thinks white is the new black***.

*Okay those things are true
**they sent me some short-shorts (see photo) which are cute but I don’t wear shorts
***I prefer black or dark colors and they sent me all white, except for the above-mentioned pastel mint-green shorts

162/365 The AirBNB Apartment in Oly

  1. Bed looks like a queen-sized cot
  2. The huge closets are a waste of space
  3. Thanks for the coffee, but Folgers? Really?
  4. Speaking of coffee, someone really should have checked that the former tenants emptied the coffee filter. Used, moldy coffee grounds makes for a lousy start in the morning.
  5. Thanks for the load of towels and sheets in the dryer and the beeping alert that confused us last night. Folding laundry was at the top of my vacation list.
  6. Exactly 4 plates, 4 cups, 4 bowls, 4 spoons, 4 knives, etc. but 3 wine glasses.
  7. No bedside lamps in the bedroom.
  8. No soap in the shower.

161/365 Open letter to TSA

Dear TSA,

Thank you for leaving me the kind, if somewhat impersonal, note on top of the items of my red suitcase. I am happy that you are busy keeping people like me safe in the air and I understand that my portable 17″ monitor* might have looked suspicious on your screening hardware. I wish, however, after you’d taken everything out of the monitor’s case you’d put everything back — or at least in the suitcase. See, the monitor is useless without its unique cord.


*My work laptop has a tiny screen and I need more than one monitor to work.


160/365 Saturdays

You’d think that I would love the weekend now that I work full-time, but I hate Saturdays. All week long I do what I am told at work and I want at a day to do what I want to do, but it is also the day my husband cleans house. I am lucky that I have a built-in housekeeper, but I feel guilty for not being the person doing the cleaning so I feel that I need to keep busy to show that I am not lazy.

So I pretend to work which makes me feel guilty and lazy.

159/365 That Project (Part 2)

The manager for my part of the project is obviously out of his depth (something he admitted to me early on). Years ago we worked on a project where I was the task lead and I trained him in my field of expertise. After that project he was laid off from the company and has been doing odd jobs (some in my field) for a number of years. He calls himself an expert but has not done much to educate himself further in this field. For goodness sake, this is technology. It changes!

He quit today.

Good luck to him.


158/365 That Project (Part 1)

In January I was assigned to a project for which my company is the sub-contractor. The primary contractor was quickly made up of a motley crew of quickly scrambled together people looking for work. They’re the managers, we’re the worker-bees. At meetings they all strut around clucking at their good luck and we actually work.

This is the most disorganized project I have ever worked on and I blame the primary contractor. They freaking don’t know what they are doing.


157/365 Bad memories

Sometimes I wish I could delete memories like I can delete files or emails or texts or words or phrases on my computer or phone.

Most of these memories make me cringe, some make me anxious, a few make me cry.

Some of these memories are of things I said or did. Some are of things others said or did to me. Some were just plain stupid or reckless, but some were well-intentioned but taken as otherwise.

And some were just thoughts or dreams.

156/365 Sleep, or lack thereof

The last time I remember getting a good night’s sleep was October 1990*. That was before pregnancy, before babies, toddlers, teenagers, ailing parents, work anxiety, husband’s Periodic Limb Movement Disorder**.

I rarely sleep through the night, usually getting up to read around 2 and finally going back to sleep at 4 or 5.

It’s not that I am tired during the day, but I wonder how much more energy I would have if I did sleep through the night, every night. Friends swear by ambien but I am not there yet.

*a little hyperbole
**Not diagnosed except by Dr. Google



155/365 The (middle-aged) Marriage Bed

I usually go to bed first, then he follows an hour or so later:

  1. Kerplump goes the footstool on the recliner;
  2. Rattle-rattle go the dishes in the kitchen;
  3. Stomp Stomp Stomp go his feet on the stairs;
  4. Woosh goes the water in the bathroom;
  5. Fiddle fiddle fiddle go his hands inserting his earbuds into his ears;
  6. Wamph goes he, jumping into bed;
  7. Farts and burps (LOUD) are often next;
  8. Rustle rustle go the blankets;
  9. HHHHHHHHH goes his throat, great loud snores;
  10. Kick, kick, go his restless legs;
  11. HHHHHHH;
  12. Kick kick;
  13. Repeat 7-12.

That’s when I head for the guest room.

154/365 Not enough time

There’s just not enough time in the day to do everything I want to do: read, write, talk to my kids, research my ancestry, plan trips, spend time with Dean, hang out with friends, go through what I brought back from Mom’s; and everything I have to do: Sleep, eat, read, become presentable, work, clean, cook dinner, exercise, volunteer obligations.

There are not enough days in a year and not enough years in a lifetime.

I could get 40 hours a week back if only Dean would let me retire.

153/365 Nice place to visit…

My backyard is very bird-friendly. I have feeders, birdbaths, bushes, trees and Audubon-approved bird houses. We don’t use chemicals on the yard. A haven for birds, right? Wrong. They come to my yard for food and water and cover, but have rarely nested here.

My next-door neighbors know little about birds and can only name the most common. They put chemicals on the lawn, have dogs* and an indoor/outdoor cat. Years ago they put up some ridiculous looking bird houses (shaped like birds) and guess what. Birds nest in them every year and build nests in their trees.

No fair.

152/365 Whining about whining

I’m a little worried about this month. I have been trying to be more positive this year and not whine so much online and I am worried that whining all month is going to take me back to my online whining days.

I am also worried that I will read someone else’s post and take it personally or that I will write about something and you’ll take it personally.

Okay, that’s not so much whining about whining, and more worrying about whining. I hope you don’t whine at me for not following the rules on day 1.

150/365 Grocery delivery services

Until about two years ago I didn’t think of myself as someone who had groceries delivered. That was for rich housewives who lived in penthouses in Manhattan. Then a neighbor tried Peapod and liked it, so I tried it too and liked it. Since then I’ve also tried Amazon Fresh and Fresh Direct. I’m hooked.

148/365 Childhood food horror stories

Vegetables came from cans and were then overcooked on the stove: slimy green beans, mushy asparagus, soft carrots, even sometimes potatoes.

Liver was served semi-regularly and we were required to eat it until the taste made my brother projectile vomit over the table.

That time I accidentally ate raccoon barbecue at the Dutch Inn picnic.

147/365 Whole Wheat Bread

Raised on Wonder and Rainbo breads, it took a while before I could eat whole wheat bread. I still prefer white bread (especially sourdough), but I know the benefits of whole wheat. My husband is only barely getting to where he’ll eat it, but he never buys it or asks for it at a restaurant.

146/365 Solo eating

When I am on my own I usually make-do with leftovers for as long as possible. I rarely make a cooked meal for just myself, and usually resort to smoothies, hard-boiled eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, raw vegetables, peanuts, and fruit most of which is eaten standing at the counter and only when I am hungry.

145/365 Herbs: a true love of mine

I started growing herbs when we lived in Alexandria (around 1986) and cannot imagine not having an herb garden in the summer. Not only do I grow parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (French*, lime*, German), I’ve also planted basil (plain, holy*, Thai), cilantro, dill, lavender, bay, tarragon (French*, Mexican), chives*, oregano*.

*not currently in my garden

144/365 My garden

I asked for more beds in my raised bed garden for Christmas a few years ago  and my family obliged. Since then I have planted tomatoes, peppers (red, jalapeño, habanero), lettuce, arugula, beans (vine, bush), cucumbers, nasturtiums, a fig tree, cape gooseberries and herbs. I added zinnias and sunflowers this year.


Family building my beds

143/365 Brats

When I was about ten my grandparents took me to a tractor pull. As we stood in line to purchase food at lunchtime I saw a huge sign that proclaimed BRATS! $3.OO! I remember being offended that my grandparents would consider buying food from a vendor that called children brats. (Figured it out years later)

142/365 Miracle Whip vs. Mayonnaise

Yes, I admit that I prefer Miracle Whip for sandwiches over any mayonnaise. That’s because mayonnaise, to me, is at best tasteless, and at worst bitter. However, I use mayonnaise (Duke brand these days) in most recipes (potato salad, pimento cheese, tuna salad, etc.)

Have I won your respect back, blogger friends? No?  Go away.

141/365 Where’s the Starch?

Whenever I suggest something for dinner my husband’s first question, is “What’s the starch?” He was raised on a farm and their meals were always made up of meat, potatoes, vegetables and bread. (that’s two starches).

He’s gotten better and now accepts rice or pasta as starch but not farro, freekeh, wild rice, or couscous.