My own personal Groundhog Day of failure and snow

Despite my ever effort to the contrary, every night I perform worse in QC at the Bizzy Hizzy. I start strong and on target, but somehow by lunch I’m falling behind.

And after meal I’m in pain and feeling tired and defeated. So it gets harder and harder to catch up. I feel unseen and lost.

I woke up today determined to achieve greatness— I did a small strength training exercises and some physical therapy stretches for my lower back.

Dressed a little edgier than I usually do and took the teens for coffee…

After all, I found a coupon.

Stopped at CVS to take advantage of their buy one, get one 50% off over-the-counter painkiller promotion ( and paid with my health savings account debit card). I put my faith in naproxen sodium and a good attitude.

The pain was bad tonight, even with the naproxen sodium and I almost cried a couple of times, perhaps due to the emotional frustration more than the pain. Or it could be because my period is due tomorrow and I heard Wilson Phillips on the warehouse radio “Hold on.”

“Hold on for one more day.” (If you don’t know the song… Wilson Phillips “Hold on” on YouTube)

“Break free from the chains.”

I finally leave the building and the snow is falling faster than I can brush it off my car. I take the highway home hoping the state will tend and clear it.

The snow plow was behind me.

Directly behind me.

Got home, barely made it into the garage, shoveled.

And poured a stiff drink.

In the morning, I am giving a friend a ride to the doctor.

The Monday report of challenges, joys & lessons

It is almost 12:45 am. Tuesday. I’ve been home from work about 2o minutes. I started the dishwasher and poured a beer— that may also include crème de cacao and peanut butter whiskey.

It’s about 15 degrees outside which means my parking pad area was icy and hard for the car to climb, but the Jetta is safely in the garage.

I just sat down on my bed to write this blog entry about the joys, challenges and lessons of my Monday. Let’s go in reverse chronological order— start at the most recent and work to 24 hours ago.

Challenge #1– the Belkin charging cord I got for Christmas appears to have stopped working. Now I have sworn by Belkin cords for years. And they all last years. Why has this one failed? I’m too tired to troubleshoot. I whipped out my new Anker cord I bought as a spare when I saw it on sale. And teenager #1 needed one. Bought one for all of us, including teenager #2.

Challenge #2 and Lesson #1– I still suck at QC at the Bizzy Hizzy. The official goal is 130. I did 89 on Friday and 82 today. I am not accustomed to failing at assignments and it’s compelling exercise to try to improve at something at which you really seem to be bad.

Which brings me to… Joy 1– working in a warehouse with a wide variety of people has shown me how eager people are to help when you appreciate them. As I have mentioned before (see Rip it off fast like a bandaid), the ability to take criticism seems to be unusual at the Bizzy. I had another colleague come up to me today and thank me for being agreeable and willing to listen.

Joy #2 — cherishing the leftovers of last night’s Peruvian chicken with red peppers and Brussel sprouts.

Challenge #3– understanding how this video of my dear cat Fog reached 100 views in less than 24 hours: Fog purring. And now that I go to copy the link it’s up to 453 views a mere 5 hours later. Why?

Joy #3– meeting Barbara at Petco. She is one of the volunteers who helps care for the kittens in the habitats up for adoption through Feline Urban Rescue and Rehab.

Challenge #4– cats are a**holes. I had to very forcefully remove Fog from my room last night because he kept dangling from the parakeet cage. I cried myself to sleep because he’s slept with me for about a month now and I didn’t feel like I could rest without him.

Rediscovering my world

The heat in eastern Pennsylvania feels almost like East Africa today— temperatures in the low 90s and humidity at 50%. The humidity in Djibouti would be a lot higher.

I spent much of the weekend cuddled up with Hulu between household chores. It’s the only reasonable way to be productive in this heat.

Yesterday, I took two short walks of about a mile plus each and I third that almost got to two miles.

In that process, I found myself noting subtle beauty in my own neighborhood—where I have lived for 17.5 years.

My friend, the one who launched the El Camino virtual pilgrimage, commented that she loves the idea of rediscovering our own worlds.

A shady quiet moment

Somehow, I thought of things differently. Like this medical office that I have walked by just about daily— it looks like something from the Mediterranean coast. The pink color, the grapes on the iron work, the ornate grate on the side…

And then I cut through an old parking lot. It used to be a gated lot and the old equipment stands rusty and sad at the entrance.

And as I approached the final block, the trees and the flowers made the neighborhood look so vibrant. (The same block where I fell and smashed my chin. which led to a lot of dental problems.)

But yes, it’s so hot you drop as soon as you walk out the door. It’s hard to sleep without air conditioning.

But there is beauty.

Friday: “It’s so basic”

  1. Kittens/laundry
  2. Bird/plucking update
  3. Coffee smell better
  4. It’s so basic

That’s the list I typed for myself early this morning to remind me what the heck I wanted to write tonight.

But let’s go out of order from my original list. It’s Friday let’s go wild.

The smell improves

You may have heard that Nala, my four-year-old Goffin’s cockatoo who swindled me into bringing her home early last month, rather dramatically spilled my coffee into my rather cheap lime green bedroom rug.

I attacked the area with some lavender Johnson & Johnson’s baby soap. As of tonight, the smell of stale coffee has dissipated unless you are on the floor.

So, stay off my floor.

Kitten update

Day 2 of letting our two kittens roam the house. They are drawn to the laundry room and as kittens do, they tear all the laundry down. First they drug the sheets everywhere. Then the knocked down my blouses. Then they tackled all the towels.


I used to fold all the laundry nicely and pile it in the laundry room to put away during the weekend. I also left the dry laundry linger on the drying rack.

Guess everything needs to be put away right away. Leave it to those silly kittens to find the one lazy arena of my household routines.

But Opie is doing his best to babysit. Opie and the kittens are all exhausted by the end of the day.

Nala’s plucking

She’s got her wings pretty badly stripped.

I keep telling her she’ll never be able to fly if she keeps this up. The ladies at the pie shop suggested I get her a companion.

My teenager can vouch for me. This bird is spoiled and loved!

I came home for lunch today and spent time with her and put on Shrek the Musical for her.

“It’s so Basic.”

  • My thought for the day:

I found myself scraping dried cat food off a spoon at 6 a.m., again, because the teenager more often than not forgets to rinse her dirty dishes.

And I ask myself all the time, “how?” She’s not an idiot, so why is it such a challenge to remember to rinse the dishes.

Husbands and wives are also prone to situations like this. One partner can’t quite fathom why the other doesn’t find something as common sense as the other.

Then I found myself thinking even more.

After all, I’m an extremely intelligent and self-aware person. But as a new(er) employee, in a brand new career path, I’m sure some people at my office look at me and wonder how I miss things that to them are completely basic.

It’s a profound reminder of how different our experiences and points of view are.

For example, my teenager learned to change a tire by watching her father change one of my flats. Once. She keeps saying she’ll teach me, because it’s really easy. It’s so basic.

I told her I’ll join AAA, it’s easier. And after six months of trying to stop by the AAA office, I finally thought to join online.

And it turns out that AAA remembers me from the membership I had before the teenager was born. It won’t let me join online because it’s a renewal and I can’t renew online because you need your membership card.



I also went grocery shopping today. Bought a ridiculous pile of stuff from Grocery Outlet.

Highlights include:

  • Matcha protein drink
  • Protein cold brew
  • Pecan yogurt smoothie
  • Fish pie
  • Epic pork rinds
  • Various noodles
  • Parsnips
  • Blood oranges
  • Marinated feta

I started some chicken bone broth in the crockpot, so by Sunday night I’ll be able to make homemade chicken soup with carrots, parsnips, potatoes and alphabet noodles for dinner Monday night.

To stop and view the moon

Life is seldom perfect.

But tonight, stuck in traffic, eating too much of a bag of salt and vinegar potato chips, I had a near perfect moment.

The clouded over full moon turned the wintery night sky gold. For a moment, amid my sea of break lights, I basked in peace.

And then I got home and a cat had puked on the new couch.

But let me start at the beginning…

Two more weeks before the holidays. By January first, I have two grants due, one report due, a third grant and a second report that I would prefer done. I got the annual appeal to the printer yesterday, two or three weeks late depending on your perspective (but WOW did I learn so much about our FundEZ donor and accounting database. Now I have to review the volunteer graphic designer’s sketches for the annual report.

I have more than 20 years experience in communications, and a whole lot of confidence and creativity, but this nonprofit development stuff is a roller coaster! I love it, especially since I adore the agency’s mission and my coworkers but it’s been a few months of trail by fire.

So that was work.

I laugh a lot at work, or at least I try. Sometimes we all get a little too tense and afraid of making mistakes.

As the type of person who has no issue asking forgiveness instead of permission, I don’t have trouble admitting I did something wrong.

I tell my colleagues, don’t worry I don’t throw people under the bus.

I step right out in front of it.

After work I came home and took my daughter for sandwiches before I drove her to her interior design class at the local community college.

Park Avenue Market

The marching band, the local library, and probably every other fundraising entity around sell hoagie coupons for Park Avenue Market. They have _the best_ sandwiches.

Tonight I got Santa Fe turkey and bacon ranch cheddar. The teen got Lebanon bologna.

But then she saw the A-Treat display.

Everything from pumpkin to sasparilla to cranberry ginger ale. She got “Big Blue.” I got diet orange creamsicle.

We started to eat them in the car, which is why the photos are so dark. And I unwrapped my sandwich upside down and spilled it all over my lap. And a tomato shot right out of my sandwich into the crack between my seat and my console.

“This is why we don’t eat in the car,” I said.

“No,” she said.

“This is why you don’t eat in the car.”