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Monday, October 27, 2014

Drum Roll Please

It's official! Greg's last day at work is THIS Thursday. We are beyond thrilled.

Forty years at the same company. Well, actually, forty years working for a company that changed hands five times. Like an indentured servant, he went with the furniture every time his company was sold and bought.

I'm proud of him. It takes a lot of fortitude to stick it out. He started out with the company as a smart aleck kid right off the street, and now he's the last of the old guard who knows where all the bodies are buried (metaphorically).

We haven't sold our house down south, so we're not free to say goodbye to SE Texas yet. Soon I hope. It's the last leg of our journey on the Gulf coast.

This is a huge change of lifestyle for us. For fifteen years we've been used to living apart. Now we'll be together 24/7. Oh, the humanity!

I should have plenty of stories to tell.

Copyright: ragnarocks / 123RF Stock Photo
There's the eerie, uneasy  feeling of living off our savings too. Did we save enough? Do we have a good investments manager? Can we continue to live frugally? 

It was kind of a cheat before. We could live frugally all week long and then splurge on the weekend, knowing we still had liquid assets coming in. But now we're working without that net. What we put away is what we have to live on for however long we last.

I can see me now, selling my blood to pay the taxes on Tara. Or maybe I can put the goats to work. I've heard of people advertising Rent-a-Goat to clear out people's brushy properties. And Iko could always get a job scorpion-hunting. Nana could retrieve runaway chickens and toddlers. 

Tank and Maggie? Completely retired, though they would make great nannies. Kids adore them.

For sure, I'll be keeping an eye on the bottom line until there's some sense of consistency.

It's going to be one heck of a ride, but it's one we've been looking forward to for a long time. I'm getting a husband! Imagine me, a blushing bride all over again. Ha!

What's the longest you've ever stayed apart from your significant other? Did you enjoy it or was it harder than you expected?

What's the longest you've ever been at one job? Me, I could never hold a job. :grin: 15 years was my longest stint. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

She's Alive!

Still sick, but not so bad now. I'm still slightly deaf and coughing but at least I'm not hacking out a lung. 

Even while I was sick, things kept happening around me. In one week I had three more design jobs but I've asked them to give me a few more days to recover. 

The good news is I can at least do some of the preliminary work (research) from the couch, all thanks to Greg. 

Last week, when I started to feel marginally better, I decided to hook up my laptop and read a few blogs from bed. Only my laptop was dead. Deader than dead. At first I thought it was the battery, but no, even the power cord wouldn't boot it up.

Frustrated, I got online to see what the tech wizards recommended (besides buying a new laptop). I tried all their suggestions but nothing worked. 

Greg comes home Thursday night and he takes a look at my laptop, checking all sorts of things with a voltage ohm meter. It's the power cord he says. Defeated, I start searching online for a replacement, wondering if whatever fried the cord also fried the laptop. 

Greg tells me to hold off as he scrounges through a box of orphaned electronic hardware and pulls out four other power adapters. He finds the one with the right pin and voltage, and voila, a working laptop.

The man is a genius. Do I know how to pick 'em or what? 

The other thing that happened and forgot to mention last week is that Darke Contour interviewed me on her blog. Oh, sure, roll your eyes at me! But have I ever been boring?

(Don't hurt my feelings. I'm still sick. :cough cough:)

Anyway, she interviewed me specifically about my cover art experience. So if you'd like to see publishing from another angle, go over and pay a visit.

It might be the middle of October but the weather is warm and pleasant here. The garden is going strong and the goats are singing their rendition of "Love is in the Air". There's a lot of grunting and vocalizing from the boys. I don't think they can impregnate any of the girls through a fence, but I've heard stories...

Things are starting to look up. I feel like the fog we've been under is lifting.

If you have any questions about cover art, go over to Darke's blog. I should start being able to visit more of your blogs this week.

So what's new with you? Who's celebrating Halloween this month? I love Halloween, but we live so far from any of the action it's always a quiet holiday for us. Do you dress up or decorate for Halloween?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Done In

We had a lovely visit with friends and my niece and her little family. Everything was going well until Tuesday night. I felt a little off but I thought it was just allergies.

I had an already scheduled appointment with my doc for a physical the next day, but when she examined me, she assumed it was allergies too.

We were both wrong. I kept getting worse and worse until it became a raging head cold. That much I could take, but the part that is still tormenting me is the ringing in my right ear. It's awful! And loud. I've tried all sorts of home remedies. Sometimes it lessens the loudness but it never goes away.

Does anyone have any suggestions? At this point I'd try almost anything. I think it's just fluid buildup from my head cold.

I can thank my grand-niece for my cold, though poor kid, I hear she has the same. An adult can be miserable but a little baby doesn't know why she's hurting. It's got to be worse for her.

I should've realized something was amiss because her parents said she'd been fussier than normal. Poor kid. This is no fun.

Needless to say, I spent my anniversary with Kleenex, cold medicine and hot soup. Greg was a good nursemaid. 

He fed and watered all the animals. Unfortunately, he didn't lock the gate securely at the goat pen for the boys and the rascals got out to the girls. If we have early pregnancies, this will be why. I don't mind if the older girls get pregnant but I didn't want Pandora (the youngest) in the family way until next year.

She'll probably be all right. Accidental pregnancies happen all the time, but I prefer to let her get a little bigger first so the delivery isn't so hard on her.

This is the first time Greg has had to feed animals without me being there but he did just fine. Now if I could only convince him to pick up poop. I'm always stuck with that job.

Design Giveaway: Sadly, there were not enough entries to make it a true contest so I've had to cancel it. This really surprises me because of all the contests I've held, this one had so many people sharing the news. Maybe it was the wrong time of year. I can always try again next year.

Thank you to everyone who shared, tweeted, and blogged about the giveaway.

I apologize too if I haven't been to your blogs. I've had the best intentions, but most days I can barely sit up. As soon as I'm up to it, I'll start visiting again.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to break up the fluid buildup in my head? I've tried hot compresses and that seems to help a little. Hot showers too. But it always comes back. 

Signed: Half-deaf Maria

Monday, October 6, 2014

This, That and the Bed

I'll be out of pocket for a few days while I visit with friends and family this week. Today we're headed for the State Fair of Texas

In years past, something has always happened to stop me from going, but this time the weather is great, no one is sick, and we have company so we'll be playing tour guides.

This Friday is also a special day. Greg and I will celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary. We usually go out some place special but I'd be glad to make a gourmet meal if that's what he wants. As long as we're together, it doesn't matter.

Da bed: A few weeks ago I mentioned that my sleep has suffered for years and that it was time to find a new bed. I've waffled on the decision for years because I was afraid to commit (and invest) on such an expensive item.

After another miserable night of sleep I finally gave in and did some reconnaissance shopping, trying out several beds and talking with the sales people. The chain stores were big on the heavy sales pitch. Although most of the beds were 'nice', they weren't all that different from what I'd been using.

I checked out the TempurPedic mattresses but their 'cooling technology' was a little misleading. When I did further research I found that the foam cooled off but only if you weren't lying on it. What good is that while you're trying to sleep on a hot mattress?

Finally, I went to a mom and pop (non-chain) mattress store and they showed me a hybrid bed that used coiled foam. From the get-go it was incredibly more comfortable than the other beds I tried.

It was also very expensive.

Another few nights on my existing bed and I finally caved and took the plunge.

It's been almost two weeks and I can say without exaggeration that it's the best sleep I've had in my life. Even though I have existing painful pressure points on both sides of my hips, I have not felt them at all on this bed. 

I used to get up exceptionally early, getting only four or five hours of sleep because staying in bed any longer became too painful. Now I sleep a full seven hours and have not had a single backache. Not one.

It's still a big investment, but I am sleeping so much better that I hate to get out of bed.

The brand name is called Woude and it's made by the WorldBed Studio out of California. Their web site is awful. It gives you hardly any useful information, but you'll want to go to the showroom anyway and check it out for yourself. 

Update: I don't believe it. It's thundering and lightning outside. Oy! Maybe it'll be short-lived. Wish us luck.

So, what's going on for you this week?