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Winter has been more wintery-ish this year. Well, last year was winter-y, too, but the times before that were decidedly NOT so wintery. There was the cold part, but not-so-much the snow-and-ice part. Mostly they were extended periods of dreary wretchedness.

This year has definitely declared winter in no uncertain terms, and far before the calendar declaration of the season, no less. I am *so* ready to be finished with winter. In a fit of denial I took a ready-set-go pile of snow in my front yard and created a sand castle made of snow. Icicles were snapped off roof lines for the turrets. Desiccated Brown-Eyed Susan flower heads were scarfed for ‘trees’ lining the moat and roads into the castle.

Snow Castle

Oh yeah… I need sun. I need warmth*. I need to be able to walk outside without donning 40-bazillion layers of apparel to cocoon me from the elements.

*About that warmth thing? After two years of frickin’ freezing at work, wearing wrist warmers, cowls, extra sweaters, wraps and even foot warmers… they finally found the thermostat. In my cube for the past two weeks it has been between 74 and 76 degrees. I am wearing wool. I am wearing turtlenecks and thermal tights and I AM DYING OF THE HEAT! I bundle up to get to work and steadily strip as far as socially acceptable the rest of the day….

My husband has the most amazing parking angel. It doesn’t matter where we go… Hannaford’s for food shopping… the mall for whatever… restaurants, movies, parties… the man *always* gets a terrific parking space. I consider it a perk of acquiescing all coupled driving chores to him (that, and he is a HORRIBLE back-seat driver!) (and, um… I do get a fair amount of knitting done). It is at the point that I make sure to let him know I have errands involving driving just so he has to opportunity to chime in (my momma didn’t raise no dummies).

Hubby is self-employed. His commute is from one end of our ranch-style home to the other end, where his office and server rooms are. I am not self-employed if only because someone needs to provide the health care coverage. I trudge into an office most days.

The commute isn’t too bad, generally. It takes about 20 minutes most days whether I take the highway or the scenic back roads. While I prefer the latter, it has several twisty up-and-down narrow roads. Ice, snow, and other weather events render them the least optimal route in winter. Of course, that’s when the highway during rush hour isn’t rushing anywhere. I do a lot of rehearsal singing during those commutes… better that than mentally hurling invectives at ‘entitled’ others on the roads with me.

However, this can make me later for work than I prefer. The company parking lot has plenty of room (easily accommodating 100+ cars in the front lot alone), but the preferred spots are in the first row or two directly in front of our building. I like to park by the next-to-furthest lamp in the front row, just driving straight in and then straight out again at the end of the day. My eggyolk-yellow Focus is a bright spot in an otherwise dreary view.

Why is it that when I am late and have to park behind another car, and I get out at night later than most in the building, with only handful of cars still left in the lot… I am still BEHIND another vehicle and have to b-a-c-k u-p and then drive out??

It is a scenario that only Mr. Bean could empathize with!

The proverbial “they” say to ‘take it one thing at a time’ but so many things have been ganging up on me that I’m considering charging entrance fees or rent or something. Whenever I get cocky, thinking I am handling the stress and multitude of changes well, reality bites back with …well… reality.

I have a job. I am grateful I have a job. I (generally and for the most part) enjoy my job. But DAMN it is a different animal these days!

My department was sliced and diced by 50% last August. There hasn’t been a day gone by that I didn’t curse complain miss those co-workers no longer here. The people are sorely missed. The job functions they provided are greatly missed as well. I mean, the work load did not change. The new powers-that-be must have thought elves would handle the complicated direct mail lists, list selections, lettershop schedules, and coordinated fulfillments. Those same elves must be responsible for the plethora of copy writing required for the new marketing plans. The remaining people go around with this glassy-eyed deer-in-the-headlights stare, twitchy and jumpy at the rapidly incoming changes, edits, and revisions constantly mucking with print deliverables and their due dates.

It’s exciting. It’s challenging. It’s scary and exhausting as all get-out!

…and On…

wrinkled teeth

My teeth are old and wrinkled? Who knew? (Exactly *how* do you ‘defy’ aging teeth?)

The current senior citizen discounts now state ’65 & above’. When I dropped off my dry cleaning last weekend I was given the senior discount without being asked for proof of age. That extra 10% discount made me feel so OLD (I’m not even 60 for pete’s sake!) …especially when it was proffered not by a teenybopper but by a middle-aged female.

…whether you want it to or not…

Life is terminal. No one gets out of it alive (although there was this prophet in the old testiment who didn’t actually die before ascending into heaven, but I digress…). I just wish that I could be more cheerful at their ascension into heaven. Debo was a precious person who added so much to my life just by her living. She shared humor, compassion, birding, tact, photography… and I want to keep gorging on her existence but… she died. No more new memories. How I miss her!

…whether you are having fun or (definitely) not…

I have been knitting up a storm lately. I completed an impressive pile of projects for Christmas but because they were presents, I didn’t take photos or post them because some of the recipients occasionally read this. Now I am left with no photos at all of my stress-coping-du-jour. I did a lace cowl with beads, several fingerless mitts (aka wrist warmers), pairs of socks for the grandsons, scarves, mittens, hats, lace scarves, and fuzzy cowls.

Knitting was my form of denial this fall. Work is not hard. Knit. Work is not crazy. Knit. People are not dealing with cancer and chemo treatments. Knit more. Family and friends out of work? Knit. Knit more. Knit for charity. Knit instead of sleep. Knit until fingers cramp and swell.

Then get into a bubble bath to read the latest Yarn Harlot book and crawl into bed, promising not to oversleep…and of course I do.

Today was a productive, good day. I am still ‘way the heck behind in deliverables, but I made progress, even completing two major to-do’s despite phone, e-mail, and tech-support (that’s me) interruptions, not to mention two-hour meetings. Days like today sponge optimism on my calendar.

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