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in more ways than one!

Warning! Techie stuff ahead! Turn back while you can! (Or at least scroll after the good stuff!)

As we (that is the royal “we” referencing my company) move closer and closer to the latest “drop-dead” deliverable date (originally 7/1 and creeping, creeping ever later) for the new website— tempers fray, hours are extended, solutions are revised and edited, compromises are drafted and ‘tweaked’ over and over again.

I am in a serious love-hate relationship with my job. I enjoy “what” I do. I do *not* enjoy how many hours I am required to do it in. Am I at the breaking point? I admit I am getting closer to it than ever before.

In part, it is because we have not *one* major initiative, we have THREE. They all require the same resource personnel. While they should be built sequentially, the executive directive is that they must needs be developed concurrently.

Hmmm… I cannot build “a” until the platform for “a” is built. The platform for “a” requires another system to be incorporated into the accounts-payable and warehouse-deliverable systems before “a” can function. And we are supposed to deliver these concurrently?? I did ask…

Sorry. That was goobly-gook to most, I am sure. Think like this: You cannot take a train to Mayberry Station until the tracks and the Mayberry station are built, yes? Then you can print schedules, advertise rates, and promote the lovely times to be had in Mayberry.

In this case, *I* represent Mayberry and the lovely times to be had there. If you live in Whoozit-Illinois, I cannot tell you how to get to Mayberry fun and frolic until there is a way for you to actually *get* to Mayberry. Furthermore, I cannot extol the benefits of Mayberry to you, until I know who *you* are and *where* you are.

This is my current hell-hole.

It means that I have been too crazy-busy to keep up with the hedges, the yard, flowers, gardens, and (horrors! the shame!) the actual DATE. I missed a VIP birthday…a cherished VIP birthday because I was at least 5 days behind the actual date.

ARGHHH!

The other “overbooked” part is Frank’s book. My company began 40 years ago. One of the original founding members now holds title. I forget if Frank is now the CEO or the Board President, but his personality has stamped the company personality for the last 39 years (this last year has been um…*different*).

At first, I got some help gathering and scanning photos. Several people gave memories to include. (I love doing these things!) However, the very areas needed to develop the book were overbooked themselves. I wrote content and prayed. I spent three days trying to get it uploaded for printing, finally resorting to talking DH through the process while I was in NJ for the (awesome!) concert.

I hope it arrives in time for the Anniversary party on Thursday. I am the photographer (when will they ever learn??). We hope to present the memory book then. I am on needles and pins until it arrives!

Pix of my terrific weekend at DDS and DSis concert coming tomorrow. It was a frickin’ AWESOME event!

Memories are wonderful. Photos are like tangible memories. Tangible memories are even better. They can refresh memories, they can share memories, and they can enhance memories by providing details and color clarity.

I try not to live through my camera lens. I want to know the memory in REAL-time, not just from behind a lens. But once I get past that, I want to be able to savor the memory long after it began. I make prints of some of the memories to share with others, and to put them into scrap books and photo albums. One memory feeds on others and then becomes a ribbon of time to cherish long after the original event.

Like the time I first husked corn for Sunday dinner, repeated now in a new generation:

Shucking Corn

Shucking Corn

I remember the tire swings made from old tractor tires:
treetireLogan

treetireKira

The older cousins introduced the younger ones to the mysteries of local wildlife:
KadenFrog

The newest to the clan gets passed hand-to-hand, snuggle-to-hug:
Docious

There was more than work on the agenda. Besides, scraping and painting the exterior, there were trips to the local Country Store. The Vermont Country Store features Penny Candy which is now (ahem) higher than several pennies, and games and toys from the last century or so that still captivate the rug rat set:CountryStore

I’m back at work with a vengeance… but having these memories still fresh makes a huge difference in remembering some of the real priorities in my life.

There is an annual Family Week at the family farm outside Bondville, Vermont. My husband and his cousins remember summers spent here in the golden years of summer-dom through their teen years. I was a part of that in my husbands senior year. It was awesome.

In 1989 the ‘older generation’ instigated an annual summer Farm Week to bring back the kids and continue the legacy. From being an annual summer-long event, it became an annual week+ summer gathering, with summer jobs and summer activities to maintain the property and summer connections past and present.

Cousins re-connect from bi-coastal locations. Blueberry Hill provides fruit for countless muffins and pancakes just as they did for generations past. Children are inculcated with the chores and responsibility just as their parents were.

Bonfires built from dredged ponds (it is amazing how quickly cattails an lily pads can obscure a pond!) and cleared trails provide the materials for the site of campfire songs, toasted marshmallows, (with neon necklaces!) tracking animals (there was a black bear sighting recently!) and short people in the dark…. not to mention the amazing starry sky far from any metropolitan area…

I am now far from my normal internet connections, reconnecting with the “Big Rocks” that mean so much to me in my “real life”…It is FABulous! When I get an actual connection, there are some pretty fantabulous pictures I will be sharing.

Meanwhile, life is good. It is what it is is and (hot damn!) it’s all good!

It is the Friend that never, ever, leaves…

I really like it, and it really *really* likes me. It wraps around my belly and thighs, coats my calves and upper arms… the aroma carries me up stairs, and down halls into its presence. I wear a sappy, sometimes slightly drooly smile as I come into its presence.

I remember my first experience with Friendship Bread. This was *so* ‘last century’ that it was before gallon-size zip-lock bags were available to ‘mush’ and ‘grow’ it in. We had Tupperware. Burp it regularly, and it was a great container. Forget to burp and —KABLOOWIE! Exploded starter mix all over counters, oozing down cabinets, dripping off under-cabinet lighting fixtures, splattering nearby walls…

Ahem…you know how *that* story ended…

And still I lusted for it. I actively searched out how to make the starter on my own, but it was so labor intensive (well, more like I actually had to pay attention to it over an extended period of time and you know that that just isn’t a strong point with me!) that I just waited for another innocent to gift me some. I knew it wouldn’t be long once a coworker got some before they begged me to take some of the resultant stash off their hands.

Google has supplied me with tons more information on Friendship Bread. You can make cookies, streusel, and you can freeze it. It actually can be used *anytime* just like a counter top sourdough mix.

It turns out that Friendship Bread (etc.) is one of those things that I enjoy making more than I actually enjoy eating it. I make loaves that I bring into work. I get all sorts of strokes from the sugar-cinnamon people (there are a LOT of them on our floor!), it gets eaten within hours of being made, and I get it out of the house. There is a win-win-win there, folks! I get to do the whole ‘Suzy Homemaker’ thing without totally blowing my diet. (I save other things for that!)

Remember the ‘freezing’ part? I now have a full DOZEN starter bags in the freezer waiting to be called into service. As long as the freezer capacity can handle it, this is definitely the way for me to go!

Let me know if you want some!

I enjoy reading. I enjoy reading aloud. I enjoy adding in the inflections, the drama, the pregnant pauses, whispers, gasps, and all the peripheral hoo-hah that makes a spoken piece visual, sensual, an immersion experience.

Sometimes I have to tone it down when reading to smaller children… ‘The Monster at the End of the Book’ (featuring lovable old Grover from Sesame Street) can get really chilling when I read it with all the bells and whistles.

I especially enjoy being the Lay Reader at church. I read the passages from the Old and New Testaments to help people hear it in the ‘now’ despite being written in the stilted English of the New King James Revised Bible translation. I make that language sound ‘normal’, the people fully human with all the fears and foibles that carries.

After the service I get all sorts of suggestions to read for pay (sorry – very full field already), read for the blind (thanks, my sister already does that in NJ very well and Boston says they are fully staffed— I asked), and how they finally understood the passage because of how I read it (my personal favorite).

I am proud of the compliments I get, although I freely admit I had a lot of help learning, developing, and emulating that style of reading from my mother, a wonderfully expressive reader, and also, Cloris Leachman.

Yes, Cloris Leachman of ‘Frankenstein’, Broadway, and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ fame. She delivered a monologue on the old Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (that was pre Leno days) in the original Macbeth wording that was so natural, so compelling, so *real* that you forgot it wasn’t contemporary English.

I have striven to emulate those two ever since.

So, thanks, mom. People say you done real good with me. I don’t think Cloris Leachman* gives two hoots—or even one—for the credit I give her, but my mother does.

Speaking of hoots/hooters, etc., Cloris Leachman is 83 and she posed in a bathing suit (air-brushed some, but not overly so) for InTouch magazine this July.

Damn! I could look that good with a dedicated team of health trainers, and air brushing. May I have them now, please?

No one is left idle, every resource is put to double and triple duty. Despite their limited mobility, these industrial-sized bins manage to be multi-level as well as multi-tasking.

Trashy!

Trashy!

We have a building on two floors. I used to think it was funny to have an elevator for a building only two stories high. I am more aware of the practicality of it, now. While wearing my Storm Trooper boot I could take the stairs, but it was tiring. Now that I am on the second floor, I have been using the elevator when physical limits recommend it. This week and last I have been sharing it with the bins you see.

They’re not much for conversation…but then, neither am I first thing in the morning!

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