Ch-ch-ch-changes!

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All good ones! I was finally able to arrange for the disposal of an oversized, hand me down and out of shape set of furniture in my living room. The love seat and chair were rarely both in use and the love seat would only be in use if both 17 and I were watching tv at once. I’ve wanted to downsize from those things for a long time. I replaced them with two super comfy, smaller easy chairs:

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Now I am plotting what to do to fill in the wall with the big window – most likely storage of some kind – I am eyeing a low TV/media cabinet that wouldn’t block much of the window but would provide a place to store extra blankets, pillows and cat beds.

So things look fresh and new at home – and now, the BIG reveal – my new office!

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Here’s the view up close out the window – trees!

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Beyond our own actual desk/office space which is absolutely PERFECT for us – 4 cubicles, windows, and a back wall that allows for plenty of file space and space for our water, printer & fax without jamming up the walkway. I mean, really – it’s perfect! Quiet too – so beautifully, blissfully – QUIET. Even nicer is what we walk through several times a day going to to bathroom, getting our food from the break room, heading to the copier or to other offices – the atrium with a running water fall and gorgeous skylight roof:

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Yep – luxury, light and fresh air! Pretty fantastic changes all around!

Bringing the outside in

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The exciting news this week was confirmation from “upstairs” that the office I was hoping to get in the targeted move for our area is indeed mine.

Which means – something within the next month or two, I will no longer be a basement dweller! Do you know it’s been 10 years at least down there? Crazy how time flies. I was able to go into the room and really look at it finally and take some photos so we can start planning on who sits where and what kinds of file storage we have to work with. It’s much less than what we have currently, but we can make it happen. So, here is what my desk area will look like – picture taken at around 10am so the sun was streaming in as the office looks due East:

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There is a balcony area just outside the windows, and then the trees are in the hillside just behind the building which is part of a nature preserve attached to the Torrey Pines Reserve across the street to the west. The actual desk space will be the same thanks to that granite shelf to the left which extends all the way along the wall behind me:

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Yes, it is a funky suspended sort of shelf area. Not terribly functional except as a storage unit for things like printer paper, toner and other office supplies. That one set of doors right next to the end of the desk don’t even open all the way. Very odd. But the granite is pretty and there is plenty of room for everything I currently have on my desktop. The communal office printer and fax and water cooler will have to be directly at the end of this shelf and behind me, but since I will be angled a little to the right it’s not like it will feel as if anyone is sneaking up on me. Plus, there are only three other people in the entire office with me! It is a four person office with it’s own set of double doors tucked in a corner well off any main walkway.

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Yes, the flooring is a funky combination of deep royal blue carpet and dark granite. Luckily all of the walking surface is carpet so, again, very quiet. Of course, that back wall there is adjacent to the kitchen for our main cafeteria and when I was standing back there I could hear the chef and crew talking, but HEY – I’m coming from a basement set of over 50+ cubicles! There are 9 just in the one corner I am in now so quiet….is nothing we know about! We are all happy about the new space, and at this point I just want to know WHEN it will happen because damn – did you see that gorgeous window??

Meanwhile, this weekend was a rare opportunity to run both days. Saturday I run a looping route to and from Starbucks, stopping for 45 minutes to sip my frappucino and read on my kindle that I had packed into my camelpack instead of the actual liquid container. Then this morning I joined the girls at Torrey Pines. We ran up the big hill which I can still run up with relative (slow paced) ease which floors me. I did a loop around the Guy Fleming Trail on my route. Five hilly miles a day after 2.5 was more than I have done since April so it was a real treat! Afterwards, we soothed our tired feet in the surf and enjoyed the nature surrounding us on a gray morning.

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Egrets sharing the surf with us as well as some fishermen off in the distance with their poles propped up in the sand.

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Ah, that feels better!

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Looking south from the Guy Fleming overlook. It wasn’t cold – the air was around 70 and there was no real breeze at all. Perfect running weather is what I call it. Here’s the view to the north. Beautiful despite the cloud cover!

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Frazzled

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I posted on my Facebook status today, just this one word: Frazzled.

My brain has had to be so ON the last 3 days – that I can feel the synapses burning from overuse. A football meeting directly after work on Monday followed by more work I had to complete from home that wasn’t done until 9:30pm. Yesterday was the first of 3 AP tests for 16. Of course all 3 are morning exams. So I went in to work for 3.5 hours in the morning after dropping him off, then picked him up, and we went home so that could work until his dentist appointment (didn’t want to drive back to work for just 2 hours). After the dentist I worked at home again until 6:30. Today was AP test #2. This time, I picked him up and brought him back to school and then came back to work. But of course the proctor for his exam messed things up and they didn’t get out until 12:35. They were supposed to be done before noon. When I got back to work, it was more mania until a little after 3:30. It’s just been a series of days with system problems, people making careless mistakes and things falling on my desk to cover gaps again.

None of this would be that difficult except for PEOPLE needing THINGS and with QUESTIONS and never having a moment of quiet to get anything DONE (dammit!). I can handle the tasks – I just need to be a Hermit for a day to get them all done properly. So it took 3 days and 2 evenings, but it’s done. And I’m frazzled.

So today I was happy that the rain had stopped, and I could take another walk. I mixed in a few photos from my house over the weekend when we had an amazing sunset. I loved the glow from the sky on the roses in the side yard.

Yes, that is a helipad in one of the photos. When I walk out of this building I head down the property to the helipad which is, of course, abandoned and not being used, but does make for a nice quiet place to walk around and take in the view across the freeway and listen to some birds. the towhee cousins were out and about quite a bit. Both brown and rufous sided. That blue roof building is some other business across a canyon from ours. No clue why it is such a bright blue, but there it is!

Anyway, here’s hoping that tonight is quiet without too many demands from the other occupants of the house and that I can just watch TV and stay offline. Thankfully there is a break in the AP schedule – the last one is next week so tomorrow is just a normal school day. No earlier than normal drop off or mid-day pick ups. Phew!

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Riding in the sunset for a while

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Photo by @KCAlfredphoto 

Torrey Pines golf course at sunset.

I thought this photo was perfect – I was going to look for something that depicted “swamped” or “rat race” but really, in keeping with my NO Whining & NO Gasbags motto for 2013, I must say that while I will need to maintain a more intense level of focus and sticking to tasks for the next couple of months, it’s for GOOD reasons.

  1. My co-worker (staff member in my department) is having a baby in early April
  2. We have a new software program that will, over the long term, make her tasks a lot easier
  3. Technology will allow me to do a lot of work from home so that I can still make dinner, work out, and snuggle with cats here and there.

February and March will fly by. I’ve got to get all our leases into the new system before the end of this month so that we can spend next month tweaking with reporting and auto loads to the AP system for a more streamlined rent payment process (that will benefit two departments). I have to interview temp employees and hopefully have one chosen and working with us in March. On top of the usual tasks in these months of performance evaluations and budget planning for the next fiscal year. Wee?

Plus I need to keep posting on the pergola site once a week. Plus I’d like to run now and then. Plus, oh yeah, don’t I have kids and a boyfriend and stuff?

What that means is likely just weekly check in posts with the money & exercise habit progress reports and not much else. It means no Facebook except on the weekend maybe. I’ll post on twitter, but I wont be reading 100% of my timeline. I’ve currently got four books in my Kindle that I will use as complete down time breaks. I’ll take off all work of any kind on Sundays. But yes, I will be working at night and on Saturdays for the next month for sure, and possibly into March.

The payoff will be sanity while Tracy is on leave and beyond.

And it really isn’t that bad. 16 isn’t playing sports so there isn’t a pull there. His grades are not AWESOME, but they are also not HORRID this year and that is without me monitoring anything. We just had some wonderful, solid time together – all of us – while I was recovering from surgery.

Speaking of which – oh my goodness is it ever freaking awesome to be done with all THAT! Back to normal and feeling great. Phew!

Part of the responsibility of being a manager is having to cover vacancies and I am up for it. I actually really enjoy it as long as I have the space to focus on it. And it’s only for 4-6 weeks and as I check off each lease and task from the list, the load will ease.

I do have a 5k trail race on schedule for this Sunday so I will probably share pics from that – a new trail out in Mission Gorge that I am really excited to check out. Then a 6k trail even in late March at Black Mountain. SO not to worry – I’ll be getting some sanity restoring outdoor running time in :-)

How could I not with that beautiful scenery above displaying just how wonderful it is to live in this beautiful part of the world?

 

One more week of summer!

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For 16 that is.

Driving him in this morning for the morning football session we realized that in one week it will be a school day drop off instead.

You know what makes the summer fly by? Taking online classes and playing football that’s what!

Remember how I complained about checking in to five classes on Aeries every day and how happy I was that it would “only” be one online class?

Yeah – bring on the 5 classes and get me out of this math class checkup hell!

(Grass is always greener…I know!)

Yes, I changed up the look of the blog again. Yes, you should all be used to that by now.

Yes, if you follow me on twitter you saw that I ran up Torrey Pines hill again this weekend. No, I didn’t just fun straight up. This time time I participated in the dreaded “hill repeats”. I’ve run with the girls while they did these before but I always let them be as they ran up and down and up and down. It would take me just as long to run up once!

On Sunday I decided at the last minute to go for it and I ran the 2 mins up, 2 mins down with them. 8 sets. 32 minutes of up and down. Surrounded at the front and back by 60 more minutes of regular running which totaled 90 mins. And I did it. And honestly those last 45 minutes of running AFTER the hill repeats were a lot harder than the hill repeats themselves.

Two mornings later and my calves still hurt a bit from the up and down, but not too terribly.

I really cannot even whimper out a complaint at this point. Not given that one of my employees at work just broke his ankle and foot so badly that it took 6 screws and two rods to put the whole foot back together!

YEOWCH!

That’s putting a little more pressure on the end of the audit cycle for sure. Luckily I had us all cross train each other on daily tasks two years ago, but there is still going to be some fall off if I don’t jump in and take over more – the curse of being the manager. Fill in all the gaps. He’ll be back at work in some capacity probably by next week but I seriously doubt he will be back to full time and full task load until well into the fall.

And yes, I have become one of those annoying internet marketing people! I’ve joined every damn social media site I know of, every small business and marketing forum and I’ve got yet another blog created that will funnel traffic to the main consulting site. Eve will take over from there and then funnel some client support tasks to me. It’s fascinating and fun and if it means that I can supplement my day job to the point where I am not so strapped for cash every time property tax payment time rolls around then I will be exceptionally happy.

Mostly, it’s a truly cool, self paced and fun way to learn something completely outside my comfort zone without any risk on my part other than my time.

My calendar is filled with Friday Night football games, back to school night and a couple more 5k races in September & October. So in many ways that means “summer” is over for me too.

Now, will someone please tell Mother Nature? Thanks!

May 27th – Cranky Toes and Testing

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Jacaranda Tree

Starting off with the beauty since the rest of the day was pretty lacking in it.

Ok, not entirely true, the beach I whizzed by in the car on the way to and from work was pretty darn gorgeous but there was no chance to stop and take a photo.

The jacaranda tree is the one in the yard next door to mine and I have been noticing on my runs around the area that they purple flowers are in full bloom right now. Really lovely.

The cranky toe tale: Last month I bitched about my toe nail that sort of turns in strangely and digs into the side of the neighboring toe on my right foot. This never bothered my last year while running, but for some reason it started in this year and if I don’t file that one down on a weekly basis it seems it will be an issue. Sure enough I lagged on the grooming and paid for it today.

We met up at the middle school track at 6:30am to do a 90 minute track workout. I love those because they let me work on my speed in the perfect environment. Flat, soft track with lanes to follow. Boring yes, but since we do rounds of sprints in various distances the monotony doesn’t set in.

Today it was 4 1 mile runs at 5k speed for me. Since it was 4, which is longer than I usually go, I tried to pull off my effort and keep my pace at right around 10 min miles. I only achieved that once. The other three times were between 9:25-9:50. And even then one of the things that was making me alter my pace was that I could feel my toe nail digging in :-( Right on that first mile. Ugh! I decided to just run through it, the damage was already done so other than a bloody sock I might as well push through. Well, this time the toe issue added in a bonus entire top of the toe and down one side blister. Wee! I limped home and showered and got it cleaned up and generally tended to and bandaged for the rest of the day.

Since today is an odd number date and I did want to complete the even number day pattern and run again tomorrow, I really hope the toe is OK quickly. Or maybe I just go back to the track and go slow and easy. I know I *will* use that track for speed workouts again. I really want to run a true no stopping 5k and see how fast I can go.

Anyway….back home and got the update that testing was going so well that we would probably be able to start before noon so I went in. It took longer than I thought it would and we weren’t done until after 2:30. A couple of glitches of course, but I think they got them all worked through by 5pm.

That’s about it. Been doing market research at Eve’s the rest of the night and getting frustrated at every turn. This client is gonna be sorely disappointed if we turn in another round of “sorry, but your idea sucks!”

I’m hoping for some serious sofa time tomorrow.

It’s much more likely that I will end up finishing the ebook ;-)

Motivation – sometimes I have too much!

 

May 25th – Losing Steam

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Uh oh – I guess I should be impressed that I maintained my motivation to write in here every day for this long!

I was literally in bed before I remembered tonight.

Can you blame me? It’s Friday. It’s been an intense week. I left work after FINALLY training with my co-worker on her tasks about as late as we possibly could today. If anything at all goes wrong in this upgrade process this weekend and we cannot start testing until after 2pm Sunday, then I have to cover two systems. That’s fine – but I haven’t worked on a daily basis in the Asset Management side in several years and I really needed a refresher. I’ll be fine, but let’s all of us out there in internet land cross our fingers for a smooth process ok?

Meanwhile, after spending every night this week heading out *somewhere* I was just thrilled to get home and not have to go anywhere.

The problem is that I did have to write. Just studying the first module of the web business design class has reinforced to me how much the site AND the ebook need upgrades. To my dear friend who amusingly pointed out that having the read the word “pergola” in every other sentence was jarring – I agree! Thankfully the focus on heavily laden keyword articles for SEO placement is falling away. Now I get to write for CONTENT, simply placing the keywords in more naturally occurring places. I was fighting that all along so this will be much easier. But, it also means yet more re-writing. Argh!

So after a rather disappointing Bistro Meal package dinner of shrimp risotto, I got down to the business of improving the business. Two new website articles and the first chapter of the ebook are revamped and I’ve got the new chapter titles and approximate order of them assigned.

After all that I watched the season finale of Glee :-) Needed the total focus shift. I still love that show. It’s more of a guilty pleasure now and other’s have fallen off the trendy bandwagon (especially since some episodes did sink into silliness), but I still laugh and cry and smile and sing along with the songs. Kurt’s dad doing “Put a Ring On It”? Utterly, perfectly, touching and hysterical. Love those two characters and their interactions.

Anyhow – a moment of beauty – no pictures today. That would have meant I prepared! But, as I was typing away in the blissful silence of the house because all other occupants were gone…well THAT was a moment of beauty for sure. Then off in s distant corner of the room I heard a faint sound that is even more fabulous than silence.

It was Chip. Drinking water.

I could hear his kidneys continuing to heal with each exquisite lap of liquid.

Dream on my friends!

1 wrong does not make 50 wrongs

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Last week an email went out at work admonishing the ladies of the basement about flushing items they shouldn’t. Specifically, it was plastic applicators (apology for the slight TMI there). I knew because I heard the maintenance employee talking about it. I immediately felt defensive because hey – I’m a woman in the basement! But, I have also complained plenty on my own about some of the less than respectful bathroom habits down here so, I can’t defend too loudly!

But really, what bothered me is that ONE careless person made all fifty of us down here look bad. We all need to use the bathroom, and we all need to respect each other and use it properly and not leave it in a state of…well..ICK! Because one person can ruin it for the other 49. Now the maintenance group thinks we are all pigs..which we aren’t..there’s just ONE, but we get painted with the broader brush.

Yesterday a gal who works in said basement posted on her facebook page that she was tired of going in to work, especially because she felt like she was working just to support people on welfare who are lazy and don’t bother working.

Yeah, let that sink in.

How many ways is that logic flawed eh? I mean, be unhappy in your own job for your own reasons, but..um..you are blaming welfare recipients for your NEED to work? No honey, you need to work to feed YOU. The .05 per paycheck or heck..let’s say $1 that you might be contributing to the welfare system is really not going to make or break that system!

So yeah, she was tad off base in her overall rant. But that started a real time discussion about the merits of welfare (of course!) with some comments about how people who ask for handouts need to just “try harder” and “find a job!” and the usual cries of how relying on the govt for a handout creates lazy people.

Well, yes..in any pool of people receiving assistance there will be that percentage who are gaming the system.

The ones who don’t respect what is available to them, misuse it and waste resources. Of course those examples are extremely frustrating and can make people who are working hard very very angry and resentful.

But again, it’s just those examples.

That’s not ALL of them. It’s not even a majority of them. The majority who do need help, really NEED help, and are more thrilled than anyone else when they get themselves back on their feet and no longer need that help.

But the ONES, ruin the system for the MANY and give a bad reputation to the whole thing.

Should the system be more controlled so that less people can game it? Hell yeah. but…not to the point where it begins to deny assistant to the many with real need.

And if you think that your job is so awful and you hate going to it so much and that you are only doing it to support people on the dole, well then – quit working! Clearly you don’t appreciate how awesome it is in today’s economy to even HAVE a job. Stop contributing to “the system”! That’ll teach ‘em!

Let me know how long you last without a job before you have to ask for help. And hey, given your apparent history of not appreciating what you have, I am SURE you would NEVER take any help you might get from family, friends or (gulp), the government for granted, right?

Never.

I’m also sure you are NOT the one misusing the bathroom.

TOTALLY sure.