My Week: There and Here

Mother used to be mindful of the neighbors when she would do her laundry and hang it on the line. She didn’t want to offend anyone who went to church on Sunday so she would wait until a weekday to wash (until she got a dryer). I didn’t have that luxury today. I had to get my laundry out and dry because the weather and time constraints are against me. Today is the only good laundry day for several. So…I risked it and hung my clothes and linens outside.

When DD called, I was out cleaning up the Square Foot boxes. It’s sad when this time of year comes around when they are no longer producing and the vines are withered and brown. I got quite a bit of sun today from all my outdoor activities.

A bit of news from the DD/merm division. Since she has announced it, I can talk about it now. I’ve known for quite some time what they are planning but I don’t have to keep it quiet any more. They are moving soon to the Great Northwest, out where my sister lives. She is very happy about it because that means I’ll be coming to visit now and then. They’ll be farther away but we’ll see each other as much as we did before. As for the job situation, they will both be telecommuting. That will give DD a chance to take some classes if she wants because she plans to keep the regular schedule she has now. That means she will have to get up in the early early but travel will be from one room to another so she will be getting off around 2 p.m. Not a bad deal, I’d say.

Rain rain rain! And to think that a year ago, we were so far up on the deficit scale it wasn’t funny. It did let up enough this afternoon for me to go to town. I’d told my sister that I was going to shop Goodwill since I am low on clothes. That’s the first place I headed. I saw one of the girls from work and told her she might as well give up and leave since I was buying the place out. I looked at and tried on quite a few pieces of clothing but I ended up with two long-sleeved button up shirts, a pair of slacks, a tote, a garment bag (on my list), a goblet and the pièce de résistance, a London Fog coat with zip-out lining. The shirts were $4.29 each, slacks were priced the same but ended up being half price. The tote and garment bag were $2.99 each, the goblet (crystal) was 99¢ but get this!! The coat was marked $15.99 but it, too, was half price. A London Fog for $7.99! Woohoo!!

It was on to Wally World where I ran into the fellow who had gifted me with some okra many weeks ago. He was asking me about what I eat and how I fix it. I didn’t have time to stop and tell him everything but I did give him an idea. His wife has a very rare condition and he is trying to fix foods that will build her up. They have an ancient VitaMix that he plans to use to blend whole foods. I hope he can see his way clear to get a new one. I got the idea that it’s probably like my old one.

I came home and washed my acquisitions. I made the mistake of not taking the liner out of the coat so it was kind of tangled up when I took it out of the washer. I’ll remember that next time, though NEXT time, I may take it and have it cleaned. It was, from start to finish, an ordeal. Then I washed the shirts and slacks. They were so full of residual detergent the water looked like milk. I rinsed them three times in plain water and then twice in vinegar water. The water still wasn’t clear but I gave up anyway. I festooned the house since it was getting late and it was still sort of misty out.

Yeah. Next time, I’ll take the coat to the cleaner. It took forever to iron it and it still doesn’t look the way I’d hoped it would. Before I washed it, it looked new. Now it looks kind of like Columbo might have worn it. However, his isn’t black like mine is. I also ironed the other garments.

Tomorrow is when I’ll be leaving for my annual conference. I didn’t go last year because DD and merm were here for a visit and I wasn’t going to miss seeing them. I took yesterday and today off to get ready since I don’t want to be worn out before I get on the road. I still have plenty to do.

I’m not going to even try to do a Chapter in My Life post. I need to get to bed at a reasonable hour. Next week, I promise!

Here I am in my home for tonight and tomorrow night. When I called in my reservation, I was told there were no more rooms with Jacuzzis available but I could have one with a fireplace. It turned out for the best. It’s cold out there!! The heat from the fireplace feels a lot better than a little while in a Jacuzzi would.

The trip here was close to horrendous. It drizzled much of the time and never really let up completely. I got over in the Little Old Lady lane and stayed there most of the way. I’d kept putting off getting gas until there was no use to even try. The needle had barely budged, so I wasn’t nervous about it. I still have a half tank and that’s with getting into a mini-parking lot situation in Knoxville and a full-blown one here in Pigeon Forge.

There was a reception scheduled this evening but I was in no mood to go. It lasts for two hours and I was too wrung out to make an appearance. I want to get a good night’s rest tonight so I’ll be fresh for the sessions tomorrow.

I’m sore today. I woke in the night with my bones hurting from the hard mattress. I remember one year when one of the other supervisors went with me and we shared a suite. She slept in the bedroom and I took the little couch. I took the cushions off and put them on the floor, then took the little mattress I’d been provided and attempted to sleep the first night. The next day, I turned the mattress in for a better one but I was pretty much groggy all day. The bed isn’t a whole lot better than that first mattress was. Oh, the second mattress was marginally better.

Breakfast this morning was OJ/peaches/strawberry smoothie. I brought my L’Equip blender. It was easier to grab it than to pack up the VitaMix. The L’Equip doesn’t do as good a job at blending, though. Lunch was a couple of bananas and a Gala apple. I actually like Gala apples. Supper was tomato/mango soup and salad. I could have let the soup blend from now on and it would have never gotten warm or completely smooth. Yeah, I like my VitaMix better.

We had session after session today. They never get started on time and the first facilitator went over by at least a half hour. It was interesting, though, and something I really wanted to learn more about—Recovery Audit Contractors (RAC for short). It’s a new program to recover overpayments/incorrect payments made by Medicare. I can understand the principle of not over-paying but it has the possibility of killing the smaller hospitals. Of course, one woman told me that they will be focusing on larger hospitals where the bigger dollars are but I would imagine they’ll take it wherever they can get it. No use to borrow trouble, though. I do know more about it now and the role of Patient Access in preventing errors. There were lots of other good sessions, too, and a contest of sorts. I didn’t participate in the contest.

My “new” garment bag did a good job keeping my clothes wrinkle-free. The only thing that isn’t nice and smooth is my Hawaiian shirt. I’d worn it to “The King and I” and it had gotten pretty creased in the suitcase. I went ahead and ironed it tonight so I won’t have it to do in the morning. The ironing board padding is almost non-existent. It’s worse than mine at home.

I’m gonna go ahead and crash. I want to get up early enough to be loaded and checked out before I go to the Convention Center.

On my way out to the elevator with my cart-load of dunnage, I stopped to take a picture of the hallway where my room was. I was on the top floor at the very end on the left. See the window? The door to my room was right there. The maid got a big kick out of my taking a picture of that long walk I took several times a day.

My Hallway

“Be it ever so humble” I’m so glad to be home! Last night was another uncomfortable night plus I woke about 3 and didn’t go back to sleep until after 4. I took copious notes during the remaining sessions and found out about some software the Mother Ship has had for years that would be good for us, too. Wish I’d known about it long ago. If everything works out, some of us will be given access.

I was wound tighter than a watch spring when I got ready to leave. There were a couple of stops I wanted to make plus I had to get gas before I started back through Knoxville. I prayed that the other people on the highway felt better than I did. If I’d had someone else to drive, I wouldn’t have been behind the wheel.

It was time for a bathroom break when I got to the Rockwood Wally World. It’s set up differently than the hometown one. As I went into the bathroom, I thought “This is different from any other bathroom I’ve been in.” There were only two stalls which I thought was peculiar. I don’t know who was more surprised—me or the man who walked out of one of them. Realizing my mistake, I said, “Oh! I’m sorry!” and he said, “I think you’re in the wrong place.” That was an understatement. I turned and fled and went into the right one. Later, it struck me as funny. I wasn’t embarrassed because I would no doubt never see the man again and, if I did, I don’t think either of us would recognize the other. I was in better spirits when I got back into the car.

There was no way I could come straight home. I’d called the produce place from the parking lot of one of the outlet malls so my oranges would be waiting for me. I had to go to Wally World, too. I was completely out of greens except for half a container of spinach. The romaine looked pitiful but the produce fellow knows me well. I asked for fresh and he gave me a look and said, “Do you want ONE package?” I said “NO…I want five.” He nodded like he could have guessed and got them for me. He and another produce person spent a long time trying to find frozen blueberries for me. I finally got several 12 ozzie packages.

It was misty and cold when I got home. I didn’t EVEN try to count the number of trips it took me to get everything in. I put the groceries away as I went and that made things easier tonight. Everything was in the house about 40 minutes before sundown.

I’ll be sleeping in my own bed tonight! Happy Sabbath!!

Saturday night
Last night, I had no trouble getting to sleep and I slept like the well-known except for potty breaks. It was so nice! I’d turned the waterbed heater down and, of course, unplugged it before I went to bed. My sister had commented recently that she imagined I had the heater on. I did, and it was on too high. It’s just right now.

I was just a little late to Sabbath School. This is one reason. It took a long time to pick all the seeds out of the orange juice.

Loads of Seeds

When I got the email about the lack of hymns (one of the elders was speaking and they were in the bulletin as TBA) I mailed back that I would be at church if I lived through the night. I don’t think those were my exact words but they were the gist of the thought. I also said I hoped the elder would pick hymns I didn’t need to practice. Well, there was no closing hymn but the opener was a doozy. I can’t for the life of me remember what it was but it has a lot of activity in the bass. I’ve probably tried to block it out of my mind because my heart sank as soon as I heard what it was. I was scanning a list online and it’s “Be Thou My Vision”. #547 in the SDA Hymnal. It’s a beautiful song but I would have liked to have had more than a few minutes’ warning.

The speaker had his notes on his new computer and he stood up in front of the congregation and admitted he didn’t know how to transfer them to the computer that was hooked up to the printer so he could print them off! I was shocked that he couldn’t do something so simple. Even though I was a bit distracted by that, it was a good service and he did a good job.

I had worn layers because I knew it wouldn’t be warm enough in the church. I was pleasantly surprised, at first, that the heat had been turned on. Then some hot-blooded person must’ve turned it off because it got cooler than comfortable. Next week, I’ll wear long johns.

There was a surprise in my mailbox (the physical one—not my email inbox). DD and merm have been investigating permaculture. The surprise was a CD, “Introduction to Permaculture Design”. When I asked merm, “You gonna help me with the project or is that to show me what you and yours will be doing?” he simply stated that the CD was for inspiration. I guess that’s a “no” on helping me. Oh well, I need inspiration, too.

There’s a frost warning out so I picked the rest of the peppers that hadn’t been chewed on by a critter. Then tonight, I got an email from m neighbor about the impending cold weather. Guess I should have taken a chance and not picked them on Sabbath but I did it, it’s done, and I can’t go back and do it over.

Getting to bed at a reasonable hour is not an option now. It’s past 10 o’clock. Tomorrow is my last day before I have to go back to work. At least I have a job…

Good night.

4 Responses to My Week: There and Here

  1. Lila October 18, 2009 at 7:47 am #

    Tommie, you had quite a week! I think you’ll miss your trips to New York to visit DD, but how wonderful if you can spend time with her and our sister in the Great Northwest. That will mean the world to her.

    • Tommie October 18, 2009 at 8:13 am #

      Wherever they are is where I’ll go. When I was in NYC the last time, they were prepared to take me all sorts of places. I told them I’d come to see them, not the sights. DD and I did go to some of the places I wanted to visit that were food-related and some were ones she’d never seen. Broadway doesn’t interest me and once you’ve been up in the Empire State Building it’s “been there, done that” and I’ve done that twice. I’ve also done the “three hour tour” around Manhattan. We went to Korea Town, China Town, the Farmer’s Market and numerous other places. I would have loved to have gone to the Caravan of Dreams again but there are raw food restaurants in the PNW, too.

  2. Mary Jane October 18, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    Your orange looks like some “tangerines” I bought that are full of seeds. They are not like what I think of as real tangerines, which are more like Clementines. So in the future I’ll probably settle for Clementines.I really do like them.

    Bet we were together on your first (my only) visit to the Empire State Building!

    • Tommie October 18, 2009 at 1:06 pm #

      The seeds were from nine oranges I’d juiced yesterday morning but that was still a lot. I prefer Clementines, too. We come by it honest! Mother did, too.

      Yes, that was my first trip to the Empire State building and it was a momentous occasion. My second was in 2005 when I was in NYC for DD & merm’s wedding.

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