Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Our section manager Dorothy and Liz did not seem to have the best relationship, so we were a little nervous to be directly under Dorothy while between supervisors. We were pleased to find her approachable & fair. Interested, but not overbearing.
Now we have a new super and must adjust to a new supervisory style. More detail oriented supervision. This now gives us two – Jalpa, the supervisor and Natalya, the unit lead. Too be fair, neither of them have been with this office very long, so they do not know us workers well, unlike Liz & Dorothy who by the time I met them had worked for years with any employees they did not themselves hire.
They check on us more closely, ask more questions, issue more corrections and disagree with us more, ask for more reports/proofs, give more detailed instructions on what, when and how to do.
I donate platelets. Our contract allows for ‘reasonable time.’ Liz was completely supportive. Dorothy asked a couple of questions, was satisfied and supportive. Jalpa wants to limit the time to an hour which would be enough for a regular pint blood donation, but is not enough for platelets, and she wants written proof. I told her that platelets takes over an hour in the chair after the screening process and asked her to check with Dorothy. I will bring her my little receipt. No biggie. Not unreasonable. Definitely different than what I was used to.
**Since I donate about once a month - (actually more because I do sometimes go on my own - sometimes on Furlough Fridays) - "they" decided I cannot have more than an hour. I was able to change my appointment, so I will just be getting home late. And biking in the dark, but that will start happening anyway as the season progresses.
I gave Jalpa a heads up that I will be asking for vacation time for Benjamin's Eagle Project. She did not seem pleased. I don't think she can refuse though. I have the hours and the office is not all that busy as there is a LOT of work we cannot do until the budget is passed. (but that is another rant) If she does say no, others can help Benjamin, but I do feel like I might be getting sick. ; )
Rumor is that Jalpa wants to put us all on the same schedule –everyone coming in and leaving at the same time – her time - regardless of personal life needs/wants. I hope that rumor is wrong.
I remember observing as a student that I preferred teachers who started out stating the rules and being slightly strict then lightened up as time went on over teachers who started out relaxed and casual then lowered the boom later. I choose to remain hopeful.
It could be worse and I am sure that we will all adjust.
My co-worker Eli is not entirely sorry that he has been assigned to a different unit.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Have you noticed that when you clean one thing, you noticed the next thing that needs doing, and the next, and the next? When the house was all so tragic, we just went around with blinkers on so to speak. Once we got the worst taken care of - the kitchen - we could see how desperately so much more needs to be done. We won't get it all done soon, but more good things are happening.
My home team, Benjamin, David &; Teresa - I strongly suspect largely under Miss T's encouragement - has been working hard and working miracles. They have transformed the dining room and front room. Here are David and Teresa working in the dining room.
The front room and dining room are Barely Jade with Marshmallow White trim.
Mostly yes. Except for a few things here and there. Some of which I hope will be done soon. We had a couple of problems with the floor, so some replacement grout still needs to be sealed. We haven't put the handles on the drawers and cupboards yet. For some reason they are a bit 'sticky' so I am looking forward to getting the handle on. I want a hook for my aprons, a bar for towels, and a shelf or something next to the stove. Those things I want fairly soon. Also I need window treatment of some sort. That may take a little longer. Now that my kitchen is no longer ugly, there are objections to me hanging plastic bags to dry - but I still need to dry them. How?
But yes, the kitchen is, for the most part done, and it is delightful to use.
Without breath or pause, however we continue on. Of course, by we, I mean my wonderful home team. They have cleaned, spackled, primed, and painted the dining room and front room. They are nearly ready to put back together. What a shame to put my wreck of a couch in that nicely painted room! So far none of us feels up to re-upholstering. And of course, funds are beginning to run low. Although a great deal needs to be done, we will have to stop, maybe rest, and evaluate when/how to best next continue. (Although I really think we need some light in the family room!)
Have you noticed how when you clean or fix one thing up, you suddenly awaken to how bad the next thing is? It is certainly true in my house. As the kitchen began to emerge fresh and clean, I realized how dreary, dingy and beat up the rest of the house is. One step leads to another which leads to yet another. It can be almost discouraging to think there is no end in sight. On the other hand, every improvement makes the house a little bit more pleasant and livable. I cannot afford in money, time or energy to do all the things that should and could be done in my house right now. But we can do something. We can work and plan towards the next thing. Every step takes us closer. You can clearly see what wonderful improvement has been made. It is certainly worth doing what you can when you can - even though you cannot do it all.
I think that is the same with our lives. We are a long, long ways from being perfect. The task can seem hopeless indeed. But if we are willing to bring the best materials we can afford and let the Master Craftsman teach us, work with us and do the things we cannot do – what an improvement there will be! Yes, as we accomplish one goal we will see that there is more, much more to do. That our characters need more improvement and more repair. It may appear to be an endless task. But we have eternity to work on it and step by step we can come closer to our eternal goal. Every little improvement will allow more light and joy into our lives.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
At one point he whizzed through the Young Women’s Values at high speed, then stopped and complimented/apologized to the man translating into American Sign Language and warned him that he was doing the Young Men next; “Be. Prepared.”
He repeatedly quoted Majorie Pay Hinckley – probably partly so he could have her sweet face put up on the screen. Many quotes from her little book “Small and Simple Things”.
John Bytheway quoted Sherie Dew as saying, “Sin makes you stupid, and it costs a lot, too.” I am not sure, that may even be the title of one of her books.
One of the best things he said was that the best success formula is repeated every week by 16 year old boys – the Sacrament prayers.
He talked about choosing to be delightful. “I think I’ll be delightful today.”
Also how relationships often evolve (deteriorate) from Appreciate to Expect to Demand and how he and his wife made a conscious decision to stay on Appreciate and what a difference that makes in their relationship.
John related that he had heard a Jeffrey R Holland quote about the outcome of the world has already been decided, but we need to choose which side we will be on. He wanted to quote it, but first, he wanted to authenticate it. Unable to find it in his own research, he called Elder Holland’s office. The secretary did not know the quote, but said she would ask Elder Holland. John B. thought that was the end of that. Weeks later he got an email from Elder Holland, acknowledging that he did indeed say what John heard he said and offering to write it and authenticate if for John. And signed the email, “Jeff”. !!! The quote:
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “The future of this world has long been declared; the final outcome between good and evil is already known. There is absolutely no question as to who wins because the victory has already been posted on the scoreboard. The only really strange thing in all of this is that we are still down here on the field trying to decide which team’s jersey we want to wear!”
Elder Faust’s quote refers to you, our young people, but I think also to all of us who live in the later days to help us remember to be true even in troubled times.
James E. Faust: “In many ways our young people are the hope of the future, like valuable diamonds that shine better against a dark background.”
I could not find the reference for this (yet?) but I think Bytheway said that Heber J Grant said something like My God is a cheerful, lively, and good-natured being. I know this because when I am close to Him, I am cheerful, lively and good-natured. – I think a corollary would be that if we endeavor to be cheerful, lively, and good-natured, it will help us to be closer to God.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Now we (by which I mean mostly Teresa) have started putting it back together. Ok, it was probably mostly the guys who put the fridge and freezer in place. They tried putting the freezer in a different spot than it had been, but it really shrank the kitchen, so it is back next to the fridge again. Teresa is trying to figure out putting away all the dishes and mixing bowls, canned goods, etc, etc, etc. There is less shelf space than before. Some fun.
David put the range hood up which he spent HOURS scouring and painting. And I neglected to get a picture yet. Soon. But before he put the hood back:
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Painted with leftover blue paint from the bedroom project - the blue we had the most left (because it was not our favorite) and with a State Parks calendar and fish stickers.
Believe me, it's MUCH better than it was before!
Friday, September 10, 2010
"Oh? What did you hardly work at?" asked I.
He was even then scrubbing away at my range hood which has (to my shame) been neglected lo these 30 years I have been in this house except for a cursory wiping - usually not even on the business side. He has scrubbed on it for hours and hours over a period of days with, I believe, some help now and then from the relief team members Benjamin and Teresa. He is preparing to paint it white before it goes back into the kitchen.
He mentioned that they also got baseboards and painted them (installing them today) and did the transition from the kitchen to the dining room and the kitchen to the garage.
Before I could check them out I had to get my bike past this.
(Except for the ones scattered like throw pillows on the love seat.
David and Brother Brown made the floor transitions.
|Kitchen/dining room transition|
David replied. "Maybe so. Probably."
We talked some more, then I went to visit the plumbing - love plumbing! - in the bathroom.
|Surprise! The bathroom transition was done!|
Before, you could sit on the toilet and check the weather through a large hole in this corner.
The new tub was put in, a sink and vanity from IKEA I think, and the floor and wall repaired.
Now David has put in the transition and will do the molding with leftover baseboard material.
One of the first things David and Teresa did for me and my house was paint the door which was a really beat up once white. We used leftover paint. What we thought was white turned out to be primer. And the blue was one of the blues from the boys' undersea room project not the bathroom blue. But what an improvement! They also painted the half bath off the family room. Pictures another time.
Now, back to our kitchen project.
Teresa and Benjamin painted the old cabinet hinges (by immersion), skewered them and hung them to dry - periodically flexing them so they would still hinge and not crack the paint.
Here are scraps from laying the floor tile.
They do look like they should be really good for something!
When I took his picture later in the evening, David said he was going to stop working after 6pm (when I get home) from now on.
I should go see if I can help without getting too much in the way. (But they are doing such a great job!)
Thursday, September 9, 2010
|Doesn't the floor - and everything else - look great? Except the drawer which was put together badly and David is fixing.|
Yesterday they grouted the floor. Saturday the home team seals it (while I am at Time Out For Women). We also have to put in baseboards/molding. And the transitions between the kitchen and the garage and the dining room. I have to pick handles, too.
|With Tuffy, whom Benjamin is dog-sitting|
People have commented on how quickly this has gone. I have had some really good workers! Brother De La Cruz and the others who came to help are all good, fast workers. David, Teresa, and Benjamin have really sped things up by helping Brother DLC when he was here and doing so much after he left for the day and on evenings and weekends. It has been 'interesting' but not the nightmare I have heard about with kitchen make-overs.
David said that Amazon.com told him to buy me a birthday present, but we know that their huge contribution to getting the kitchen job done has got that covered!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tuesday they laid tile and today they grout. I think these will be the only days/evening we will be/have been unable to walk in/through the kitchen. Which means when we want in the garage before Thursday, we need to go in through the car door and work our way through the miscellaneous junk. (hmmm, I have clothes in the washer I need to remember to take care of.) Then, I think it’s done. !!
|Things were moved around to prevent kitchen access.|
|I peeked over the barricade to see the floor so far.|
When we put the kitchen back together, the dining room which is currently holding the appliances will be empty. So we will clean and paint that. Then we will move the front room into the dining room so we can clean and paint it. Saturday we bought 5 gallons of paint (Glidden – Barely Jade) a very pale green. Also Marshmallow White for trim in the front room and Toasted Oatmeal (I think Toasted) for the hall.
We are all excited! Things look so much better which makes us feel better, too.
Immediate plans do not go beyond that, although, as you know, there is a
I am anxious (and nervous) about getting started on the family room. We need to replace the lights and do SOMETHING with the ceiling and back wall which are in bad shape. I want to put in a couple of ceiling fans while we are at it. I am worried about what we will find when we take out the back wall. Part of me would like to just cover it up, but I think we need to find out how bad things are and are they likely to get worse if we don’t do something. Then the question is what about the rest of the room? Most of it is paneled the same. Make the back wall a contrast wall? Paint all the walls the same? Still thinking. The floor needs doing, too. And the front room. dining room and hall floor. The exterior needs painting. The yard is a wreck. Is there no end??? No.
We will just do what we can when we can. The kitchen project is amazing!
Last evening DT & I went to look at Lowes because we had errands at Costco, Lowes is out that way – bit further south – and Debi, Ruth &Tom think it is superior to Home Depot. FYI – “my contractor” Brother DLC doesn’t think that there are significant differences. His rule is ‘whichever is closer’. Lowes is whiter, brighter, cleaner looking/feeling. More like a grocery store maybe. Make the customer feel comfortable there. For each it is a deliberate market image. Home Depot’s look says serious work, contractors, real men, build, fix, repair. (My interpretations, you understand) David thought Lowes had more variety. I didn’t really see much difference. Maybe Lowe’s prices are a little lower, I couldn’t say for sure. Brother DLC says, you have to balance how much gas for how much gas reduction. So, I may go to Lowes when it is convenient, but I am not going to worry about going out of my way for it.
On to Costco. Had to return a couple of loaves of bread that went moldy way too fast and before their use by date. Costco is good about that. No hassles. We were going to buy milk but while we were still at Lowes, the ‘boys’ called to tell us that the refrigerator did not seem to be working. ??*#*#@@#?! Not good. We gave them suggestions – like check the plug in and check the temp setting – and decided we had better get home!
I told David and Teresa that this was my punishment for even considering getting myself a laptop which I seriously am.
We also decided to stop at Bel Air and buy ice. Before completing the purchase however, we called home again – just to check and to tell them to empty out a big ice chest – which is storing stuff from the kitchen – if the fridge was still fritzing. Fortunately! The fridge was back at work. Whew! So, we bought milk.
Friday, September 3, 2010
|from the front door|
|It looks a little better from the other side.|
After I got home, David and Teresa painted - 2 coats - what workers!
I think that today they put in the lower cabinets, counter top and sink. : )
Thursday, September 2, 2010
BARBARA ROBARTS has been Approved to attend Introduction to California State Parks (11/1/2010-11/5/2010).
and I need Deputy Director approval, but I don't think that will be a problem.
I will learn about California State Parks history, mission and philosophy. I will learn about the organizational structure, personnel and human rights, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation, back injury prevention, Natural Resources, Cultural Resources, cooperating associations and volunteers, interpretation, accessibility and more.
30 hours of course work. oh, what will I do with the rest of my time stuck there on the coast like that???
Written Wednesday, Sep 1: