Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thrift Share: It's been a long, long time

I haven't posted about this because it really is like an addict's dream/nightmare: a few months ago a new vintage flea market opened up literally across the street from my apartment in Louisville. Now, I really have done well resisting it's blessed siren call (and even a garage full of cheap, rough items!), but today I was walking by and thought, "Why not, I can't hear...I can at least look at some lovely vintage crap!"

Oh my...this place is much, much worse than I thought. Cheap. Full to the brim. Wonderful selection. Damn.

I made it through roughly 1/10th before I took my finds and high-tailed it out of there. Way too dangerous. I ended up with a great coffee table (needs a bit of TLC and will share it later), a figurine, 2 bird pictures, and a "Jar of Junk" for less than $30 (and the table was most of that, believe me).

Now did I actually need a "Jar of Junk"? Um, no...but Oh MY Goodness, look at that little china beagle!

Yeah, Another Whingy One

Sigh. This has been the month of never-ending sickness. I think I have the plague. It seems, with everything else, I was mistreated for an ear ache and I developed a much larger infection that in turn ruptured my eardrum. Yay! I am completely deaf on the left side, at this point, but hoping with stronger treatments I will regain my hearing soon.

So, I have been on medical leave for a couple of days and I am so anxious to go to work (wtf?) Speaking of work, I am not eligible for the entire amout and what I am is hardly worth it. However, the hunt is one for something to get me home. Just considering it made me keenly aware of many things I have been suppressing for a while.

It has been hot and beautiful here. I planted a couple of tomato plants in my apartment garden bed. I really think they are going to be fine. I really need to plant the seeds too. The rest of the seedlings are traveling North where I less trust the weather and will have to wait to plant them out.

Today I am going hiking before the rain. My feet, at least, are not broken (at this point).

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Crossroads Part I

Oh, so much to get caught up on again. This time it is illness that has had me down and behind: Severe Bronchitis. I laid around all day yesterday, miserably unable to breath and coughing like a mad woman. Today, I think my scent is starting to peek out behind the sinuses.

I guess it wasn't allergies; I suppose that is a relief. In the past year, I have been sick more than I have the entire proceeding decade. My co-worker says it is the back and forth between two climates (she did the same thing for 5 years and said she was constantly battling sickness). I tend to agree and, combined with the stress of being away from my sons and home, the every week commute and the crap work doles out, I think I am at the limit of what I can physically muster. I am tired of being sick, sick of being tired.

So, I was given a choice this week. I am standing at the proverbial crossroads. One path is, as every fairy tale demands, wrought with unknown and the other one is the one most would take, especially in our economic down times. My employer has offered 300 of us an opportunity to take a voluntary separation with an incentive. Now, the money is hardly great, but it's not bad either (represents a couple of months of salary). If I take it, I have to stay separated for 5 years (or pay it back).

On one hand, the choice would allow me to go home. I could find another job after a month or so of downtime. On the other one, I worked hard to get to where I am and I would basically be dumping this career. On one foot, I really am not in love with this job and the way the supervisors treat us (can you say 'military complex'?) and maybe leaving the path would proverbially open up some new door. On the other toes, I am one of 88 who do my job in the US and the chances of finding a similar (well-paid and benefited) job is going to be difficult, especially in hard hit Northern Indiana. Last, I love KY. I also know that my family is not moving there any time soon.

The main thing is this represents an opportunity to bail out before it gets worse. There are many, many rumors about what is going to happen and many involve dismantling some of our programs. In other words, I could get a lateral transfer to god knows where if I choose to stay and rough it out for the sake of my salary and position. I have no intentions of straying further from my boys, so I would have to voluntarily separate anyway...for free! We are being kept in the dark for now. If I take the incentive plan, my job ends by April 30...just like that!

So, now I am just standing here in the dark woods looking at these paths...

I am really curious about your feedback. I've run out of hands and feet!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Springtime in Kentucky

I can say, right off the top, I really need to break out my camera.

Springtime in Kentucky is beyond beautiful. For work, I had to take a short trip to central KY yesterday and, with the blue skies, greening mountains and blooming trees, I was truly in love. This love, however, is kicking me in the butt. I don't recall having allergies as a child. I loved the outdoors and spent much time in the woods. I climbed trees, laid in tall grasses watching clouds, and romped through my mom's flower beds. Surely I would recall having miseries associated with pollen.

Now, in my middle years, I have suddenly developed horrible, horrible pollen allergies (or so I assume). I have been so sick the last few days. At first I thought it was a cold that just wouldn't go away, but now I am convinced it is indeed the wicked histamine. My throat hurts, my head hurts, my ears hurt. My eyes are burning and puffed up.

For the most part, the flora down here is the very same I grew up with and I have never had extreme reactions to it. Bradford pears are everywhere here, but I am ruling them out. The culprit I am considering is the gorgeous Magnolia. It's definitely more widespread than back home.

Whatever it is I hope it ends when reproductive season has commenced. I feel absolutely crappy!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Independence Days Challenge 4 & 5: 03/10/2012

I guess I'm doing these on Saturdays! :)

I really don't have a lot to report because I have been busy, busy, busy (yeah, work again). I have so many projects started and no end in sight as to when I can complete them. One, I am refinancing the rental house (yes, again) and the bank has me running circles. I need a really small amount (less than an economy car) and it irks me that I have to jump through so many hoops. If I was buying some cheapo automobile, I would have instant financing (with less years to pay and probably much better terms). Such a crappy system.

I also have a package to get out in the mail. I haven't updated on thrift finds in awhile, but I found the most incredible thing for one my online friends in Nashville (hint, hint!)

But, onward...

Plant Something: Cumin and basil seeds, repotted the tomatoes (I think I like the dense seed method) and the tomatillas. The peppers are looking great and I have another flat of tomatoes started.

Harvest Something: Just eggs...lovely girls!

Preserve Something: Ah, the sanity...I think. I also made a pint and a half of Blood orange sauce, however, the jar with the half fell and made a bloody mess all over the floor.

Waste Not: The usual R's. I did use all the cups I saved from my hotel trips to repot my tomatoes (although, I am not sure this is actually reducing waste).

Want Not: Bought a few spices from Trader Joes and some more seed starting mix. I also visited the Asian supermarket for a couple of cans of curry paste.

Eat the Food: Just practicing this week with non-local produce lying around that needs to be used up. I made sweet potato and black bean tacos (yum), a coconut curry.

Build the Community: I made a lot of like-minded friends in KY this past week. One keeps 200 hives and said I could keep hives on his property and he would serve as a mentor!