SO late

I have a feeling that nothing this weekend is going to happen on time.  That’s not really a problem, since we only have one activity planned that runs on a schedule we don’t have any control over (we’re seeing The Pirates of Penzance at Wolf Trap tomorrow night – yay!), but it did affect my day today.  My plan (like every weekend) was to do my long run early Saturday morning, but John pointed out (and I applaud his foresight) that tonight isn’t likely to be an early night and we’re going to want to get a relatively early start tomorrow morning, so there is no way I’m going to run five miles before we get in the car to go to Annapolis.

Instead, I did my five miles this morning.  Of course, I didn’t start quite early enough, so I didn’t get back to the house until 7:45.  Very late for a work morning.  It took me a lot longer than usual to cool down and stop sweating (because it’s so crazy hot right now), and I was puttering around the house doing last-minute cleaning things, and then I cleaned my bathroom, and then I got in the shower.  At 8:45.  When on a normal work morning, I’m at work by 9.  It’s not a big deal – work is flexible as long as I put the hours in, but it messes up my whole day.

*Several hours later*

Well, it didn’t mess up my entire day, but it did continue.  I waited until just about the last minute to get to the store this afternoon, making it home only minutes before Corey and Gaby arrived.  Because – yay! – Corey and Gaby are visiting for a few days!

Best news I’ve heard all day

We do NOT have a bug problem.  The bug guy came over this morning and walked around the entire house with John.  He found no evidence of a bug problem aside from the porch columns, and he said those were mostly water damage.  Once the wood started to rot, the carpenter ants moved in to eat it.  We’ve already taken care of the ants, so all we have to do is replace the columns with properly-treated wood.  Yay!

John told me a joke just now, one he saw on Reddit today in a thread full of jokes people found funny when they were ten. Or six.  Pick your favorite immature age.  Yes, I laughed.

Why did Sally fall out of the tree?

Because she had no arms.

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Not Sally.


About a month ago, John noticed that the corners of one of the columns on the front porch was rotting.  The wood was all spongy.  Things were busy, so we didn’t get around to doing anything about it, but today was finally the day for John to take a closer look.  I went for a run this morning, and as I came back up the hill to the house, I could see the ladder leaning up against the porch, part of the drain pipe in the yard, and a giant gaping HOLE in the column at the corner.

Not what I expected to come home to.  He was able to just peel away parts of the column BY HAND – it was that bad.  So anyway, it seems we have carpenter ants (and that may or may not also mean termites, since according to the great and powerful internet, carpenter ants eat termites), and the pest guy is coming out on Tuesday.  Cross your fingers that the house doesn’t fall apart around our heads.

Emotional roller coaster

Panera is toying with my emotions, guys.  A few months ago, they had a salad I loved.  The spinach power salad was awesome, and I got it every time I was near a location that offered it.  When they took it away, I was pretty disappointed.  So imagine my elation yesterday when I got an email from Panera with the subject “Celebrate the summer with a spinach salad.”  They brought it back!  Hooray!  John and I had just discussed picking up dinner from Panera for tonight (because going to the store is beyond us after a long work week), and now I could get my favorite salad.  The world is a wonderful place.

Today, though, I got a second email from Panera.  Subject: We’re sorry – we made a mistake.

We were so excited to send your monthly MyPanera® email yesterday that we failed to notice that the Spinach Salad we featured is no longer available. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience you may have experienced.

We’d like to suggest that you try the Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken Salad instead.

We hope you’re enjoying your summer — and thanks for understanding.

— your friends at MyPanera®

I was (I am) disappointed.  At least they sent a nice email.  But hey – it reminds me that I’m capable of making a similar salad myself.  We’ve been doing that with that salad I love from the Cheesecake Factory (French Country Salad) these past weeks, too.

French Country Salad

  • Good lettuces
  • Steamed asparagus
  • Pickled beets
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • Pecans or walnuts

Spinach Power Salad

  • Spinach
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Boiled eggs
  • Fried onions (optional)
  • Some sort of sweet onion vinaigrette

So good, so good for you.  And it doesn’t count as cooking, so I can still say I don’t like to cook.


I like to make plans.  No, that can be stressful.  I like to have plans.  I like to know someone is coming to visit or that we’re going to visit someone or go on a trip.  I like the lists and the anticipation.  I don’t always like having to do all the things on my lists, but having someone come over is often the push I need to get something done.  Like…oh, I don’t know…scrubbing clean the rocking chairs and swing on the front porch.  They are really really dirty, and I would like to be able to use them without covering them with a towel first.

We’re thinking about redoing our guest room.  It kinda sucks as a guest room for more than one person, as many of you know.  We keep two twin beds in there, one trundled under the other most of the time.  When we pull the second bed out, the open floor space completely disappears.  Sure, you can put your suitcase on the floor at the foot of the bed, but you’ll have to leap from the doorway onto the bed to go to sleep.  One twin bed leaves a lot more space, but it’s not very often that we only have one guest at a time.  We’ve talked about replacing the twins with a double bed, but I just did some measuring, and I’m not sure that’s going to work.  If we put it one way, it blocks the closet, another way and it’ll block the door – there are two possibilities left, and I need to really see it before I’ll know if it will work.  I have that problem with spatial…things.  I need to see it all laid out in front of me.  My imagination doesn’t really work with furniture.

My cave would have to have plumbing and central heating

People are dumb.  Also mean.  Not everyone (obviously, you are an exception), but most of us.  Can I be a hermit?  Would anyone mind (or really notice) if I just stopped dealing with people? I don’t mean that I would stop talking to everyone (I would certainly keep talking to you), but it would be nice to have an access list.  I will only talk to people on my access list.  And I reserve the right to add to and subtract from my access list at any time.

I just killed a mosquito that was flying near my head.  In my house.  Which means it probably already got me because that’s how it always works with mosquitoes.  Can I get hermit insurance that covers escape from mosquitoes, too?  That would be helpful.  And spiders and scary bugs (like centipedes and millipedes).  And snakes.

If I decide to become a hermit, I’ll keep going to yoga.  Even if my yoga instructor does try to kill me with sun salutations for 35 minutes straight because that’s just what you do at the summer solstice.  Who knew?

Who painted the target on my back?

I got hacked again this weekend.  Not the website this time, but my email.  I apologize to anyone who was spammed by me early Sunday morning (which appears to be everyone I’ve ever emailed from that account, and I’ve had that account for…15 years (ish), so that’s a lot of people). As soon as I noticed it, I changed my password for every account that uses that password.

Other than that, things are going well (which I feel oddly compelled to tell you as if we just ran into each other after a long break).  My vacation-bred serenity with regard to all things work-related is officially gone, but that only covers a third of my day.

Dude.  I went to a new (to me) salon to get a haircut (freshened the layers, kept the length – hey, this is important stuff) the other weekend.  I was very happy with the haircut, but not 100% sure about the guy who cut it.  He was very good, but kind of standoffish and very disapproving about how long it had been since my last haircut and how very much I don’t like to have to do anything to my hair every day.  And he didn’t talk to me.  So it was a little awkward.  Anyway, you know how I don’t answer any calls unless I know who’s calling?  (Nod.  I’ve said this before.)  Well, I broke my rule.  A local number I didn’t recognize just came up on my cell phone (like in between the two paragraphs up there – totally interrupted whatever boring train of thought I had going on), and I answered it.  The salon I went to is one of 15 in a local chain.  The woman who called me was the owner of the chain.  She said she always calls new clients.  She was super nice, and when she asked me to rate my hair-stylist and I only gave him an 8.5 (based on the vibe), she suggested two other stylists at the same location who might be better for me because “first impressions are important and you should be happy with who does your hair.”  She just found herself a loyal client.

I won’t promise not to post pictures, but I’ll give you fair warning first. And there will be no pictures this time.

My toe is infected.  Left big toe.  It doesn’t hurt (it hurt a ton on Tuesday, less on Wednesday, and not all now), but the toenail is lifted away from the toe a little, and apparently it’s gross underneath.  (According to John.  I don’t bend that way, so I can’t see.)  The doctor says I’m going to lose the nail, which is also gross, but at least it’s delayed grossness.  Right now, from my point of view and most of the rest of the world’s, my toenail is still attached, looks normal, and is a pretty cotton-candy pink.  How did it happen?  No idea.  I wish I knew so I could avoid whatever caused it.  The doctor asked me if I run, I said yes, and she shrugged and said it happens.  Not helpful.  Also ew.


I’m totally worn out from today.  I spent the work day getting more and more frustrated, and then I went to the gym for two hours (class night) and didn’t think about work for even a second (which was wonderful).  But the gym drained all of that frustrated energy out of me (and more), so now I’m all limp and noodly.  Relaxed, but in an I-can’t-lift-my-arm-above-my-head kind of way.

I heard the prettiest version of Over The Rainbow during yoga today.  I don’t know a lot about Eva Cassidy (she was local to the area and she’s dead – that’s the extent of my knowledge),  but I have really really liked everything I’ve heard her do.

Why should I put up with that?

I went to see my doctor last week to have some blood drawn.  No big deal, really quick visit.  I was in the examination room for all of five minutes, but in that five minutes, I got really annoyed with my doctor.  She didn’t even really do anything – it was just the way she said something.  She asked me a question, and I said well, not really, but maybe a tiny bit this, and she jumped at that and said no, that’s wrong, which I heard as what? Are you crazy? Only crazy people would think that.  Stop it. So I shut down and yessed her until it was time for me to leave (which was only 30 seconds later).  I probably overreacted.  In fact, I’m sure I did, but I still think she was wrong and I was right-ish, and now I’m considering finding another doctor.  I’ve only been seeing this one for six years…  I’ve never felt strongly about her (it was her nurse practitioner I really liked, but she left for bigger and better things years ago), so I don’t really consider this any great loss.  It’s just a pain to find someone else.  Because I’m lazy.  But you already knew that.

The Cotswold Olympick Games – seriously, that’s a real thing

Here’s a little bit of randomness to end your day.

First, a video of Riley running across the yard.  I’ve been paying a lot of attention to Roxy lately (she hurt her leg while staying at the kennel two weeks ago, and we’re babying her), and I think he’s feeling neglected.

Check this out!  The shin-kicking in this video happened in Chipping Campden, the village we stayed in.  (Source and article.)

Last, can someone please explain this fortune to me?

Love is the first feeling people feel, because love is nice.

Was it written by a four-year-old?

It’ll be a while before the machines are ready to take over the world

We still have a land line at home.  I’m not sure why, really.   We use it to make some calls (the vet, the pharmacy), and our parents use it to reach us sometimes, but they use our cell phones at least as often as the land line.  We mostly ignore it because despite registering for every Do Not Call list out there, we get tons of telemarketers, political robocalls, and other spam.  We talked about getting rid of it not too long ago, but I think our main reason for keeping it is because it’s our primary contact number for every bill, every account, every everything, and it would be a pain to update those.  Not the greatest reason to keep paying for it.  It’s Vonage, so it’s cheap, but still.

As long as we still have it, though, I get some entertainment out of its visual voicemail feature.  All voicemail goes to my Yahoo account (another dinosaur, but I have better reasons for keeping it), but Vonage doesn’t always do a good job of transcribing what was actually said.  Sometimes the program gives up altogether, but usually it tries.  Just about half an hour ago, I got this visual voicemail:

“Hi Ms. Bird, this is Sharon calling from pointless mom. Just calling to let you know that your contacts are ready for pick up. Thank you”

That’s Vonage’s punctuation, not mine, and this is better than most since at least the second half makes sense.  It’s also only the second half that told me it was my eye doctor’s office calling.  I might suggest they change the name of their practice to Pointless Mom when I swing by tomorrow.  Much funnier.  I don’t know where that came from, though.  It doesn’t even rhyme with the actual name.  Speaking of names, no names had to be changed to protect the innocent – Bird is not my last name, and Sharon is not the name of the woman who called.  (I listened to the actual voicemail, too.)

None of this is convincing me to keep a land line for the house, but it has convinced me that I don’t have to worry about evil robotic overlords just yet.  Or maybe they just want me to think that…

About time

I got a new phone!  Yippee for me!  The very nice guy at the Sprint store fixed the button before we left for our trip, and it worked great, all the way up to the morning we left to come home.  The button quit on me, and I gave up on my phone.  I did some research, and not too long after that, I showed up at my neighborhood Sprint store and bought the Samsung Epic 4G Touch.  We’re very happy together.

I am way far behind on my internetting, so I’m off to visit my blog-buddies for the evening.

It’s that time again

What to read?  I think I need help.  I started a book of short stories by Harlan Ellison before we left for England.  I left it behind because it’s hardcover, and I didn’t want to travel with it.  The stories are all somewhat depressing, so I’m not in a hurry to get back to it.  I started Little, Big on the plane ride over, but it’s hard to get into and I’m thinking about giving up.  Has anyone read it?  Should I keep going?  I finished Coming Home (this was my second time through) late last night.  I love that book.  The book club I may or may not be a member of read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks this past month.  I missed the meeting because of our trip.  I have it, but I don’t think I’m anywhere near in the mood for something like that.  That would mean branching out, and I just don’t feel like doing that today.  Maybe it’s the stormy weather, but I want comfort reading.  Wait – I think I have the solution.  I haven’t read the most recent Dresden Files book, and from there I may move on to Jim Butcher’s fantasy series.  Hooray for decisions!  You guys are so helpful.  🙂

We had a request for more dog videos, so here’s one of the dogs in the rain.

Hey, I didn’t promise it would be interesting.  They don’t do much that’s interesting…