SnowFace Cody

Arose From Sleep Half An Hour Early

And I've decided to put some of those extra morning-minutes to touching base with my LJ friends. Even if I haven't found any real adventures to tell you about!

Job Report: Apparently, the migration back to Home Office is not happening yet. No rumors as to when, either. Sigh... Poor little Arrow will have to survive another week with lonely afternoons. On the Plus Side, I think I've got a fairly solid handle on my new job duties--other than the situations I've not yet encountered, of course. But that's normal. My daily production has gone from something like 13 orders done to 26 or 27 each day. And I expect that to continue to rise a bit more, as I get more comfortable and a bit less cautious/hesitant. Still not my dream job, but so few people are thus Blessed that I can't complain too much. These are good people I work with and they pay well for working a not-onerous job. So.

MyJeff and I will actually have this weekend together. We're talking about a trip to the St. Paul Conservatory and Zoo. Not sure what the COVID restrictions/rules are. Am planning to leave MyJeff a note to check on that today. The weather is supposed to be lovely over the weekend and extending through mid-March! A very quick glance at an "Old Farmer's Magazine" web-page suggests that this might very well be a true pathway to Spring weather moving in for ... the Season! Saturday, March 20 is the Spring Equinox; and I'm feeling a need to sit around a fire bowl and gaze at the night sky with a Socially Distanced few friends that evening. Are there any locals (or nearly-locals) who might be interested in joining such a low-key activity? We could help out some small restaurant and order supper delivered!!!

I did manage a short walk in the sunny parking lot yesterday at work after finishing my lunch. Getting outside was so very nice. If the weather remains true to the promising forecast, I hope to continue those little walks while still in the office, at least.

As my creative well is a bit dry lately, I'll just wish you all a delightful day with opportunity to relax in some sunshine, and will move on to finish prepping for work. Take care and stay well, my friends.
SnowFace Cody

. . . And Now, It's SUNDAY!

Hah!   Titles/Headlines are not my forte, ya know.

Yesterday we had lovely sunshine and about 44F (7C) through most of the day. True to my "missed it by THAT much" way of Life, I didn't take our Arrow for a walk until the sky had finished covering itself with a pale gray covering of cloud, and the temp had dropped to barely above freezing. But ... it WAS above freezing! So, not so bad. We took a rather long walk, compared to what I've been able to manage for a while. My hips were rather aggressively threatening mutiny by the time we got home and I was able to SIT DOWN.

Today: the clouds lingered through the night and morning with temps in the just-above-freezing area. In fact, around 5:30 - 6(?) a.m., I discovered that we had quite a gentle (but cold) rain falling. "Discovered" by sticking my head and torso out the back door and felt those cold little drops hitting my scalp, face, neck, etc. By just prior to 7 a.m., the drops had changed to wet flakes; by 8:30-9:00, those wet flakes had transformed into fluffy, float-waltzing small samples of art. Everything turned white and/or slushy. Then, afternoon arrived. Clouds broke up. Sunshine peeked through to check whether it was safe to come out of hiding. Now we have only a few little patches of puffy cloud and lots of streaming sunshine that makes the freeze-point temp seem a lie. Arrow and I took our walk shortly after the sun broke cover and took his run for safety and possession of today's throne. My hips were unhappily mutinous very quickly, but we persevered for a total loop of one city block. Then, I cleared the snow from the front sidewalk & stairs.

Now that I've done those brave and responsible things, I can pick and choose whatever else I do today. Writing to all of you is my first such choice. Not that I have any grand tales to tell (you probably guessed that, halfway through my 2nd paragraph); nor any exciting news or ideas. Just want to check in and try to prevent LJ from thinking it needs to email you that "SEEKERVAL ACTUALLY GOT OFF HER LAZY DUFF AND POSTED SOMETHING!!!!! QUICK READ IT, BEFORE SHE DISAPPEARS AGAIN!" notice.

Last week back in the office was a bit surreal. I was assigned-to-and-trained-on my new duties as of Thursday last. The trainer has gone back to whatever area of this country she came from now, so I hope I've got it down well enough in those 2 days to reasonably fake it. She did keep saying things like, "When you get all the orders cleared off this list, you can go ahead and process some of them through the next level with your old team." Really? And who/whom will be showing me how that process now works? Not that I'm too worried about it, since these orders are coming in in rather big lumps, and I'm the only one getting them through the first level. Of course, the first level is relatively surface info and...if I don't have the data, I'm supposed to just plow ahead without it and let the next levels worry about finding said missing info. Which feels very lazy and even WRONG to me. But that is the way it is intended to work......   Color me shrugging and scratching my head.

This coming week, we're apparently going to continue in the office. We are pretty much all hoping the week after will allow us to come back to our Home Offices. It has been nice to see other folks and all, but none of us really have opportunity to lunch together, chat together, or even really work together. So .........

MyJeff is working again both days of this weekend. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. This means he has tomorrow (Monday) off. I took tomorrow off as well, although I'm taking it Unpaid. I have no PTO with the new company, after only 5 days with them. But, that's okay. Allina will be sending a check for the few days of PTO I earned and did NOT use since my furlough ended. So, that should cover Monday's lost pay and a bit more besides. We're going to run errands and focus on spending the day together. Although, I think I'll let MyJeff take Arrow on his walk without me tomorrow. And my hips can just shut up about it.

Hmmmm ... I do believe I hear my library book (a newish one by Dean Koontz--"Elsewhere") calling, whispering my name. And my footstool is offering to shelter my tired feet.

Bye!

Enjoy your day!
SnowFace Cody

FRIDAY!

Have you seen this bright and lovely full moon? I watched her rise past the neighbor's bare-branched maple tree last evening, and walked to our alley this morning to see her glowing like a delighted child opening a "surprise" gift as she leaned against my roof! Not many stars managing to shine through Grandmother Moon's full-spate glow--just a few extra-bright ones in the east. No real wind to speak of, and the gentle temp of 26F (slightly shy of minus 4C). [Hey! You know that is "gentle" for near-end February in Minneapolis!) Apparently, the morning will be sunny, perhaps the entire day.

And today is--after all--Friday!

On the "drat!" side, MyJeff is working through the weekend again. At least, that does mean that we get to spend 2 evenings in a row together! Speaking of my guy ... a few nights ago, he smacked his foot into a piece of furniture while trying to step around our furry mobile obstacle in the dark. Yesterday, he had it x-rayed and found that his little toe is, indeed, broken. My poor Sweetie! Tomorrow, I'll be heading for a co-op where I found comfrey salve in the past. I hope they still carry it.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day performing my new duties at work. The trainer spent time with me, going over the process and answering questions. Then, she went on to help others with their new work, stopping by on occasion to check on me. THEN, she stopped stopping by and I now have a LIST of questions. I hope she's not too busy to give me a bit more time today. You know ... I probably should write out my questions in sentences or at least concise phrases, rather than just the patient's name and one or two words to hint at the question. Do you think?  ;-}

I think I hear a bowl of cereal with strawberries and vanilla yogurt calling me!

Take care, my friends. Enjoy every glowing moon, sweet fruit, and gentle sunbeam you encounter today, tomorrow, every day.

OH! I JUST LOOKED AT THE PRETTIEST SUNRISE I"VE SEEN IN ALL TOO LONG! PINKS, ORANGES, AND THE PALE BLUES OF EARLY MORNING SKY!!! I HAD TO RE-OPEN THIS ENTRY AND TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT! THIS IS A WONDERFUL GIFT FOR THE START OF MY DAY! I'M SO PLEASED. THANK YOU, UNIVERSE.
SnowFace Cody

Another Change

Friday was officially my last day as an Allina employee. Tomorrow will be my first day as a full-fledged employee of AdaptHealth. We will all still be working in the old office building for the next two weeks (or so we've been told, at this point). But we expect to be sent to our respective homes to work after that. We shall see what actually does happen. Things are definitely in flux.

Friday, I was finally shown just WHAT I will be doing, with the SOFTWARE I'll be using. I'm the only one from our group of 5 who will be doing this particular mind-numbing part of the process. I'm not exactly thrilled. But I need the job. I can start looking elsewhere. Past experience does not feed a deep well of optimism at this point. Whatever I end up doing, I know I'll survive. Just now, I feel pretty depressed. However, I'm trying to fight it. I also learned of another person's much more serious--even dangerous--health situation and, comparatively, I have nothing to whine about. So. This is all I'm going to say about my work situation for a while.

The weather has improved. Yesterday was sunshine-filled, though still a bit cool. Today is supposed to stay cloudy with "a dusting to an inch" of snow. However, the temp is supposed to allll-most reach 30F (minus 1C). Upon my awakening and checking The Thermometer Outside My Kitchen Window around 5:30 a.m., the temp read 22F (minus 12C). We have a few more degrees to rise for our high, but we'll likely manage that. The work week moves us into the 30s and even low 40s with threat of rain/snow on Tuesday. Sounds like the start of a messy Spring to me. Maybe Punxsutawney Phil was wrong, and Spring will be early......    (Hey! A girl has to dream, you know!)

Today's plan is filled with grocery-shopping, tending to houseplants and bills, spending time with MyJeff and Our Arrow, and a quick trip to the library. Probably not the most exciting Sunday, but I expect to be satisfied when the day is done.


One more thing before I let you move on: As you may recall, daily I click-to-give at the Greatergood.com site. Today, their Rain Forest site led me to a petition that I'd like to ask you to consider signing. Apparently, the remnants of an Ice Age Cypress forest have been discovered off the coast of Alabama! Yup, in the Gulf of Mexico. This 60,000 year old forest was drowned by a flood, over many years covered with sediment that protected the logs from decomposition, and--finally--exposed to human discovery by Hurricane Ivan. Although kept secret for several years of study and protection, "Industry" has now discovered its existence and is attempting to acquire rights to take the logs to make things like chairs and tables they can sell for extreme prices. A petition exists to stop any industrial exploitation-for-profit. Of course, I signed. I'm asking you to sign it too. If you will. The direct link is below:

https://therainforestsite.greatergood.com/clicktogive/trs/petition/UnderwaterForest

Of course, I invite you to also visit the entire Greater Good website and join me in clicking to give to all eleven charities they support. Again, "If you will"....

https://theanimalrescuesite.greatergood.com/clicktogive/ars/home

I hope your day is the Best Day you've had in weeks, and that it sets your Happy-Quotient to a delightful high! Enjoy, my friends. Enjoy.
SnowFace Cody

Update: Monday, February 15, 2021

Yup. It is STILL annoyingly COLD. I'll need to go out the door 10 minutes or so earlier to let my Mighty Steed run and warm up a bit before shifting into "move".

Last week I received my 2nd COVID vaccine shot. I was fortunate with no real side effects. A low-grade headache and a little fatigue the next day, but that could very easily have had nothing to do with the shot. Probably didn't.

Came home from getting the shot at 8:20 Thursday morning and packed up my work computer and paperwork. Loaded it all into Mighty Steed and went back to the office. Crawling around on the floor under the desk to plug things back in again was the worst part. So ... I've survived so far. I was the only one of our team that moved back in on Thursday. This meant that I was the only one of our group who went to the class on accessing the new company's email and a first run look at the process they use to present your work load to you. I learned a few things. Forgot some. Kept some. They tell me that these next two weeks will bring a lot of "trainers" from the new company, and they will be roaming about, ready and able to answer any and all questions, and to lend a helping hand wherever needed. No one, however, seems to know just how we are supposed to work on THEIR software and "stuff", while finding the time to do the order processing that belongs to Allina for whom we STILL work. These two weeks (at the least) will be ... unusual and likely a bit frustrating.

I mean: They will be An Adventure!

MyJeff and I spent a lazy Valentine weekend watching movies and streaming other shows and just spending time together with our Arrow. Lest you think we were total bums, I did my laundry on Saturday, and MyJeff did his Sunday. So we accomplished one good project apiece!

The Mighty Steed did get fixed at the beginning of the week. New battery. New radiator. By-passed fluid feed for the power steering, which will need full replacement sometime in coming years. And an oil change. It all cost us a goodly bit. But my Mighty Steed seems much happier. We'll see how happy he really is, when I go to start him this morning.

Speaking of starting Mighty Steed.......I'd best sign off here and move in the Ready To Go direction. Take care, my friends! Stay warm and well and enjoy your day!
SnowFace Cody

I Soooo Meant to Post Yesterday!

And I meant to start with this weather report: The Thermometer Outside My Kitchen Window just informed me that the temperature out there is Minus 14F (~ Minus 26C). But the day was busy and even adventurous. BTW: This morning TTOMKW says ~ Minus 9F (about Minus 22C).

Herewith, The Story:
The Mighty Steed wouldn't start on Saturday, but the day was scheduled up, and MyJeff had to be at work in Burnsville by 8 a.m. both weekend days. So. Sunday morning I called AAA to request a jump-start. The very nice lady informed me that our membership had expired at the end of January. You know: one week previously. After banging my head on the table while she apologized and asked whether we'd received a reminder letter, [we probably did and I probably thought it was more junk mail and tossed it] the nice Lady offered to take a renewal payment over the phone, and then she could send someone. $97. I mentioned that I didn't remember it being anywhere near that much the year before. She admitted that they'd had to raise their rates this past year ....... a couple of times. She also agreed when I commented, "Thank you, pandemic!"

Anywho...the nice young men arrived only ONE hour later, although the Nice Lady had estimated two hours. This meant that, rather than pulling freshly baked loaves of poppy seed bread out of the oven when they arrived, I was nearly done beating the batter. Sigh. Even the pros took 3 or 4 tries to get Mighty Steed started. With one session of cleaning the posts and resetting the connecting clamps (or whatever they're called) in the process. I let Mighty Steed idle in the drive for nearly an hour while I finished beating and storing the now-covered batter in our "cold pantry" [read: uninsulated back porch] to await my return from a long drive to fully re-charge the battery. I drove from south Minneapolis to Apple Valley to top off the charging, and back to Burnsville's Aldi where I bought my two weeks' worth of groceries and loaded Mighty Steed for the drive home.

He wouldn't start.

Just sat there making the same rattling clicky noises he'd made in the morning. Okay. So, now I'm something like 15 miles from home with a dead vehicle filled with groceries and my husband at his job for another hour. The bright spot is that said job is only a couple of blocks from the Aldi store. I called him and he allowed that--although he couldn't leave work long enough to fuss with jump-starting Mighty Steed right then--he could run over long enough to pick me up and bring me back to the office so I could spend the next hour in a heated office building with him. And he and the Duke of Earle Gray (his 2-decade+ Camry) would get my Steed started after he finished his day on the job. Between his phone calls to and from clients, we decided that we'd start Mighty Steed and take him straight to a repair shop we've used near home and drop him off for a look-over and needed repairs today (Monday). The subsequent phone call to the shop went well as did the eventual jump-start and drive to St. Paul (where the shop is).

Now I await the call from the mechanics with their information, suggestions, and estimates. New battery? New alternator? Of course, they are scheduled up pretty thoroughly, too. But the jovial gentleman I spoke to on the phone was quite sure they'd be able to fit in a check-up and probably even the repairs today. Since MyJeff listed more things like check tires/oil change/etc on the Night Drop-off form, it might take longer. We shall see.

BTW: About 3 sentences ago, I heard the DJ say, "And the wind chill is a Minus 40!"  ..........Whimper....

That HAS to be wrong! I MUST have mis-heard.
SnowFace Cody

COLD

The Mighty Steed of Smoke and Shadows refuses to even try to start. Combine the fact that he hasn't been started in almost a week with the 4 below zero F we had overnight (and have risen to only about 1 degree above zero), ANNND with the fact that he's been encased in a thin coat of ice covered by a few inches of snow ...... and there is no blaming him for his inability to start. I SHOULD have run him for several miles on Wednesday or Thursday. I ALSO should have thought to clean the snow off him in the morning so the sunshine that we have been so lucky as to have brightening our frigid day could have done some work at removing the ICE from his windows, headlights, and hood! Just to ease the lifting of the hood to give the cold Old Lad a battery-to-battery jump. But, I didn't.

So I just spent a little over 10 minutes (maybe closing in on 15) all layered and bundled and wearing thick, insulated gloves, using the ice scraper/brush to brush and brush at the snow covering him. Only to notice that the sun has moved so far west--and is blocked by the neighbor's garage--so that Mighty Steed is entirely in shade with near zero F ambient temp and a playful little breeze to provide a definite wind chill factor of about minus 9F. Weatherman said this is as good as it is going to get today. Sigh.

[NO! I may NOT burn down the neighbor's garage to get it out of the way of the sunshine, and providing ice-melting heat! The Mighty Steed is too close to it and would get burned, too.]

Thus, I brought my tingling-cold little fingers back into the house and will wait until late morning tomorrow to call AAA to come jump-start my van. The Accu-Weather site says there will be "Some Sun" tomorrow morning. And a similar temp of around zero.

Now that I've reported on my far-from-singular pity-party-predicament, I have to bundle back up and tackle the packed-snow sidewalk out front. MyJeff is working this weekend. Minneapolis sometimes gets nasty about unshoveled sidewalks. So I aim to scrape a shovel-width path across the front of our home. New, thick mittens will attempt to protect my now recovered digits from cold and numbness. Off I go!

(Mugs of hot chocolate await my return from responsible chores to reward my efforts. yay.)
SnowFace Cody

Transitions and Tuxedos

Our online work meeting yesterday was all about transitioning to the new company for the over-group which my small group of 5 "Consignment Technicians" is a part of. General reminders mixed with specific plans and question-answer opportunities. Next week, we all pack up our home office and equipment and go back into the office building. If I caught the plan correctly, this will be mostly for the more thorough training and transition period. To ensure everyone is on the same train car, so to speak. A few-to-several weeks sort of thing. Then, at some point in the future, we will probably come back to our home offices. Maybe. My absorbance of some of that may very likely be a bit fuzzy. (*SNORT* "may be...fuzzy" HAH! Definitely fuzzy on some of it.) We shall see what happens/when/how/how long/etc. I do rather like working at home most of the time, so I certainly hope we do get to migrate back. Soonish.

So, nothing too exciting nor too distressing. Although packing up and moving everything again will be a P.I.T.A. in the snow, cold, and ice we've got on the ground right now with more coming as I write. Not that we really have the problems our northeastern states are dealing with.....which is why I'm not going to whine any more about that.

Have been reading my way through Connie Willis' A Lot Like Christmas, a 518-page collection of Christmas-themed stories sandwiched between an excellent "Introduction" and close to 20 pages of wouldn't-want-1-page-less "A Final Word on the Subject". I do wish the library had produced it before Christmas for me, but that's how things go. I'm thinking eBay might have to offer one up to become my own to be read during the proper season. If you are a Christmas fan, take it out for a spin and let me know what you think. Do not skip the intro.

Arrow has recovered from his oral surgery and is playing the "I suffered sooooo. Can't I get extra? Is that something for ME in your hand? I LOVE YOU, I'm hungry!" act. And--knowing that next week I move out of the house for the work days, thus leaving him alone for the afternoons after MyJeff leaves for work--I am such a guilt-sucker! Don't tell MyJeff, but he does sometimes get a little treat (or two) that he really should NOT get. Especially since he is so overweight and has only lost a couple/few pounds from when we decided to work on that with him. He's not going to get much walking in the next few days of nasty weather and slippery sidewalks. Although he and I did manage a nice little walk after work last night. I can't manage to go far anymore--not nearly what he would like--but we did okay.

The DJ on Hudson, WI's, WDGY Old Rock radio station (92.10fm) just reported multiple spin-outs and even some crashes on the highways already. That freezing rain last night is playing Havok & Rampage with the early morning traffic. Another good reason to work from home.

I wish you all a safe and satisfying day! Take care and think kind thoughts.

(I fibbed about the "Tuxedos". Come on! Get real! What would I have to do with Tuxedos?)
SnowFace Cody

Weekend Wonderings

Today's I'm-Still-Gathering-My-Brain-Waves-&-Working-On-My-Writing-Topics-Opening-Report ............. The Weather!!!!!! Tah-DAH! (Is this a brilliant move, or what?)

The Thermomter Outside My Kitchen Window tells me we have a balmy 25F (minus 4C), while a step onto the back deck gave me a glimpse of the pale gray cloudy sky and still air of a potentially gloomy, yet gentle Monday morning. Stepping back inside, I heard a radio report of rising temps and a mix of clouds and sunshine. Looking further ahead, I saw a forecast for 1 to 3 inches of snow here on Thursday. Considering the foot or so that is expected for the northeastern coast states, our weather week is looking pretty decent.

Last Thursday morning, MyJeff took our Arrow to the vet for a checkup and dental work of deep cleaning and whatever extractions might be judged necessary. I picked him up after work that late afternoon. According to the vet, Arrow did very well. She kept commenting on what a fun, happy boy he is. And that was so good to hear. He did very well through it all, with only one "little extraction" necessary. He's been enjoying the soft, canned food prescribed for the first few days after tooth extraction, but I do believe we are about to open THE LAST CAN! and he'll be leaving that luxury behind him soon. When he came out of the veterinary clinic, he was a bit wobbly and droopy both of which disappeared by the next morning. Now he's just as perky as ever.

MyJeff worked last weekend, January 22nd and 23rd (AGAIN), which means that last Thursday was the last day of his 2nd 10-day stretch of work in January. And that is after working both Christmas Day--for which he volunteered to allow his co-workers with children to stay home--and being scheduled to also work New Year's day. Now, he's been scheduled to take ANOTHER weekend (and the 10-day stretch surrounding that weekend) on the 13th/14th of February. You know, on VALENTINE'S DAY! I am just about ready to storm into that office and beat his supervisor with one of my canes--the wood one with a big wooden knob on top! Considering that said supervisor and his little favorite are the other standard options for who would be working on weekends.......... That SHOULD mean Jeff has one weekend out of three. Not every other weekend! Jeff is pretty aggravated, too, of course. But I'm not sure what he is planning to do about it. Personally, I think he should present a serious complaint to upper management. Sigh. But it is his job and his decision to make. I just needed to vent to someone somewhere that isn't putting more unfair pressure on him. So, thank you, my friends for being here for me.

On the good side, we did have this past weekend together. And we took it together! We only worked needful chores. We actually ate a few meals together. We sat and talked about various things. We streamed movies and shows. We walked our Arrow together. MyJeff did take a few hours on Sunday to donate platelets at the Red Cross, but he had been forced to reschedule that appointment once already when his job tossed that last weekend onto his work schedule at pretty much the last opportunity. And--since I can't donate anymore--it's extra important that he manages to continue fitting donating into his schedule. His absence allowed me time to pay bills, balance the checkbook, boring things like that. Overall, we did have a very nice weekend together. It will just have to hold us for twice as long as normal.

Time is moving on toward that moment when I need to clock-in for work; and I have not yet eaten breakfast. Therefore, I will wish you all a Marvelous Monday! May the day bring you nothing but good news and happy moments. Take care and stay well, my friends!