The condo is straight out of the 80s but the view can’t be beat.
We are close enough to the harbor that we get to see all the ferry traffic. There are a bunch of baby stingrays, some crabs, and small fish hiding in the grasses in our part of the sound. It’s incredibly shallow until it is suddenly deep and that’s the channel used by boats and the ferries.
Yesterday we helped a friend of mine from work move a huge dresser out of her house and over to Rick’s aunt’s thrift store (his aunt’s church runs a thrift store as part of their community mission). Then we picked up end tables and a smaller dresser and helped her get those into her house. Finally, we went for one beer at a local brewery which turned into 3 beers and the best time hanging out. I really thought we’d be a couple of hours and it turned into an afternoon. It was also hot and humid and our truck has no air conditioning so we enjoyed the heck out of the A/C at the brewery.
Today we were up early to see this exhibit at the VMFA. I’m proud of our museum as it stands up against other museums in much larger cities.
And, to round out the totally local scene. We took a bunch of gift cards to our closest Lowe’s so I could buy a new weed eater and ran into a couple we really like. Well, to be fair, I work with one of them, but we’ve had dinner together so I think I can say we really like them.
***The bathing suit order from LL Bean arrived in time for vacay!***
Somehow, it is the first day of August. Which means 27 days until vacation. As usual, I find myself in a weird spot of being halfway through the year and I’ve taken about 6 hours of vacation all year. There’s something wrong with me. So, I’m taking this coming Friday off just because.
With the thought of going on vacation only a few weeks away, I pulled out the pile of swim suits. It dawned on me that I don’t think I’ve purchased a swim outfit since before 2013. I threw all of the pieces away and am betting on backorder at LL Bean. I will sit on the beach and go in the water. We’ll see what I end up wearing come the last week of August. The beach is spacious, not populated and I DO NOT CARE. A woman in her 50s has very little fucks to give.
With the Delta Variant, we’re wondering if we’ll be hauling the big cooler to the beach again this year since restaurants may shut down and we’ll be on takeout or buying supplies at the local fish market. Either way is fine. Honestly, just being able to jump in the car and 5-6 hours later being at the beach is a privilege. I’m aware we are lucky to be able to do that and to pay someone to pet sit while we’re gone. We are fortunate. You can bet I’m prepared with images of our vaccination cards in my phone and masks in my bag. Speaking of protection, I do need to buy some sun screen.
We took a long weekend trip to Blacksburg recently. It was really nice to get away. A brewery opened since we were last there and so our first evening we drank a couple of beers and grabbed some pizza (we went there one more time for a beer after a hike and both times were lovely).
The main reason for the trip was to celebrate the better-half’s birthday with hikes, drinks and good eats. I think we succeeded on all fronts.
On one of the hikes, we discovered the trail hadn’t been maintained in quite awhile. The path was covered in grass and briars. We are still covered in scratches. I tripped and fell over a tree branch-pride wounded more than anything (thankful the path was not rocky right there). As it turns out a search and rescue was going on while we were there. I bet that trail has had some maintenance now.
My favorite hike was our last one. The trail was on and around an old coal mine and it connected with the Huckleberry trail. We saw some people, a frog and we startled a snake who really startled me.
Looking forward to our next long weekend over Independence Day. No plans yet but a long weekend is pretty good anyway.
The last person who was let go in April left today. I was in the office when she dropped off her equipment. I was really glad to see her, but I was in meetings from 8:45-4 with minimal time in between. That was a bummer because I would have liked to have said bye better than, “oh crap, i’m leading this meeting and am late.” A member of my team resigned a couple of weeks ago and she was in the office dropping her stuff off too. It was a bit much today.
So things are a little better this week than they were last week. The better-half and I had very little reaction to the Pfizer vaccine #2. We took naps, but we probably would have done that anyway.
The situation at work is improving. I’m still not 100%, but I’m digging into what I can control and trying to be a collaborative partner. You can’t go around saying you want to partner with others and then not do it when called to do so. I made the decision to not remain permanent work from home when we’re able to return to the office. My team has my support to stay home and my new boss supports that decision. I feel like I need to be visible and available to both office dwellers and to my remote team. In making that decision, I am really hoping to get an upgrade from my tiny cube. I never really understood why putting a manager in a tiny cube made any sense. It just made me run around the building booking conference rooms for private meetings. That’s not going to work if we’re a hybrid office–the demand for conference rooms will be even higher.
The better-half and I got our second Pfizer shot on Thursday. We’ll be fully powered up by April 22nd. That’s the good.
The bad is last Tuesday I found out my department was decimated. Two of the senior leaders in the department were terminated. One of those senior leaders had a fancier title than I did, but we’re peers and have the same rank in our jobs framework. Two other employees were told they have 30-60 days to either find a new position internally or get the hell out. Yes, there are severance packages, but that doesn’t make any of this OK.
Honestly, it is hard for me to not be suspicious that I’ll be the next to go and whether that’s in 6 months or 12, I really believe I won’t be staying. I think once I make the transition happen and get the new world order set up, I’ll be the one getting the talk. Everything we accomplished in the last year seems to be for naught. We were more productive and made a lot of smart choices. As it turns out senior leadership had this idea in their heads for more than a year and it makes everything seem futile and dishonest.
We celebrated our 25th anniversary a little differently this year. My parents invited us over for dinner on the Saturday before. It was nice to hang out. They are fully vaccinated and we are getting our second shot in early April.
For the actual day, I made a mix tape of songs from 1996. The better-half gave me flowers and chocolate–two things that are pretty spot on. I gave him a 3-D card. These photos are, as usual, lacking.
We started our celebration with fancy cocktails. Well, the glasses were fancy. Amaro and club soda for me and a Manhattan for the better-half.
We haven’t made this dish since 2002-ish, but it has lived large for us for all of these years. It is steamed halibut with herbs over roasted potatoes with a mushroom sauce. It does not look like much, but it tastes so good. The mushroom sauce really needed more than the stick blender and I’m sure that’s exactly what we said a decade ago. Maybe next time we’ll remember to do that to make the sauce more like a sauce.
Beginning in mid-September through early October, we pulled apart our deck. It always felt like someone built a stage and built it poorly. We started by pulling a small section to check for rot.
There was a reason why that section of the deck always felt bouncy. It wasn’t supported correctly and sat on the ground so no surprise that we found rot.
We tore off the whole section of the long steps (these steps lead to the backyard) and the short steps (these steps are used to get to our gate and then the street). We removed the corner that bounced and then rebuilt the steps and in the case of the short steps, repaired the stringer too.
When we removed the corner, we had to pull two concrete pads. That was fun. Not really, I’m kidding.
Renting a jack hammer to break up those concrete pads was fun, really and truly.
We have already replaced the railing posts and handrail. We haven’t completely finished that piece because wire rails are stupid expensive and we just don’t feel like dropping $1K right this minute. We also need to power wash the main part of the deck and build a skirt to hide the view under the deck. This shouldn’t take long, but we need it to be warm enough to power wash and then put down sealer.
We power washed, sanded and sealed the deck. We also built a skirt and planted some Lenten roses and hostas.