Thursday, April 29, 2010

Life's a Beach?

Well . . . life's kind of been the opposite this week. The flipside of life at the beach! I'd been warned that the qualification tests for this new project would be hard, but that's an understatement. I guess that's why they're paying us the big bucks? (And THAT'S a joke!) Long story short, I passed the first qual set on Tuesday with flying colors percentage-wise, but they caught me on a technicality. So I had to repeat the entire three-hour test on Wednesday. I was absolutely dreading the repeat, but I prevailed. After all that, everyone is still considered provisional and can be booted at any time if the individual stats drop, but I won't be crying if I'm escorted out the door. The project is mind-numbing and the over time's already started. I'll probably be going to work an hour earlier everyday.

Yesterday was D-Day. People were dropping like flies, being escorted out of the building. I had made up my mind that if it happened to me, I'd smile and skip. The stress is a little overwhelming considering the pay. I think a lot of people, if they didn't absolutely need the money, looked at being booted as a blessing. A few people D.Q.ed themselves. The two men directly down from me both bit the bullet by 10:00 a.m. The English teacher who had told other women in the bathroom on the first day that it was a no-brainer was escorted out just before lunch. I did gain new respect for the project heads and supervisors because they were very respectful and compassionate in the way they treated people. And, in some circumstances, exceptions were made and people were saved. While some people do the job for extra spending money or to keep their brains active, for others, it's the only thing keeping them alive right now. But that's another post!

So, I'm off to the salt mines this morning. The modern day computer sweatshop. For how long, I don't know, but Saby's looking forward to my last day of work. Yesterday, when I qualified, my supervisor turned to me and said, I just put in a call to your dog and she's really pissed off. HA!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Make Way for Ducklings

It's that time of year! The eggs are hatching. This mama was really protective, so it was hard to get a good photo. Hopefully a few of these cute little babies will survive! It's really hard to watch the numbers dwindle from week to week. Last year eight ducklings quickly dwindled to one lone survivor. Craig counted seven ducklings with this mama. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Crossing Over

I wish I was talking about THIS kind of crossing, but I'm not. I'm just finishing up on one task at work and getting ready to start anew.

It's 5:00 a.m. Saturday and I'm not exactly hi hoing as I get ready to once again plod into work. I agreed to work overtime today, but I'm vowing that I will have the nerve to just bow out at 3:00 p.m. so I can get home in time to meet friends for dinner tonight. And actually, Craig will just be getting home from his work week in San Diego, so it'll be a really late start to TGIF.

Monday, I start a brand new project. Fortunately, my manager, who has been a great boss has chosen me to be in his group, so it can't be all bad. But this new task is known to be a real booger in the garden of life where many people get kicked off the island and have to slink their way out of the building early. If that happens to me -- oh well . . . . It's all about your stats and this is evidently a really hard one. A former supervisor from last year who's extremely sharp was telling me yesterday that she had trouble passing the qualifying tests, so we will see?

I'm going to miss my faithful 80-year old companion who sits next to me. She and I have kept each other laughing for the past five weeks. I'm hoping most of the lunch group, including the Pot Proselytizer, will be back for the new project. And by the way, the Pot Proselytizer makes me laugh. She may be a tight little person, but she's always saying something so off base that it keeps me giggling. She's very concerned about appearances and hasn't been able to adapt to the fact that it's an extremely casual workplace. In her mind, promotion should be based on one's appearance and attire. Yesterday, she was particularly appalled that a man in her pod with tattoos and facial hair had been promoted. She also has hangups about people not wearing matching clothes. LOL She spent years in Washington D.C. working for the FAA, so I think she's having trouble adjusting to the Wild Wild West.

My favorite lunch partner in crime, Martha, will still be there on Monday. Sometimes I think we could have been twins separated at birth since we have the same humor. The Pot Proselytizer often confuses us -- but she often confuses everyone who doesn't dress in matching sets.

Well, must walk Saby and get ready for work! At least parking shouldn't be an issue this morning, so I can leave a half hour later. Right now, parking is so tight during the work week that I have to get there 45 minutes early in order to get a parking spot. NUTS!!!!

My new mantra -- three more weeks, three more weeks, three more weeks! Then I can start my countdown for the real crossover -- the ferry to my favorite island!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

In Honor of Earth Day

While people all over the world gathered today to pay homage to Earth Day, here in suburbia, the neighbors gathered to stare at the neighborhood geyser. Of course, where else would it be? The Bumpuses' front yard!

The snowbirds flew the coop earlier in the week, leaving the gigantic waste of water behind. I mean, it's not like there's a shortage of water in the desert! Old Stone Geyser Shows begin nightly at 7 p.m. Eruptions last at least three hours. (I was out last night at 10 p.m. and it was going strong!)

And no, I don't have their number to call them. And this is a little sad. I've called them the Bumpuses for so long, I don't even know their real last name anymore!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Where Old Swiss Army Watches

go to die.

I'm not so sure Craig is amused by this, but the watchface lurked in my jewelry drawer for one too many years. When he saw it, he said, "Where'd that come from?" It was the Christmas gift that was never worn, and you know how much I like those large watch faces!

The motto of this story would be -- you snooze, you lose. Or maybe finders keepers, losers weepers. How about no loitering allowed!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Year Closer!

Woo hoo! We celebrated Craig's 59th yesterday. He's determined to retire at age 62, so the good thing about turning 59 is that he only has three more years! Then maybe, just maybe, we'll end up spending more of our time on Some Beach, Somewhere! Happy Birthday Craig!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Out the Door!

I'm hoping to be walking out the door from my current project sometime in the middle of this week. They're being very secretive about what our end date will be. They'll surely turn us loose sometime Thursday since that's the project's ending date, but I'm secretly hoping for Wednesday and a loooong four-day weekend before the next project starts on Monday the 26th.

You know how much I like doors! I'm almost as passionate about door photos as I am about seaglass! Let's hope I walk out one of those doors on Wednesday in time for a stop at the antique mall on the way home. Actually, I wish I could walk out that door at work and walk straight through one of these doors on Isla!

Have any of you eaten at La Susanita?

I'd love to see behind this entrance because the threshold tiles and door look very distinguished.

Blue and white with those pale yellowish floor tiles. My favorite colors!

One of my favorites even if it's lacking paint.

But this HAS to be my favorite door scene!

A friend told me a certain popular malatero lives behind this door on Juarez. It would make sense since there's a red trike parked out front.

Now, everyone chant with me! Wednesday Wednesday Wednesday Wednesday!!!!

Postscript -- dammit dammit dammit! Not only do we not finish early, the project actually goes beyond the finish date and we have to work overtime on Saturday. Aaaargh.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I must be getting my mind into Isla trip mode. I had the worst nightmare that woke me up at 4:30 a.m. I was on the Gran Puerto ferry on my way over to Isla. I saw a couple of friends, waved and talked to them on the ride. Once we arrived, I dug my passport and forms out of my purse. Immigration was on the docks. I schlepped all my bags from the boat to the line, but suddenly discovered I'd dropped my passport in the process. I quickly ran back, tracing my steps from the ferry. The boat was long gone, but there was a little lost and found office. The attendants there laughed and told me I'd never find my lost passport because it had probably already been sold.

I woke up in a dead panic knowing I'd traveled all that way and was now headed back because I'd been turned away at immigration. In my waking moments, I suddenly realized if you've made it to the island -- you're homefree! Immigration's at the airport? Huge sigh of relief!

And on that note, I always like hearing this song. Something catchy about it! I think it's the words Isla Mujeres?

And speaking of Isla trip mode, I'm still hunting for a decent fare for Craig. Airfares to Cancun are the worst I've ever seen them from Phoenix. In the $600 and up range, with most in the $800's!!! I've seen some fare sales that extend through June, but nothing in the July/August time range. I'm hoping something will happen in May. I'm waiting at this point, because frankly, I don't see how they could get any worse. They're the kind of prices I've seen when I've looked for Christmas holiday fares. (And that's why we've never been at Christmas!) Since we've lived in Phoenix, I've paid anywhere from $250 to $350 for roundtrip tickets to Cancun. What the heck!

Friday, April 16, 2010


Seriously, this has been a hard week! The projects at work have gotten increasingly more difficult and our group's struggling. I truly do feel like Lucy in the Chocolate Factory most days! Yesterday I got an eye migraine in the middle of the afternoon. Ever had one of those? It used to freak me out everytime it happened, but I'm used to it now.

But this too shall pass. This current project is supposed to be over by later next week! (And then the week after I start a mother bear of a project that EVERYONE says is NO fun.)

Thank God it's Friday!

We have friends from Kansas City coming tomorrow. We haven't seen them in at least ten years, so it should be a blast!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Some Days Are Diamonds

And some days are so NOT! The past week has been full of those days. It all started last week when my passenger side window on my VW Bug just shattered on the way home from work. Fortunately, Craig was around last week to help solve that problem. He drove my car to work where he parks in a security lot and had the window replaced there. (The car and contents probably would have been gutted if I'd left it in front of my workplace unlocked!)

Then there was yesterday. As I was getting ready to leave for work, my huge stainless refrigerator started spitting ice cubes. It was like a scene from I Love Lucy. I was grabbing towels and buckets trying to collect them, but the fridge was definitely winning the battle. After about five minutes, I was able to figure out how to lock the dispenser on the front of the fridge and turn off the ice maker. But I still worried it would start again and I'd return home after 10 hours to a flooded kitchen. I finally abandoned ship and left for work.

After worrying all day about what I'd find when I returned home, I walked in on a mess of a different sort. And it was so much worse! Saby had been sick and the place smelled like a bad care home. OMG! So I spent almost an hour mopping up. When I walked out back afterwards to get some fresh air, I noticed the yard is just chock full of new blooms.

Birds of Paradise in the courtyard.

Red hibiscus.

Pink oleander trees.

White hibiscus.

I had no choice today but to leave Saby outdoors while I was at work. While most dogs would be happy to run free in the backyard all day sniffing and barking, Saby evidently saw it as extreme punishment. When I got home tonight, she didn't bother to greet me. She sat staring at me giving me the look. I'm not feelin' the love!

She perked up considerably and smiled throughout her evening walk, but she'll have to stay outdoors again tomorrow until her little problem subsides. I think I'll wait and let Craig arrive home first. I can't take the rejection again. : )

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dog Day Afternoon

The weather was stellar this weekend, so we decided to make a Sunday trip to Joe's Farm Grill. As you can tell, we're creatures of habit! We both had a craving for the Grilled Wasabi Ahi Sandwich.

It was a dog day afternoon with temps in the mid-80's. People were gathered around at the outdoor picnic tables. At one table, the dogs outnumbered people! I wondered for a few minutes if there was some kind of special for people who brought their dogs!

The line was halfway out to the parking lot when we arrived. Craig, being the nice guy he is, waited in the line while I claimed a table. By the time he got our order in, 45 minutes had passed. He was beat!

But the Ahi sandwiches and fries were worth the wait!

I suppose if a person didn't eat those fries with the grilled ahi sandwich, it would be a healthy meal! (But they mysteriously disappeared from both baskets!)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lay 'em and Leave 'em!

Another installment in the Taffy and Daffy story. They're all grown up now, but unfortunately, the two critters are novices set afloat in the big wild. While other ducks in the neighborhood lay their eggs off in the shrubs and sit on them until the ducklings hatch, poor Taffy keeps laying eggs at the lake's edge and abandoning them. Taff and Daff just don't have the sense God gave the proverbial goose!

They're missing the bird common sense chip. They come from a long line of domesticated ducks used to being shepherded through life. Big White Daffy's frequently seen chasing a mallard hen through the water and around the shore. And Taffy evidently has no idea what's happening to her. Every few days, we see a couple of her large white eggs at the water's edge. By the next day, the eggs are gone only to be eaten or crushed by predators with the remains scattered about the area.

There were two more at the lake's edge this morning. Neighborhood kids even made a plywood sign telling people NOT to bother the eggs, but I don't think the cats and coyotes can read!

I don't think we'll be seeing any little white ducklings this year!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Too Busy To Blog

I'm so sorry I've been too busy to blog! Last night we had former neighbors over for dinner, so most of my non-work time this week was spent getting ready for them. We had so much fun! We hadn't seen them in the three and a half years since we moved. We watched them bring their babies home from the hospital and now the babies are in high school and jr. high. Chip opened the pool for the season! He's a swim team fish and didn't mind the fact that the water was probably only in the high 70's. Saby loves company, so she was a happy girl to have the kids play with her the entire evening.

Work has been work. All the usual characters. There's the strange tall guy who peeks over the top of the cubicle and scowls at all of us when he walks by every few hours. But I noticed he scowls all the time, so I guess that explains it. There's also the older woman with the thin short flat hair in the breakroom who mentions to me every morning that my hair is 'sticking up.' I guess I don't have it pasted down flat enough for her. LOL I think I've offended the pot singer by being my usual earthy self. She reluctantly came late to the lunch table yesterday and left early.

We're off on a bike ride to the library. I figured I might as well run the errands and get exercise at the same time! Hopefully, I'll do something this weekend that will inspire me to blog this week! : )

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Little Unseemly

Okay, this post is a little unseemly, so if you're squeamish, stop reading now!

I met a woman at work who's part of our lunchtime group. We seemed to have a lot in common. Both grew up in Kansas, attended the same college, etc.... She seemed to be wound much tighter than most of the group -- a little more formal and prim. While it's an informal workplace dress wise, she seemed to be going by that old adage of dressing for your next job. Actually, the head of the place dresses about four notches below her, so I guess she's aiming for the corporate board? And she also errs on the side of bringing up topics at lunch that I try to steer clear of in the workplace -- politics and religion. She's made the assumption that all her lunch partners are cut from the same cloth.

Anyway, I dashed into the bathroom after lunch yesterday on my way back to the cubicle. Too much Diet Pepsi! (Here's the point where the squeamish need to STOP reading.) In the stall, I'm hearing a husky little voice from the next one belting out a thundering church hymn accompanied by her own percussion instruments if you get my drift. Christ is Risen Hallelujah!
As I glanced down at the shoes in that stall, I verified it was my new tightly wound acquaintance. I quickly exited the stall for obvious reasons. As I washed hands and dashed out the door, she was onto verse 2.

When I told Craig the story last night and asked him his opinion, he said -- you are $#itting me! Okay, I admit, this is a rather tawdry post. hee hee hee But I kinda felt like I'd been privy (no pun intended) to a sitcom scene.

Work otherwise is going swimmingly. Yesterday the servers were down for almost two hours. I finished Odd Mom Out, a fluffy little chick novel set in my ex-hometown of Bellevue, Washington. I've met another woman from Bellevue who also sits with our lunch group and she and I have been hooting it up over The Housewives of Bellevue. She meets some of the Bellevue ex-pat's in her realty business and says many of the women have a hard time adjusting to some of the unseemly sights they see in Arizona. Like pickup trucks parked on the driveway. She says they tend to wander the retirement community way over dressed in designer duds.

When I got home last night, one of the umbrellas had blown over the wall into the Bumpus's backyard, so Craig managed to get a stepladder and retrieve it without having to actually knock on their front door. He seems to have an aversion to that. : ) Mr. Bumpus woke me up this morning at 4 a.m. revving up his Corvette on the driveway. Early golf game?

I have God and Mr. Gomez on hold at the library, but won't be able to get there to pick it up until this evening. So Growing Up bin Laden will be today's choice for workplace reading. Yesterday during the two hours downtime, some people in our cubicle got slightly noisy during naptime. The supervisor nicely said, "Let's keep it down. Some people are trying to read!"

Someone should donate a sofa. I know right where we can get one!

Monday, April 5, 2010

What's for Lunch?

Easy Pasta Salad

I'm truly bored with my standard lunch fare -- BLT's and pimento cheese sandwiches. Tonight I decided a change was in order. I've had a huge box of tri-colored rotini pasta from Costco since last year, so I decided to ditch the daily sandwich and make some quick pasta salad for lunch this week. This recipe is so easy!

Tri-colored rotini pasta
Chopped sundried tomatoes
1 diced red pepper
4 chopped green onions
Small can black olives
Ken's Light Caesar Viniagrette
Grated parmesan cheese

As you can see, I wing it on the amounts. Measure out about 3 medium scoops of rotini into a boiling pot. After rinsing the cooked rotini in cool water, combine with chopped sundried tomatoes, diced red pepper, green onions, and sliced black olives. Add the light Caesar dressing to taste. Just before serving (or packing), add the grated parmesan cheese.

I think I'm looking foward to work on Monday so I can eat this for lunch! : )

Note to self: Don't forget the fork!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

That's my brother and I at the Grandparent's collecting our Easter goodies. I'm obviously the smiling fool in the background holding my little purse and Easter pail loaded with candy. Getta load of that Easter bonnet! It looks like my brother is packing all of his Easter candy in his mouth. (And I thought I was the one with the sweet tooth!)

Happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Rerun! A Good Cause -- LGES!

I received a Facebook message that time is running out to buy tickets for the LGES raffle! Donna has to have your checks by this Wednesday, April 7. So if you're interested, contact her now! I'm eagerly awaiting the drawing. I'd love to be up on that balcony with that beautiful view for three nights! : ) So here it is -- one more time!

I happened to notice a raffle on Isla Mujeres benefiting the La Gloria English School! The grand prize is three wonderful nights in a luxury oceanfront condo at the lovely Ixchel II on Isla Mujeres! A $10 raffle ticket buys two chances to win a free three night stay in one of the two beautiful oceanfront Ixchel units!

One of the venues is Unit 709 -- a one bedroom oceanfront penthouse! The other is Unit 610 -- a one bedroom oceanfront suite right below 709! Both units have amazing views of Playa Norte from one end of the beach to the other!

Don't miss your chance to enjoy these amazing vistas!

If you're not on the island to buy tickets, there's a way to get them! Donna Caffo has graciously offered to collect the money for Maggie here in the U.S. You can email her at and she will send you information on how to send her the check. Once your payment is received, Maggie at LGES will email you your ticket numbers.

Here are the details again:

Each raffle ticket is $10. One ticket puts the buyer in the drawing for two chances to win either of the two units at Ixchel. The drawing will be in April or when they sell out. A total of 800 tickets will be sold.

Links to pictures of the penthouse (709) can be found at
Pictures of 610 can be found at

For any of you unfamiliar with the good works of La Gloria English School on Isla Mujeres, you can read about the school at And here's a link to Maggie's notice on the Isla Mujeres Info board.

Hurry hurry hurry! Once the 800 raffle tickets are sold, the drawing will take place! Don't miss your opportunity to live like a rock star for three nights!

Some lucky dog's gonna win it!

(And I kinda hope it's me!!!)

Friday, April 2, 2010


I woke up at 4 a.m. this morning, so figured I might as well post something!

The woman who sits next to me at work said something shocking the other day. "It's been 60 years since I had a fourth grader." I quickly did the math and realized -- she's got to be over 80! My first thought was this is the LAST place I want to be when I'm 80 something, but then I realized it's probably a great way to keep those brain cells jumping! The woman really puts me to shame. She's extremely knowledgeable about computers and can compare all the Microsoft operating systems. She mentioned this week that she's been paying her bills online for years (and I just got around to that a few years ago). She talks about all the technology that's come about in her lifetime and has a great grasp on historical issues since she's lived a lot of it! And she has an amazingly with-it sense of humor.

The one thing that impresses me about my workplace is the diversity. They're definitely stellar in the EEO department. People of all races, ages, and differences. One man in particular stands out -- an autistic albino. Since I used to work with special needs kids in an institution, I immediately noted all the stereotypical behaviors in the breakroom. Lots of frenetic activity with pacing, spinning, staring at the hands, etc... I haven't worked in close proximity to him, but I've been told he has an eidetic memory which would be highly useful in our workplace. That link on eidetic memory explains the connection to autism.

I almost finished my book of the week -- Say You're One of Them, by Uwen Akpan. Talk about an enlightening book on a different culture! It's a collection of stories on the plight of children in Africa, each caught in their own nightmare whether it's human slavery, war, hunger . . . . Our computers were down for over two hours yesterday, so lots of reading time! I was a little afraid they'd send us home (without pay). Actually, I would have loved a few extra hours to run to the grocery store, library, etc..., but it's nice to be paid to sit and read. : )

TGIF! The weekend weather here's supposed to be stellar! Getta load of the 80's get up on Loverboy in this video! Love the headband!