Thursday, December 30, 2004

I Thought that we weren't doing anything New Year's Eve ...

Normally, we have a "do" of sorts on New Year's Eve. The last couple of months have swirled all around normal without actually ever landing, if ya know what I mean.  With that in mind, I could have sworn that the fella and I discussed the issue and agreed that this New Year's Eve, we were going to do nothing.  Nothing, as in sitting staring slack jawed at the TV until oh, say, the festive hour of 9 or so, then go to sleep. (My personal idea of the perfect evening) -- ok, so I am boring, and tired, mostly these days. Nothing, does it get better than that?

Nothing was the plan. Blissful hours of uneventful.  Instead (you knew that I was working up to an instead, didn't you?) instead, when I arrived home yesterday (yesterday of the nonstop hurling and I might add, not the best possible day to come home to the information that we [as in I] were, after all GOING to do "something" New Year's Eve).  Men.  Something. Just a few (10) people for dinner followed by snackies and cards or whatever until ...

Ummm,what?  :: I said scrunching up my face, because between my urge to raise one eyebrow or go for a less subtle expression of surprise tempered with rage, my entire face threatened to explode and only the scrunch was keeping it together ::  Did we not agree that we were not going to do anything this year? Oh, good, we did! Aaaaaaand did I not just get home from working out of town for three days? I did, didn't I?  Ok. Soooo, in my absence, nothing (no party) has been redefined as dinner for ten people followed by a party?  HAS to be a guy thing.

Fortunately (am I getting good at slapping a happy face on events that should have me screaming, curled in a ball on the floor or what?) fortunately, there is (dramatic pause) the basement.

Mostly always setup for emergency entertaining, all this room takes is some food set out and a few tunes punched into the jukebox and ...  sigh, I could have sworn that we weren't going to do anything this New Year's Eve. I should have known better.  Where did I leave the silly hats and noise makers? I am sooooo gonna get a picture of him in a pointy hat with fru fru decorating the top. I am.

Sea sick

Not that you need to know this, or I suppose even want to know this, but --

I spent most of yesterday alternately throwing up and desperately trying to avoid throwing up.  Seasick, on dry land.  No, this entry isn't going to get any more pleasant so feel free to skip on by!  I was on a jobsite and we changed to a new field which was freshly disked corn stubble.  Wave after wave of rolling earth and corn stalk leftovers and there I was, me and my floater rolling over and over and over it. By ten, I would have given anything for a dose of Dramamine, by afternoon I would have considered committing some sort of a crime to get it.  I survived, but I now have issues with corn in any form. 

On the bright side (ok, this is a stretch) I will look on this as a pre New Years party reminder of just how horrible having the unavoidable heaves can be.  Yes, it is a good thing that I spent a day upchucking out of the door of a rolling vehicle. 

Sunday, December 26, 2004

I will watch Coal Trucks and smile

Back to the not at all famous but wonderful nonetheless Athens tomorrow. Three more days to finish the job (crossing fingers).  Three more days of popsicle toes and mud spattered boots and cuffs. Three more days of twelve hours at three miles and hour.  Three more days of watching loaded coal trucks heading south on 50 then half an hour later empty and north to load and head back south.

It struck me the other day that the drivers of the coal trucks and I are running on parallel tracks theirs about 40 miles round, mine 40 acres. Load and speed differentiate us, we spend the hours starting before dawn and ending just after sunset going round and round doing what we do.  Tick tick tick the hours spin round. Yellow freightliner with a side dump, red international with a conventional dump, green ford with a tarp over the load several more and I may be wrong about the make of the trucks, I could be wrong about the color order, but it is the same trucks and the same loads and I see them over and over as they pass. I mark my day by the passing of drivers that I will never meet in trucks that I have started to recognize. Keep rolling drivers taking your load of coal to wherever it is going, my day is more interesting because you are running in a loop that intersects with my world two times an hour. I will run my circles at three miles an hour and watch you pass and smile.

Texas Holdem and Holiday Cheer

It was not the plan or an intention yet, yesterday we celebrated Christmas in our hearts and Texas Holdem with our hands.  Family holiday gatherings are always unpredictable with the fella's bunch.  Fun, but ya just never know.

Family and food, catching up and kids spun through the first two hours, then cousin Shawn cleared the poker table (remind me to post a photo of the basement sometime) and started dealing. Two hands later, Aunt Gladys and Aunt Lucille who previously had been known for their cooking ability and ladylike demeanors took to riding "the river" like a pair of white water rafters.  As the day progressed, players came and went but those two dominated the table for hours.  Claiming to have never played poker they worked their hands and pulled bluffs like the sharpest card players in Vegas.  What a hoot!

Christmas (and casino night) wound down around nine.  Fortunately for everyone except the Aunts at my house we play for bragging rights not money so the Aunts did no damage to anyone's pocketbook, but it could have been ugly.

Hope that everyone had a safe and happy holiday!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

It coulda been worse ...

I suppose the snow here fell more or less evenly but with the wind, some spots ended up as bare ground, some waist deep drifts, none of it in convenient places.  Fourteen maybe sixteen inches of snow fell all told.  But, Hello! Some organization here please! You! Bare spots! On the roads. Drifts?  Arrange yourself artfully around the base of trees, along the rooftops and against the non entry sides of buildings.  No?  Sigh.

My snow rearranging started at 7 this morning, the drives parking lot and lane were cleared at about 3 PM.  That is when the first snowplow went down our road, so that worked out.  Not that there is anywhere to go as all the roads are under a level 3 snow emergency and no one is supposed to be driving around on them.

Not that it stops the fellas around here.  Big snow?  They HAVE to attempt to go somewhere. Why? I have never been able to figure that one out.  At nine this morning we got our first call from a road over.  Neighbor guy's wife asking the fella if he could plow his way over a road to help neighbor guy remove his plow truck from a snow drift.  Later in the morning, neighbor from just up the road called and he was going stir crazy too.  My fella plowed his way up the road to clear the driveway for up the road neighbor, but one road over neighbor fired up his snowmobile and drove one road further over to pick up another guy and together, those two shoveled out his plow truck.  Any other day of the year, all of these fellas would have been content to sit in their easy chairs watching the tv, but this was a particularly bad snow so...


Wednesday, December 22, 2004


This morning I was in Athens, no not THAT Athens, no Parthenon, no Coliseum, just charming (and I mean it -- absolutely charming) windy streets and beautiful little shops and restaurants Athens, Ohio.  I was working there, but the weather took to raining so it was time to head home. Unfortunately, while it was raining in southern Ohio, it was snowing up north. Not a piddly, who even notices 3 or 4 inches snow more of a WOA this is going to be the big daddy of the season SNOWING.


175 miles at an average of 40 miles per hour, yikes.  Anyway, as soon as I arrived home, I commenced the oh boy am I pissed at all those folks who have been yammering about wanting a white Christmas snow removal preparations. I put fuel in the backhoe, loader and bobcat, gasoline in the generator (and spare cans filled), then lined up boots, hats, gloves and carharts in the back hall then I started waiting. 

If you watch the weather channel I am smack in the middle of the northern third of that dark purple swath where 12+ inches of snow is predicted to fall by tomorrow afternoon.  Something tells me that tomorrow instead of artfully decorating Christmas cookies, I will be rearranging the main ingredient of that white Christmas. 

Sunday, December 12, 2004

To Continue the theme ...

I am working my way through a serious pout this evening!  I have spent the entire weekend scrambling to get enough ahead to do John's weekend assignment (is cool or what)?  Anyway -- not going to happen and I am headed off to work out of town for the week four hours before the crack of dawn tomorrow.  Hell.

On the up side, the fella is staying here so I don't have to camp out in the field with the dogs. Yea!!  I get to live indoors! (Don't laugh, you get old enough, sleeping indoors moves way up on the priorities list no matter how outdoorsy you imagine yourself to be.)

Will check back on Friday and I am doing the way fun weekend assignment from this week then!


Sunday, December 5, 2004

Nope, Not tonight either ...

Ok, here's the story.  Last night I promised (Spots) that I would add an entry to my journal.  I didn't.  Yawanna know what I did instead? I went to bed at 7:30. I love not being young anymore. Sleep at 7:30 on a Saturday night and not a second of despair over any theoretical missed excitement. I slept peacefully because I am old enough to know that if an event is truly exciting enough to loose sleep over it will be self announcing at a volume guaranteed to wake me, like an UFO crash landing in the front field. Anything less, it can wait.