December 9, 2009

a day in the life

November 15, 2009 8:20am

What an interesting weekend this has been! So many highs and lows, without a whole lot of in between. On Friday, I got off of work at 10am because we were still out of parts and weren’t going to get them early enough to justify our staying any longer. I was somewhat aggravated, since after the first hour and a half, Friday would have been all overtime for us. I am still grateful for the chance to work on the line all week though, even without the overtime. I didn’t bring my pay records home with me to figure out how much I made for the week, but I know that it is a significantly higher number than the hourly wage that I get paid in the lab. I get to work out on the line again next week, too. I’ll be on second shift for the first time in over a year, which doesn’t exactly thrill me since I’m so used to going to bed early and waking up early now, but I’m still thankful and consider myself quite blessed for the opportunity. I may work on the line the week of Thanksgiving as well, but I probably won’t find that out for sure until the middle of the week.

So getting off early on Friday afforded me an excellent opportunity to finally get outside and work in the yard. It was an absolutely beautiful, sunny day which was actually warm enough for me to work in a sweatshirt and enjoy the fresh air. I finally used the electric weed whacker that Cody bought specifically for me this past spring (since I have such a hard time using the gas-powered one, he has had to do all the trimming). I had used nothing but an old pair of pruners to cut down about half of all the ornamental grasses in the gardens, and my hands hurt for days afterwards. So on Friday I decided to experiment and see if I could cut down all the remaining plants in the gardens with the weed whacker instead. Thankfully, it worked rather well. I managed to chop everything down to the ground and get it all bagged up. That will make it easier to rake the leaves out both now and in the spring. It also makes it easier to not have all that dead foliage to clean up in the springtime and gives me a better shot at getting the weeds out before they get out of control again.

As I was walking around the patio table to cut down one bunch of ornamental grass, I noticed that the screen Cody place over the pond to catch all the leaves made it hard to tell there was even a pond there. I actually hoped at the time that some poor animal didn’t go scurrying through the yard and fall into the pond and drown. I made a mental note to mention it to Cody. So as I was working on the next big bunch of grass, I stepped around to get a better angle (that stuff is thick and hard to cut through!), my foot didn’t hit solid ground like it should have, and all I could think is “I don’t remember digging any plants up, why is there a hole here?” My foot hit the shelf along the edge of the pond before I realized what was going on. Thankfully I stepped where I did so that I only went in up to the middle of my calf. If I had stepped to the right or any farther into the middle, I would have been in up to the middle of my thigh and possibly lost my balance and made things much worse. I shudder to think about it now, realizing I was holding on to an electric weed whacker. Thank God for small favors!

As it was, I just kind of did an “I can’t believe my dumb ass just stepped into my own pond” and went about cutting down the grass chuckling to myself. Another reason to be thankful for the warm weather, since I was able to continue working without having to run in and change. I’m not saying that doing yard work while wearing one soaking wet sneaker is fun, but it was at least manageable.

I did learn fairly early in the day what the penance for being out of shape while weed whacking is though: My left bicep was in full revolt the rest of the afternoon. I had a hard time even bringing my hand to my mouth to smoke a cigarette, and when I got done later that afternoon, I wasn’t even able to cut my fingernails! It’s not as sore now, but there is definitely a dull ache there letting me know that it needs more stretching and exercise.

By the time Cody got home from working at the foodbank, I was just wrapping up with my yard work. I got a surprising amount done in a short period of time. I went inside and changed out of my wet pants, and we both just sort of putzed around the house. Being on this sabbatical, if I’m not really “into” reading or writing anything, I get a little listless and bored. So eventually, since Cody was upstairs playing on facebook (who could have seen that one coming?), I crawled into my recliner and curled up with an afghan to take a quick little nap. Ordinarily, Cody will come downstairs and turn on the TV and that will wake me up, so I figured I could steal a quick 15 minutes and then go about my day. Typically when I try to take a nap downstairs, the dogs refuse to be quiet for more than 20 minutes at a time, so they were my back up plan. Well, over two hours later, I woke up rather surprised by the three quietly sleeping dogs and Cody sitting on the couch watching TV. Apparently, I went out like a light and was quite dead to the world.

I usually get kind of aggravated when I sleep longer than I intended, but since I’ll be working late hours on second shift this week, I need to adjust my sleep pattern anyway. So after dinner, I went back and forth between reading downstairs and in my office. Sometimes I can read in the living room while Cody’s watching TV without a problem, but it was really distracting for some reason that night. So we kept dancing between who had “control” of the living room. He’s been super-sweet and accommodating during this whole sabbatical, so I have to give him a lot of credit. Friday night he was driving me nuts though. I would be reading downstairs while he was upstairs on the computer, and when he came down to watch TV, I would come up to my office and read. Then when he’d come back upstairs, I’d go down so I could sit in my recliner and be more comfortable than lying on the bed, and he’d come back down. Neither of us was at fault, it was just an exasperating evening.

Eventually, Cody went off to bed, and I curled up on the couch with a book and a nice cold beer. I figured I would need to stay up till about 11 or 12 before I would be tired enough to go to sleep since I had taken such a long nap. Next thing I know the little clock on the coffee table is beeping at me, and I wake up with my book open on my chest. I hadn’t even drunk half of my beer before passing out yet again! I had fallen asleep for at least two and a half hours, and it was now 12:30am. By the time I let the dogs out and made it up to bed it was almost 1:00am, and I was wide awake again! I thought for sure I wasn’t going to be able to fall asleep again, but thankfully I nodded off a short time later and managed to sleep till the alarm went off.

This is a great place to stop, actually. Saturday was a very big day for me, so it will take quite a while to write out, and I need to jump in the shower and get ready for church.

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