Category Archives: General

A closed mouth gathers no foot.

Today was one of those days when, hindsight being 20/20, I wish I would have taken this statement to heart. I won’t go in to details (suffice it to say that in the grand scheme of things, the background story is not important)…

I take a lot of pride in my sense of humor – I’m not light on my feet, but I’m usually quick witted. And I said something “witty” that landed like a steaming turd. My coworker’s reaction was swift. Cobra-like, in fact. “Stop. Just stop! It’s not funny anymore. I should never have said anything in the first place…” Shocked by the about-face in the ability to joke about this particular topic, I immediately stammered, “I’m… I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to upset you…” An uncomfortable tension existed for the next few minutes as we made our way to the cafeteria. To her credit, my coworker recognized her reaction as being, um, extreme, and put her arm around me and said, “I’m sorry, too. I over-reacted. I’m just embarrassed… and don’t want to joke about it anymore.” I again offered an apology. Despite the break in tension, I was still mortified that I had initially hurt her feelings… My personal philosophy is “do no harm” and I felt like I had broken that trust. I retreated to my cubicle with my lunch and cried.

I’m baaaaaaack…

I can't believe it's been 11 months since I've offered a post! 

Life has been pretty hectic… A job change (finally!), the loss of two beloved cats (the grieving continues), the addition of two kittens (not replacements… never replacements), another year closer to menopause….

I feel the need to be back here… an oasis for expressing myself.  My private confessional (well, almost, since I don't think there's anyone out there actually reading this).

I'm not promising anything, but I'm going to try to start posting on a regular basis. My muse is still MIA, but I'm hoping to entice her to come back out to play. 

Wallowing

 
"Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it; it's only for wallowing in." Katherine Mansfield

It's been a while since I've posted. Nothing is wrong, per se, just more of the same. Which doesn't translate well to the blogosphere. (Especially when my drama is pretty tame compared to the lives of bloggers with children, spouses, in-laws, ex-spouses, etc.)

Work's been busy. Again, more of the same. The only change is that my work spouse, J, left. He got a job in a different industry which will likely provide for his family for years to come. Coworkers have commented that the amount of laughter in the office has dropped drastically since he left. J and I were regular stand-up comedians, complete with a snappy repartee and dedicated fans within earshot. Yes, the silence, the doom, since J left the cubicle farm is palpable. And I've been doing exactly what I shouldn't be doing – I've been wallowing in a personal pity party.

For his final two weeks at work, I went through all of the stages of grief. I was a little surprised at how angry and hurt I was with him. I took his leaving for a better job, with greater security and pay, personally (even though I was his biggest cheerleader in pursuing this new opportunity!) The anger was beneath the surface at all times. (And it bothered me immensely that I was feeling this way – I really was happy for his getting the new job – did I mention that I pushed J to pursue this opportunity?!) None of this affected the amount of tears I shed on his last day. I cried like a baby who dropped her pacifier from her crib. I could still see it, but it was out of my grasp. Knowing that my contact with J will likely be limited to emails and phone calls didn't help to ease my fear of letting him go.

I hate good-byes.

The one good thing to come of this (besides the positive things for J, of course) is that I am now ready to move on from the company I've supported for a dozen years. Change is difficult, but not as difficult now that J's gone. I miss the laughter – laughter that will never be heard from my remaining coworkers because they, like me, are all wallowing in the mire that has become our jobs. 

Soul Stealer

Around the house, the cats and dogs view me (with camera in tow) as a Soul Stealer. Apparently that reputation is shared with the various water fowl at the park/lake a few blocks from home.

I have spent a few days over the past week trying to capture a shot of the Great Blue Heron who calls the lake its home. The first time I stumbled upon the *perfect* shot of the bird, it was perched on a fallen log less than 4 feet away from the walking path. It was the opportunity of a lifetime. Of course, I didn't have my camera with… Later that afternoon, I returned to the park to see if I could still get a photo. The Heron was still at the lake, only s/he was hanging out in the middle of the lake near the marshy island. My long lens is nice, but not that nice. My photos were able to pick up the Heron, but any detail was lost because of the distance (and my inability to take anything but macro shots!).

Yesterday's beautiful weather beckoned for a walk around the lake. Camera gear in tow, I spotted the Heron standing along the eastern edge of the lake, a lake bordered by thick plantings of reeds and grasses. Getting a descent shot would be difficult, if not impossible. Especially after the first click and whir of the camera… The camera-shy Heron was immediately suspicious of my presence, precariously perched along the edge of the lake.

The wind was blowing gale-force at times and I had to contend with the reeds/grasses whipping wildly about (never mind the fact that I was also fearful of being blown into the water!). I was able to get a few photos before the Heron was spooked by an approaching yellow Lab.

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Falling into Fall

I blinked.

And Summer's gone.

Well, technically not until 11:03 CT tonight (autumnal equinox marks the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere). But to look at the leaf-littered yards, observe the constant wind-driven drizzle and changing colors, Summer packed her bags a few days ago and blew south.

I'm hoping that we'll have a few Indian Summer days before the snow falls, but the speed at which we descended into Fall has left me extremely skeptical. (Moi, skeptical?! Oui.)

Clinging to Summer’s End

Visited the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Zoo in St. Paul last evening to see the Giant Victoria water platters. These night blooming South American natives can grow pads or leaves up to six feet wide and hold up to 120 pounds of distributed weight. The flowers are open for two nights at a time.

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The first night these flowers are white with a pineapple aroma and on the second night they turn a scarlet red. (Don’t know if we’ll make it back tonight to see the scarlet red… it’s rainy/dreary outside and a brisk 51 degrees at the moment. Brrr.)

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Other tropical water lilies fill the pools. These poor guys get completely ignored because of the “stars” of the pond.

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Dragonfly

Dragonfly

This beauty was sunning him/herself this morning in the garden. Temps dipped into the chilly upper 30’s over night and all the flying critters were slow to get moving this morning.

I know how they felt.

AWOL

I am shocked at how quickly the month of September has flown by. I've been AWOL for most of it, locked in the drama that is my life. Or non-life, since it's pretty mundane.

Yesterday was unseasonably warm – and as the day progressed, the humidity continued to rise, leaving it clear that a storm was brewing. A tornado watch was issued in the late afternoon lasting until 1am. Summer was going to be ushered out in style.

We were safe in our house, thunder in the distance, when the storm front blew in around 10pm. Unfortunately, it brought death and destruction in the form of an F2 tornado to a community less than 20 miles away. A 10 year old girl lost her life when the house she was visiting collapsed on her. So sad.

Work's been very busy and extremely stressful. But, honestly, things like last night's storm help to bring reality back in to check.

Another example of reality… Thursday I visited Stillwater, a community on the edge of the St Croix river between Minnesota and Wisconsin. I took several photos of one of the town's historic landmarks – the Lift Bridge. It was a glorious day, sunny and warm, although there was a stiff wind blowing from the south.

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Two people, a mother and daughter, lost their lives today when the car they were riding in apparently experienced brake failure and plunged off the open bridge. Tragic. The driver, another daughter, survived.

It could have been even more tragic – the sister ship of the one shown above had just passed under the lift. Had the timing been off only a few seconds, the car would have rammed the boat's second level and killed or injured dozens. (These boats are usually packed with tourists, wedding parties, etc.)