Calming Vibes

I’ve been working hard this week, and there’s some work challenges, but still getting out and exercising in the brisk Utah mountain air. Because the ski area is getting more busy, I’m being more careful where I go. I’m avoiding people as much as possible this week.

Claiming clouds.

Today I was able to head up to the pretty subdivision up from where I’m staying. The houses are huge, and many have beautiful statues and lighting. But I was busy walking, so I didn’t take photos.

I love those colors.

For most of my walk breaks, I was enjoying the clouds and trees, so once I’d hit my exercise goal I let myself stop and take pictures.

Nice fence!

I bet the people in these mini farms and vacation palaces are annoyed by all the construction and timeshares that have cropped up. At least they still have views!

Again. Clouds.

Now off for a meeting for the Cameron business, followed by knitting and football. You know, this break has been a real blessing. I’m glad I’m able to work while I’m here in the scenery. It feels a little less self indulgent!

There’s a barn back there.

How are YOU helping yourself unwind and recharge? What keeps you calm?

Happy Worker

This may be one of the few times I’ve ever come back from a vacation fully rested and relaxed. I haven’t had to drive or fly back in from anywhere or take care of all the things that I didn’t do while I was gone (because I’ll do that NEXT week). I just woke up, made some coffee, and headed over to the dining table that is my desk for another week.

Rock formation that reminded Kathleen of our spouses.

I actually looked forward to getting back to my job and finding out what got accomplished last week when I was (mostly) offline. And I’m glad to see all the coworkers! So, last week was quite a successful vacation, even if we were snowed in for part of the time!

Naturally, it’s going to warm up here in the mountains this week, while I need to be at my desk most of the day. But I’ll have a couple of hours before dark, thanks to work being an hour ahead of where I am.

Meanwhile, Kathleen has been sending me photos from their drive to Texas, including this great horned owl, which they saw near Roswell, New Mexico. Wow! I have no idea what it is doing on the side of the road, but she says it doesn’t look injured.

Roadside owl.

I’m so glad she’s getting to travel by car and see all the beauty of the desert. She is in love with the planet at this point. It’s gotten all of us excited to do more travel in the future, maybe when it’s safer and we can do more!

A Thousand Points of Typing

In addition to successfully working all day from the condo, I got a little note from my buds at WordPress. I feel as high as these here mountains.

Crop out a lot of road work, and you can see beauty here!

I know I feel compelled to blog every day, but it sure has added up. It really helps me think things through, and I prefer writing to talking (so I won’t be joining the great Franklin Habit and vlogging).

I also feel compelled to take pictures and share them. Someone even said they like that!

Thanks for all your input and thoughtfulness in your responses. I’m looking forward to another THOUSAND posts. Or maybe I’ll find a way to earn money by writing.

Dang…

Um, Hey

Wait a minute. I DO earn money by writing. I guess I go to so many meetings that I forget I’m a technical writer/editor. So, if I want to blog as a hobby, I can. I give myself permission! But, I may knit some more. Maybe. Yarn is coming.

I’ll be online tomorrow. Feel free to check in.

Fleeing Texas

Salt Lake City has a new airport. How do I know? I’m in Utah, holed up in a condo, watching football in a very comfy chair while a fire blazes.

I decorated the mantel with all the books I brought. (Not hearth like I said in the first draft)

What on Earth? Are You All Right, Suna?

Honestly? I’m worried about next week. Election anxiety. I’m afraid of upset Texans and all their firearms. I’m afraid I’ll say or do something I shouldn’t. I’m also really burned out by some things going on that aren’t bloggable. Just take my word for it. So I fled to a resort area in another state.

Our unit has the stripes. Heheh. I said “unit.”

I need to do some big-time meditation and centering. This will let me do that with peace and quiet. I think it will help. There is also nature here, so I can walk once I get used to the altitude.

I’m just using my condo points for this year, so it’s not costing more money than I’ve already paid, other than plane fare. And this place is a bargain, since there’s construction all around and not ski season yet. Still, I can see ski lifts from my balcony! Maybe it will snow next week.

Ski lift is on that hill. I swear.

Am I taking all this time off work? Heck no. I can Zoom from here! If our Agile coach could work from Hawaii last week, I can work in Park City. I don’t even have to go out. I got food delivered!

You don’t need to tell me travel isn’t real safe right now. I know. But if I get sick, at least I’ll be sick where I feel safe and won’t make my family sick. And it’s not like anyone desperately needs me. I’m good, right here. I feel selfish, but I’ve never done this before. I guess I’m still trying to burst out of my shell. I hope to emerge better able to do good in the world.

Tons of construction.

Oh yeah, Anita will join me later. And there is space for Lee et al., if they want to break in that new vehicle with a road trip. Meanwhile, I’ll work, read, and find the trail.

Hope this is quiet.

Office Break-In!

Yep. My Cameron office got broken into. Don’t panic, though. Lee and I did it. You see, yesterday I left work a little early to go on a special errand. When we got back, I went to go back and do a couple of things, but my door wouldn’t open.

The door looked fine.

Uh. The door would not open. I typed in the code. Green lights told me it was unlocked. I wiggled the handle and nothing happened. Um. My laptop was in there. And a burning candle. (Oops)

We tried to call the relatives, but there was no answer. Lee went and got a screwdriver. We banged on the door. The dang doorknob did nothing. So, we looked at the windows. The interior one is painted shut. The outside one would not budge.

The beautiful wood-covered window.

That left the window that was covered in wood, that is supposed to be replaced by glass…someday. Lee poked around and managed to get the wood loose (it wasn’t in there tight, since it was planned to be replaced).

Casualties

There was no way to remove the piece of wood without hitting stuff on the other side. You know, because my office is full of “shit” and all that. But only two candlesticks smashed! Not bad at all!

We can see in!

While the wood was there so my Zoom meetings wouldn’t disturb the people in the other offices, it’s no problem for the time being. I won’t be in the office for a while. We will have to leave the door open until the door handle is replaced, but the computer is out now! Nothing else is valuable, just shiny, like a magpie lives there. I am much like a magpie, after all.

Kudos to Lee for letting me in! The door works fine from the inside, not that it helps at all!

I’ve had so much go wrong lately that this didn’t phase me one bit. It just fit with the rest of the week. Hoping we can fix it soon! And I hereby declare that a new week starts today and nothing but fun is permitted. I even got happy nails yesterday!

Nails ready for fun. Thanks, Tina!

Have a good Samhain, Halloween, día de los muertos, or whatever you celebrate this weekend.

Energy Crash, Tumbleweed Stopped

All week I’ve felt like a tumbling tumbleweed, going from meeting to meeting, issue to issue, emotion to emotion. That’s made this week feel two weeks long.

No longer tumbling. That’s good, because I was getting vertigo.

Today I finished another Program Initiative Planning week at work (lots of meetings, lots and lots of them, all intense). I ate my delicious free lunch of stuffed acorn squash and came back to blog for the rest of lunch hour.

It’s obvious this is my desk. There is a LOT of red, orange and pink in there.

Instead, I realized I was just staring into space, listening to the high whistling sound made by the industrial air conditioning system, mesmerized by my keyboard and mouse. I only figured out my keyboard did this light stuff yesterday, at about the same time that I realized my mouse changed colors.

I hope you can see the mouse…

The Chinese are very creative, are they not? But, with no English instructions, I didn’t figure out this stuff until I looked online for how to get the mouse to work. The USB dongle thing was very well hidden. Anyway, this thing SHOULD keep me awake, shouldn’t it?

It’s all black and white, and I’m slumping into a puddle of gray.

But, the point is, I just crashed. I had nothing left. All the color is gone (other than the keyboard, this place where I’m working is nearly all black and white). That’s not good, since there is still work to do, so I hope that writing this will perk me back up! It’s very rare that I crash, since I’m one of those people who always has something to do, plus two or three back-up activities. I predict some more crashing in the near future. My brain is telling me I need to slow down and breathe.

Now, I DO meditate, faithfully. But, that’s more of an “activity” to me, because emptying my brain is doing something, at least to my busy brain. It’s my favorite part of the day, but that peace rarely creeps out into the rest of the day. Hmm, the meditation peace is active in some way. This exhaustion peace is empty in a totally inactive way. Like nothing. Meditating is something.

I need some clarity on this, so I’ll go back and think about it more. Or, I’ll spend another 15 minutes watching the keyboard.

Doing My Duty (as tumbleweeds continue to roll)

Yippee, I managed to vote today, at last. I’m registered in Austin, so I had to wait until I was there to do it. It’s the final week of early voting here in Texas, which means the anxious people already voted, and the last-minute people haven’t decided it’s the last minute yet. The process was easy and appeared secure, as far as I could tell. Of course, I am a white lady voting in a wealthy neighborhood…

I voted. But my mask blinded me.

Nonetheless, all the electioneering around the voting site bothered me. Sure, they have to keep at least some number of feet away from the poll place, but all sorts of people were there with shelters, clipboards, and other things that I found annoying. No, I don’t want to sign your petition. And no, you aren’t going to change my mind by wagging a sign in my face. Well, at least they still let people who aren’t white males vote, so it could be worse (and who knows, may be in the future).

Meanwhile

I keep tumbling along through life like a tumbleweed gaining speed. I know I can’t fix everything, but, gee, I feel powerless to help in some situations. I tried to help a dog all day yesterday, and every time I got a ray of hope, something else knocked the hope out of me. There may be a lot more of that coming around, I guess.

My tumbleweed is practically airborn! Yow! Image by @sselby7 via Twenty20

I did get to see one of my coworkers who I hadn’t seen since March today. Here are my two teammates taking socially distanced photos of each other.

They are sharing views of each other with the rest of the folks in a Zoom meeting. That’s what passes for excitement.

All Is Not Lost

But, hooray, I managed to fix something after I voted! I had to go to the grocery store after voting, because I have NO coffee creamer at this house (little did I know that my endless fascinating meetings start at 8 tomorrow, so I probably don’t have time for home coffee). It was nice to see food, drink, vegetables, and such all arrayed in aisles and displays. There weren’t many people there, so I didn’t get too concerned about germs. I had a fun time at the checkout speaking bad Spanish with the cashier, then started to go home.

$125 to replace it. $2.50 for battery. I win.

The car’s key fob had decided its battery was end of life. No amount of trying to put the key in a better place made it start. So, I called the dealer. What to do? Can they come fix it? No. Oh, darn. BUT, the dude described how to get into the bowels of the key fob and find the battery! And I happened to be at the grocery store, a place that sells, of all things, batteries!

Back in I went. And I fixed the key fob all by myself. That tiny self-sufficient act made me feel all empowered and proud. That kept my spirits up and led to three good meetings with people on my team. Ideas were had! Progress was made! I have competencies!

I did my meetings upstairs, and even though it’s gloomy and cold outside, the Bobcat Lair is a cheerful place to hang out.

Honest, I’m not as full of mood swings as this makes me seem. I’m sharing, because right now we are all running into unavoidable obstacles or feeling unable to keep up with things that are going on around us. Finding something to center me (along with all that list of things I shared yesterday) gives me a surprising boost of well being and confidence.

Dang, it’s cheerful! It fills me with YOJ.

I highly recommend doing a good job at something, anything at all, to add to your morale as those of us in the US try our best to get through these unsettling times. What’s YOUR competency?

Putting a Dream on Hold

I just did something that both made me sad and and reminded me to be grateful for what I have. This morning (way overdressed for the task), I took down the signs that we’d put up over at the church to direct people to our businesses. I’d had a lot of hopes for the church building, which is still The Hermit Haus in my heart, but plans change and pandemics get in the way.

Even the sky looks bummed out (it rained hard right after this).

What Happened?

Well, long-time readers will know that the Hearts, Homes and Hands business moved to the stately Pope Residence across the street, so the sign for that was confusing (and it had the old phone number). That’s all good! I’m so proud of how well we’re doing and how many people we are able to help, not to mention providing jobs in the community. That’s a winner!

The hermit says goodbye to the door he guarded.

Our Hermit Haus Redevelopment business has wound down, though the real estate work Lee and I do with Hermits’ Rest Enterprises is doing fine. His office is over at the Pope Residence, too, so I put our little hermit by his door. Aww.

He now gets to guard a new door and a fancy air conditioner!

And I had to face it, with all the things going on with the HHH business, as well as some other stuff that’s going on, business-wise, I knew I would not have the time or energy to do something fun with the Hermit Haus for now. Mandi is going to be working in a pharmacy as soon as she finishes her class, and with me still working full time in Austin, when would we be at the building?

No more sign directing people to the basement, either. But, my garden turned out nice and was pretty all summer.

We’ve had one wedding there recently, because one of our team members’ family lost their venue at the last minute. And we had Master Naturalist classes (hybrid Zoom/in person) there last month. So, it gets used, but we aren’t able to really have a business. That dream has to wait.

Yay, we have a sign.

So I decided to admit the dream is over, at least for now, and take those signs down today. The good news is that now we have a sign for HHH at our actual office, which, along with the new address numbers, makes it a lot easier for people to find the office (since we still aren’t bringing in visitors, it’s mainly for people doing job interviews, which there are a LOT of).

It’s All Fine, Change Happens

With so much changing every day in my life, change has become my new normal. And I’m finally getting better at it, I think. I think of plans and schedules as things that might or might not happen. I think of work teams as temporary. Pets, friends, and colleagues are to be enjoyed in the present. Yep, focusing on today really makes things easier. All is well, today, especially since we got the first significant rain of the month today.

How are YOU holding up? Are things too steady or too changeable?

What’s Up with Renovations?

I haven’t posted a renovation post in a while, have I? That doesn’t mean nothing’s going on! The main improvements have been to the second floor of the Pope house, where we had to expand sooner than expected, thanks to the growth of Hearts, Homes and Hands (a good thing – we sure are thankful to Kathleen and the team for that!).

Our care team now has an office on the second floor, with a great view of trees and the balcony. Meghan has a great command center for scheduling, keeping records, and filing, while there are two other desks for care team members who help her out. It’s hard to believe it’s grown that much since we opened for business last November!

Before we could get that office going, we had to get a nice, strong sub-floor in the upstairs hallway. The next improvement will be to remove the weird kitchen-y room, so people can get to the balcony without going through the future conference room (you know it’s a conference room, because we put the conference table in there).

It’s a good thing that the plumbing was all inspected on the second floor, because that let us set the upstairs bathroom up for the team to use. Right now, it’s functional, but not quite done. When it’s finished, it will be very cute and rustic, to match the theme of the building.

Work in progress!

Those of us who work in the office have really been enjoying all our fall decorations and the atmosphere in the building. I even get to eat lunch in my little break area.

Looking down at the break area and my office.

Hoping you are taking the time to enjoy what you’re doing, right now, and where you are. Take some time to look around. We’re alive, so let’s make the most of that time.

Enjoying my office every day!

Baby Steps to a Comfortable Life

Work Comfort

I’m realizing that my life is coming back, slowly. It’s different, but things I care about keep coming back. For example, going back to my Austin office has let me visit my tree friends in the courtyard (even if we can no longer see them from our desks).

Courtyard oaks.

I’ve known the trees since I moved to this area. We used to drive by them all the time while they were building my house. Then they were mottes of trees in beautiful meadows. Now they got saved when an office complex got built.

So restful.

I saw extra cool honey mushrooms in the rocky karst area.

Home Improvements

Our Bobcat Lair house has been stuck in February mode. The front tree has had Valentine decor, and there was a broken statue on the dining table for months. I was hardly ever home, and Anita stayed downstairs.

Farewell February!

But tonight Declan and Rollie came over and fixed that. We put up all the decorations we have, and Rollie really wanted orange lights, so we have them.

And we did the mantel. Yay.

It felt so good to be doing something together. I miss having the kids around. And they helped so much. We may have been wearing masks and keeping our distance, but we were doing fun seasonal stuff. Time has stopped freezing.

Spooky young people. They ARE smiling.

And we all walked the dogs together. That has always been my favorite family activity, ever since I was a kid. Traditions continue. Life goes on. Love can’t be stopped!

Sending air hugs to all.