Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I've been a blogging Slug (AKA month of February - maybe that should be groundhog?)

To be honest, there isn't much going on this month of February. 

let's start from the beginning.  After the snow and ice that really did hit us, we had another "warning in early February about freezing rain.  They were less knee jerk on shutting down the base this time as we spent a day at home in January and there was NO snow in sight.  This time, we workers didn't get the official "go home" until the temperatures were on the decline and there was ice on the airframes on base.  Enough of a sign of things to come that night.  Well, not REALLY.  North of us by a few short miles Forcythe got hit pretty hard with lots of freezing rain and downed power lines.  We got this;
 yes, that really is a layer of ice on the leaves, not just water... but it's so thin and there is nothing stuck to the ground.  I'm sure there were chances of it freezing on overpasses, but the few I have between me and work were sanded and good to go.

 I want you to note that Butch's windshield is completely CLEAR and mine is frosted over big time.  Apparently I need to stop pointing my butt out on the car as it's the one way that I get a LOT of ice on the windshield.  Bummer.
And with that tiny bit of ice we got off early that evening and a late arrival time the day following.  The BAD thing about that was I was in a three day training course and due to our missing more than 1 hour of the course they had to reschedule it.  Yep, it complete it I will have to go back for TWO more days... even though we made it to over 1.75 days in the original course.  I'm not sure I'll make it to the "retake" of that course...  Sigh.  Oh, well - that's life with my work.

I also went TDY (work trip) for the first time in a year and a half.  We typically go once a year somewhere fun for a week to recap where we are with the program and where we're headed, but no such luck last fall as there was NO money and furloughs shut everyone down.  So... another half year later and I got to go to the big bustling city of Montgomery Alabama.  I didn't take a picture ONE.  Nope, not one.

I had a nice room with two queen beds - again something stupid with government rates...they would give me that, but not one King.  Silly.  I so missed the option to have Mom on the trip with me - not that there was anything to DO in Montgomery after hours, but still, she enjoyed going on these trips with me in the past.  To her benefit, she did plan a trip to LA to see her sisters and spend the week with them, so I had swapped my training week with Derek to allow me to be closer to home "just in case" dad needs me this week.  AND to give me a chance to go say "hey" and take him to dinner on Wednesday night.  We're going to El Tapatio in Fort Valley.  Yum!

Anyway back to Montgomery, it was a nice trip.  Julie B, Karen J, and Bob L. were also on this trip to train for the new BIRT reporting tool that we'll be using for the new version of FEM.  We'll need to have 300 reports re-written to this new tool by July if all goes as planned for the deployment of the new version.  Fun, fun, fun.

The first night Karen and I went to an early dinner and met up with Julie and Bob at happy hour at the hotel.  The ONE good thing about the hotel we went to is that they have food at their happy hour.  The first and third night was the same food (chicken fingers, baked potatoes, hot dogs, nachos, salad/veggies/dip and a soup), and the middle night they didn't have the chicken fingers and had baked ziti and meatballs instead.  The chicken fingers were the best of all of it... the rest just filled a spot.  They also give you a voucher for three free drinks as well and if you schmooze the bartender, you could get some doubles tossed in there and really have a nice nightcap before bed :)  We spent our nights visiting, drinking and munching.  Julie wanted to do something more active, so we attempted to bowl one night and found out that bowling is apparently the ONLY thing to do in Montgomery as the filled and entire 30 lane bowling alley to the brim on league night.  Oh, well, we tried.... maybe next time.

I came home to a beautiful weekend of mild weather and sunshine!!

Work on projects continued on projects during the month, but the desk has yet to be published as a finished product due to missing hardware - it's somewhere in Liz's room... however no-one is sure exactly where.. and the search hasn't really gone into full swing.  I have yet to chuck everything out of the closet and really go through the nitty gritty of what is in that room... so it's another "in progress" mode for that one.

I did buy a new paint sprayer to use to paint it and BOY was it sure FAST to do the painting that way!!   I managed to fit that in during the warmer weekends when they happened.  Next up will be the dresser I have to paint.  Right now it's also a work in progress and demands some glue in joints.  I'm a procrastinator on this due to weather.   Then when the weather is good, I prefer to be in the yard doing other things.

After coming back from Montgomery this last weekend, I finished the north west drain area of the pool.  I had put in a small retaining wall and pea gravel in the whole area with exception of right around the drain due to some very nice verbena in there... well, that has died back, so now is the time to really get in there and dig and make changes.  So that is what I did this last weekend.  That project is complete, however I didn't feel it was photo worthy apparently as there are no pictures to date.  It really was a small area - only about a 3' swath.  I did clean the deck as well, then Butch followed behind me with a nice power wash of the whole deck.  The other thing that I accomplished with Butch's help (he had to dig the hole for me!).  i got the wisteria in the ground for this spring.  It was necessary as everything is starting to bud a bit.
Doesn't look impressive, however the grapes are gone and the wisteria is started and will match the other side by next year.  I'm excited as it will be SO pretty when it's full grown!

We surprised Butch while he was in the backyard with a visit from the neighbors dog who had gotten out.  Rather than let him run the neighborhood, I had Angela put him in the backyard so he would be safe.  Apparently putting a dog in with someone when they aren't aware will really freak them out - ha!  Poor Butch and poor dog as he got a bit power washed himself.  We finally had to break into the neighbors yard due to the dog barking at the washer and attempting to bite at the water stream (he's not the brightest dog).  Anyway, his hips have issues, so in the process of being chased away from the power washer, he also took a nice swim... yeah, it was time for him to go home.  and time to convince Angela NO dogs!!  yeah, that didn't really occur, but it was worth the thought.

We also planted the wisteria that I started last year.  It was time as everything here is starting to bud.  Then I see we're going to have lows in the 20's next week.  UGH. I'm so over winter!

And that wraps up the month for the most part... hanging with Dad from time to time this week - dinner with him tomorrow night and then he'll drive with me to ATL to pick mom up on Friday night.  I plan on a break at the outlet mall area as there is a nice Mexican restaurant in the area and that distance will be a good time to get out and stretch our legs...





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