Thursday, June 25, 2020

Happy Summer!

Sunset over the park the other night.
This makes me happy!
This is on my street.

I am so glad I went back to work when it was still pretty slow because it's really picked back up lately!  I work for a trucking company that hauls a lot of freight for the Big 3 automakers.  I've heard talk of adding another 100 trucks to the company (we already have 200 or so) and bringing in another person to the department - to make 4 of us!   

  When I was first started here (can it really be 20 years now!??!) my boss showed me how to get from point A to point B and if I could find a better / easier way to get there than how she showed me - Great!   Which means we all have our own unique ways of shuffling & processing the multitudes of paperwork to get everyone paid.  Then here comes the new-ish office manager who told us the fact that we have no Standard Operating Procedures in place makes her eye twitch.  So we have to document - in detail - everything we do.  Luckily she gave us a couple weeks, so as we come across tasks we can write it down.  Woot.

2 weeks ago my SAR team finally went on the evidence search that had been planned a while ago.  We were looking for a man who went missing back in October.  There were 41 people from 6 different SAR teams from all over Michigan working together covering a couple hundred acres to basically confirm the suspicion that he is in the water somewhere.  And there is a LOT of water & swamps in that area!  Either that or he's on the beach on some remote tropical island somewhere, but that's not too likely.  

There were a couple of us from my team that got shout-outs by the local police & host team for how well we worked with the K9 teams!  I personally was fascinated with watching a K9 area search and asked 100 questions on what the handler needed me to do and about what 'Crash' was doing.  The K9s on my team do mostly scent-specific searches so they're on a leash.  Crash had a collar with a cowbell & a GPS unit on it and was let loose to run.  He covered a lot of area a lot quicker than people could.  And if he caught a scent, he went back to his handler & barked at her.  She'd tell him to "show me" and he'd run back & forth between her to where he found the scent.
Dogs' noses are amazing tools!
Check out this house!  Isn't it gorgeous??
It was on the way between the fire department staging area and all three of the vectors I helped search.
Blinky lights!
One area we searched had an abandoned house and some out-buildings. 
This old suit hanging in this shed was something out of a horror movie!

Confession - I would have liked to explore that area a bit more!

It was a long day!  I went out twice to different areas with "Team Crash" - aka the area search dog, then the last time was for a ground search with 3 guys from my team.  We found a selection of bones, but none were human, we don't think!  One set was from some sort of large bird.  The other was a dump site off the side of the road, down a steep hill.  Maybe the deer jaw was planted there as a decoy??   We called it in, hopefully they sent a HR (human remains) dog out to be sure.   This led to some interesting conversations!

  As we were heading back to the car to go back to staging, Lt started sending out messages on our team's messaging app that there were 4 new members accepted onto the team.  We joked around about wading out into the swamp (that we all looked at and said "aw, hell no!") and rubbing mud on our faces, then taking a group selfie and posting it with a big caption of "HI!"
I set BabyBoy down for a minute on the bed and came back 30 seconds later to find him & Rusty snoozing. 
Rusty is finally getting more cautious about his snuggling.  BabyBoy has reached his grabbing stage, so the first time he latched onto Rusty's tail & yanked, he was surprised!  He still will let BabyBoy touch him, but he's more watchful.  He's such a good kitty that he didn't try to swat or hiss or anything. 
We've had some really nice days, so we took advantage of being outside!
BabyBoy must have liked the feel of the grass, since he kept reaching over & petting it.

Last Thursday, sister #1 called up and asked if I wanted to go kayaking Saturday.  Sure!  She got hold of sister #2 and niece Lulu, too.  Sis2 couldn't go, but Lulu & one of her friends met us at the rental place.   Since it was a last minute thing, the kayak rental place near my house that we've used before was totally booked up.  So we went to (gonna shout them out!) EZ Kayak & Canoe Rental in Linden, MI.  Everyone working there was super nice but when Lulu called them, she never actually booked any kayaks for us - doh!  Luckily the owner, Gary, loaned us his personal boats since they were also booked up. 
The only issue I had was the river wasn't the best for stopping along the way to swim.  It started out kind of low and sandy, with some really big clam shells here & there.  Then it turned into like a channel, where it was 3-4 feet deep with lots of seaweed & lilypads and no good places to stop & get out.  And when I saw a snapping turtle the size of a hubcap - there was no way in hell I was getting out unless it was clear!
This little guy was sitting on top of some seaweed, so I picked him up to say hi.  Then put him back down onto a lily pad, where he sat & watched me paddle away.
Yes, Chuck the skeleton went along, too!
Complete with inflatable vest & swim goggles.

Sis1 and I opted to only do a 2 hour trip, which we stretched out to 3 hours.  Lulu & her friend did a longer trip.  Gary picked us up at the end of our trip and told us about an "ice cream garage" just down the block that was really good.  Sis1 and I looked at each other and decided immediately that we had to go.  This ice cream place was literally in a garage!  The door was rolled up and the freezer case was right there.  We found a nice bench nearby and waved & toasted Gary with our ice cream cups when he drove by again with the next bunch of people - LOL!

On the way back to Sis's house I saw a little family cemetery and she offered to turn around so we could check it out.  She likes to explore them as much as I do!  
I looked on Find A Grave and there are only 16 burials here.
Interesting how the "N"s in Fenton Township are backwards.  Makes me wonder if it was established in 1851 or 1821?

I had planned on hurrying home, since Spawn had to work and Spouse already had babysat a couple days this week, but Sis had the opportunity to pick up a load of hay for the horses and the farmer asked her to come out that evening.  I'm glad I stayed to help, since the farmer wasn't there, but his wife with their tiny baby was.  So she wasn't any help, other than keeping their dogs out of the way.    So I helped load 25 bales onto Sis's truck, and then unloaded it back into her barn.  Words from on who has learned from experience....don't try to throw hay over your head while 1. you're sweaty and 2, while you're wearing shorts & a tank top.  I think I had half a bale inside my shirt, stuck to my skin!  Not comfortable at all. 
Sunsets are truly the Art of Nature.
He's just so cute, I can't even!

Still no word as to when the Spouse's furlough will be over.  He's been off work since the end of March - the only people who were deemed "essential" were the biggest ass-kissers.  I drove by where he works at and there was a big ol' "for Sale" sign on it - which doesn't surprise me much, since they already squished all the employees into one wing from 3 because it meant "less overhead costs".  And today he got the weekly email saying they had new owners.  Yay.  Things aren't sounding good.  But I think there's something better out there for him.  A company that will appreciate his smarts & work ethics.  It's still scary, tho!

My VFW opened last night for the first meeting since March 11.  We opted to not have a regular meeting, but just went over how things are different, will be different and how things have been taken care of since all this stuff went down.  I may have gotten put on the spot to accept a new position of something to do with kids & safety?   And I volunteered to help out with the 75th anniversary celebration of the post this November, too.  But we *finally* got to draw the name for the recipient of the scholarship!  Now I have to contact the winner and let her know.   At least she'll have her $1000 before she goes to college in the fall. 

Oh man.  I think its time to hit the sack!  I've been going on walks almost every night with Spawn & BabyBoy and I really need to get some new shoes with good support!  I was out on that search in the woods & fields for most of the day wearing boots that police & EMTs wear and physically felt great when I got home.  But a less than 2 mile walk around a flat paved trail in the park in tennis shoes and I feel like I've been beat up.  I get some weird random aches & pains besides the top of my right foot and inside of my left knee.  I really hate shoe shopping!

Until later....
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Words of Wisdom from a Splenda package.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

...back to work update!

This just seemed appropriate for the times.

So as planned, I went back to work Tuesday! 
I happily got right back into the swing of things, without forgetting how to do anything.  I did have a brainfart once, but in my defense, I'd only been working with this one customer for about 6 weeks (weekly invoicing) before all the crap hit the fan, so pppbth.

Oh, I was busy all day Tuesday, but by 10am Wednesday, I was all caught up. 
  And since my week was Tuesday to Saturday this week?  You're currently reading what my day today is consisting of.  I've had a few little things here & there come in to take care of, but nothing major.  I don't want to do all my work and have nothing to do Monday!

Here's our "health station"
The spray bottles & rags are for the few drivers currently working to clean their trucks.  There's hand sanitizer that one of the guys from a Texas terminal hooked us up with.  It's from Mexico so who knows what it actually is - LOL!  Masks & a forehead thermometer & the requisite forms for us to fill out each day. 
Overlooked by Dr. Larry from the 3 Stooges.
 I brought the peace lily I adopted from the office manager back to the office.  I've never been able to keep one alive before and it was so happy on my desk that I was afraid to take it home.  But it stayed alive and even put out a new leaf!  Maybe one day it'll bloom.
BabyBoy is 5 months old! 
He's rolling around & grabbing everything his little fingers can reach & happily eating his veggies!  He's been drooling like crazy so he's likely teething, too.
The latest virtual "run" that I just started doing.  Virtual events are my way of rewarding myself for going out and getting my carcass moving.  

Come on - there are fighter jets on the medal!!!

Have you ever done one of these?   The sites I usually stick with are Yes.Fit, Virtual Strides and of course the annual Gordy's Pumpkin Run.  I've also done one for the Michigan DNR called the Happy Little 5K (the medal had Bob Ross & his palette!) that planted trees in the state parks and I'm signed up for a 5K for the Northwest PA K9 Search & Rescue team that I have to do between 6/7 and 6/30. 

Oh man - there are so many options!  Besides the really cool medals in just about any subject you can think of, some virtual races donate to a charity, too.  Distances range from 1K to thousands of miles.  Obviously you don't have to do the longer races all at one time.  The Top Gun one is 75+ miles and I'm only logging the miles that I'm actually out walking and not bothering with the times.  They'll send out my medal when I log my last leg.  The longer ones that I've done have all followed a map - Top Gun is around San Diego.  And when you hit "mile markers" they'll email you a point of interest along the map or some interesting info or a cool picture.  Since I just started this a couple days ago, I just got a video about the history of the Top Gun program.   Last year I did a 105 mile vampire race around Romania.  It was really awesome.

Here's my collection so far.
I can't see all of them here, but I've got one for the Honor Flight, the Thin Blue Line, the anniversary of the first man on the moon, the Tell-Tale Heart from Edgar Allan Poe, Popeye, and at least one Navy one.  The Zombie is the first medal I ever got  So lots of variety! 
I got my cheap Boston Fern from the grocery store!  This monster was only $8.  And it was on sale!  Non-sale price was $13 so that's even a bargain.
I'm going to stop soon and get a second for the other side of the yard.
The sunset the other night.
I wish I could remember when I first saw this extremely rare "Pants Tree" - but it's been well over a year and they're still hanging on that branch!  And there was extensive construction & resurfacing along this stretch of road last summer and they're still there!
I love this tree over the winter because it has funky twisted, gnarly branches, but I also enjoy seeing it leafed out.
Spawn & I got stared at on our walk last night.  We stopped to look at her, and I could tell she was getting upset with us even at this distance.  She stomped her front feet a couple times, so unless the bugs were bothering her, she likely had a fawn nearby.  So we went on our merry way.
It's supposed to be nice all weekend, so I'm going out to my sister's for some horse time after work, then I do believe a fire in the back yard & s'mores are on tap for later.  Tomorrow I'll just dink around out in the yard or whatever.  I got used to not having anything vital to do or places to go!


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