Untitled #1, an artist’s starting point

A new month! A blank slate! An untarnished beginning!

Will I stick to my goals? Oh goodness no. But what will derail me? The fact that daylight will dwindle to about 23 minutes and send me to a spiral of depression and pajamas? Or will I get so stressed about finances that I spend double our grocery budget on wine? Perhaps I will take a jolly “belly like a bowl full of jelly” literally and consume my weight in those cheap holiday sugar cookies that come in sacks.

Ah! The possibilities! So much fuckery to look forward to!

I’ve re-read some Christopher Moore recently. Is there anyone who uses the word fuckery more than him?

Before you ask, nope. I did not sign up for NaBloPoMo. I am also not participating in NaNoWriMo or Movember. (In fact “tweeze” is on my November habit tracker. Take that upper lip and uni-brow!  And chin. And any mole anywhere on my body.)

I don’t know what I’m doing. Which is usually true, regardless of the month or point into which we have traversed it.

Today I decided to go old school with that cluelessness. And really, what is more old school than blogging? (Besides making up words like “cluelessness”.)

Pretty much all about hygiene for November. Probably won’t have time to blog with all my hand washing and flossing

Oh Hai

I haz a blog. But no pictures. I wrote this about two weeks ago and still haven’t had time to go through the pictures…

The short version* of my hike:

It started out great, then it was two days of rain where I did too many miles because it’s never fun to stop and enjoy a view in the rain. I ended up with a few blisters, two very painful and one infected.

Since skin is skin, and I’m prone to those types of infections, I was prepared with antibiotics packed in my emergency gear. Day 4 it was very easy to road walk a few miles to a motel room right across the street from a great restaurant.

I stayed there all of day 5, resting and popping pills. (The restaurant supposedly has a full bar. I wouldn’t know because I didn’t drink. Not even once. THAT’S how committed I was to getting better and continuing the hike.)
I drew a circle in permanent marker around the angry redness on my foot and by the next morning most of the red was gone and the swelling had reduced greatly.

Day 6 was pretty awesome; not too hard miles and I treated myself to a campsite at Gooseberry Falls State Park so I had access to water, bathrooms, and trash cans. It’s very surreal to be a backpacking camper among car campers though.

Day 7 kind of lagged. The antibiotic best for me (given the type of infection I get and other medications I take) is probably the only antibiotic ever prescribed that requires an EMPTY stomach. And I had to take it 4 times a day for peak effectiveness. The first and last doses of a day weren’t too difficult, but as I tried to hike, fuel, and medicate during the day it was tricky. I was also in a good bit of pain from walking on blisters, infection or no.

I rallied that afternoon by meeting some cool kids (probably in their mid to late twenties) and hanging with them for a bit. I had another reservation for Day 8 at Tettegouche State Park and we were too far away on the trail for me to make it so I left them and camped solo at a beaver pond complete with active beaver making a dam. That was pretty cool.

Day 8 started OK, had some high points of some really great views, and then hit a huge low point that evening. A miscalculation plus poor trail signage meant I was mentally prepared to be done hiking around 6pm yet it was 7:30pm before I got to my cabin.

When I got to my cabin – a rustic walk-in only site – the park staff had been nice enough to open it for me, but they forgot to leave me the key. Which is also the only way to get into the bathroom and shower facilities.
I had been counting on the shower to clean my feet and to wash my clothes. It was yet another mental setback. There was no phone service, although there was a landline courtesy phone outside the shower house. I tried calling the office but they were closed for the night.

I made the best of it with pump water and a basin I’m pretty sure was meant to wash dishes and not feet. It was set to be the coldest night since I started hiking and I was inside, with a wood stove. It had rained the night before so I used more emergency supplies (fire tinder) to get the place FIERCELY warm (I had to open the windows after a few hours!) and set my tent up to dry. Things could have definitely been worse.

Luckily I didn’t need to take a sh*t during the night, so I made do with watering the grass outside my cabin. In the morning, I left the office a message and a park ranger came down with the key, coffee, a certificate for a night’s stay, and many apologies.

So in many ways Day 9 started quite well. I showered, got to wash my hands with soap after a good flush, and got an extra caffeine buzz. I also was shocked at how short the spur trail seemed walking back OUT to the Superior Hiking Trail. It seemed 5 miles long the night before.

Unfortunately I hadn’t slept well the night in the cabin. I kept getting up to regulate the temperature (more wood, open windows, close windows, more wood?) and my mind just wouldn’t shut off. I also was having a more and more difficult time eating. Dinner was about the only meal I could complete.

The antibiotics, while requiring an empty stomach for absorption, weren’t any more delicate on my stomach than those taken with a meal. I would get horrible chemically burbs about a ½ hour after a dose and feel very queasy.
Basically, my stamina was shot. After I took the wrong turn at a fork, I sat down to re-orientate myself, figure the way back to the trail, and call a shuttle.

Originally I thought I might get a shuttle just a little further north up the trail, to a lodge where I had a food box waiting. I could spend a night or two and try to get back on the trail. But the more I texted back and forth the shuttle service, the more it made sense financially and physically to get back to my car, go home, get better, and come back to finish another time.

I had originally planned to spend 15 days on the trail. So I was short by a little less than a week. It’s unlikely I could have finished in the time planned, although I was technically only one day behind my schedule. I was very aware that it was taking me longer and longer to cover less and less miles. And I was in pain while I did it. (I have yet to speak to my doctor. I can just hear her, “You have the antibiotics so you don’t die. Not so you can continue to try and kill yourself.”)

If anyone wonders if I was sad to quit this hike, the answer is no. Yes, it’s discouraging to have made some small mistakes in the beginning (I knew I was hiking too many miles before my feet acclimated to all day hiking) and have it cost me the trip. But since I could not go back and change the past, looking at the situation I was in and how I was feeling, I know I gave it my best and I was very happy to quit. It was the right decision for me.

It was also the right decision because many of the mental reasons I yearned for this hike were satisfied. I turned off my email for over a week. I pretty much ignored social media. I did not have to juggle two jobs plus a foster dog plus a regular household. All I had to do was put one foot in front of the other. It’s an incredibility freeing sensation. One that I have missed and was glad to feel again.

I plan to go back in October. Maybe to finish it all. Maybe just to do another section. We’ll see.

*Daily write ups of my itinerary and some reviews will be forthcoming as time (HAH!) permits. (I actually have lots written, but all in first draft fits and starts as I find a moment or two.)

Drive

I pulled into a private drive. I only realized after the fact it was private; I thought I was pulling into the business next door’s double drive. But the snow was too bad. It couldn’t be helped. I had decided quick enough to act, but not quick enough to pull over correctly.

The yelling commenced.

“Where are you headed?!”

“Woodruff!”

“I’m going to Saint Germain!”

“We’ll take it!”

And so I ended up with two passengers on my drive to work.

My Facebook memories told me that two years ago we had a huge snow that day. So I was trying to be a little more stoic about the current wet, slushy mess. For the most part, this spring has been easy. And snow was all but gone.

But that day there was snow. And two guys walking down the road in it.

Their names were Jamie and Rob. I didn’t ask. We exchanged that unimportant info when the ride was over.

Rob, in a suit made for riding snow mobiles, sat in the back and pretty much said nothing. Jamie was lankier, had a black eye, and more talkative. The black eye was from his son. The talk was the usual hitchhiker banter.

The walk was because of jail.

This did not surprise me. The county jail is in our city and I picked these guys on the typical “The Walk of Shame” out of town.

Jamie admitted to it pretty much as soon as I got the car back in drive. “Had a fight with my son. Have one of those breathalyzer tests to start my car. Got so mad I had a few drinks, blew into it, and told them to come pick me up.”
Now I did not know his name, but I knew “his” story.

“Hey, I’m here to drive, not to judge.”

And so I drove. We passed two bad wrecks. I couldn’t take my eyes off the road but Jamie reported the second one was horrible – car was totaled after swerving off the road, down a ditch, and into a huge stand of pines. At least they didn’t go in the river.

Picking up hitchhikers is something I decided to do after I’d been a hitchhiker. When you are a hitchhiker, you have stories of the angels on wheels that save you from miles of road walking. These aren’t the stories of hitchhiking shown on after school specials. For good reason, I suppose. But I like the idea of being that angel on wheels for someone. I like the idea of filling up my hitchhiking karma bank for the day when once again I need a hospital or a meal or a hotel room that is miles down the road.

I apologized to the gentlemen that I couldn’t take them further. I had to work. They nodded and understood. Jamie let slip that Woodruff wasn’t their final destination. But if they got there, they could get to Minocqua. And if they got to Minocqua, someone was always going back and forth from “The Res” and would pick them up.

This falsification could have been because of the length of the drive or because they wished to curtail prejudice against the tribe. Either way, it reminded me sometimes it’s good to lie to strangers. No one is making you tell the truth to every person you pass on the street. They weren’t applying for a job or asking me on a date. I wasn’t there to judge, just drive.

After we arrived at my work space, we exchanged names briefly while getting out of the car. I shook Jamie’s hand. They said thanks, but were already halfway across the parking lot before I got my purse out of the trunk. They had miles to go before they slept.

I went ahead and locked the doors of my car, and the door to the office after I was inside. I wasn’t there to judge, but I did a bit anyway. I told myself I was only being smart; protecting myself against the possibility that picking up two guys fresh out of jail wasn’t the smartest move in the world.

It’s really easy to think that in my hitchhiking, that is not a thumb I will have to stick out. That I could not land in trouble with no one to help me but passing cars full of strangers. I hitchhike because I want to get into a town from a hiking trail or vice versa. My hitches are about conveniences, not requirements.

But really, no one is that far from it. The mighty fall, and the less mighty only need to stumble. One too many drinks…one too many arguments…one too many mistakes…and anyone, including me, could be out there with a thumb up hoping someone else won’t judge and just drive.

How ’bout a little old fashioned, drink-in-one-hand-type-with-the-other, stream of consciousness blog?

Except that it is 10:30am as I type this. Sadly, the drink is water.

I did drink last night*. Thursday night drinking is pretty unheard of these days, as I would like to lose some weight so I am carrying less while I hike. (Side note: after becoming a long-distance hiker, I can no longer lose weight hiking. I will probably shed a few pounds on the Superior Hiking Trail, but nothing significant. The body, it adapts. Just like it adapts to Thursday drinking.)

I decided to have a drink even though it was Thursday because it was WARM and SPRING IS HERE and I wanted to CELEBRATE.

As opposed to when I decide to have a drink because it is COLD and DREARY and I want to HIDE.

I drink less these days not only because of the calories, but because I have reached an age and experience level of drinking where I can drink copious amounts and not be hung over, but as soon as I’m past 1 drink I can kiss sleep goodbye.

I woke up at 3:30am, with the lights on, absolutely panicked that I am going to die someday.

This is a panic I have had frequently throughout my life. I used to calm myself down by pointing out how young I am. Now that that argument is moot, I try to point out how many people in my life (past and present) would STILL say I am young and even if I only live to my father’s age (I do plan to outlive him. Sorry Dad) that is 24 more years of life and that is a super long and many family members that have lived into their eighties or beyond saw death in a very different light, welcomed it a bit, and in one case (Gma) complained weekly that IT HAD NOT SHOWN UP YET AND THIS MORTAL COIL IS TIRING SHUFFLE OFF ALREADY.**

This morning, I used the calming technique of, “Are you shitting me that this is really how I am going spend 3:30am? It is too damn early for this.” Then I grabbed my phone and played a new game I am addicted to for an hour. I will not tell you the game for it is clearly made for twelve-year-olds and it is embarrassing how much I love it. But I managed to collect enough sweets to get unlimited energy for an hour and while it may not be the best start to a day, it certainly was better than panicking about death.

Then I sat up in bed and did some guided meditation.

I have not had time or room for yoga lately. I miss it, although I am still at a body size where I get frustrated over the limitations and modifications I have to make (boobs and Eagle Arms do not mix). For about two months I kept putting yoga on “the list” and it just wasn’t getting done. Time to be honest about what I can and can’t accomplish within 24 hours (23 hours if you take off for playing “Pearl’s Peril”***) and decided to try meditation apps with 10 minute guided sessions to provide some of benefit I felt from yoga that I don’t get from other forms of exercise.

So far…sigh. I desperately wish I could be one of those truly granola go-with-the-flow people. But I think using “desperately” in that sentence indicts how much against my natural personality that is.

Supposedly these sorts of things…mindfulness, calmness, gratefulness, meditation…can be learned. So I continue. Even though half the time “meditation” means “close my eyes until a cat jumps up and scares the shit out of me.”

*I wrote this Friday and forgot to publish.

**Ask me how that “less caps lock” resolution is going.

***If you are an adult that plays this game, I am NOT insinuating you are immature or have bad taste in games. I am insinuating you need to come visit and drink some not-water with me.

Planning a Hike

I have been planning a 3-week hike for myself in May.  That’s been keeping me somewhat busy and away from writing.  I say “somewhat” because the planning is only monopolizing half of my time.  The other half is devoted to daydreaming about it and/or having nightmares about what might go wrong.

Superior Hiking Trail

photo credit Superior Hiking Trail Association

I am planning to thru hike the Superior Hiking Trail.  While the trail extends 350 miles, only about 300 of it is considered part of a “thru hike”.  The last 50 are in the city of Duluth and then further south in a state park where there is no overnight camping.

I would ideally like to start at the north terminus (near the Canadian Border) and hike south.  That way if I have time, it would be easy to add as many southern miles as possible before my return date.

But May* is not the ideal to hike in northern Minnesota.  There could still be snow up north.  In a different year, there definitely could be.  Thanks to El Nino, this winter has been mild and I am not delusional for thinking the snow will be gone.  It is the mud and the rivers and creeks gorged with spring melt that I have to be concerned about.

So I will start at Martin Rd in Duluth and hike north.  That gives the north end a few more days to dry out as I hike towards it.  If I have time (and energy) in the end, I may stop in Duluth and hike a bit more south before going home.

I will blog this hike, although I’m still not sure of the format or how frequently I’ll post.  Probably more frequently than I did in March!  April TBD.

*Why am I hiking in May?  Because Memorial Day is the start of our busy season.  There will be a lull in late October/early November before the holiday shopping.  Last year Tom and I managed to close the shop and get away for few days then.  Maybe we will do so again this year.  But I am concerned that I will be too exhausted from our season and/or something else will come up that will keep me from hiking.  So I am sacrificing the “perfect” hike, for a hike.  Which is perfect to me.

How I survived my CSA

For those that don’t know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.

Yeah, I know. Even spelled out, it is descriptive but not…explanative? Which is evidently not a word and why you’re expecting clear language on this blog after 13 years is beyond me.

A CSA is usually a local farm (or collection of growers) that distribute “shares” for their “agriculture” to the “community” which “supports” them.

You know those monthly subscription-based services like wine of the month club? It’s like that. But usually weekly. And with more cilantro. (DAMN YOU CILANTRO.)

We have a nearby organic farm, EverGood farm, who does both 1/2 and fall shares for 8-16 weeks during the growing season. Every week we stopped at one of the farmer’s market they attend and picked up our box of goodies.

I love that we have a CSA available to us even though we’ve moved hours away from civilization. And that we have a farmer’s market just minutes from the shop.

But.

(Of course there’s a but. Did you read the title?)

1) The CSA is available during the time of the year when we are our busiest.
2) The farmer’s market just minutes from our shop happens on a Wednesday. This has meant lots of produce sitting around until Saturday or Sunday when I may have time to cook and prep.
3) Even with two very adventurous palates and willingness to try new things, there have been some items we just don’t use (I’m looking at you, CILANTRO). Although the cost is small considering the amount of produce we receive, it is a waste to receive items we truly can’t or won’t eat.

(Cilantro tastes like soap to me. It’s genetic. I’ve tried using it in varying quantities in different recipes. And every time I think, “This is an awesome dish except for the soap.”)

The first year we struggled with some of the above issues but decided it was worth it to continue. Last year I was much more prepared and didn’t waste as much but at the cost of my free time and sanity.

So looking forward to year three, we’ve decided instead of participating in the CSA, we will pre-purchase credits to use at the market. This gives us flexibility in both the amount of produce (in case it’s a particularly busy week) and the actual product itself (we, uh, won’t be purchasing any cilantro). At the same time by purchasing credits in advance we are committing ourselves to eating local, organic produce and helping EverGood with a small economic boost in their non-growing season.

All that said, if you happen to not work 14 hours a day during the time CSA shares are distributed I think they are wonderful. Some of the positives (besides supporting local farming):

1) Usually fresher produce than you would find in a store.

2) Variety of produce including items you may not pick out on your own.

3) One-stop shopping for most of your vegetable needs for the week.

If you find the idea interesting, but are similarly concerned about being overwhelmed, here are the ways I made participating in a CSA easy:

1) Keep it Simple – Think Salads, Soups, and Smoothies

Sometimes confronted with a new or special food, I feel I must do something new or special with it. And if you have the time and energy, go for it! Let your CSA share be the canvas on which you paint a beautiful and tasty gourmet meal.

But if you don’t have the time and energy? Remind yourself the point is to eat a variety of local, hopefully organic, produce. Any format you choose to get it in your belly is an acceptable way to accomplish that. The Three Ssss’s are my favorite.

Salads. Just about any vegetable and many fruits can be chopped up and thrown in there. Keep your favorite “salad extras” (think canned beans, crumbled cheeses, sunflower seeds) on hand with two or three favorite dressings to rotate. This is an extra bonus if you have a heat-wave in the middle of CSA season. Great, easy dinner without turning on the stove!

Technically A Stew, But You get the Idea

Technically A Stew, But You get the Idea

Soups. I once was at a loss with a particularly large CSA share that included leeks, eggplant, fennel, zucchini, and potatoes. One long ass google search later, Soup! Yes, I needed several other vegetables to complete the recipe. But eating vegetables was the whole point, yes? A lot of vegetable-based soups will be very forgiving with omitting or adding ingredients; just start with good quality bases and use your favorite herbs. You can also translate many soup recipes to the crock pot which helps with time constraints.

Smoothies. When in doubt, throw that ish in a blender, add some frozen berries, and suck down those nutrients! Almost any greens are blender-worthy, as well as any fruits, cucumbers, celery, and even some herbs if you’re feeling spicy and adventurous. I have a green smoothie daily, that usually incorporates 1-2 servings of vegetables at 1-3 servings of fruit. (If you are not used to green smoothies, I would suggest starting with your favorite fruit smoothie with 1-2 cups of spinach added. Spinach is by far the easiest vegetable to incorporate without noticing a different taste or texture.)

Not quite "green"...blueberries will do that

Not quite “green”…blueberries will do that

2) The freezer is your friend

At some point, you will be faced with an item you can’t for love or money work into a recipe in a timely fashion. I had a head of cabbage stare at me for a week and a half for this exact reason. My husband had obliged me with two heads of cabbage earlier in the season by frying up cabbage and bacon. But I don’t like cabbage and bacon and I was sick of him solely reaping the cabbage benefit.

I had just the week before made baked egg rolls for the first time, using up some Napa cabbage. I definitely wanted to make them again, but not so soon. Again, google to the rescue with directions on how to prepare cabbage for freezing.

You can freeze cabbage? Who knew? But CSA desperation calls for pulling out all the stops. Now that cabbage has been quartered and blanched and is sitting right next to the leftover egg roll wrappers.

Every once and while I am also smart enough to freeze something ASAP. I grate carrot and extra zucchini then freeze for all sorts of sweet and savory treats later. I immediately freeze my rhubarb because I’ll want to make jam later.

Some items can be frozen raw with no (berries) or little (grated vegetables) preparation. Some items need a bit of coaxing (herbs made into a “pesto-starter”, chopped fine with olive oil) and some need actual heat before they cool off (blanching cabbage). But I promise you the small amount of work put into packing away frozen goodies is worth it.

3) If not the cold shoulder (freezer), how about some hot air?

I’m talking dehydrating, y’all. And it’s awesome. I immediately put herbs in the “dehydrate” pile. I just can’t use up the amount we receive fresh before they start to rot. I’ve also found that dehydrated scallions will plump back up for most recipes just fine.

Another thing I dehydrate a lot is tomatoes. Tomatoes are the sort of produce I received in small enough amounts in my CSA that unless I put them in salads, I rarely feel I have enough to “do” anything with while they are fresh. I dehydrate them and then use them in place of sun-dried tomatoes in recipes for months.

I store my dehydrated items in clean plastic containers with good lids in a pantry spot that won’t get a lot of light.

Those are my tips on getting the most out of a CSA and trying to not get overwhelmed.  I do recommend trying a CSA if you have one available in your area.  It is an easy way to get tons of fresh produce.  Most CSAs will give you a heads up as to what is planned to be in a share so you can be prepared with recipes and menus for the week ahead.

I am really looking forward to this next season with Ever Good farms. I am a little concerned we will get so busy that we won’t use all of our credit, but that is why I purchased it now – to force us to shop where we really want to.

Punching People In The Throat Is My New Spirit Animal

I never think I hate February. But then somehow for the shortest month of the year it definitely drags for me. And this year I had to endure a whole nother day of it! There were all those “what are you achieving in your bonus day” memes and inspiring Facebook posts and what I really wanted to achieve was to punch all those creators in the throat and then take a nap.

I’ve decided I am taking a trip next February. Somewhere.  Anywhere.  Anything to break of the monotony of “Forever Winter Wisconsin”.

When I lived in Florida, I found November and December to be a little depressing. I struggled with the time change (here I do as well, but I’m more stoic and prepared) but mostly I think I hated that the climate did not match my expectations seasonally. I always had a hard time getting excited for the holidays, which made me try harder since Christmas is my favorite holiday, which made me even more depressed when I felt let down December 25th.

Here I LOVE November and December. I could become one of those people who says, “Well, there really are only X shopping days left…” when someone complains for Christmas decor in the retails stores on September 15th. Feel free to come punch me in the throat. I’m aware it’s annoying. But I’m so happy about it that I can’t stop.

In Florida, I LOVED January and February. New year! Clean slate! And it was warm/light enough to get out and accomplish stuff! Also, when I was single, I always, always found a guy in February or early March. Always. And perhaps I should have focused on what was it about me that meant every February or early March I was single and in search of new guy but whatever. I found Tom and he doesn’t believe in divorce so I can pretty much ignore all my commitment/relationship issues until death parts us. Whee! Man, that right there was enough reason to get married again.

Point is, I had lots of good and evidently sexy energy around me during the start of the year in Florida. Now here in Wisconsin I just have a lot of whining and darkness. And possibly leftover cheese. Because inevitably I also start off November and December determined to stay on track nutritionally for the winter and sometime after December 28th that turns into, “try not to eat all the cookies in one sitting. Pace yourself.”

But now it is March! Perhaps last year I didn’t have this hopeful surge but last year the weather report for the second week in March didn’t include average highs in the 40s. It has been warm and sunny, or warm and rainy (today). Either way means the snow is rapidly melting. And until the spring forward time change, it is light enough, early enough, I can walk in the mornings. (I still have to wear ice traction but it is a small price to pay for going outside without snow boots and a puff jacket.)

New Corporate Policy

Tom:  Damn!  I left your bra at work.

Me:  I shouldn’t have had any bras in the laundry!

Tom:  But you did.  A sports bra.  Don’t worry, it didn’t go in the dryer.  That’s why I forgot it.  It’s hanging off the door to the breaker panel.

Me:  What?!  What are you going to do when we have actual employees??!

Tom:…Tell them to hang their bras elsewhere?  That door is for YOUR bras.

I just might make it

February has been tough, yo.

In part because I realize I am too old to end a sentence with “,yo”.  Yet I feel without it the sentence, “February has been tough,” exudes a stoic adult-ness I do not feel about the situation.

But today I managed to buy prescription cat food online (Spike is a delicate flower, requiring not one, but TWO special diets mixed together to assure all of his output actually does, indeed, output) with just emailing pdfs and jpegs and not requiring me to speak to an actual person in person.

There’s hope, is what I am saying.  Or perhaps, I am saying,

There is hope.

Because I’m an adult.

Ugh and GoDaddy and Other Words Strung Together

I wrote this last Monday and didn’t publish for some reason.  Probably because I was so tired.  Oh wait.  I remember…it took me over 45 minutes to get the fire to the point it did not need babying that night.  I almost cried I was so frustrated.  I am certainly not the best at starting fires, but I do know the basics.  I usually get home first so I have lots of practice starting fires in our wood stove.  But that night the wood was damp and I could not stack the wood so it would sit right on the coals and it was just awful.

Things are better now.  For one, Tom is back.  For another, the temperatures rose to the point a fire is a luxury not a necessity.  I still hate Josh though.

****

I am tired and have a headache and am easily distracted. It makes for an annoying work day where I make an assumption about a piece of paperwork, email someone about it, then realize I have access to additional paperwork that can a) answer my questions or b) completely prove my assumption is incorrect.

And even after doing this twice, I will do it again. I will feel bad and give myself a stern talking to that I am better than this. I will pick up another piece of paperwork, read the first two lines, and say, “This is for X because it was X in the title! I will proceed as if it is for X without reading further!”

I’m not sure if it’s the tired or the distracted that is causing this but I am at the point in the day where I have given up self-correcting. I am just trying to do the bare minimum of work to make it until bedtime. It will save me and my co-workers much time in the long run.

****

I had a very unpleasant experience with GoDaddy first thing this morning, where I was trying to ask about getting a domain name registry wrapped into my hosting service to save a little money.

And the person (Josh) I spoke to has obviously heard this request before and had his answer down pat (that can only be done with a new service, not renewals) but he was so condescending and rude about it. He would not let me finish my very first sentence. He also said, “Well, the domain name is ONLY fifteen dollars” in a way I am very sure he would not appreciate if I clonked him over the head and then took only fifteen dollars out of his wallet.

I would really like to contact GoDaddy and let them know Josh was a dick. It was not the worst experience I’ve had in customer service, but it is the worst I’ve had with GoDaddy.

Except, evidently, you cannot email GoDaddy. You have to call GoDaddy. That great customer service they pride themselves on must be conducted over the phone so they can address your concern as quickly as possible.

I do not want to call them because I do not want GoDaddy to do anything. Maybe fire Josh immediately and send him on the walk of shame with his headset dangling? But I do not want GoDaddy to do anything FOR me. And I feel if I call to complain, it will be implied that I am looking for action by, for example, giving me the fifteen dollar credit I originally called about. And Josh was an asshole, but I understand from subsequent reading, he was a correct asshole. I do not want GoDaddy to bend the rules or give me a special Josh-was-an-asshole discount. I just want GoDaddy to know about Josh because I want to get good customer service from them in the future and letting them think Josh is good at customer service will not facilitate that happening. Maybe they are making the Josh-From-Billing Customer Service Excellence Award right now as I type! Pretty soon it will be 24 hours of reaching Josh and I will have to decide to switch hosting services and I don’t want to do that.

****

I like how I complained that I am jumping to wrong conclusions and rushing forward on assumptions in my own work and then also complained about someone not letting me finish a sentence he was so sure of my question and rushed to answer it.

In other news, it has become officially cold (-30 windchill, HIGH of -3) so we have to have a fire going in the wood stove all the time. My skin is itchy and my hair crackles when I put on a shirt. My toes are pretty much never warm unless I am currently in the shower. I am beginning to understand that I can want to move somewhere there are seasons and still not love 100% every aspect of every season. Tom will be gone for two days (trade show) and something I have already learned from his Christmas trip is that this life we chose is definitely not for the soloist. Maybe with a different house, or different cats, a different commute…but as it sits now, we are both required participants in the daily maintenance of this life. And that goes doubly for when the weather necessitates the wood stove. I am all about equality and toting in wood myself, lighting fires, maintaining fires…but it means while I’m doing that he is making dinner or giving a cat medicine or washing dishes.  When it’s just one of us here, something definitely falls to the wayside.  Usually sanity.