Mind over matter

Monday, February 1

Hello February! How quickly you have come around. January was a good month with OK weather and more sunny days than we had this time last year so I’ll take it. There’s nothing like a sunny day as opposed to the normal gray winter day or snow on the ground to put a smile on our face. These days I think everyone could use all the smiles we can get. I won’t go into it here but my heart aches for this country. For the people. For where we are headed. All I can do is pray and I hope you will join me.

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Yesterday was a smooth but busy day. Our guest left about the time we normally leave for church so we weren’t able to go. It’s a good thing because they had been gone for twenty minutes or so then came back because they had forgotten their glasses. yikes! We know from experience that ya gotta have those! Anyway, we were glad we were here. Sometimes you just get that feeling that leaving isn’t good and yesterday was one of those days.

After my first cuppa coffee I started another batch of yogurt. I had high hopes for this batch but eight hours later there was cream on the top and the rest was still as runny as milk. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. I just don’t understand. The only thing I can figure is that the starter I have isn’t any good. My next attempt will be to get some plain organic yogurt and use some of that as the starter. If THAT doesn’t work then there may be something wrong with the yogurt maker (like not keeping it at a steady 105 degrees). I’m highly doubting that’s the problem but ya never know. I’ll have to make another trip to the big town because I’m sure our only grocery store in town will not have plain organic yogurt. However, I will check tomorrow after work. Who knows, if they have some I will be ecstatic and it will save me a trip.

This time of year has us dreaming about and planning our summer garden. I found a printable garden journal online and printed it out before going in to work. Earlier in the week we received one of the garden catalogs I had requested some weeks back, Johnny’s Selected Seeds (very reputable amongst gardeners), and we have been perusing it and picking out some seed varieties we would like to try this year. We know we need to relocate the asparagus and Concord grapes so I’ve also been pondering grape arbor and planter box designs and trying to decide where they should be. I have a dream for our current garden space but because our budget is slim to none and because we’ll be doing the work ourselves we will be creating the garden space in phases. Probably many phases meaning many years until it’s complete. And really, will it ever be complete? No. Because much of garden design and gardening is trial and error which means that down the line there’s the possibility that something will need to be changed, relocated, added, or done away with. Once the weather warms up hopefully we can begin working on this first phase. Meanwhile, I’m going to keep looking at the pretty seed catalogue and dream!

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Since we were unable to go to church I went in to work an hour early. I worked steady washing & drying sheets and ironing them in between. Four hours later I was headed home to get ready for the bosses big online birthday celebration. Normally this time of year the B&B is crawling with women from all over and from all walks of life. There’s music, games, times of reflection, delicious food and camaraderie for an entire weekend. Ladies who have come to celebrate my boss and each other. Due to the pandemic that weekend was not going to take place. Thankfully, one of the ladies came up with the idea to have a virtual party and at 6 o’clock all those invited were signing on. It was wonderful seeing so many familiar faces. We all had a chance to speak throughout the event, several ladies read poems they had either written or had found suitable and wanted to share, there were music clips shared from past parties, and there was, of course, music. Yours truly was asked to sing ‘Amazing Grace’ and I belted out four verses to the computer. I hope it sounded OK at the other end. It was a different way to celebrate but it was still so good to see everyone even if it was virtually. And, because I just can’t sit and not do something I worked on the baby blanket and got quite a bit done during the two hour event. yay!

Part of the sharing everyone did was telling everyone what they had been up to since we met last year. After listening to everyone’s stories I noticed there were basically two groups of people – those that embraced what the pandemic threw at them and those that found themselves struggling with the havoc it wreaked in their lives. Many ladies that worked extremely hard for their employers now had a chance to discover themselves again and have decided to step back from the rat race. Many ladies that had their own businesses found themselves without clients and were forced to explore other areas of interest for income and yet they chose to embrace the changes in a positive light and have moved on or are in the process of moving on to bigger, better things. Story after story like those. Then there were those who could not get past the hardships that the pandemic threw at them. I get it. I really do. But if there’s one thing I’m continually learning it’s about the power of the mind. It truly is a powerful thing and if we can just learn to find the silver lining in every situation I believe we can move on and make the best of all situations life throws at us. Easier said than done, I know, but it’s always something to strive towards.

I ended my evening catching up on Instagram while drinking a cuppa hot Ginger Peach Turmeric tea from Bigelow. (My niece recommended it and she was right – so good!) After retiring I read a couple chapters in my book and we all had a restful night. Even LizzieBell. Of course, our restful nights these days are dependent on her not having a coughing fit.

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Today we woke up to less than an inch of snow coverage. I don’t think I will ever tire of the beauty of it! It was a slow drive in to work but it was a lovely drive.

Now at work, however, it was a different story. Remember how I just mentioned about choosing to see the silver lining? Yea, today was a struggle to find that silver lining. The server is officially kaput. No amount of turning it off then on did any good. I had to restart my computer four or five times after trying to access the server just to get it to unfreeze so that I could get back to work. A few times it just froze up without me even trying to access the server. What’s the importance of the server? It’s where we can all access any and all files that are stored on it making it easy to get the pages laid out and the ads put on them. Without the server we are working on our own desktops, sometimes screen sharing each others computers just to access a page, a photo or a folder full of files for each section of the paper which results in a LOT of extra work and the chance of errors being made. Then I had spent a good hour the other day creating an ad for a new customer only to find out today they really didn’t want to spend that much money and ended up not placing the ad. Lesson learned. Get the new customer to name their budget FIRST and then spend time creating the ad. I struggled all day with trying to remain positive and failed several times throughout the day. At the end of the day I think what bothered me most is the fact that the failing server has been coming on for well over a year and yet at the end of this stressful day, the boss was gone and still nothing had been done. An entire YEAR to get a new server. Now we (the staff) are having to jump through hoop after hoop trying to get a decent paper put together with all the photos and ads linked so that they’re not blurry when it goes to print. Mind you, our staff is very loyal and competent and we WILL get a paper out no matter what but I feel as though we are being used because of our competency and that the server being kaput is no big deal. And why should it be if we keep getting a paper out no matter what the circumstance? sigh. I’m probably wrong in my thinking and it’s probably more along the lines of the boss not really understanding the importance of the server but still, it’s extremely frustrating to know what we’re up against and that it seems to be of no concern. After hearing how many of the women from last night’s party were moving on it sure had me thinking and wondering how much longer should I put myself through this. Should I be moving on as well? But, to what?

We did manage to get nine out of fourteen pages laid out today considering the circumstances. Sheer determination I tell ya. They’ve not been proofed yet but that gives us a HUGE head start in getting this issue ready to send to the printer tomorrow. Our sister paper has about the same number of pages done as well. Did I mention that we’re loyal and competent?!

On the drive home I tried to let it all go. I even stopped along the way to snap a photo of the beautiful snowy scenery…

however, I wasn’t quite successful in letting it all go and CountryBoy could tell I had had a rough day as soon as I walked in the door. Usually once I ‘get it off my chest’ I’m good and that’s exactly what happened. Of course, a glass of homemade blackberry wine with our Salmon & Shredded Cabbage burritos helped as well, ha! Plus, it’s snowing which always helps wipe out the doldrums. Mind over matter.

Tomorrow’s another day! Praying it’s a good one.

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