Monday, June 27, 2011

Wasting Time

I hate wasting time, but this morning was a total waste. I had a business meeting that I needed to attend on July1 and my employer requires any trip over 124 miles round trip requires renting a car through their account. So far, my trips have been under the 124 mile limit, but not the one on Friday. This morning I spent from 8:30 to 11:30 trying to figure out how to fill out the request form to rent a car. Several emails with my boss later, I had the form filled out and a gas card on the way to me in the mail. I called and reserved my car. I was pretty happy with myself.

Then, it happened. I received an email about another meeting in another town on the same day. My reply was that I was scheduled in another city that day. No, they told me, "I double checked and you're here on Friday." I looked at my online schedule, which my Central Office sets up for me, and discovered that my schedule had been changed. I no longer had the 124+ mile trip now and I was indeed going to the meeting in the closer town.

I had wasted my whole morning trying to figure out how to rent a car that wasn't actually needed. I was mad because I had so much other work I could have been doing, but it was a learning experience. At least now, when I do need to rent a car for work, I will know how.

Carol

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Vacation

My vacation is over and I'm already depressed that I have to go back to my day job on Monday. I did have a great time off, including a two-night camping trip with my husband to Lincoln State Park in southern Indiana.

Originally, they had predicted severe storms for the first day of camping. For those of you that know me, know how much I hate severe weather, but I was a trooper and went anyway. It turned out that we had wonderful weather. No severe storms, or even rain, for us at all. It even turned cold, which I was unprepared for by not taking any shirts with sleeves and no jacket.

Above is our home away from home for the two days. Oh my, we felt like we were the slums within the high-rent district at the campground. I could probably count the number of tents on one hand in the campground as opposed to the number of RV's. We were stuck in the middle of them. I couldn't believe how fancy some of the RV's were. All had air conditioners on top and most of them put up a canopy tent over the picnic table at their site, not to mention the satellite dishes. I have to admit, we did try to get one of those canopy tents that CVS had on sale in the weekly flyer. What I found was that CVS only sent one canopy to each store, if that many. I checked at or called five different CVS stores with no luck. But, back to the camping, I can only imagine what the owners of the RV's were thinking of us with our tent.

We had a few furry four-legged visitors at our campsite. Our first visitor was a raccoon. From our experiences camping, we had expected that visitor, but not before dark. That little guy showed up around 5 pm and quickly ran back into the woods when he saw us, but made a return trip about 2 am stealing the two sweet potatoes that were left in the fire pit.

Our next visitor was the little guy on the upper left, a young squirrel. We knew you aren't supposed to feed the animals, but my husband couldn't resist because this squirrel was so small. After wiping the salt off of a few nuts, my husband tossed them out onto the gravel for the squirrel to find. He got all of them, except one. He wasn't fast enough and a very friendly crow swooped down and picked it up.

We really didn't do anything while camping and that was the way I liked it. I had seen a chair in the K-Mark weekly ad for $19.99 and knew that would be the perfect chair for me on our trip. It had a foot rest. A few days before leaving on the trip, I bought the chair to the left, but not at K-Mart. I found one at Big Lots for $16.99. That chair is where I spent most of the time. I took my Kindle ebook reader and enjoyed a large selection of books to read that I had downloaded.

I had a good week and a half off for my vacation and as I said at the beginning of this post, I am not looking forward to going back. I wonder if the reason might be that I keep thinking of retirement. I can retire from my government job in approximately seven years, 8 months, and three days, if I can afford it. Maybe by then, I will be a best-selling author. (LOL, back to reality.)

Carol

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rejected!

When the mail came today, the long awaited letter from a publisher I submitted to arrived. Yes, it was a rejection, but that's okay. As my mantra to the left says, "Rejection is not fatal."

The letter I received was not the usual form letter. Even though it had the same elements that a form rejection letter has, it was personalized. I was impressed. It was written directly to me, had my manuscript title on it and was actually signed by an Assistant Editor. What really fascinated me was that the editor took the time to explain to me why it was wrong for them and what needed to be worked on. She even apologized for not accepting it.

You might say I am the queen of rejection letters from prior manuscripts and I have to say that this one is the best rejection I have ever received.

So, what I will be doing is polishing that manuscript up a little more and send it off to another publisher. Then, the waiting game begins again, or maybe I should say it continues because I am still waiting to hear from a different publisher about a different manuscript.

Carol

Friday, June 17, 2011

Vacation!

I started my vacation today. Well, I guess you could say technically I started it yesterday, but I went to the dentist so that doesn't count. We don't have any specific plans to do anything, other than a quick camping trip next week.

Today, we went fishing. I forgot to take the camera with us so I can't show you the big fish we both caught, and if you believe that, I will be glad to sell you the land we fished on, which is federally owned. Our total catch was four small bluegill. We should have known it wasn't going to be a good trip when we got there. My husband likes to fish with a fly rod and as he was putting the rod together, he discovered that it was broken. His favorite and most expensive rod was now useless. I asked if he wanted to just go back home, or go home and get his other rod, but he said no.

The next three hours were spent with us taking turns using my rod and reel. I started out using nightcrawlers, but the fish only nibbled on them, never hitting the hook. Steve decided to try putting one of the artificial lures from my tackle box on the line. On his third cast, it got tangled on a rock and he had to break the line, losing my lure.

Next, he tried putting some of his various flies on the line and that's when we caught the fish. We knew there were big fish in the water because we could see them coming to the surface periodically. I guess they just weren't hungry. We're going to try again on Monday and see what we can do. This time, however, he will be bring two fly rods just in case something happens to one of his again and I may take some redworms instead of nightcrawlers.

Wish us luck,
Carol

Monday, June 13, 2011

Public Service Announcement

When you are driving down the highway and you see an ambulance behind you with lights and siren on, pull over into the emergency lane and let the ambulance pass.

As I was driving into the city this morning on the interstate, traffic was really heavy, practically bumper-to-bumper. I then heard the siren. Looking in my rear view mirror, I finally saw an ambulance coming up behind me in traffic. I was in the left lane because my exit on the left side was coming up. I, along with the other cars in my lane, pulled over to let the ambulance pass. However, I was absolutely amazed to see, after it had passed me, that traffic in the right lane just kept on going. No one in the right lane pulled over until the ambulance passed. Come on people, no matter what lane you are in, if an ambulance approaches from behind, pull the heck over.

Okay, so I'm off of my soap-box now. I just needed to get that off my chest.

Carol

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Shopper's Rage

I usually don't suffer from road rage, but do suffer from something else, Shopper's Rage. This normally occurs around Christmas time when the stores are full of shoppers fighting over bargains. I don't know if it was the heat, or I was in one of those moods, but shopper's rage hit me yesterday at the grocery store. I controlled it, but oh was it ever hard.

I walked down the second aisle of the store only to find a lady with three kids had parked her shopping cart right in the middle of the aisle. I stopped and waiting and waiting and waited. She even looked up and saw me and then began putting eight cans, one at a time, of peas into her cart. "Baby's got to have her sweet peas," she told her kids. Finally, she moved past me and didn't even apologize for making me wait. My mother, bless her heart, commented to me that there much be a sale on peas.

I blame the store first. Why did stores think they needed to make their aisles more narrow? They're barely wide enough for two carts to pass each other. Then, they insist on putting some sort of display in the aisle making it ever more narrow. It's ridiculous. Next, I blame the shopper. Think about the other shoppers and be courteous to them.

(Deep breath) Okay, now that I have that off my chest, I feel much better. If you've stuck with me long enough to read all the way here, I thank you and wonder if you to have suffered from Shopper's Rage.

Carol