Busy with Business and Other Things

The past few weeks have been horrendously busy.

First I was busy with business, which is always fun. (NOT!) Our business had to endure a state audit. State auditors are notorious for having a lack of a sense of humor, but I’ve had a state audit with this woman before and she’s rather nice. So we talked and joked in between getting serious. There were a few failings, but nothing of consequence. Mr. Demonic was responsible for losing two very important pieces of paper that should have been in the files. (I made copies, but entrusting Mr. D to shuttle these two pieces of paper back to the other location was my bad. I’ll never do that again!) Ms. State Auditor let it slide, since last year at this time I drove to a far western suburb to hand her the originals. We are not so old as to forget something like that. She has a copy, even if we do not.

The sun has been out, it’s not been too hot, so I’ve spent every dry moment outside firming up the garden. So far the color bowls are finished and the tomatoes are in the ground. I moved rocks from one side to the other, but feel a need to move them again. It just doesn’t feel right to me.

The Zen garden is coming along. I’m at a loss as to the type of gravel to get. Sand is too light and will blow away in the wind, and slag is too ugly. Pea gravel is too big. This all has to be complete before Tuesday, because that’s the day I’m going to San Francisco for my son’s graduation (YEAH!), and after that, I’m thinking the temperatures will rise and the humidity will be deadly. By that time, I’ll want to sit on my deck and enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Good news! The two koi we thought had perished in the severe Tundra winter actually survived! I guess that electricity we spent on the pond heater helped. We didn’t realize it until after I’d purchased three replacement fish. Now all five are happy as pigs in a poke.

The cat is spoiled, the dog is too, thanks to Mr. D. Now if I could get him to warm up to the cranky lovebird… Ms. MiniD is returning home for the summer and it was a mad rush to finish her room, which is now spic and span, sporting a new paint job, crown moulding and adult furnishings.

My first novel has been shuttered, but I’ve been poking at the second one and plotting out a third. Also playing around with a short story or two, which I’m not very good at.

Now, if I could only find the time.

Conspicuously Absent

I’m not posting much here these days, but I’m not sorry. The Little Cat would be proud to know that I’ve been typing my fingers to the bone, working on my novel. I have given myself a deadline of my birthday (coming up fast) to finish this epic tome. I plan on shipping it to several people 1. to read to gauge the enjoyment factor, and 2. for editing purposes as soon as it’s complete.

At over 435 pages and growing (double spaced), I have the end in sight. I know how it’s going to end and am giving myself seven, maybe eight chapters to get there. Hallelujia and pass the friggin’ pitcher of margaritas. Well, maybe not yet. Maybe for my birthday. Yeah, I know that 10% will likely be edited out.

I am seriously trying to overcome my deficiency when it comes to time management, procrastination and general laziness. These are lifelong character flaws that I am finding difficult to correct. However, this is not to say that I’m rolling over and dying in the goopy soup that is my character. I may be old, but you can always teach an old dog new tricks.

Hmm… maybe not my old dog, Grace. She appears to be set in her ways.

Other news from the tundra? Well, the prodigal daughter is still here. Three more weeks. I’m not sure I can stand it. Yes, I love her, but she drives me nutty, as I am sure I am doing to her too. Plus, she tries to read over my shoulder. She knows I’m writing a book and wants to know if she’s in it. (No. That will be the next book. Bwaaahhh wahhh wahh…) Normally, I can’t work under that kind of pressure, but I’m trying.

So, I’m absent. Here, but not here.

See you later.

Introducing: Me as Boss

Some people are having a hard time in their work environment. I don’t know the person well, but I’m pretty sure it has very little to do with him. It might be his boss. It could also possibly be the explosive mingling of two divergent personalities.

I’m the boss of my business. Well, okay, I’m the co-boss. My other half, Mr. Demonic, is the other boss.

Some will tell you that I’m a tough boss. I disagree. What we do is not brain surgery. It doesn’t require a PhD, although we have a few on our staff with those degrees. All it requires is some common sense and courtesy. In the past few years, I’ve noticed that most people are hard-pressed to possess these fine qualities.

I may fly off the handle, but I usually warn people well in advance. If the infraction is heinous, you may witness the top of my head flying off. It’s a momentary distraction, a temporary release of steam. My co-workers tell me I will probably have heart failure one of these days, but in actuality, I need to release the stress before I hurt myself, or others.

Mr. Demonic used to be the boss everyone would cower from. Now he has conferred that title to me. I have no problem being a scary boss. I think every person should be reasonably afraid of their boss. I am not your friend, and you don’t want me to be your friend.

For the most part, I’m fairly easy to get along with. We own a business where our employees are largely unsupervised. I haven’t met a lot of them, because they work for us in other cities in our state. We trust them to do the job correctly, to treat our customers with respect, and to turn in all of the money they collect.

Over the years, we’ve had to hire people who do the exact opposite of all of those things. That’s because the candidate pool was pretty deep and there weren’t enough of them to go around. Now there’s a potential employee hiding under every rock. My problem employees don’t do what they are paid to do, and instead run errands, talk on the phone or eat when they should be working. Some of them are mean to our students and their parents, or they’re combative with their co-workers. A few of them think it’s their God given right to rip us off. These are the ones who I usually catch falsifying important records like their time sheets. People like that will steal cash without a second thought.

If you’re an especially good employee, I will reward you with lots of time off, a fat paycheck, and other perks. I don’t have a problem with good employees, and like to keep them.

However, the “bad” employees make me want to get a weapon and use it. Bad employees give me a stomach ache. It is for all of these reasons that I long to win the lottery and retire to a small plot of land in the city limits of San Francisco, preferably within walking distance of the ocean.

I’m not looking to hire anyone (unless you are a college student needing a part time job in the evenings) but if you have the right amount of money, you can buy the place from me. I’m looking for an excuse to be a full time farmer.