Day 113 and 114. April 25 and 26, 2013-The endless project

I have this project that I have been working on for almost 2 years.  I am on Revision 15.  It is one of the most frustrating projects I have ever worked on.  The construction of this building is moving so fast that no one is keeping up with decisions therefore the drawings.  No one pays attention to your questions or requests until it becomes an emergency.   On top of that the owners change their minds every five minutes.  Every time I get a new revision and they say it is  “a small change” I find many other changes that were never discussed with me and they are never small.  Another one of my favorite things about this project is getting emails and text messages from Kevin at 1:30am.  I don’t think the Kevin, owner’s representative gets any sleep.  Besides all that it is also one of the funnest ones.  The people are nice and because everything is so insanely intense there are some very funny things that come out of people’s mouths.  My all time favorite “Let’s just try it you know for shits and giggles”.  The other good thing is that really money is no object so we are getting to use out of the ordinary  materials like granite pavers.  This is what is fun for me.  I also get to specify and size plant material which is totally out of the ordinary since every project has a budget.

So the last two days have been about actually finishing.  I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  At some point during these two days I sent an email to Kevin describing my frustration.  I got a response saying “do not get frustrated now we are almost finished”.  I laughed so hard and wrote back ” I am past frustration I had a dream the other night that we were all swimming in a lake and that you were wearing a suit.  Last night at around 9:30pm Kevin calls me to see what I was doing.  I told him I was out drinking and that he shouldn’t be calling on a Friday night.  He wanted to see if I could change some plant material.  I told him we can change it but lets not do it on the drawings lets just do it when the planting starts.  We don’t need to make a full revision for that.  I think I was yelling because he was like ok ok ok.  He then wanted to know if he had been wearing a swimsuit.  No it was a full suit with coat and tie I told him.  He cracked up.  I was a bit tipsy so before we hung up I told him that he needed to pay my company so I could get paid.  I also said when this is over he is taking me out for a drink.  He agreed to cut a check on Monday and follow up with a drink.  Then he thanked me for all of my hard work.  It was at this moment I realized I really am almost finished.  That was the first time he acknowledged how hard I have been working on this project.

What I learned today is that it does not take much to make me feel good.  That thank you made the last 2 years on this project ok.

Day 112. April 24, 2013-Charlie

So today was a very sad day.  It was the day that we lost Charlie.  As you know we knew this day was coming but in the last couple of days I knew she was waiting for Steve.  So this morning when I woke up I knew.  I took her to the vet because she was struggling to breath.  I was hoping they could give her a shot of Lasik and keep her comfortable long enough for Steve to get here.  They called and said she was a little better but not much so as soon as Steve got home we headed over.  I decided to take Mo and I am glad I did because we had to put her down right then and there.  I have never had to do this before so it was weird.  Steve was crying, the vet was crying and so was everyone else.  They loved Charlie just like everyone who met her.

Today’s blog is dedicated to Charlie.  I want to share some of the funniest things that she has done starting with the day we got her.  That day there were 4 puppies available.  I could not decide and was there for several hours playing with them,  Then all of a sudden Charlie jumps on the shelves where there was a cup of coffee and drank from it.  At that moment I knew that was my dog.  A freaking rebel.

Mo hated her on the way home but then when we got home she got in his bed and after just a few moments thought oh well I might as well like her and they became best buds.  So much so that when she escaped the first time he was waiting at the door with the leash in his mouth.  I thought he wanted a walk.  Nope he wanted to look for her.  Here are some of the other things she did that freaking made me laugh:

  • I got home one day went to the patio and found most of my underwear in the patio.
  • She once escaped from my house broke into the neighbor’s house and snuck into bed with the Italian consulate. (she jumped from the 2nd story)
  • She used to escape and head to a mental halfway house.  She was there so often that they deemed it ok for her to visit even though there was a no dog rule.
  • One day she fell into our soon to be pool.  She was running around in the yard and kept running and must have thought the water was like everything else.  When she hit the water she swam to the side and grabbed on like Garfield would have.  It was priceless.   That was the last time she went anywhere near water.
  • She would sit in this tree stump and start howling.  Took us a while but we figured out it was the hot air balloons coming.  She heard them 30 minutes before they showed up.  It was so cute her being on the tree stump.
  • She drove the chickens across the street crazy.
  • The little boy from across the street old me once that he found Charlie and brought her home.
  • I called her the escape artist.  She always got out

Really Charlie was a very social dog.  Everyone that met her loved her immediately.  Including my Mom who once told me that I could stay at her house but my dogs needed to stay outside.  I was like cool they are outside dogs.  Second week there I went out of town.  When I got back I found them sleeping in my moms bed.  Yep.  That was Charlie.

I cannot explain Charlie.  She was a very special dog.  Those who met Charlie know what I am saying.  Those who haven’t sorry you cannot know.   But these pictures do tell show her personality.

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RIP my little Charlie.  I will miss your face,  It did always tell a story.

Day 111. April 23, 2013-One step forward 3 steps back

Ok now today is day 111.  My favorite number is 11 so it’s kind of cool day.  All sorts of stuff going on.  Some new opportunities that take me one step forward and a bunch of crap that take me three steps backwards.  I am not going to dwell on the steps backwards.  There is nothing I can do about that.  I will concentrate on the one sep forward.

Starting my day on a happy note (dreaming about the future) allowed me to actually get something done that I have had on my list for a long time.  I am a little crazy about my work emails.  I like to have them in folders by job.  I do that for 3 reasons.  It makes it easier to search for an email if I need to, It clears out the main email folder and at the end of a project I can pdf the folder and all my emails are searchable and they include all attachments.  It makes for a perfect archive of all my correspondence.  I love that part.  So today I caught up on saving my emails to the folders and archived most of my projects that are finished.  It was driving me crazy that I had not done that for so long.  I am one happy camper.

What I learned today is that I love being neat and tidy (seriously I knew that I just forgot).  Not only at work but at home as well.  I always used to say that at work I was getting paid so  had to do it and at home it was what it was.  What I realized is that since 4 years ago when my hours were reduced I became lazy about the tidiness.  I had an excuse.  I had to work on projects I do not have time to organize.  I am realizing more and more everyday that I am full of crap.  I can still get it all done.  I just need to spend less time bullshitting and more time doing.  I love this blogging thing.  When I write I am honest.  It is keeping me real.  Something I lost along the way.

Day 110. April 22, 2013-Surprise

So today I get a call that my contractor that will be replacing my kitchen floor is coming this morning.  I thought he was coming next week.  He says he is on his way.  Turns out that meant on his way to pick up tiles, which I thought he had picked up weeks ago.  He finally showed up and I was like these are not the right tiles.  I called the tile place and after about 30 minutes they agreed they were the wrong ones.  They handled the situation with integrity and delivered the correct ones but it did take some time.  Had I known my contractor was coming today I would not have scheduled work so it was  a bit frustrating waiting.  The correct tiles finally showed up.

So I ended up not getting much done but I am glad I was home to see the mistake with the tiles.

What I learned today is that I definitely need to finish this year with my life simplified.  I can not wait till I get there.

Day 109. April 21, 2013-Preparing for Steve coming home

Today was about doing stuff for Steve who will be home on Wednesday.  He has been gone since the middle of December.  I know everyone thinks its a long time and it is but it is not any different than any other year he has been on this boat.  For some reason everyone thinks its longer.  But it is not.  This will be the first time home since I started my “achieve something everyday and blog about it” so I suppose it is a big deal.  He will not recognize our home.

So today I wanted to get things ready for him.  I started by going to the store and buying beer and his favorite yogurts.  Then I proceeded with his list.  He gets one every year. It has become a joke if you will.  There is a long story that goes with the joke but that is between us.  Sorry.  But what I can say is that after many conversations we agreed that it is best to tackle the list in the first 2 weeks of him being home.  Then he is free to enjoy  being at home.  The funny thing is that there is one thing that stays on the list.  It never gets done.  So its on the list again.  Here is the picture I posted on Facebook with the caption of “getting ready for Steve’s home coming”.  People have loved it.

Steve's List

The list

PS.  I have added extra since I took the picture.  It’s an on going list.

Joking aside I really want to have our home ready so Steve can be with our dog Charlie.  When he left she was fine but as you know she is not.  I know deep down he has been suffering about this.  He loves dogs and getting dogs was a Christmas present from me to him because I never wanted dogs.  I will say I have totally enjoyed having them but he is way more attached than me.  So having our home ready was important.

What I learned today is that I think I should have planned a trip so Steve can be alone with the dogs.  I do not think I want to see Steve and Charlie together when he gets home.  The way she has been acting lately tells me she is looking for him and waiting until he gets home.  She is so cute that way.  That is why Charlie is so special.

Day 104-108. April 16-20, 2013-Nothing got done

This past week has been a blur.  Between the bombings in Boston and my dog Charlie not doing well I have no idea where the week went.  So not much got done.  I do know I was busy but I can’t tell you what was accomplished. So I will not even try.  Tomorrow starts another week so I am moving forward.  Just like in training.  If you miss some work outs skip them do not try to make them up.  Just pick your self up and move on.  

So today it is going to be about having fun tonight.  I am heading to the Rhianna concert.  I haven’t been to a concert in a long time.  Looking forward to it.  So watch out Ft. Lauderdale.  Here I come.

What I learned this week is that if you get sucked up in the drama of life, life will pass you by.  I know I didn’t need to sit in front of the TV and listen to the same shit for hours at a time but I did it anyway.  I was sucked in by the drama of it all.  Shame on me for doing that.


Day 103-April 15, 2013-Shock

Today was the Boston Marathon.  I only knew one person running and wasn’t really paying too much attention.  It is such a great event and I pretty much knew that my friend’s wife would do just fine.  Reason being is that you have to qualify and the times are pretty fast so most people are really good runners.

Then, as I was headed out of the office, Ben says “Espe there were 2 explosions at the finish line”.  My heart stopped.  I quickly went on line to see what was going on.  They kept showing the same images and videos over and over again.  I also emailed my friend to see if his wife made it and was ok.  Then I texted another friend who knew several people in the race.  After a little while I got confirmation that all of them were ok.  

I then went home and turned on the TV.  I could not get myself to stop watching.  It was so shocking.  I felt sadness.  I have been a spectator at that race and was at the finish line like everyone else.  The experience of this race is like no other.  It is such a celebration.  You yell and cheer for everyone and you can feel the runners appreciation.  That did not happen yesterday. Instead people were killed and injured.  The runners coming in at that time were shocked.  I can not imagine finishing like that.  Then there were the runners who were diverted.  I can not imagine what they were thinking especially if they had people waiting for them.

I then got on Facebook and saw how so many people were sending prayers, sharing stories, asking others if they had loved ones there and feeling the same way that I was.  Runners and non runners alike.  It was therapeutic.  That is the magic of Facebook.   I also received many phone calls and messages from people asking if I was there or if I had friends there.  I heard from one lady that I haven’t seen in 10 years.  Her message was short but you could feel the love.  It said “Espe – Please tell us you were not running in the Boston Marathon!  Hope you are well.  Jim and Linda”.  I had a lot of messages like that.  I guess people realize that once you are a runner you will always be a runner.

What I learned today is how special the running world is.  I will have to say that I was inspired by the running community today.  It’s incidents like this that remind me how connected we all are.  Sometimes I do forget.  But I was most impressed by the non runners.  The concern they showed for my running friends and for me brought me to tears.  I suppose they get our spirit and our connection as well.  Thank you and Love you guys.

Day 102. April 14, 2013-Farmers market and a few other things

So Today I was completely set on getting to the farmers market at Pinecrest Gardens.  Its a great market and I always say I am going to go but never do.  So I got up got on my bike and went.  I got a few things and headed back home.

I then called my Mom to see if she wanted to come over for dinner.  At first she was no, I am not hungry.  I laughed since it was only 12pm.  She finally said yes.  I then texted my nemesis Karla to see what she was up to.  We haven’t hung out in so long.  After a lot of back and forth we agreed on having lunch at her place (she bribed me with the yucca frita that she makes) so I headed over.  It was short and sweet but nice.

I then headed home and took that nap I missed on Saturday.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

My Mom came over around seven and we watched the end of the Masters while dinner was cooking.  Its always so much fun when my Mom comes over.  Tonight she told me all about my cousin’s son’s wedding and all the family gossip.  Never a dull moment in our clan.

What I learned today is that as great as the farmers market was it is a pain with a bike.  Must bring a lock next time so I can walk around and get into all the booths.  Can’t wait for my next visit to the market.

Day 101. April 13, 2013-Trying to nap

Today I was hoping to get a nap in.  The run in the morning wiped me out.  It was my first big workout for awhile.  After the run I went to a half ironman info meeting at Trijungle.  That pretty much ate up my entire morning.  When I got home I was going to take a nap but started picking stuff up and organizing things.  I also finally finished getting my tax stuff together.  I think I will be filing for an extension which I hate doing but at least is ready now.  I just have to drop off to my accountant.

Once I got that done I just kept going, found my kitchen table that was full of mail and miscellaneous stuff from the busy week.  I also pretty much finished my laundry.  I then proceeded to cook dinner and take the dogs for a one beer walk.  Their favorite.  They go nuts when they see me pull out the beer huggie, open fridge and pop the beer.  I then sat down in front of the TV to just chill out.  It was too late at this point to take a nap.

What I learned today is that its ok to sit down and do nothing every once in awhile.  I am not one for sitting still so its hard to do but today I needed it and it was great.  Just me and my dogs.

Day 100. April 12, 2013-Applying for a job

Today I had several things to do and one was to apply for the fundraising job at St Jude Children’s Hospital.  So I sat down to create a resume that would help me get this job.  I had to basically start from scratch as my resume is all about landscape architecture.  It has been about 27 years since I had to start from scratch so it was a little slow.

I started writing and I realized it was too much.  I needed to narrow it down and stick to the specifics.  I was working through it and then it was ok what is my objective.  I decided to look at the ad for inspiration.  But when I went back to look at the ad the job was gone.  I was so disappointed.  I should not have taken so long but I had to make sure my resume was great.  You know first impressions.

What I learned today is that when you see the opportunity you have to jump at it.  I usually do but I would say fear got in my way on this one.  I knew several days ago that I wanted this job.  I blogged about it.  It was like I was frozen when it came to creating the resume.  I am really upset at myself.  I should have made it a priority and I didn’t.