Nature laughs at me

Now I've said it won't rain and the wild flowers aren't out it was wonderfully cool and misty this morning and will likely rain later today.  And the flowers nearly doubled in a couple of days:

Our zoewalk today
Our zoewalk today


My last day so

Tomorrow is my last day working so my coworkers baked me a cake.  Ok, yeah, I don't have any coworkers other than Zoe and she does not bake.  

But the cake should be good.  It is a six inch two decker spice cake with cream cheese/butter frosting.

What I lack in elegance I make up for with character
What I lack in elegance I make up for with character



Covid and Dinnerly

Not related other than just part of my day.

My last customer today had covid.  She was an under 21 single who had had it for two weeks and had the brain fog that goes with it.  We worked through her taxes on a tablet and got them off.  It was the part of my job that I really love.  I told her that she was fully successful and now fully eligible for her nap.  She appreciated getting the taxes out of the way and was definitely ready for the nap.

And I got this message from Dinnerly:

We're doing some planned maintenance that may take as much as 10 hours. (We are aiming for 2 to 3 hours.) During that time, both the website and the app will be unavailable.

I used to work in this environment and we'd build up an entire business domain with all the servers and associated SQL in 10 hours.  I can not imagine what they are doing but am fascinated with what it will look like when they are done.  Probably no change at all on our end.

Done for work today.  Tomorrow is the last day.  I'll miss the people like the last customer I had today.  Especially the young ones who need someone to tell them what all this tax stuff is about.  I'm good at that but have insufficient patience with the 90% of the other customers who call in just wanting to know why they don't have their refund yet.

Green for a day

It is the best time of year to walk around here.  The allergy stuff doesn't matter since it is now pretty much year 'round anyway.  So getting up before the temp hits 70 makes for a lovely walk.  And the urchins are in school for a while still so the walk is pretty quiet.

Not too many but the flowers that are out are so much more appreciated
Not too many but the flowers that are out are so much more appreciated

Here in another month will be the height of what should be the rainy season here.  It did not rain at all last May/June.  We got enough to keep the lakes not full but not really in danger.  I'm hopeful this year that we get some real rain but I don't really expect it.  So we'll go back to Texas brown soon enough.  

But the spring is lovely and mine to enjoy every morning.

A weak spring bloom

Not to disparage the flowers who are providing color this year but the numbers are down as they were last.  Two years ago we had a spring bloom of wild flowers that seemed to last for months.  I picked flowers every day and brought them home.  Last year and now this year the flowers are so few that I don't want to reduce their numbers by bringing them in.  Not sure why.  I'm guessing the drought we're having is the bottom line.  We've not had a real gully washer in two years.

The numbers aren't great but it is still nice to see some spring flowers
The numbers aren't great but it is still nice to see some spring flowers

Work has an AI that parses all phone calls and creates stats.  I was stupid enough to look at them and, as usual, they kind of suck any joy I get out of helping people in the work.  Big Brother software is sitting on my shoulder.  

Ah, well, short term First World problem.   Moving on.

You have to start somewhere

This does not look like an auspicious beginning but I'm getting used to the equipment whittling down to the simplest useful thing I can think of, a butter spreader.  

First day
First day

The piece of wood is about an inch shorter than I'd like but I'm just working through process making my mistakes on something I don't so much care about and doesn't cost much.

I did get a great set of sharpening stones for $35.  Four stones with a box you can see above.  I had a leather strop so I was able to sharpen my knife to a razor blade.  It is a very good Case knife so it sharpened well and holds its edge.  

I'll get this down to something resembling a spreader then sand it and oil it and see if I can make it useful.

Once I've done that and then likely again just to try different things I'll move onto something I really want which is a flat combination small spatula/spoon.  But I need a 13" piece of wood for that.  We'll see how it works out.  More to follow.

It was nice just listening to a podcast and slowly removing curls of wood.

4,3,2,1

Last four days of work.  It has been interesting and I known a lot more about how the IRS works now, much more useful than knowing how Peloton works.  All in all I'm glad I did the gig.  It helped a little with my bank account too, always a plus.

But it is time to move on.  I've got a list and things to do and this work crap just seems to get in the way.  

So another 14 hours over 4 days.  

Up this morning and did the Zoewalk and shower and sweet roll (actually a disappointment...  another project to work on) and coffee.  I'll do my usual break at 11:30 and have a protein shake.  That part of the routine is a good one that I'll likely keep.  The walk and anything else done outside is only possible in the early from here until next fall.

For the moment I need one more cup of coffee to fill my Ember coffee cup before we kick off the phone work.  

Not my day to quit eating

Thinking of you wildcelticrose2 .  I always like looking at your biscuits.

Breakfast:

Found a better buttermilk biscuit recipe — need to practice it
Found a better buttermilk biscuit recipe — need to practice it

I've now got some orange pecan cinnamon buns rising now and the fixin's for a six inch 'moist' spice cake I've been wanting to test for a while.

Then some tilapia to make into faux crab cakes to go with stone ground grits and some random green something yet to be decided.

In my defense, I'm going to freeze all of the cinnamon buns to eat later.  I LOVE having frozen half cinnamon buns in my freezer to go with my coffee in the morning.  A batch lasts a long time and I can make better ones than I can buy.

So, maybe not a diet day.

Zoe in the pool

We returned from our Zoewalk just now and, as usual, she hit the pool to cool off her paws:

Wading babe
Wading babe

She does this nearly every day when we return.  Just goes out, walks into the pool, bites at the water a couple of times and comes back in.  I'm just happy she doesn't ask for a pedicure.

Other than that it is a glorious do nothing day.  I'm ready for some french toast and eggs and likely a quick trip to the store which I can do with no fear now I'm vaccinated.  What a difference.

I've got a list of things I've been putting off until I'm vaccinated like get the kitchen vent fan replaced with one that works.  Since that required a trip to the showroom I was putting it off.  Now I'm ready.  There are other things.  I need to make a list, a plan.  A man a plan a canal Panama.

But first, breakfast.

Four more days

So this is Friday.  I'm off work and will only have four more days remaining of tax season and my involvement therein.

Not sure what is next.  I've got a few projects including resumption of a daily or near daily bike ride added to my Zoewalk.  And I've got a couple of pieces of wood that might be carved into spreader knives on the way to learning how to remake my favorite piece of wooden kitchen equipment.  And maybe a coffee scoop too.  If I can find the right piece of wood I may make a scoop that is the perfect size for a single dip into the beans rather than the very inefficient double dip that I currently am saddled with using my inferior plastic scoop.  These are things the world needs.

The funny thing about carving is that the actual carving is, a little like pottery, only one part of the process.  The first part is learning how to sharpen the tools.  I've not yet begun that process but I will have time to learn how to do it right and a drawer full of kitchen knives to work with in addition to my carving tools.

I also saw a magnificent light project that I might see if I can do.  There are wonderful LED strips that can be embedded into wood.

And grass to plant.  There is lots of that kind of stuff.  

And, of course, counting flowers on the wall.