Week 15: Easter weekend 

The week drudgery came quickly on Monday morning as I settled into my desk at work with my special Dutch Brothers latte in hand and not in the least ready to begin any work. The only saving grace was that it was quiet as the majority of the surrounding cubes near mine were not yet occupied by their masters, and the ones that had beat me into work were also busy doing their Monday work before being pulled in many directions. 

I’ll fast forward to the weekend as the rest of the week were much like any other week with ever changing agendas and fires that surfaced and needed to be reviewed and prioritized. That was my weekly and most times daily routine and the worst part is the accomplishments were nothing tangible. 

I was talking to Chad during the week (actually it was a bitch session for both of us) and we both concluded our jobs had nothing substantial to provide other than keeping the big corporate wheels turning. There was nothing in our work lives that really mattered – I mean, our jobs didn’t really help the homeless or provided aid to someone who really needed it. We were in software development and specifically in big data (and yes that’s as boring as it sounds). 

Fast forward to Friday…

S’s youngest son was playing in a tennis meet with their school’s rival. I was supposed to cook for both teams but the weather turned on the last minute causing the cooking to be postponed to a more weather friendly day. It turned out as it should, as although I didn’t cook, the weather held out for us to see his tennis team play. 

The next morning I was supposed to leave around 9am and work in my pet project, but schedules between me and the folks I were to meet with didn’t work out. S had an event she was attending with friends, so plan B was invoked and I worked on my pet project (via phone and internet) anyway, which was great as I was able to move forward with my implementation and planning out the next steps while S did her thing. 

Around lunch time, I took a break and took her daughter to her friend’s house where they would go to a pre-season soccer match. I abandoned my pet project for the rest of the weekend as S had returned from her morning event of wine tasting with her friends. I was totally fine not going as I’d rather work on progressing through my pet project that would eventually lead to my exodus from corporate life – or so I’m hoping. 

That afternoon her younger son was playing in another tennis meet close to my house in a town called Forest Grove, OR. S wasn’t planning to go because her son told her not to. 

Now I’m not a family therapist, but that screamed, “Mom please come watch me play!” I persuaded S to go and I would eat the frog for both of us and work on her backyard project, which consisted of finishing up the pavers that lined the parameter of her backyard, and if time permitted I would begin working on the garden water feature, and outdoor BBQ kitchen. 

Growing up my mother and father worked and weren’t able to go see me play in sports or other school events. S is blessed with a schedule and profession she has that allows her to watch her children participate in their various sporting events. 

Long story short, she went and saw her younger son win his match, which would be something she wouldn’t have seen if she went with her first instinct of not going. 

Easter Sunday egg hunt…

I woke up early on Easter Sunday to get a jump start in my yard project. Now I know you might be judging me as I should be at church worshipping on this Christian holiday, but I stopped attending church many years ago not that I’m not a believer, but I’d rather not associate with “religious” folks. You know those folks who act Christlike on church days and then live their alter lives the rest of the week. I still talk to the man upstairs daily and sometimes many throughout the day. Again I’m a believer, not religious. 

As I’m working in the yard, it was quiet and peaceful and was able to get a few of the remaining pavers on the walking path laid and set before S bounded out to request my help in hiding eggs for her teenage kids. 

Now last year, I witnessed a very unholy Easter day when S and her younger son had a screaming match, which caused her twins to hate that event and vowed they would never hunt eggs on Easter again. I guess traditions are hard to break and they partook on the annual event again this year. 

After helping hide the eggs and other gifts throughout the backyard, the kids came out and hunted. This year was thankfully different in that the three didn’t come out at the same time. The twins came out first and her youngest came out shortly afterwards. There was peace among the kids as they each found their designated colored plastic eggs filled with similar surprises. I’m not sure if it were planned so that the three weren’t hunting eggs at the same time or it was just fate. Either case, there wasn’t the verbal screaming match, but rather a peaceful hunt and a peaceful inspection of the prizes awarded as each plastic egg were opened. 

Shortly after the egg hunt ended, S and her daughter went out as I continued to work in the yard. Her oldest went to work and her younger son stayed home and did whatever he was doing. 

Easter dinner…

S returned with groceries to make Easter dinner. Unlike last year, I didn’t help her with the cooking as she wanted my focus to be her backyard projects, which have to be completed before her May party and her older son’s graduation party in June. I was more than pleased to stay out of that as last year the dinner prep was on me as they did whatever they were doing. 

Dinner wasn’t as stressful this year as fighting between S and her parents weren’t as intense. I think her father and mother hates the tension and bit their tounge as conversations arose during the dinner table.  Maybe one day (if I stay with S) we could have a nice holiday / family dinner without any issues or infighting. I really miss my family gatherings as we don’t have this tension, especially over meals. 

Personal thoughts…

Family has always been first in my upbringing no matter if there were infighting, we put away the bickering and supported one another without any pause. Maybe this is due to my Asian upbringing as I don’t understand why my friends of non-Asian descent only care about themselves. I’m sure that’s not all the cases and no way am I making a blanket assumption about non-Asian cultures, it’s just the families that I have known growing up and what I’ve seen in S’s family. 

I’m very fortunate and blessed to have a strong family tie with my siblings and my mother. If I didn’t, I might have the same view as what I’m witnessing with S. 

Until my next post, stay safe online as well as offline. 

#life #lifeasiknowit #lifeasithappens

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Weeks 13 and 14 update: honey dos??

Monday, I left S’s house early so that I could be at work before everyone arrived as that’s when my productivity goes south as various team members drop by with either issues or just to chat. I anticipated the conversations would still be around be the organizational changes taking place and would be hard to concentrate on the tasks that needed to be completed. 

Sure enough, as I was finishing up my weekly status report, my cube became a buzz with conversations about the new boss, whom I’ve yet to meet, as well as other water fountain gossip, which seems to now occur at my desk instead of the actual water fountain. I guess that’s okay since I get to remain informed. 

Normally I could feel if the pulse or energy of the work place changes would negatively affect me. For this change, I’m not getting a bad feeling so I’m moving forward as I would typically do and just keep my head down and focus on what needs to be done. Truthfully, I don’t feel that my work would significantly change from what I’m doing now. So I’m not devoting too much energy to the changing of the guards.

Spring break…

S and her kids were on spring break on week 13 and were off skiing and snowboarding on the slopes for most of that week. I didn’t want to use up all my vacation so opted to stay at work. I’ll have to use vacation days later in the year. 

Part of the plan during her spring break were for S to pick up the flagstone she purchased off Craigslist. She needed my pickup truck so I left her my truck keys before I left for work on Monday knowing I probably wouldn’t be at my house when she came to collect it. I was glad I did that as Tuesday after work, the folks affected by the organization change went out to a happy hour in a nearby watering hole – any excuse to have drinks after work is a great excuse. 

During the happy hour, S called and seemed a bit miffed as I wasn’t at my house and wasn’t planning to leave the happy hour to meet her at my house when she picked up my truck. She goes out for happy hour with her teacher friends, I don’t see why she copped an attitude. “Whatever”, I thought to myself, “she’ll get over it.”

It took S two trips over the course of two days to get all the flagstone from the guys house in Eugene, OR to her house in McMinnville even after hiring five high school boys to help with the heavy lifting. They literally moved more than a ton of paving material. 

The rest of the week she spent playing with her kids and I focused on work. Come the weekend, the yard projects were on. 

Saturday (week 13)

One of the things S loves to do is attend open houses, not that she’s in the market to purchase one, but she just likes to go and see how the house were put together and showcased. 

One of the houses we saw a week prior that she loved, caused her thinking to switch to selling her home and downsizing to something smaller like what she had seen at the open house. 

On Saturday morning, my mind was on her backyard flagstone patio project and was calling various home improvement stores looking for a sod cutter to rent. I was excited I found one that I informed the sales rep that I would be leaving shortly (in a few minutes) to rent the machine. 

In my haste, I forgot the realtor from the open house were coming to S’s to discuss the timing of when to put her house on the market and things that S should and should not do to her house before it is put up for sale. She became clearly upset that I would be leaving her alone to talk with the realtor so as a good boyfriend would do, I called the rental store back to inform them that I wouldn’t be coming just yet and would be there a couple of hours later. 

S became upset again when she heard me call the rental shop and said she could manage the conversation with the realtor by herself. Now I’ve been around the block several times and knew from the tone in her voice that even though words came out of her mouth stating that she were fine talking to the realtor by herself, she really wanted me to stay. I’ll never understand why women can’t just say what they’re feeling instead of saying the opposite of what they really want. I stayed…

The conversation with the realtor took more than an hour, so consequently, I left to fetch the sod cutter later than I had anticipated, which was fine. It just meant that instead of having the backyard project well underway, we would just begin it today. 

About 90 minutes later, I returned with the sod cutter to find S not at home, which meant I would have to unload this 200+ pound machine from the bed of my pickup truck by myself, which wasn’t the first time I’ve had to do things myself that typically should be done with more help. I unloaded the machine with no injuries or damage to the machine and taught myself how to operate it via a quick tutorial on YouTube. Where would we be today without helpful sights like Google or YouTube to learn about stuff you have never done previously. Both are great resources for DIY projects. 

The sod cutting work were halfway completed by the time S had returned.  However since I hadn’t rolled up the old grass, S thought I had only started when she entered her backyard. Her disappointment turned into amazement as I began to reveal the already cut portion of her backyard and that all was needed were to roll up the sod and put it in the awaiting trailer her father left for us to use. 

S and her boys removed the previously cut sod and revealed the portion of her backyard where the flagstone pavers would eventually live (even after S moves from her current home). 

The plan continued to evolve since the removal of the old sod was taking less time than I had allocated. It now requires me to return the sod cutter on Saturday night in preparation of Sunday’s work load. 

Sunday (week 13)…

S and I awoke early and set out for the local equipment rental place which also provided the foundational material for laying out pavers for a patio. S rented a powered pounder and purchased a yard of quarter mitus which we would use as the foundation of the patio. Based on my calculations we needed a minimum of a couple of yards of the quarter mitus as the foundation layer but S was hell bent on just one yard as “she had carefully calculated her space”. I don’t think her calculations included the 1-2″ layer of the quarter mitus. We ended buying another yard and a half.

She made the same incorrect calculations on the sand and bought short again requiring her to return back to the rental place as I continued with the backyard chores. On the last trip to the rental place, she took the powered pounder and returned with another yard of sand. She left soon after the last load of sand was purchased to collect her daughter from her x husband’s house. I stayed behind and continued working on her flagstone patio. 

S returned about 3.5 hours later as she had to stop by my house to get my car as I would need it for my commute in the morning. I reached my goal of having all the flagstone for the patio laid before she returned. Her mother were impressed that I had accomplished as much as I had the last two days. S and her kids were equally impressed. I was done for the weekend. 

Week 14…

I’ll jump to the weekend as nothing worth mentioning happened at work this week. 

On Friday, I left for S’s house after attending the going away happy hour for one of our product owners, and getting my haircut. I reached her house around 9PM. S had planned for something in the morning, but I was able to escape that by informing her I had to work on my pet project. 

Saturday (week 14)…

I got up early and left around 9AM and let S know I would be back around 12 noon for our wine tasting and our early afternoon fun of driving around town before a night of fundraising for the local high school atheletic club. 

As planned, I was back at S’s house by noon and prepared for a customer appreciation at Dukes Family winery, which is a good winery that S belongs to and is only opened a few times of the year for their members to partake in a day of wine tasting and eating hors d’oeuvre being served by some caterer known by the winery. 

We sampled the wine, ate the appetizers and pizza, sat in the upper tasting room to find more elbow room, and drank more wine. Why is it that wineries have small, cramped tasting rooms? Other than the cramped lower tasting room, it’s a fine winery, but S thought they were snobby and thought she would drop her membership. I didn’t think they were snobby but then again, I don’t belong to many wineries so I wouldn’t know. I stopped my wine sampling after three tastings and switched to water as I was the designated driver. We left with her half case commitment and two additional wine purchases. 

Since I told S about my pet project, she’s been gung ho about helping me and to this end spent the remainder of the afternoon meandering around her small town. Now I’ll give a little hint in that my pet project has to do with real estate. I know her intentions were good but driving around town to look at properties were not my idea of helping me in my business. For one she’s very opinionated, and two, she has no clue in what I’m looking for or how to be efficient. Needless to say, she found the afternoon fun while I found it boring. However, I didn’t want to let in that this was not the way I conducted my business. 

A couple of hours later and driving to places that only had us look from the car or from the outside of a house, we were back at her house relaxing until the fundraising event. The best thing about the event was the crab dinner, which was $30 per person. There were also several silent auction items that none I won because they went over my max amount. Now I did purchase an equestrian wine tasting tour for S and me, which she was ecstatic about winning. It’s funny that she identified the items she wanted me to bid on but she didn’t bid on herself. Actually, she didn’t bid on any for herself. Hmmm…how did my money become hers. 

I would have bid on it anyway but just wondering how I entered that zone. I’ll have to analyze that more as the weeks progress. 

Sunday (week 14)…

I woke up early and laid in bed for a few minutes longer that I do during the week day just to soak in the stillness of the morning. Around an hour later, I had enough of the horizontal calm and got dressed to tackle the work I had ahead of me – solidifying the flagstone patio. I started on the patio and had completed four loads of sand by the time S awoke, made her coffee and stepped out onto her new patio. 

Instead of helping me today, she would be prom dress shopping for her daughter so on my own again on this “honey do” project. My goal was to be done with the final placement of the patio pavers by noon. I stopped at 1:30PM. Next weekend, I would tackle the pathway along the perimeter of her remaining yard. I’ll expect that I’ll be doing that labor myself as she’ll be shuttling kids to their various sporting activities. 

Personal thoughts…

All relationships evolve and traverse a course where the individuals committed in those always changing relationship take on their respective roles. Sometimes the roles organically come into being much like it seems that I’ve become “Mr. Moneybags” nowadays when it comes to S and my relationship, especially when it comes to our bigger ticket items. I’ve also evolved to be the Sunday dinner guy as the kids apparently prefer my cooking over their mother’s. I’m fine with the latter as that caters to my Filipino culture of ensuring the children and guests are well fed. 

The summer “pseudo” family vacation planning we now share but the payment of that vacation appears to be out of my pocketbook. I’m sure there will be a discussion coming in the next few months regarding how these plans are to be funded. 

Until my next posting, stay safe online as well as offline. 

#life #lifeasiknowit #lifeasithappens