I just realized I haven't posted in a month! Not much going on, I guess.
On the crochet front: There are 5 more lap blankets to photograph and post about. I'm currently working on 2 more. I've been adding to my pattern collection through regular hunts on eBay.
On the Bay Area weather front: There have been a few rainy days in the past few weeks, but mostly it's been sunny - and today is just beautiful! I still haven't gotten the gardening bug, but I expect I will with more sunny weekends.
On the home front: Cleo and Jasmine are healthy and loving. Bill and I are healthy, not-so-wealthy (but we're comfortable), and wise!
Bill has said he wants to take very other Friday off during the time the college where I work switches to 4 10-hour day work weeks this summer. Hmmm, we'll see if that really happens! The workaholic in him may not let him take 3-day weekends through the summer. He works most Saturdays now - which means 1-day weekends. What's he going to do with himself during regular 3-day weekends? Hmmm, let's see…I suppose he can start by finishing painting the trim on the house! Right now, we're probably not going to re-paint the house, since the medium grey color looks better with the white trim.
On the money front: Gas prices are going up. Food prices are going up. The stock market goes up, then down, then up, then down. Interest rates are down. My retirement account balances are down.
On the California state budget front: The state is cutting education budgets this year and next year. This "year" is a fiscal year that ends June 30, 2008. So, the budget cuts for this "year" need to be made out of the remaining 3 months or so of a budget that was prepared in fall 2006 and has been guiding the college since July 1, 2007.
And next year's budget (July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2009) is also being cut, including that we won't be getting increases in funding that had been expected (well, as "expected" as you can get when you know the state is having budget problems). So that means another hiring freeze, increasing expenses (for utilities and supplies and equipment and computers and software and …) out of a budget that isn't increasing, and more cut backs and doing without at the college.
We haven't come back from the last big budget cuts several years ago. We still put off buying office supplies. We still have unfilled positions, with other people picking up those duties - which makes for very busy (and potentially burned-out) workers.
There are things we should or could be doing that we can't do because there aren't enough people, there isn't enough money for the people or supplies or equipment, there isn't enough time in the day to do what needs to be done.
Ack. Enough of that depressing talk.
On the family front: My son will be visiting for a few days next week! Whoop! And I'm taking 3 days vacation next week. I think a 2-day work week is just what I need - as long as the nice sunny springtime weather holds!
Bill is flying to Maui on Tuesday to visit his son for about a week. And, no, I don't mind him going to Hawaii without me. After our last trip to Maui in July last year for Billy's wedding, I'm all Maui-ed out and don't want to go back. Too windy, too crowded, incompetent airline staff, reserved seats that weren't reserved, too windy, too crowded. Did I mention too crowded and too windy? Oh, and incompetent airline staff and no seats reserved even though I reserved seats? Did I mention crying - not just a few tears, but real crying - in frustration and anger and flying-related stress after finally getting through security? No, I'm definitely not ready for another Maui trip.
Or any other trip requiring a airplane.
Even my December trip to Oregon to visit my son just about wore me out - 2 flight delays and a flight switch.
On the job front: After over 6 years at the college, I still enjoy my job. There are projects and enhancements - and a redesign - that need to happen, but I don't have the time and there doesn't seem to be money in the budget to get me a reliable, knowledgeable assistant, so those things are remaining undone. As they have for the past 3-4 years. The website design is 6 years old and needs to be changed. I'm gradually, as time permits, doing what I can behind the scenes in the XHTML markup to make it more straightforward to switch over to a new design when (if) the time comes.
I like the people. I like the higher education environment. I like the campus location, nestled in the foothills surrounded by open hillsides, trees, cows, horses, birds, and squirrels. I feel I'm appreciated, valued, and respected as a person and in my job. I'm not so keen on some things and a couple of the people can be very irritating, but the advantages and things I like far outweigh those.
On the NASCAR front: My boys Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch are doing well so far! Kyle is number 1 in points! I still say he's gonna win the Cup this year.