I will run as fast and hard as anyone from dealing with problems or disputes. I'm not confrontational or aggressive until pushed very far back into a corner, when I spring out like the tigress I normally forget lives inside me. I tend to spend far too much time attempting to shoulder the responsibility for the disagreement, even when I had nothing to do with causing it. And while I do this, the pressure and negative feelings build. I'd sidestepped a time or two, including replying less than honestly to e-mails that asked, "Are you angry with me?" I was angry. And hurt. But I didn't say so immediately. And I kept brooding on it. It should be noted that I have ridden in this disagreement rodeo a time or two, yet I almost never fail to mount up the same way again in the next round. Slow learner. It's been my observation that many things between human beings begin to form blocks, and this was no exception. It was time to stick a pitchfork in this bale of hay. I did. I presented my issues with words, not tears. I presented them calmly and I don't believe I used one curse word. I didn't threaten any grave consequences. In fact I went the opposite direction from any statements like that. I was met with calm listening to my lengthy grievance, no defensive statements offered, no excuses. "I know. That's what I did and I'm so sorry." Oh. OK. An apology. For a sticky wicket with a lot of angles to it. I felt the weight lift from my shoulders and I reminded myself how long I'd let the problem trouble me. I remind myself to keep trying to learn new things. Try new ways. Trust the people one cares about to come up just as good as they are.
One morning this week, I wore a lighter jacket to work. The pea coat had had to be brought out again when March and earliest April proved fickle, but now it seemed a bit much in the morning. I wore the jacket home that evening and back in to work the following morning. That evening, I forgot the jacket on the coat tree at the office. Because I felt so warm the word "jacket" never entered my consciousness. I didn't need one. That same evening, the display on my dashboard let me know that the temperature down on the blacktop, near where the sensor resides, was 88-degrees. Tangible evidence ~ we're warming up! Quickly. Oh, to be sure, the wind still howls off and on, but I see sunshine and I feel it warm on my skin. Including the skin on my backside. Yes, that's what I said. Read on.
Joseph and Justin struggled up the stairs with a 9' x 12' foot 100% wool Oriental rug to be cleaned. I could tell by their facial expressions it was incredibly heavy. It is extremely valuable and is going to be donated to a charity to be auctioned, so we want to take very good care of this rug. The morning the rug was to be cleaned was extremely cloudy and overcast. Joseph, who has 35 years experience cleaning fine carpets and rugs, explained to me that was a good thing because we do not want direct sunlight on this monstrous piece as it dries. All the technicians began to mill around getting every van and steam cleaning machine ready - we had a couple of large commercial jobs to do and it was all hands on deck. Joseph asked if I'd pull the corners to fold the rug in half if the sun came out. The sunlight wouldn't hurt the backing, would continue to dry at least half of the rug and the men would flip it over upon their return. "Sure!"
The sun came out in its full glory and I was pretty thrilled just to have reason to get up from the desk and go outside. I duly took one corner of that rug in my hand and started to pull. I pulled my arm, I pulled my back, and I pulled that rug not one inch. Giving an ill-considered mighty tug, I lost my grip on the wet wool and landed on my caboose on the warm deck. Mortified, I sprang up like a jack-in-the-box. Had anyone seen me? Well, no. I'm up on the second floor on the back of a building, thankfully. I'm pretty dogged. I tried at each corner of that rug several times, landing right on my rump time after time. By now I was deck warmed and possibly even taking on an abrasion every time I landed. I had to approach this differently. Hmmm . . what if, instead of taking a corner and pulling with brute strength, I pulled forward just small sections of the thing, straightening everything out after each small tug? Yes. That should work. I couldn't step on the rug with my shoes, so I took them off and peeled off my tights. I yanked and tugged at small portions of that floor covering for 45 minutes. Its surface was slippery, and - yes, I did go down on my rear a time or four.
I went back into the office wet, scraped up, banged up a little, but that rug was protected, perfectly aligned, fringed end lying over fringed end. The men came in between the two large jobs. Joseph thanked me for folding the rug as asked. Cesar commented that I looked as if I had been wrestling bear. A little worse for wear and tear. I allowed as how I figured that rug weighed at least as much as I did. In his Jamaican accent, Joseph piped up, "Oh, no, Leslie. Wet wool holds an additional 30% of its dry weight. That rug weighs about 450 pounds right now. Did it give you any trouble?" Yow.
It's well known that blogger friend Kass makes me both laugh and cry. Her influence makes me want to be unruly. I'm always interested in checking out the blogs she follows. Chances are, I'll be interested in them, too. I picked something up on Kass's Redoing the Undone blog. [In this instance I am not going to print the link to Kass's blog, as that would be redundant just for this post]. Reading Kass's post, I followed a link to the blog of the very talented and funny Kim of *Numinosity* [yes, there will be links]. Of course, going to Kim's blog led me to some of her followers, and suddenly I found myself in the presence of a group of most felicitous women, mostly of a certain age. Many of them are artists or artistes. All of them are whimsical women who know how to have a grand time. And through these women, I learned about Candace. I learned that Candace wants to travel. Candace, you see, is a rather plain little rag doll who is feeling somewhat housebound. Kim's good followers have volunteered to host Candace in locations spread far and wide, to take photos of Candace's adventures, and to write in the journal that Candace will bring along. Readers, I promise you many laughs if you click on these few links and read the posts and commentary. Candace is going to have one good time in many different locations.
This morning I learned that Candace has already been having fun at her first stop - Seattle. [This is a must-read, folks!] I've been angling for days to get a chance to host Candace in Sin City, but Kass and I were each a few days behind the other good women who volunteered. This morning Kim pointed me to her follower, artymess, from the U.K. I e-mailed quickly, made a connection with Lorna, and . . . Candace will be arriving in Las Vegas after international travel from Great Britain. Oh! The plans I have for Candace. Certainly the Neon Boneyard and the Bonanza Gift Shop! Since she is a girl of the desert (at least part-time, I believe) herself, she might enjoy some hiking nearby, or even camping out in some of the wonderful places I know about. Surely, she'll want to take in a Las Vegas show, and I'll be the designated driver so she can become as lubricated as she would like. I'm sure she'll want to visit my little business and meet all the homes who are already splitting their sides at the very notion of Candace's travels and so many silly and fun loving adult women across the world. I want to take her to Massage Envy where we will enjoy the Girlfriends Massage, both tables and two therapists in one room with us. When we're tired from all of our adventures, I will embellish Candace's dress with sequins and beads. Or maybe I'll even whip up a couple of new things for her. I want Candace to meet beloved Dylan and Virginia Woolf, and I'll remember to place Candace's little bed in a locking cabinet or a closet that can be closed. Virginia Woolf likes to carry small objects in her mouth and hide them. Candace doesn't look very large to me. And - hey! - have I mentioned I'm expecting a visitor sometime in the future? Welcome, Candace. Viva Las Vegas!
In my ears right now: I am also charmed by artists who cover the material of other artists. I like hearing music I recognize, but having it contain a little twist or surprise. Like, "Hey, who knew?" Or, "I like this version as much as I liked the original." This has been in my ears all day. And may I just say that I love a woman who wears her cowboy boots with a skirt? I am such a woman.
Something that charmed me: Well, I've been charmed a lot this week already, but I have big plans for tomorrow. I need some sunshine. I need Vitamin D. In a bad way. I have an outing in the works. A day in the sunshine exploring a new place and new things. The weather is suited to shorts and a T-shirt and a baseball cap. Lots of water will need to be packed in, sunscreen and the camera tucked into the front flap of my backpack . . .