Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Microsoft Word and The Barn

I had to work all day at the store.  Lu, my store manager wore me totally out!  She has the energy I used to have, but she is about 15 years younger.  I told her to find what needed fixing, and I would fix it.  She sure took me up on that!  I typed all day.  At the end of the day, she wanted me to retype the checklists that go on each side of our personnel files showing the 10,000 documents the government requires us to have in them.  I about went nuts trying to figure out how to get the little boxes on the form to put the checkmarks in.  I am pretty good with MS Word, but I could NOT figure out what I had done to get those little boxes there years ago when I first prepared the forms -- and I went to my younger employees who grew up with computers and learned MS Word in school, and neither one of them knew how to do it either.  We all thought they were called "bullets" -- and we found the little squares in the Bullet Department of MS Word, BUT, we could NOT figure out how to use the bullets. 

It did enter my mind, however, to find a gun and shoot a real bullet at my computer!!!
Since cool, calm, always together Lu was there, I had to be nice.  I never give up though, so I kept trying and trying to figure it out.  FINALLY, the most amazing miracle happened!  Somehow, I figured out that it was NOT a "bullet" that I needed, it was a "symbol"!!!  When I first discovered the Symbol Department of MS Word, it had all kinds of weird marks and Latin stuff showing.  I didn't see any little boxes.  But after I messed with it for over an hour, I finally found a box in the Symbol Department.  THEN -- even MORE amazingly!!! -- I found out how to make a key shortcut to the symbol, so all I had to do was push "Control and N" and the little box would show up anywhere I wanted it!  I was so excited, and the whole place knew it.  I typed up those two sheets lickety-split -- gave them to Lu for approval -- moved them into the proper Policy and Procedure File, and Lu finally let me stop.  She had a 2 1/2 hour drive back home, and I sure was glad I only had 8 miles to drive.

I came right home and fixed an amazing dinner of two hot dogs in buns.  Jerry arrived a little while later, and I fixed him the same amazing dish.  Then I did this one stupid thing that I do about once every year.  Somehow, I forget and just nonchalantly do it.  I notice that the light is on in the shop in my husband's large blue and white barn, and since it is nice outside and still daylight, I decide to happily walk over there to see what he is doing.  B I G   M I S T A K E!!!

First, I have to step on all the crunchy bug carcusses that collected over the winter to get through the shop and into the large open area of the barn -- Oh!, did I say "open" area? -- let me correct that -- the FORMERLY open area of the barn.  That would be the part where our boat rests until someone visits us that wants to go out in it.  On the way to the boat, I had to step over the gigantic satellite dish that used to be on the roof of the building we rented in this town 10 years ago.  I begged Jerry not to bring it home when we left that building to move into our own new building, but he insisted he HAD to bring it home and sell it.  Well, he has done PART of that -- the bring it home part.  It has been sitting in that spot next to our boat for over 5 years!!!  I'm sure it is a worthless antique by now.  Then as you step over that and slither around the side of it to get to the boat, there are the 5 large liquid oxygen systems we used in our business over 12 years ago.  They, too, are worthless antiques now that nobody would want.  And next to them are the two giant display cases that my daughter used our money to buy for her out-of-business business so she gave them to us.  And next to those are the sea of store fixtures that we used when we sold scrubs in our store.  Metal people that you put the scrubs on, large round metal racks with giant, heavy round pieces of glass on top of them and square step-ladder racks and various other assorted racks.  I suggested we haul all of that to the Goodwill many years ago, but, NO!   We prefer to let the spiders build cobweb fantasy lands all over them! 

And another of my favorite piece-of-worthless-junk items:  The riding lawnmower that has not worked for 13 years!  He bought it from a friend of ours, and it didn't work then -- never mind now.  The two front tires are completely flat.  The battery is dead.  I used to try to mow the lawn with it way back then when we had a mobile home down here, but I kept running into trees.  Jerry decided it was too dangerous for the trees to let me mow the lawn, so that was the end of that.  Now, we hire it done most of the time, and Jerry's nice new riding mower takes up space in the barn too.  I actually bought that one for myself.  It has those two big handles that you maneuver like a space ship and it goes around in circles.  Kewl!!!  Jerry decided that was WAY too dangerous for me, so he has never allowed me on it at all.

So, anyway, I digress.  I finally made it to the actual boat and beckoned my husband.  Sure enough, he was down inside it somewhere.  He needed to pump the water out of the tank that had been in it since forever because we never could figure out how to get the water to come out of the tank up into the faucet.  I, being the loving, caring, helpful wife I am, offered to HELP him get the water out of the tank.  Walking in the barn at all was my FIRST mistake -- offering to do that was my SECOND one!  For some reason, I had not thought to put on a rain coat and rain boots and rubber gloves before walking over there.  I had barely made it through the treacherous path to the boat in my nice flip flops with sparkles on top showing my newly-pedicured toenails, and now I'm going to be the water girl.  He is IN the boat -- the water comes OUT of a hole in the bottom of the back of the boat -- and my job is to collect it.  Sounds easy enough.  HOW I WISH I HAD THOUGHT TO TAKE A PICTURE!  The assorted bucket/container collection was a trauma in itself.  Besides the cobwebs, spiders, crickets, tools, wires and other objects in them, none wanted to FIT under the spout.  The spout was positioned over the roller that the boat rolls up onto the trailer over.  So the water came out the hole -- hit the rubber roller -- and splashed in twelve different directions.  I had a large flat dishpan -- a round blue bucket -- a gray square bucket and a double sided window washing bucket and NONE of them would work right!  The water went on me -- on the floor -- on the trailer and anywhere else it pleased.  I stayed strong though.  After all, I had created a short-cut key for the square symbol just hours earlier.  Surely, I could do this too!

Finally, we got all the water out of the boat.  I left and I'm sure Jerry was very glad I did because while I was catching all the water and making trips back and forth to the sink to give all the bugs and crickets in the sink a bath, I was telling him how I HAD HAD IT WITH ALL THE JUNK IN THAT BARN!  He, of course, didn't want to hear it, and why SHOULD he want to hear it when he hears it every time I go over there, which as I indicated when I started this story is only about once a year. 
It is past my bedtime, so I better shut this post down.  Tomorrow, I get to stay home and play with all my new fabric.  I received a big box full today from Gorgeousfabrics.com.  I'm anxious to start sewing it, but the newlyweds come this weekend.  Gotta get ready for them.  I'm sure they will expect to be fed.

Hugs, Joy 


  1. Oh, yes, I would love to have seen pictures of that. You know what the cure is for the messy barn; you don't go in there! What you don't see you don't worry about. That's why I don't worry about the top of the refrigerator; if I can't see it I don't worry about it. If Roger says anything about it being dirty, I hand him a wet cloth and say, "You see it, you clean it."
    Hugs, Phylly

  2. I'd say you deserve a day to play with your fabric!

  3. ROFL !!! Phylly's right .. stay outta there!
    Men! They're just from different planets and
    collect different things than we do ... hahaha.

    Go enjoy your fabulous sewing room and your
    freedom, and have some JoyRee fun.



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Hugs, Joy