Sunday, November 21, 2010

Let's try this blog thing again...

Well, it has been quite a long time since I wrote a blog post. Over a year since I wrote a real one! For shame, Karen. Technically, I am not 'traveling' anymore... but I'm going to keep this blog anyway. I did 'travel' to Florida last February, when I moved from New Jersey. And I 'travel' to work every weekday... but enough excuses! I am keeping the name, whether it makes sense or not!

What have I been up to in the past year? Well, I after 3 months of looking, I did find a job as a research associate in a surgery center. I really like the job, and I get along extremely well with my co-workers. I moved into my own apartment in July, and I love it. I have a fantastic view of the lake (it's really more of a large pond), and it's pretty big for just one person. I have been having a bit of trouble with a little nuisance called the 'ghost ant'. I had been fighting them for weeks with a product called "Terro Ant Baits" (they seem to LOVE that) and a couple weeks ago, I thought they were gone for good! I couldn't find a single one anywhere. But then last Saturday, I saw a couple in my bathroom. Or rather, I saw about 10. I had an ant bait left over, so I opened it up and put it on my sink. I went back to look at it a few hours later, and the thing was SWARMING with them. It was pretty gross. Even when I thought I had a bad problem last time, I never saw this many in one place before!

If you are interested in getting an idea... though this photo doesn't even give the problem justice! There were MANY more than you can see on this picture.


What is it with me and ants? At my first apartment, I had those flying ants that came in through my sliding balcony door, where the wood had rotted away. In my second apartment, I had those little black biting ants that just loved crawling around on the carpet in my office and biting my legs. And here, I have ghost ants. I keep my place clean! I am not supposed to have ants!

Hmmm, what else... well, rather than write EVERYTHING that I've been up to since I moved to Florida (I don't really want to write a years worth of posts) I will just start from last weekend.

I have always wanted to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, and on Saturday (Nov 20), I finally had the chance! I had to wake up pretty early to be there at 8am, but even though I woke up later than I wanted to, I managed to make it there on time. For some crazy reason, there is no traffic that early on Saturday mornings. Go figure.

Anyway, when I got there, I signed in and they talked to us a bit about what Habitat for Humanity was. Contrary to what I had previously assumed, Habitat for Humanity is not really a 'charity' in the sense that they give away houses for free to people with nowhere to live. What they actually do is offer a needy individual (who meets the qualifications) a 30-year interest-free loan on the house. The person (or persons) who are buying the house are also required to do something like 750 volunteer hours with Habitat before they are allowed to move in.

So on this particular day, there was a lot of siding work to do. We were put into groups and we worked together with dangerous power tools and ladders and hammers and nails. As far as I know, no one cut off a finger, but I think someone hammered their hand instead of a nail. Oh wait, that was me. Hah, something slipped when I was doing my thing, and I got a nice little bruise on my hand, but really, nothing to write home about. Even though... I guess that is what I'm doing now!

The group I was in was really fun - but one of the women working in it seemed a bit ill... she kept coughing even while insisting that she was fine. (This will be relevant later in the post). We worked like this from around 8:30am to 2:30pm, with a half hour for lunch. By the end of the day, I was completely beat, and just wanted to get home to take off my shoes and relax my feet. Building houses is HARD work! I can't imagine having to do that every day for my job... especially in this Florida heat. This was November, so I probably would have left WELL before 2:30 if I had volunteered in the summer. But, it was a great experience, and I would love to do it again. Maybe in January, when it's a bit cooler.

So I got home, and decided that I didn't want to go anywhere else that day - I just wanted to relax... I think ended up going to bed at around 9:30. The next morning, I woke up with a headache. One of those headaches that end up following you throughout the day. And as the day progressed, I noticed a bit of a scratch in my throught. "Great." I thought. "I probably caught whatever cold that woman had." I hoped that I would have it out of my system by Thursday, (Thanksgiving!) when I was supposed to volunteer to serve food at a shelter for the homeless. Unfortunately, it just got worse and worse. I went into work on Monday, and felt awful. It was only a partial day, and we had the rest of the week off, so I was thrilled when I got home and could take a nap. I woke up from my nap feeling even worse. It took another day before I realized what I actually had. The flu. The FLU! I haven't had a flu since I was in grade school! I always scoffed the flu shot as pointless, because I *never* get the flu! Hah, little did I know that all it took was volunteering at a charity to get me sick.

Anyway, I don't really have any other interesting news since then. I was pretty much laid up my entire week off. I am just really feeling better today... still have a bit of a cough but nothing else.

I was so hoping to have many fascinating adventures on this week off that I could write about! I suppose I could tell you about how bored I was sitting at home, but that would likely be as interesting to you as reading a Facebook status update detailing what I ate for lunch today. (It was grilled cheese).

So anyway, that is all for now. Hopefully I will keep this up. I feel a bit rusty in my writing... I actually started this entry last week, but my sickness kept me from finishing it. And trying to write an entry that was postponed for a week is not as easy as writing one that was fresh in your mind! I was tempted to just forget this one and start anew when I had more news... but I figured that would be likely to start a vicious circle of me half=writing all my entries, and never getting one published.

Hasta, until I think of something else to say!