I have a rare three-day weekend going on and I've already totally messed up my sleep pattern by taking really long naps Friday evening and yesterday, then being up most of the night. I must not nap today! I can't get into that pattern as I'm back to work on Tuesday. One positive is that I had a four day work week this past week as I took my last paid vacation day yesterday before my PTO turns over. This coming week, I have a four day work week due to the holiday. The week after I have a four day work week as I'm taking the Saturday as a vacation day leading into VACATION. Yay.
As I type this up, CBS Sunday Morning has a segment about workers not taking their full paid vacation time off from work. I never NOT take it. I need it. I've earned it by working decades at the company. I want it. I take it. To the last minute ... my personal days, my holidays and my vacation time ... I take it all. I let sick hours bank up when I'm not having a health crisis of one type or another.
Nothing much has happened this past week. I'm still running on empty despite the four day work week. I will admit that right now I'm feeling incredibly well-rested. What an odd feeling indeed! But I know it won't last. Sigh.
I still have no clue about the new upstairs neighbor(s). I see two Hispanic last names on the mailbox, but I'm wondering if they just didn't know how to make a hyphen with the P-Touch label maker. It sounds like one person, quasi-nocturnal. He/she/they are still ranking as great upstairs neighbor(s) with fairly quiet walking and just the occasional music or television noise wafting through the floors. I've dodged the upstairs neighbor from hell once again. Yay.
They say Plainfield is a rough town. And, it can be in places, sort of like any city I've ever been in. But, now and then, the true spirit of the city shines through. A prime example -- the other day I was walking on the sidewalk near my apartment. I saw a woman standing looking at her car which was parked a bit haphazardly on the street. What I couldn't see is that she was looking a flat tire on the driver's side. I could see she looked confused and like she was about to cry.
Along comes one of the local black street type dudes on his bike. I've seen the guy around for years and he always says hi to me. He stops his bike and asks the woman if he can help. She's a Latina, speaking no English. He proceeds to gesture at her tire and trunk of her car. She smiles and opens the trunk. He gets out the jack and spare tire and starts to work.
When I told him that was very nice of him, he said, "God put me in front of two different ladies with flat tires this week. He must want me to help them, so I do."
Yes, that's Plainfield. The majority of people I know in town are good people and I enjoy living here.
|Just after sunrise these days|
Yep, the sunrise is coming through as I walk to the Plainfield Train Station now. I enjoy that. I like sunrises. I actually don't mind the days of walking to the station on the dark mornings, either. It's not like walking the streets of town at night -- the denizens of the streets are gone by the time I pass through after 6am.
|Watching me watching him|
The Plainfield Train Station groundhog seems to be disturbed that I know his hiding place. I imagine one of his burrows is near there.
The night crowd, mostly drinkers and street people, have taken some of the bricks from where the wall at the Plainfield Train Station let go in the cold from this past winter and have made creations on the ledge. One day I'll go by and it will be a shrine set up to an empty beer bottle or red Solo cup; the next day it's Brickhenge. By the way, they actually did repair the wall at the station.
|Kousa Dogwood berry|
Thanks to Bernice, I now know what this is. This one isn't ripe yet -- they're bigger and red when they ripen. Plainfield Train Station.
|Work, work, work|
Three men await their rides to work at the corner of Watchung and North Avenue in Plainfield. I doubt they all work together, though. One surely doesn't work with the other two!
|First year common mullein growth|
Definitely not something you want growing in your yard, but the common mullein plant is kind of cool in its own way. The first year growth looks like this. The second year, it's less fuzzy and about two or three feet high. Then, in the years afterward, it grows to a stalk of yellow flowers (then just seeds on a stalk) sometimes well over six feet tall, some up to ten feet. Last year I photographed a woodpecker going for the seeds on one of the "dead" stalks.
|Yes, I see you|
Silly Plainfield Train Station groundhog!
|I see dead people continued|
THIS is why the windows of the train get all icky! Even if someone isn't wearing a ton of hair product (which so many do these days), leaning their heads on the windows leaves a greasy mark! I can't even see where it would be comfortable without cushioning of some sort. Grr. Raritan Valley Line, NJ Transit.
|My ride approaches|
The minutes-old sunrise is caught in the lamps at the Plainfield Train Station as I head into work.
|Pet me, cater to me|
I always do, Vincent, I always do. I just wish you'd stop your new habit of sleeping on my head when I'm sleeping. I'm breathing in cat fur. And, you just might end up suffocating me! Eek. I share my bed with you already. Do I really need to share my pillow? After all, you do have your own pillow!