Sorry for the gaps between postings, but it's been a busy couple of weeks: busy because rather than getting a couple of days during the plant shutdown, I actually got to work both weeks (including Saturday, to make up for the holiday on Monday), and I will even get a small bit of overtime thrown in as well. At least I had Memorial Day off, and the weather stayed good enough to grill out a few times.
What I'm currently doing at the plant involves cleaning. Lots of cleaning, in the upper machine bay levels of the plant called the "High Bay", where the raw ingredients for making the insides and outsides of batteries (especially the graphite mix used for the outer casing that surrounds the metal core cannister and the graphite/metallic mix which makes up part of the chemical reaction that allows your Energizer battery to work) are piped, filtered, blended, and then fed into the moulding machines on the ground floor.
Yes, it's graphite. The same stuff that goes into tennis rackets. The same stuff that makes up the inner cores of pencils worldwide. And it sticks to everything. Despite the disposible clean suits we're issued, it leaves one dirty ... so much so that at the end of the work day, the second shower has become another ritual for me. We're hoping that with the various new equipment installs done over the last two weeks, the bay will become a bit less dustier and make my job easier (and perhaps cleaner).
So now it's June here, and it's getting warmer. Fortunately, Woodgie has been able to garden quite a bit and start up her worm farm (in case you hadn't guessed, Woodgie is as much of an organic gardener as possible). The worm farm, we hope, will provide some good ongoing soil treatment for the raised garden beds. Ultimately, it will also provide a source of fishing worms for when Lauren and I are able to get out to Mozingo and go fishing.
Also with summer brings a couple of traveling opportunities: next weekend, Lauren and I will head back to my hometown for my 20 year high school reunion. We'll miss the dinner and dance on Friday night, but Saturday, we'll be heading down for a picnic and meet and greet (which is more my speed than the beer bash on Friday night). Then, the last weekend of the month, we'll be heading back up to Des Moines for an impromptu post-wedding reception that two of my Tai Chi friends are throwing; this will allow everyone up there who didn't get a chance to come to the wedding (or who we couldn't invite, due to the small size of the church), to visit and bring gifts if they want. Following that, the book club gang will do their usual yearly solstice gathering and campout that evening.
And then next month, Woodgie is done with her classes, but after the 4th, which we hope to spend out at Mozingo Lake camping and fishing, the following week, Lauren will be joining several others from our church for a week long mission trip up to a South Dakota Indian reservation at the local Episcopal mission church. Since I'm stuck on a weekly work schedule and have no vacation, we've decided that I'm going to be the one staying home and tending the cats. Eventually, Woodgie will be visiting student interns in a few locations ... most of them are local, but one is down in KC, so a road-trip there may be in order.
And what I'm waiting for at the end of July is the release of this.
All in all, it's going to be a busy summer for both of us.