Monday, September 16, 2019

Life In Lumber, Week #25

Day 121:  Cut Back To 20 Hours
Was asked to come in at 3, due to several call-ins.  Spent two hours in Lumber, then was sent up front, where I stayed the rest of the shift.  Things were fairly steady, with some mild 'rushes'.  Nothing really stood out, other than the fact we were able to leave by 9:15!

Did have one gentleman ask me if I wanted to go home with him and help him install 20 rolls of insulation....I told him that was a little outside my area of expertise, though if pizza was involved, I'd be happy to go along and supervise the project!  He got a kick out of it.

Outfit:  Blue/white striped tee, faded denim capris.

Here's hoping tomorrow goes smoothly!

Day 122:  Back Up Front....
Got called in early again, but this time, due to laundry issues, I arrived at 4.  Saw Dave and Connie Combs, and rang up their new washer and dryer.  Saw one gentleman 3 times, and another mother/daughter duo twice.

We were slow, so again was able to clock out by 9:15:)

Outfit:  Blue/white 'wings' shirt, faded denim capris.

Here's hoping tomorrow goes smoothly!

Day 123:  Back In Lumber!
Was thrilled to be back in my 'happy place'!  Shift went well, all but for two incidents.  A)  Woman came down and said Jordan had given her half off her insulation, due to being out of the double pkg, and that she'd spoken to a manager that morning and he authorized her entire purchase to be 45% off.  HC Cindy reluctantly agreed, but wasn't happy about it.  Then, close to closing time, Jordan gave a couple a trash can full of scrap lumber for free.  Mgr Scott happened to see them loading it up and asked me about it.....then informed me we NEVER give away the scraps for free.  He chewed J out, saying 'one man's trash is another man's treasure'.

Otherwise, got all my closing duties accomplished, including mucking out under all the mats and wiping down the counters, and even the top of the soda cooler.

Outfit:  Smart Women tee, faded denim capris.

Day 124, 9-19-19

Friday, September 13, 2019

Flashback Friday: Roller Coaster Month

Sept 1989:
I'd begun my new job at Crossroads Rehabilitation as a driver a few weeks earlier, and fit in well with my new coworkers:  Louis, our boss; Cindy, John, Ron, and Debbie, another rookie.  D and R were from the same side of town; C and J had been there several years; and that left me, the 'baby' of the group with the boss, dynamic-wise.

John was the one who took me around my route, and showed me where all my 'kids' would be picked up, and I would practice my route.  One afternoon before school began, we got to meet the parents and all our kids.

I drove a station wagon, and in the mornings would have one or two kids in the front, 3-4 kids in the middle seat, and two strapped in the very back.  I remember sweet Sherrie, who would sit beside me and sing along to the radio; one girl whose yard was never mowed; another whose mother would send her down five flights of stairs with her older sister; Joni, who had a seizure when we returned to school; Jamal, who sat behind me and ground his teeth, plus would sometimes still be asleep when I arrived so his mom would bring him in, or I could swing past on the way back and pick him up (he lived literally 3 blocks from the facility!).  There was also sweet little Brooke, whom I would pick up at two different places, depending on her mom's schedule; Jenna, who was picked up at a liquor store parking lot; and another kid who always sat in the way back.  In the afternoon, there was Joey, who loved to sit next to me and pretend to talk on the CB; April, whose parents moved every three months; sweet little Dusty, who quickly became my 'pet', and two more whose names I can't recall at the moment.

My route was the longest; I'd begin at 30th and Fall Creek, travel down 30th to Speedway, then go south beyond the airport and down to nearly Mann Road before heading back.  Joey and Sherrie lived in the same complex, only S went in the morning and J in the afternoon.  My route would have been sooooo much shorter in the morning if S could have been switched; I had a full car every morning, while only 5 in the afternoon.

I'm A Brat, But He Still Pops 'The Question'!
J and I had the occasional argument,but nothing major.  One night he arrived to pick me up, and I knew we'd planned to go downtown to Union Station for dinner.  However, when he arrived, he was all dressed up, while I came down the stairs in jeans.  I quickly ran back upstairs and yelled for Natalie, the teenage daughter of Bob and Ann, to help me pull something together, since I had a limited wardrobe.  N and I were about the same size, so she pulled a skirt and light sweater from her closet, and I ran back down.

We ate at Salvatore Salvatini's and split a carafe of wine, then caught ourselves talking about kids names, where we wanted to live, and even dream weddings.  But as soon as we realized it, the topic was switched.  After dinner, he suggested a carriage ride, and I agreed.  But when we went outside, it was beginning to rain, and I balked.

He cajoled me into going, which I griped about during the two-block walk.  Then the driver asked where to go, and J said canal, while I said Monument Circle.  J insisted, and so did I, but in the end, our driver agreed to go both places, but took us by the canal first.  I was still pouting about being slightly wet and now not getting my way.

At one point, I was looking at the canal when J said something to get my attention.  I turned my head and he was on one knee, holding out a ring.  I couldn't breathe....couldn't speak.  He put the ring on my finger and I was still in shock!  He kept asking, and by the time we'd reached the Monument, I thrust my hand out the window and told a random stranger, "Look what I just got!:  Then turned back to J and said 'yes'....then burst into tears, because I'd been so nasty to him!

We went back to Union Station to walk around the top part.....but all I wanted to do was go home and be with him.  When we returned to the house, we broke the news to Bob and Ann, who broke out the champagne.  The cork popped and foam sprayed all over Bob and down his lap!

About a week later, we went to Lafayette and broke the news to my parents, who were happy for me.  I think later that month, my Aunt Janet, Uncle Bob, and cousins Zach and Caty arrived for a visit, and were able to meet him too.

Next Month:  Winter Comes Early

Present Day:
I'm headed up to Indianapolis for the Indy Author Event:)  Looking forward to finally meeting Sandra Sookoo, Regency author!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Life In Lumber, Week #24

Day 117:
Shift was busy!  Wasn't able to do my soda count until nearly 5, and then only got the left side before more customers arrived.  Marci relieved me for lunch at 5:10, so I finished the count when I returned, while she was ringing up three more.  Things slowed a little after 6; I was able to get the closing duties accomplished by 8:30, and emptied the outside trash.

Just realized I'd left the bags on the counter, and forgot to shut off the fan.  Oops....Also need to talk to Tasha; I've got the 26th off instead of the 27th, AND it says I'm supposed to come in on a Sunday, from 7-9 AM???  We don't open til 9 on Sunday....not sure what's going on there.

Outfit:  Blue flowery tee, dark capris.

Here's hoping tomorrow goes as well?

Day 118:  
Shift was again busy, but did get my soda count finished before 5.  Marci relieved me at 6,and after lunch, did my closing duties.  A new Return policy was implemented, since sometime yesterday a $550 mistake was made (not by me).  So now, we have to call down the HC to do a return.

Several people had called in, but Jordan arrived as Ian was leaving, so we had a loader.

Had a kid want to scan an item, so I let him, and he was thrilled!  (Kindergarten age)  Told him to come back after he graduated from HS and work during the summers between college semesters.  His mother was amused....

Found out about Sunday the 22nd:  It's a store wide meeting, to discuss the past three month's progress.  Told Tasha about my issue on the 26th-27th; she said she'd take care of it.  Whew!

Outfit:  White Flamingo tee, faded denim capris.

Here's hoping tomorrow goes well!

Day 119:  Final Long Day....
Ran late, due to a stopped train, and didn't get a chance to go anywhere for lunch, since we were out of Miracle Whip, and there wasn't any time to make something hot.  So I toughed it out for three hours until Scott Shipman from Helping His Hands showed up and began talking food.  When I jokingly complained about being hungry, Scott bought me a Snickers.....and 5 minutes later, Brenda arrived to relieve me.  We'd been fairly steady, but I was able to get the soda count finished.  After lunch, things sort of died down, and I was able to get most of my closing duties finished by 8.  A gentleman arrived, wanting roofing shingles, but didn't understand why our price was higher than the Terre Haute's price.  Called Tasha, who came down to look at his receipt, and said she wasn't willing to price-match; that TH was in a different region, and therefore, different prices.  IMHO, she let an $685 sale go out the window b/c she wasn't going to drop the price $200.  Guy said he would go to TH for his shingles in the morning and walked out.  I locked the doors, helped bring in the rest of the carts, returned a container of screws to Hardware, and went to my locker.

Here's hoping tomorrow goes just as well as today!

Outfit:  God Bless The USA tee and faded denim capris, for 9/11

Day 120
Shift went well!  Steady, but not slammed.  Brenda relieved me at 5:30, and when I returned 30 minutes later, she informed me it had been non-stop the entire time!  After I took over again, things slowed down so I could get my closing duties accomplished, even washing the main doors for the first time in 2 months.

Robert came in with ten minutes left, and I jokingly told him 'time's ticking; hurry your ass up!'  It was also extremely hot and humid, and Scott was bringing in the carts, wringing wet.  I offered to throw water on him, and he began avoiding me, ha ha.....

Outfit:  Florida tee, faded denim capris

Three day weekend and PAYDAY!  Whoot!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Flashback Friday: Disaster In Chemistry Class

Sept 1979:
It didn't take long for me to realize my chemistry partner had no interest in what we were doing, so I found myself reluctantly taking the lead in all our experiments.  But the thing I remember the most is when Rick decided, for whatever conceivable reason, to shove a paper towel into a test tube, the try to float it out by adding water! 

I ended up spending the hour scraping that towel out of the darn test tube.  Needless to say, I didn't get it all, and at the end of the hour took it up to the teacher and apologized for my partner's stupidity.

In Health Class, a rivalry of sorts began between myself and Mike F.  He would answer most of the questions for the guys, while myself and Rhonda A would take turns answering on the girls' side.

Next Month:  Halloween Disaster

Present Day:
I'm off to Cil-Con in Mattoon, Il for today and tomorrow!  I managed to get into 'Brian's Love Shack' area, and was dismayed mildly amused at the fact we'll be right in front of my favorite clothing store. my table or go shopping?  Decisions, decisions.....

Also hoping to pick up some swag before I leave town.  I need notepads, Kleenex, and a few more prizes for the 'special' basket.  Praying my budget is on track!

See you next week, and have a wonderful weekend:)

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Sept 2019

How well did I do in August?
-Enjoy trip to Indy for spouse's Dr. Appt Check!
-Mail pkg to HS friend Not yet
-Do well at 1st Friday Art Walk (am skipping Watermelon Festival as vendor this year) Sold 2:)
-Do well at State Fair the 6th (0), 7th (Sold 9!), and 8th (Sold 9!  Total:  18!)
-Do well at Collectors Carnival Sold 4:)
-Do well at MOA (Sold 5!) as well as SAFE trip Check!  5 detours going, only 2 returning, lol!
-Enjoy visit with family Check!  Even got to see Kristin, Steve, Megan, and Alec:)
-Add words to Regrets #2 Nope; other wip taking over brain... and new WIP Check:)....and type it up not yet
-Organize more basement Filled two more totes!
-Work on both Green and Brown houses
-Order Dreamscape ($10 sent; still need to send rest.) CR (Check!), and Whispers copies Check!
-Lose 5 pounds (starting weight:  232:)  Gained 2 pounds; too much pizza and good food this month??

Ortho Update:
I've been upgraded to an As-Needed status, and still need to keep an eye on my shoulder.

Books Read:  2
           Print:  2

Karaoke Songs Added:  6

September Goals:
-Do well at Cil-Con Sold 2:)
-Do well at Indy Author Event Sold 2:)
-Do well at Saluki Con
-Mail pkgs to MN and Carmel 9/2:  Have envelopes addressed! 9/9:  Ready to seal up! 9/13:  On their way!
-Organize more basement
-Do some work in Green house
-Order inventory (Dreamscapes (Check!), CR, HLC (Check!), Bad Decisions Check!)
-Lose 5 pounds (starting:  234)
-Add more words to Regrets #2 and new wip, plus type it up

Payment Schedule:
Aug 24-30:  37
Aug 31-Sept 6: 18
Sept 13th Payday hours:  55
     -Projected income: $559 + $50 Winning Together bonus=$609
          -$60 to church; pay (Neuburgh) medical bill ($50).  Bank all funds ($499) for Indy Author Fair+ $20 CC sales + $43 left over from CC= $562-$44 (present for future DIL)=$518-$60 (IC award banquet Check!)-$60 (promo)=$398-$140 (car rental)=$258-$45 (Rivet Craft Fair Check!)=$213-$5 food items for work=$209-$15 (lunch)-$20 (gas)=$174-$38 (Walmart)=$136-60 (2020 MOA 1/2 payment)=$75-$10 (other items)=$65 banked
                 7-13:  24
                14-20:  23
Sept 27th Payday hours: 47
    -Projected income: $480
          -$48 to church.  Bank all funds ($432) for Saluki Con + $65 (banked) +20 IAF sales=$613
                 21-27:  20
                 28- Oct 5:  15

Payments/Expenses List:
-Cil-Con expenses-Sept ($340 car rental, $112 hotel, $30 food, $15 gas)
-Indy Author Fair expenses (Sept 13-15):  $340 rental car,  $12 Food/$20 gas
-Saluki Con expenses-Sept ($340 car rental, $203 ($25 refunded after stay) hotel, food, gas)
-Imaginarium (Oct):  $125 (9/9-Check!)+$60 award banquet(9/13-check!)+ expenses ($130 hotel, $340 rental car, food, gas)
-ICTAHS:  $240+expenses (gas/rental car/food/lodging) (Sept-Oct) ($50 sent 5/10; $50 sent 6/ owe $140)
-Rivet Craft Fair:  $45 (Sept 16th Check!)
-2020 MOA table fee $110 (9/17:  Pd $60)
-Weekend With The Authors 2020 and 2021:  20 (reader ticket, hotel/gas/food/rental car); 21:  $225-300 table fee; hotel/gas/food/rental car
List is shrinking!  Nearly all booth fees are paid; all that's left are ICGAHS (Nov) and WCC Christmas Craft Show (either Nov or Dec)!

September Reading Schedule:
Quiet Strength-Tony Dungy DRR!  Excellent book of faith, determination, and never giving up:)

Real Men Don't Break Hearts-Colleen Kwan
Friday Night Alibi-Cassie Mae

Karaoke Songs:
Unbeautiful-Lesley Roy DNH
Roll To Me-Del Amitri Voice cracked a few times; so-so
Brass In Pocket-Pretenders Nailed it!  Better than the 1st time I sang it, imho!
F'ing Perfect-Pink  Nailed it:)  Crowd pleaser!
9/7:  Mattoon, Il
White Liar-Miranda Lambert Felt like I was singing acapella; couldn't hear myself in the speakers.  Still, did well:)
Who Knew-Pink Blew the 2nd verse, but otherwise, okay
F'n Perfect (clean)-Pink Not bad, considering I had to cough, but couldn't!
Stop Draggin' My Heart Around-Stevie Nicks/Tom Petty Nailed it:)
Magic Power-Triumph Did well!
I Will Be-Leona Lewis Nailed it:)
Unchained Melody-Righteous Brothers Did well:)
Roll With It-Steve Winwood Blew a few lines, but over all, not too bad.

Build Me Up Buttercup-Foundations
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey-Paul McCartney???
Under The Boardwalk-The Drifters
Roll With the Changes-REO Speedwagon
Behind These Hazel Eyes-Kelly Clarkson

Under Pressure-Queen/David Bowie
Roll Over Beethoven-Beatles/ELO/Chuck Berry???
Rolling in The Deep-Adele
Born To Be My Baby-Bon Jovi

Monday, September 2, 2019

Life In Lumber: Week #23

Day 114:  Labor Day!
Today's shift was weird.  Arrived; went down to Lumber, only to discover Tiff was there.  Went back up front to confirm, and was asked to hop on a register to help with the crowd.  Remembered I'd not clocked in yet, so after Customer A was taken care of, shut off my light and clocked in at paint.  Went back up front, but crowd was gone.  HC Cindy sent me to Lumber, just as Kem was leaving.  Tiff wanted #1, so I hopped on #2.  Customer B paid by check....and locked up the printer.  Called HC Aggie down to see what was going on, and ended up moving his order to #3, so the check could be processed.  Customer C paid with his card, but printer refused to print the receipt.  By the time Customer D arrived, I was fed up and had moved to #3.....just as Marci arrived and told me to go back up front to #9!

So back up front I went....and stayed there until 6:30, when I went back to Lumber to give Tiff her fifteen minute break.  Spent the rest of the shift up front, and had issues with #13....the scanner acted up a few times.  Cassie was filling the soda machines, so took over #10 for the rest of the evening.  After we closed, I emptied the bathroom and break room trash, then we clocked out.  Turned out I'd been given a blessing; Tiff had an issue with a customer at the end.

Here's hoping everything's back to 'normal'??  I want a nice steady evening, not slammed, but so I have time to both write and do my closing duties!!  Might end up being late tomorrow, due to the spouse's eye appointment, and if his eyes are still dilated at 2:30.

Outfit:  Black square neck blouse, dark denim capris, dangly heart earrings.

Day 115: Back to Normal:)
1st half of the shift was steady, and only froze up the register once, lol!  After lunch, things tapered off, though still steady, and was able to get my closing duties finished.  Locked all doors, then left my trash for Jordan and went to empty the bathroom trash.  Walked into the break room to put my vest away and collect my keys (hubby's eyes were dilated earlier, so I had to drive myself) and saw Cassie walking out the other door.  There was someone in the Men's room, so flushed all the toilets in the Women's room and emptied the trash, then did the same to the Men's.  Went to get bags, then heard C page me....found a phone and told her, rather snippily, that I had one more trash can to line, then take the trash to the compactor before I'd be up front.  Told HC Cindy later that the LEAST Cass could have done was HELP me!

Had to get two gallons of milk before going home.  Discovered why I couldn't do the 'swap shift' on the computer; according to it, I'm supposed to be in Customer Service this week instead of Lumber!  Told Tasha I'd double-check with Makayla and fill out the request form up front.

Outfit:  Yellow tee, dark denim capris, small gold textured earrings.

Here's hoping tomorrow goes just as smoothly!

Day 116:
Shift went well!  First two hours was crazy, with Kim handling a $3K transaction, full of flooring, cabinets, and lumber, and tying up both #2 and 3!  After the customer finally paid and got everything loaded, things settled down.  I went to lunch at 5:20, and when I returned an hour later, was able to do all my closing duties.  Discovered M wants more hours, so I've got tomorrow off.  Requested my October days off (4th and 11th), and accidentally put in for the 10th as well (head slap!).  They really shouldn't allow me to request my own days off....

Outfit:  Purdue tee, patterned leggings.

Next week should be rather normal, I hope!


My initial reaction to this was, 'Yup...', but then my brain woke up.

1)  There's usually a 5-10 day grace period on rent

2)  If you have direct deposit, paychecks will be there Friday morning, or even Thursdays (I was surprised over 4th of July when I was paid a day early!)

3)  People living paycheck-paycheck already know how to budget their funds to prepare for the holiday weekends:  Food stock up, bills paid, no unnecessary funds spent.

4)  If you don't have a bank account, your paycheck will be loaded onto a debit card, so overdrafts can be avoided.

I think the 'working poor' is more savvy than people give them credit....when they're not dependent on government assistance.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Life In Lumber: Week #22

Day 108:  Rare Sunday
Shift began on a dramatic note, when Tiff came to the break room to say J was driving her nuts, cleaning the floor while she (T) waited on all the customers.  HC MK said she'd take care of it.  When I clocked in, MK told me to tell J to go up front.  J protested, and I jokingly said, "I'll just stand here and watch y'all work!"

MK laughed.  "That's MY job!"

Customer A arrived in a bad mood, swore when he accidentally cancelled his transaction, and got angry at the credit card machine.  I remained calm and said, "I hope your day gets better."

Rest of the shift went well.  It was nice and steady, and the family took me to LJS for dinner.  When I returned, Tiff handled the customers while I emptied the trash and put the soda away.  Reg #2 chip reader malfunctioned, so I shut down at 5:30 and took over T's spot.  T did all the returns, then clocked out at 6.  Had a rush at 8:40, and locked the doors at 9:05.

Outfit:  Black/tan shirt, black capris, Larimar oval earrings

Here's hoping tomorrow goes nice and smooth!

Day 109:
Had insomnia last night, and didn't get to sleep until after 5:30am.  Shift began well, albeit rainy, then about 5pm, I had a customer try to buy a combination Fire alarm that wasn't in our system.  HC MK was at lunch, so Karlie came down and showed me how to add it to the system.

Right before I went to lunch, both Darren and Kyle were assisting customers when Customer B needed drywall and Customer C needed help at the corrugated tin.  K finished first, so sent him to CB, but it turned out he needed D's help.  Told D to go by CC and let him know he'd be with them shortly.  Not sure what happened, but CC arrived at my counter, upset because of 'no help'.  K was nearly finished by then, so I looked up the item he wanted, and K went to pull it down.

After lunch, we were slow.  My sleepless night caught up with me around 7:30, and all my energy went south.  Only did the bare minimum cleaning, and got the doors locked on time.  HC MK arrived to empty my register and mentioned she was having 'female issues', so we were getting out of there asap!

Outfit:  Blue Vancouver Aquarium Tee, faded denim capris, small zirconian stud earrings.

Here's hoping I get some sleep tonight, and tomorrow goes well!

Day 110:
I actually showed up early for my shift, since I finished reading the book I'd brought.  Took back Kem's returns, then clocked in and took over.  1st half of shift went well; had a 'rush' at 4:30.  After lunch, I discovered Rachel with a customer arguing over payment.  He didn't have enough $$ in his LAR, and wanted to add more.  I took him over to Reg #2 and added it, but it turned out he still needed more.  While she was dealing with him, I rang up the others in line, and when she was finished, took over again.

Five minutes later, HC T came down for a 'discussion over lunch breaks', wanting to know why R had been sent down at 5:55, but didn't return until nearly an hour later.  I explained that when she'd arrived, I'd been with a customer, and the issue when I returned.  She pulled up my time sheet and saw I'd clocked out at 6, then back in at 6:33.  Problem solved.

Was steady all the way until 8:45, and finished most of my closing duties.  Had a customer with a large lumber order, so while J and K were loading him up, I locked the other doors and gathered the rest of the carts outside.  Took my returns back, then headed for the trash with my own and the break room's.

Outfit:  Smart Women tee, patterned leggings, no earrings.

Here's hoping tomorrow goes well!

Day 111:  Long Day
Arrived at 2; things steady.  Kathy shadowed me and Pro-Kim, until Kim had to leave at 3:30 for dental appt.  Had no lumber associate from 4-5, and of course that's when everyone wanted drywall, boards cut, or help putting things in their vehicles!

Jill relieved me at 5, and had a relaxing hour in the break room.  Returned and had to hop on Reg #2 for a few minutes in order to help her out.  Things slowed down a bit, but from 7:30-8:15 it was non-stop.  Had one customer with a list to set up for delivery; in between ringing up customers, I was searching for his item numbers.  Finally got his delivery scheduled, then rang up his purchases to take with him.  At 8:50, my final customer left, so locked the doors at 9, then opened the large door and began collecting carts until Aggie arrived to empty my register.  Did the break room trash, then went up front and clocked out.

Discovered my hours have been cut Sept 16th, down to 5-close M-F.  Are they cutting everyone's hours, due to a slow down?

Outfit:  White spatter-shirt, black/white vest, dark denim capris, silver cross earrings.

I sincerely hope tomorrow goes well!

Day 112:
Shift began with me running late, since Nancy dropped me off from Writer's Guild.  Discovered Ben had called in yet again, meaning we would have no lumber associate from 4-5 again.  Kathy and I told Zach we'd hog-tie him to the shelves in order to keep him another hour, ha ha!  Kim decided to stick around.

1st half of shift was steady, but after lunch, all hell broke loose.  I came back and Taylor needed an override, so I hopped on #2 to help out.  Rang up two customers successfully, but the 3rd paid by check, and first the printer locked up, and when I called HC Aggie for help, she came down and discovered the entire register had frozen up.  She transferred everything to #1, then had to send the receipt to the CS desk.  Had one customer try to help me out with finding the code and ended up knocking all his undersill things on the floor.  Set up a delivery over the phone and thought I'd screwed up by taking her payment, but Mgr T said it was fine, and to next time, simply put 'CNP' (customer not present) on the receipt.

Didn't have to empty the break room trash; all I had to do was take my own to the compactor and hang up my vest.  We were clocked out by 9:15.  Overall, a rather frustrating shift, esp since I thought I was in trouble over that delivery order!

Outfit:  Black lace tee, patterned leggings, large zirconian stud earrings.

One.  More.  Day.  Till the weekend!  Please let Friday be stress-free?

Day 113:  Is This Crazy Week Over Yet?
My 3rd customer of the day paid by credit card and all of a sudden, we noticed an issue.  His display read 'please remove card' while mine said 'cash back?'  He reinserted the card and my display changed to 'approve purchase', while his stayed the same.  Called HC Aggie, who told me to call the MOD, who told me to call IT.  So I spent 30 mins on the phone with IT, while they fixed the issue.  Meanwhile, Tasha came down and managed to transfer the customer's info to Reg #3 and get him paid, while Kathy took care of everyone else on #2.

Once we got my register back up and running, the font was small, and neither Tasha nor Brandon knew how to make it larger.  So spent the next two hours w/o my glasses, so I could read the screen!  Things calmed down a it, was still steady.  Rachel came down at 6 and showed me how to increase the font; I nearly kissed her!

Kim and I agreed that the issue stemmed from the peanuts in my Snickers at lunch on Thurs, then the peanut butter in the Reecee cups we'd split before shift!  Damn certainly wasn't the chocolate, ha ha!

After dinner, it was still steady, and my final customer of the evening had 3 carts.  Finally got them rang up by 9:10, and locked all doors.  Took my trash down to the other end, then disposed of the Break Room trash.  Found out we'd had TWELVE people call in, most likely due to the holiday weekend.  I told Aggie not to call me in unless it was absolutely necessary; around 7:30, I began to feel like death warmed over.  Am going to bed and get plenty of sleep after this long, 6 day stretch!  I NEED two days off!

Outfit:  Lowe's Tee, faded denim capris, no earrings.

Here's hoping next week is a little slower???

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Life In Lumber, Week #21

Day 104:
Returned to work after a 5 day hiatus (Minneapolis trip), and about an hour in, discovered customers no longer had to swipe for debit!  HC Mel said they changed the system on Monday.  We also have new blue signage for the departments, and they're switching the displays.  Can't hire a new janitorial staff, but we have new signs!

Over all, shift went well.  Only had one hiccup....guy had $16 in change; I forgot to grab the $10 bill, and had to have McKrenda open the register.

At the end, I had a delivery order, but it was being sent to a new address, so had to call HC Mel down to walk me through it.  There was another customer in line, so she had me hop over to #2 while she took care of the deliver order.

Makayla and I cleaned the men's room and the family bathroom, then emptied the break room trash.

Also discovered I'd requested the wrong day off:  I've got Thursday Sept 5th off instead of Friday the 6th.  Think Makayla and I are going to switch, unless I talk to Tasha about it.

Here's hoping tomorrow goes as smoothly!

Outfit:  Blue paint-spatter 'wings' shirt, faded denim capris

Day 105:
Shift began on a weird note....I was slightly late (2 mins), b/c I was talking to Kyle in the parking lot.  An hour in, a guy had roofing materials knocked down to $1, but Krissy had arrived for my break, and called me out on the fact one was different.  Had to redo it.  Took my break, and returned a few items.  Between 4 and 5, things were okay; the owner of Raki Corp arrived and laughed when I rang him up and looked him up under the name, rather than the phone #!  Was relieved for dinner at 5, and met the family at McAllister's, and between 6 and 7:30, I did closing duties and restocked the cooler.  Had an urgent need for the facilities at 7:30, but didn't get a chance until after 8, in which Scott told me he'd had a complaint I'd used my personal phone while in the middle of a transaction.  Ummmm, was on SILENT, and it was nearly dead!  Whomever it was, it was NOT me!  After a last minute 'rush', Aliscia took my trash and loading tix while I walked with HC Cindy, then headed for the break room to empty that trash.  Put my vest away, then walked the trash down to the compactor, and met everyone at the front, and clocked out.

I did NOT ask about the problem up front when I needed an uncharacteristic potty break; I did NOT ask about why the front end was out of hours; I DID ask Scott if the complaint was against me, or Lumber Cashier, or in general; he said 'in general', which confused me all over again, but at least I know it wasn't me.

Here's hoping Thursday is nice and quiet, and very smooth?  I still need to talk to someone about my Sept 5th issue, though I think maybe Makayla will work for me on the 6th, and me work for her on the 5th.

Outfit:  Classy Not Sassy shirt, patterned leggings.

Day 106:
Shift began well; HC MK reported that Reg #1 wasn't working, and Tiff hadn't had her break yet, so she wanted me to clock in early.  So I did, and spent an hour on #2, only to observe both Todd and Ian using #1.  So at 4pm. I switched over, in order to take advantage of the air flow!  Was relieved at 5:15 for lunch, and afterward, began my closing duties.  Discovered I was out of trash bags, and Sacred brought some down, along with the soda and register tape.  At 7:30, I discovered my paper towels were missing, so HC Cindy brought some down about an hour later.

Was rather slow all evening, but at 8:50, a customer came in wanting a contractor's pack of drywall.  Took several minutes to locate the forklift and a spotter, but finally got him rang up and loaded by 9:10.  Took my trash down and emptied the break room trash, then had Sacred empty it while I took a restroom break.  Clocked out at 9:30.

Outfit:  Brown shirt, faded denim Capris.

Day 107:  Influx of Crazies!
Day began on a weird note; as I was walking toward Lumber, Tiff passed me on her way to the break room, then showed up as Marci was signing out and me taking over.  Shift was busy; didn't get the soda count started until well after 4:30.  Makayla came down to help at one point, but just as she arrived, I finished the large order and began ringing up the only other customer.  Mrs. Smith from Clark had arrived with a large order to be delivered, and had thankfully written down all the item numbers:)

Sacred relieved me for lunch at 6:15, and I took the returns to their respective departments, then ate my lunch.  After clocking back in, I finished gathering the trash (S had forgotten the Pro desk ones) and began sweeping up.  At 8:30, had one nutty customer after another.  Customer A mumbled and was hard to understand....turned out he was high on Oxycontin.  He complained no one wanted to help him; I tried and Darren did a lot of it.  Turned out he'd tried to haggle Robert in Tools down to a discount on everything, so R refused to help him.  I finally got him rung up, then D got the air compressor for him.  We both sighed with relief when he drove away!

Right before close, Customer B had a cabinet with a busted drawer.  Could NOT get manager to answer phone or page!  Customer C went to the CS desk and demanded a manager; no one answered THAT one either, but Taylor came running down and rang up Customers C and D.  I finally paged for an MOD, and THEN Brandon called and told me to knock it down to $75.  Had to call HC Cindy down for an override, which took more time.  Literally locked the doors behind them.

Had to change out the trash outside, and forgot....earlier, a woman needed a door loaded into her car.  Couldn't get my lumber guys to answer the phone.  Fave customer Robert G happened to walk in; I asked if he'd do me a favor and load it for her.  He said sure, so I knocked his one board down 50%.

Didn't get out of there until 9:30.

Outfit:  Yellow Florida tee, faded denim capris.

Have tomorrow off, then 6 days in a row.  Here's hoping Sunday goes smoothly!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Flashback Friday: New Job and New Boyfriend!

Aug 1989:
BM and I were seeing less and less of each other; JL surprised me at work and we spent the evening together, and he even drove to Lafayette just to watch the Cubs baseball game with me.  I'd never had a guy go that far out of his way to be with me, and was impressed.  We went to see the movie Parenthood, and he was happy to discover I wasn't a female who picked at her food in front of the opposite sex, when we shared a pizza afterward.  Discovered JL was a virgin, so agreed no 'relations'.

The next week, Crossroads Rehab offered me an interview as a driver, and when asked how well I knew the city, I know Divine Intervention stepped in, because I started naming the areas I was familiar with when all of a sudden I stopped and said, "No matter where I am, I find a familiar landmark, so I've never been totally lost."  After turning in my background check and taking the Chauffeur's License exam three times before passing, I was hired.  It was decided I was to go live with Bob and Ann Mead until I could save up for my 1st apt, and I moved the following week.

JL and I had a few arguments during that time, but nothing I took seriously.  If he upset me too much, I yelled back, which would diffuse his anger, and he'd laugh, and everything would be okay.  Little did I know this was just the beginning.

Next Month:  I'm A Brat, But He Still Pops The Question

Present Day:
My sister and her kids are here!  They arrived Monday, and D said he wants to hug G'ma, while R wants to sit on the couch with G'ma and watch Jewelry TV with her all week.

Today, I'm headed to the Mall of America in Minnesota, a place I've dreamed of visiting for at least 25 years or more!  The Royal Touch Reader Event is on Saturday, and I plan to see as much of the mall as possible, since I have to leave on Sunday.  Originally, I'd planned to leave Monday, and spend all day Sunday at the mall, but that was before I discovered W's plans!  They're leaving Monday, and if I want to spend ANY time with them, then it meant readjusting my travel plans a bit.  Wish me luck and safe travels!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Life In Lumber Week #20

Day 101:
Shift was fairly steady all day; I managed to locate my broom after lunch and completely mucked out from under all the mats.  One of my customers came in and said, "Every time I come in, you're cleaning!"

Lumber manager Ian borrowed my pen, and a few minutes later, I realized he'd kept it.  So I paged him, and told him.  When he returned it, I told him next time I'd loan him the one with purple ink!  We had a laugh about it!

Still trying to take off Thursday, but the schedule won't let me see past the 17th.  I want to switch with someone and have them work for me on Thurs, and I'll take their Sunday the 25th.  I may simply have to have my 1st call in.

Outfit:  White cross-neck shirt, green vest, dark denim capris.  Hair pulled back in clip.

Here's hoping tomorrow goes well!

Day 102:
Today was nice and steady, albeit a little slow.  Saw one customer 3 times; the third, I cracked, "We've got to stop meeting like this; people will talk!"

Wiped down all the counters and had everything done by 8pm.

Found someone to cover my shift on Thurs, so I can spend the afternoon with my sis and her family!!!!  Course, this means working 6 days in a row next week....ugh...

Outfit:  Rebel tee, patterned capri leggings.  Hair pulled back in ponytail.

Day 103:
Was in a good mood all day!  Had a moment of craziness happen about an hour in:  Had a customer with 3 carts.  As I'm totalling him up, the phone rings, and it's Mgr Tasha, asking if I need help.  I say no, b/c we're nearly finished, and there's only one customer in line.  She says okay and hangs up.  Customer #1 then says, "I need to put funds on my LAR" just as another customer gets in line. 

I call for a code 3, and hop over to #2, then have issues logging in.  Aliscia arrives, and watches me load his LAR (via check!, grrrr), and of course the register malfunctions.  I finally go back to #1 while Tasha and A figure out what's wrong with #2, and after I ring up customers 1 and 2, A rings up #3, then comes over and tells me NOT to use #2; something's wrong with it.

The rest of the shift went smoothly....until around 8pm.  HC MK comes down to clean out my register, and agreed to watch it while I used the restroom.  I'm halfway down aisle 20 when I hear 'Hey...Hey....HEY!"  I turn around and there's a guy with his shirt over his shoulder, asking me for help.  He's got a toilet seat and something I don't recognize, and looks bewildered when I tell him I've left my phone in Lumber.  I tell him to come on; we'd find someone to help him.  Bob in Building materials has 3 people; Ben tells me to wait a minute; guy in Lighting is busy.  I spot Scott and flag him down.  First thing he tells the guy is, "First of all, the head goes THROUGH the hole at the top of the shirt!"  I escaped to the restroom.

Seconds after I return, the guy arrives with his new toilet seat, still shirtless!

Rest of the hour went well, and we were finished by 9:15:) 

I'm off to Lafayette tomorrow, then Minnesota on Friday for the weekend!  Whoot! 

Friday, August 9, 2019

Flashback Friday: Bad Decision....

Aug 1979:
We took our annual trip to the State Fair with friends, and Mom let us each select three rides to ride before walking around the exhibits.  I think this was the year we decided to try the fun houses...the Hall of Mirrors was uneventful, since we followed someone who knew how to do it, and the 2nd one had one of those awful 'drum' obstacles at the end.  I could not do it, and fell down, scraping some skin from my shoulder.  Think I actually rolled out of it.  Went on the Flying Bobs, then regretfully left the Midway and went to enjoy the rest of the fair.

My 8th grade year did not start well.  Principal divvied us up according to last names, and I misunderstood where my name fell when he got to the 'M's.  Thankfully, I wasn't the only one, and was redirected to my new home room.  Then, I discovered I'd been placed in Select Choir, which was the mixed choir, and since I didn't feel ready to sing with the boys, and hadn't even tried out for it, I went to the guidance office the first chance I got and asked to be placed in Girl's Choir instead.  Hindsight, stupid, stupid, STUPID!

I immediately 'clicked' with my Health class teacher and my Social Studies teacher.  I had a mild dislike for my new English teacher, and was very dismayed at my Science partner for the first semester.  Rick was one of the 'loser' guys, and I sensed this semester was going to be a challenge.

Next Month:  Disaster in Science

Present Day:
I am off to the Collector's Carnival in Princeton tomorrow!  Had a very relaxing weekend last week, walking around the Watermelon Festival as an ordinary spectator.  Also spent 3 days at the State Fair, and sold 18 books, met Al Unser Jr, ate a lamburger, deep-fried cookie dough, and cotton candy, rode the Re-Mix, and had a blast!

Monday, August 5, 2019

Life In Lumber Week #19

Day 97:  Fill-In For Cassie
Was asked to come in Saturday at 5 to cover for a call-in, so said yes.  Ended working the front end, and the first two hours had its ups and downs.  Had a customer complain when I scanned one end table twice, so I zeroed it out and scanned the other, then adjusted the price.  She complained AGAIN, and then I looked at the actual price vs the price tag and it didn't add changed it back to the original price.  Makayla came over and helped smooth things over, then agreed with me after they'd left that if she'd kept her mouth shut and let me do my job, there would have been no confusion.  M:  "She didn't have to be such a dick about it though."

After a brief 15 minute break, I was told to go down to lumber.  Enjoyed my 'freedom' (up front, we're not allowed 10 feet past our register, and that doesn't exactly apply to lumber!), joking with the guys and doing the rest of the closing details.  At 8pm, however, just as I began to wipe down the counters, the floodgates opened and I was busy for an hour.  Had a customer arrive, wanting to pay for his drywall in advance, so that took time looking up the numbers.  Had another customer come down at closing time with three carts, and I didn't even have time to lock the doors or even close the overhead door.  McKrenda came down and filled the soda for me while I was ringing them up, and a woman even walked in and asked if we were still open.  MK:  "No, we closed ten minutes ago."

We skipped the bathrooms and clocked out at 9:40!

Day 98:  Switching Shifts With Brenda
During my shift on Sat, B asked if I'd work for her on Sun, and she'd work my Thurs.  So said yes, and after breakfast at Denny's, I clocked in at 9am.  Was on Reg 11 for two hours, then took my 1st 15.  After which, they put me on $8, and after lunch at 1:45 at McAllisters, was on #13 until the scanner died!  With 2 minutes to go in my shift, Cassie (#9) left to take her break and everyone got in MY line!  Didn't clock out until nearly 5:15!  No 'crazies', and enjoyed joking with Mary when she ordered me off my register (she needed to pull the till), and other than the 5pm 'rush', the day went fairly smoothly!

Here's hoping Monday is fairly quiet!

Day 99:  Back In Lumber:)
As soon as I arrived for work, my hearing batteries needed changed, so told Aggie to let Kem know I would be a few minutes late.  Things were fairly steady for the 1st 2 hours, with me forgetting to give a customer his $4.....Ian mocked me about it, ha ha, but forgot how to open the register, so MK had to do it!  Marci came down to relieve me for lunch, and I promptly had to help a customer in Tools.  After lunch, I returned to find Marci ringing up a large order, so I hopped on #2.....and discovered I needed to change my PW!  So after I did that, I rang them up plus one more while Marci finished up.

The hours of 7-9 slightly dragged.  #1 ran out of pennies, so had to be on #2 while I did my closing duties.  MK said we were NOT doing the soda count or the bathrooms, so that relieved a little of the burden.  At 8:30, MK came down and moved me back over to #1, because "a customer said you refused to give them back their $100"....which was bogus and proved not to be me!  I even told MK that "I think I would remember something like that, and I KNOW it didn't happen!"  Still, the till audit had to happen, and it proved me correct:  It hadn't been me.

At the end of the shift, Scott said he'd walk with MK if I'd finish bringing in the carts.  D arrived as I was retrieving the last one, so Alex got out and helped me.  She then helped me turn off the fans and take the trash down, then got to see the break room.  Scott got a jolt when she burst out of the aisle by CS, then realized I was right behind her!  Clocked out and we left.  I'll be at the State Fair Tues-Wed-Thurs, so my 100th day will be Friday:)

Also told MK I was available from 6-close Sat and all day Sunday if they needed me.

Here's hoping Friday goes well!

Day 100:
Shift began on a good note, and was fairly steady through 6pm.  After I returned from lunch, Aliscia was ringing up a large order, so I got to hang out for a few moments.  I rang up a few customers, then began my closing duties amid the straggling customers.  Around 8, however, the floodgates opened, and I didn't have time to fill the soda coolers, wipe down the counters, or even sweep!  No major incidents, thankfully, just BUSY!

Here's hoping things slow down again next week, and I can swap shifts with someone so I can have Thursday off.

Heading to Princeton tomorrow for the Collector's Carnival:)  State Fair was AWESOME; sold 18 books, ate a lambburger, rode the Re-Mix, and brought home some deep-fried cookie dough for the kids!

August Reading Schedule

Where did July go?  It was a whirlwind of events; think I only had one weekend to myself, ha ha!
-Send pkgs to Wa, Indpls, and Tx 7/8:  Put them together!  7/10:  Mailed:)
-Work on Regrets #2 and New Story 7/8:  Wrote nearly 5 handwritten pages:) 7/31:  Began Ch 3!
-Do well at InConJunction Fri:  Sold 2:)  Sat:  Sold 2:)  Sun: Sold 6:)  Total:  10 books!
-Enjoy my JHS Class Reunion Check!  Sold 10 books Friday night:)
-Do well at Heroes For Kids sales, but 1st year Con, and did hand out a lot of cards, year???
-Order copies of Dreamscape (not available yet) and Catered Romance (Check!)
-Organize more basement Not yet
-Do more work on Green and Brown Houses Ugh....added Mike Mendoza's stuff to the front room!
-Lose 5 pounds (beginning weight:  232) Scale is low on batteries; haven't been able to weigh myself.

Ortho Update:  
I'm able to wear the new orthotics full time, with breaks in between.  When I'm at work, I kick them off during my breaks, which helps.  I also danced the Cupid Shuffle Aug 1st:)

Books Read: 4
           Print:  2
        E-book: 2
            DNF: 2

Karaoke Songs Added:  7

August Goals:
-Enjoy trip to Indy for spouse's Dr. Appt Check!
-Mail pkg to HS friend
-Do well at 1st Friday Art Walk (am skipping Watermelon Festival as vendor this year) Sold 2:)
-Do well at State Fair the 6th (0), 7th (Sold 9!), and 8th (Sold 9!  Total:  18!)
-Do well at Collectors Carnival Sold 4:)
-Do well at MOA (Sold 5!) as well as SAFE trip Check!  5 detours going, only 2 returning, lol!
-Enjoy visit with family Check!  Even got to see Kristin, Steve, Megan, and Alec:)
-Add words to Regrets #2 and new WIP Check:)....and type it up
-Organize more basement
-Work on both Green and Brown houses
-Order Dreamscape, CR, and Whispers copies Check!
-Lose 5 pounds (starting weight:  232)  Ugh...gained 2 pounds.  Too much pizza during last week...

Payment Schedule:
July 13-19: 24
         20-26: 24
Aug 2nd Payday hours: 48
     -Projected income: $521
         - $52 to church (Check!); pay Maurice's (Check!) pay medical bill (E'ville, $50 Check!; GSH $30 8/2:  Cannot contact); $157 car rental (State Fair Check!) Bank as much as possible ($212) for Aug trip+ $20 1st Friday sales+$70 SF sales (after expenses)-$31 TP copies ordered-$31 CR copies ordered-$24 WHH copies ordered +$35 CCC sales-$25 bus cards ordered= $226 banked-$149 other expenses=$77 banked
July 27- Aug 2: 24
                   3-9:  24
Aug 16th Payday hours: 48
     -Projected income: $438
        -$43 to church; Bank all funds ($395) for Minneapolis trip.  $395+$77=$472-$2 (candy bar)=$470-$200 (hotel)=$70+$380 donation-$228 (car rental)-$30 (dinner Benihanans)-$23 (dinner Bubba Gump's) +$45 sales)=$209 banked-$5 lunchables-$22 HLC copies ordered=$183 banked
                 10-16:  18 
                 17-23:  24
Aug 30th Payday hours: 42
     -Projected income: $452
          -$45 to church; pay Maurices ($50 Check!), pay ortho co-pay ($60).  Bank all funds ($302) for Cil-Con
 Aug 24-30:  37

Payments/Expenses List:
-Indy State Fair (Aug 6th-7th $100) ($50 sent 4/26; $50 sent 6/7) Rental car:  $257, gas $30, $15 admission; $24 parking fee; $20 food; $6 ride
-Minneapolis travel expenses ($200-hotel, $228 car rental, $120-food,$100- gas=$648 needed)
-Indy Author Fair expenses (Sept 13-15):  $300 hotel?  $252 rental car?  Food/gas? (Aug)
-Cil-Con expenses-Sept ($340 car rental, $112 hotel, food, gas)
-Saluki Con expenses-Sept ($340 car rental, $203 ($25 refunded after stay) hotel, food, gas)
-Imaginarium (Oct):  $120+ expenses (Sept)
-ICTAHS:  $240+expenses (gas/rental car/food/lodging) (June-July-Oct) ($50 sent 5/10; $50 sent 6/ owe $140)
-Rivet Craft Fair:  $45 (July 5th)
-Weekend With The Authors 2020 and 2021:  20 (reader ticket, hotel/gas/food/rental car); 21:  $225-300 table fee; hotel/gas/food/rental car
List is shrinking!  Nearly all booth fees are paid; all that's left are ICGAHS (Nov), Imaginarium (Oct), Rivet Craft Show (Nov), and WCC Christmas Craft Show (either Nov or Dec)!

Reading Schedule:
Needful Things-Stephen King Really enjoyed it!  If you're a King fan, RR!
Calder Promise- Really enjoyed this, despite the slight head-hopping.

Karaoke Schedule:
Written In the Stars-Tinie Tempah
Union of the Snake-Duran Duran Slightly low, but not too bad!
Beautiful Goodbye-Amanda Marshall Nailed it, plus caught it on camera:)
8/8:  Out of Town
8/15:  Out of Town
Radioactive-Imagine Dragons Not too bad!  Blew the bridge, but oh well...
Until The End of Time-Foreigner Need to re-sing next week; was practicing wrong version.
Being With You-Smokey Robinson Nailed it!
Bed Of Roses-Bon Jovi Think it sounded okay; there was also a fight before I sang, involving Elaine and three guys, who later called out Brower and not only sliced his tires, but broke his car window.  I managed to get most of the fight on video.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Life In Lumber Week #18

Day 94:  Blah Day....
First of all, my weekend was FUN, but no sales made my finances tight.  Still, I enjoyed meeting the actor WF Bell, who played Anchor in The Walking Dead, and Wyatt Weed, who was in Predador 2 AND an episode of Star Trek TNG.

Shift was steady for a while, then slowed.  I should point out my mood was a little sour, since it began raining around 2, and I was rushed for 15 mins as I tried to swap out the laundry, take my meds, finish dressing, and eat something.

1)  Was informed by Tiff that we now had a barcode to scan in for undocumented Vets!  Oh yay...but it doesn't begin until August.

2)  Was informed by HC Cindy 30 minutes later that we are NOT to ask for MyLowes or if they have a Military Discount.  So how will the undocs know?  Rather confusing....

3)  Got hit with a massive wave of sleepiness around 5:15, and was thankfully sent to lunch fifteen minutes later....the same time my ear batteries were dying!  Yes, I'd brought extra ones.

4)  After lunch, Mgr Tasha informs me my book Catered Romance is 'inappropriate' for the break room, and will I please remove it?  I put it in my locker at the end of the shift, so if Jill wants to finish reading it, she'll have to ask me for it.  Guess I'll have to take the Orion Antho in....or Whispers....or even Balancing Act, or the un-smutty one, Love Weighs In.

5)  Managed to clean the windows tonight, since I had the time, and won't be here Thursday (the day I normally try to do it!)

6) Clocked out at 9:15!

Here's hoping my mood improves, and things go smoothly tomorrow!

Day 95: Total Blonde Moment
Shift began fine, but was having issues with my eye-hand coordination on the key pad.  For instance, was trying to take a credit card over the phone and had to enter it FOUR TIMES before it matched up!  Not sure if it was tied to the loud speaker or the forklift, but was finally able to get the customer rung up.

When I went to lunch, discovered mold or something on my chicken.  Tried to eat just a cracker and a cheese slice, but something tasted 'off'.  Ate only my P3 and Snickers.

Near the end of the shift, I rang up a customer's $205 as $202, and realized after I'd closed the drawer that it was wrong.  Called HC MK, but just as she came down, a customer paid in cash, and didn't need her after all.  Apologized to everyone for the mix up.

After we closed on time (a miracle, considering Sacred went home in tears over a personal matter, which meant MK had to be on a register for an hour), D took me to the store, where I showed my Lunchable issue, and the manager let me take two in return.  He then very kindly took me to S-n-S for food!

Here's hoping I can get it together and do well tomorrow, and that customer-wise, we're again slow and steady:)

Day 96:  Better Day!
Shift went 100% better today!  Discovered our janitor, Doug, was let go after 15 years of employment, and until an outside service begins, Aggie, Makayla, Cindy, and I were tasked with cleaning the bathrooms.  Didn't finish until 9:30. 

Really no issues, and saw Mike Frey, Mike and Gretchen from choir, and Tim Kirk:)

Am off the next two days; tomorrow we go to Indy for D's visit with Dr. Steve, and am setting up Friday night for the Art Walk.  Saturday, I plan to go over to the Watermelon Festival to enjoy it as a spectator for once, lol!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Flashback Friday: County Fair

July 2009:
Spent the 4th working at the fireworks store, and met Brandon's g/f Mel, who mentioned she was looking for a babysitter for her 3 y/o daughter.  I mentioned I had a young son who needed socialization, so we agreed to try it for a week.

W and C clicked immediately, so we began watching Miss Claire every day.  Even took both kids to the county fair, and S and C rode the merry-go-round so many times, my 15-y/o got sick of being on it!

It had rained earlier in the week, and as we were going to the car, W raced through the mud puddle, while C came to a screeching halt and walked carefully around it!

K had also joined the football team, and as a parent, I was recruited to help park cars one evening.  As it turned out, the shift I chose was also after a torrential downpour, so K spent his three hours helping cars stuck in mud to break free, while I directed traffic down to the other parking lot, and let in cars for the Demolition Derby!

Next Month:  Football Mom!

Present Day:
I'm off to Perrysville, MO for the weekend, to the Heroes For Kids convention!  Wish me luck; my budget is tight, and I might have to return Saturday instead of Sunday.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Strange Dream 3-15-14

Had a very weird dream about three kids, Sam, Jessie, and Paula, who lived on the 2nd floor of a rickety old house.  Downstairs, an emaciated old black man with sad, tired eyes lived in squalor.  I don't know what drew me to help Sam and his sister Jessie get home to their older sister Paula, or even what prompted me to ask Jessie if anyone had ever touched her.  I gave Paula my card and told them to call me if they ever needed anything.

The guy downstairs gave me the creeps.

Dreamed we were watching a 'Brian Cross' slideshow of his life...the early years.  Since I've not dreamed about B for a while, I'm a little worried.  Esp since I was watching his life, ala documentary-style.  Really hoping this isn't a premonition of some sort.  (shivers)

Flashback Friday 5-9-11

April 26-May 3, 1991:
To recap: Two weeks earlier, D and I decided to get engaged, and broke the news to my parents. The next morning, my mother called me; she'd literally planned our wedding overnight. All we had to do was get the license and the paperwork, and my dress. Everything else was taken care of.

One week later, my sister and I went shopping. I found a beautiful white suit, shoes, and accessories. She was unable to find anything she liked, and when we left the Mall, it was too late to go to dinner without an hour's wait time. She went back to Muncie, and I went to a friend's steakhouse and talked him into buying me dinner.

The following day, we drove down to D's hometown to break the news to his parents, and to watch a friend graduate from college. Everything went well until late afternoon. I began bleeding, and after consulting with my nurse mommy via telephone, we headed for home, with instructions to call the doctor as soon as we arrived.

The doctor told me to stay off my feet and get to the hospital if it got worse; otherwise, he'd see me in the office bright and early.

The next day, I was given an ultrasound, and I was stunned by the little 'blip blip blip' on the video screen; it was my baby's heart still beating strong. I was told to stay off my feet, and limited activity. I could still keep my weekend job, as long as I did not carry anything more than ten pounds. Oh, and to refrain from any relations until the bleeding had ceased for three days.

May 2nd: I was looking over the paperwork we'd filled out, and noticed a signature line had been overlooked. I drove to D's workplace, and in the lunchroom, we signed it. We were already packed and ready for the following day.

May 3rd: I met my mother at the beauty parlor, and had my hair cut and styled. I drove to my parents' home and changed into my beautiful outfit, and had my makeup done by a friend of Mom's, who used to sell Mary Kay. She and another friend of my mom's were busy getting the house ready for the reception. At three thirty, I left to go meet D for a quick meeting with my favorite pastor.

4:30: People began arriving. I began to get anxious, because there was no sign of the friend who would video the event. I also had a small arguement with my sister, who refused to be my Maid of Honor. My BFF was on standby, but when Dr. T spoke to my sis, everything was okay.

5:30: C and B arrived, video camera in hand. They'd had to fly standby from Florida, and had gotten bumped from an earlier flight. I was relieved, and the ceremony began.

Just before we spoke our vows, Dr. T said a prayer and suddenly, it hit me: This was no play rehearsal; after we walked back down the aisle, I would not be whipping off the veil and saying, "Who's next?". This was real; I was seriously getting married. I also noticed I'd left my engagement ring on, so I carefully shifted it to my pinky finger. Tears began to form, and yes, I joined the ranks of brides who sobbed through their vows. You cannot even hear me on the tape. And once in the receiving line, I grabbed my mom and hugged her for at least five minutes!

And there was plenty of humor ahead: When we went to sign the license, Dr. T laughed. Remember that line we signed in the lunchroom? We were officially married once we signed that line:) And also, as we signed the final document, I looked at my new husband and said, "Oh that's how you spell your last name!" I'd been spelling it wrong the entire four years of friendship, and six months of dating! He'd never once corrected me.

We behaved ourselves when we cut the cake; we opened our presents and properly oohed and ahhed over everything. And the few guests who were still around when we left at 10pm for our 4-star hotel room pelted us with birdseed as we went out the door.

We also hit a deer on the way to the hotel, but only knocked it down. No damage to the car; we'd swerved at the last minute and only clipped a back leg. And once we arrived in our room, I changed into my sexy lingerie only to discover the day of being on my feet had taken its toll: I was bleeding again.

My 24 hour honeymoon was spent lying in bed, watching movies on pay-per-view. And on Sunday, we returned home and met my parents who arrived with our wedding gifts. Life was now back to 'normal'.

We watched our wedding video several years ago, and I wish I knew what had cracked us up before we cut the cake, or other private conversations the audio didn't pick up.

For our 25th anniversary, I hope to throw myself the reception I dreamed of when I was 19: DJ, lots of dancing, the champagne fountain. And seven years ago, I went on the Disney Vacation without D. I've resigned myself to the knowlege my dream honeymoon is never going to happen, so I had fun without him:)

Thought I'd Pass This Along...10/9/09

Received an informative email this morning, concerning author interviews. Hope this is helpful; I'm going to check it out more thoroughly this afternoon.


The biggest problem I notice with many of the unpublished self-help books I look over is too many examples and stories about the author, and not enough about other people. But if you want literary agents to believe that the problem you’re writing about—and the solution you’re offering—can affect a wide range of people, then you need to fill your writing with lots of anecdotes from OTHER people.So where do you find other people with stories that illustrate the points you make in your book?

Here are seven e-zines or Web sites that let you post your request for interviews for free:
1) Enter as a journalist, and your request will go to thousands of people looking for publicity, and therefore happy to share their tales with you. Just say you are a freelancer and working on an article that will go to publications like the main ones in your subject area.

2)—Peter Shankman has created a list of more than 100,000 people who want to be interviewed. To put your query on his list, fill out the form at

3) Dan Poynter publishes an e-zine called Publishing Poynters that goes to 38,000 subscribers. You can advertise your request for stories there for free.Subscribe at: and send your requests for stories to: (Dan will announce any freebies you have in his newsletter, too.)

4) has 70,000 readers who are writers. You can post interview requests at:

5) LinkedIn ( has a feature where you get to ask questions, either of your network or of people in a particular industry. You can post to more than one group. I would pose two different questions. The obvious one is “Can I interview you about X?” The other question you can post is “Do you know how I could find people to interview about X? Not only would you get suggestions on where to find people to interview, anyone who fits your topic would probably offer to b e interviewed. You can also make a request, once you join, on any of the various discussion groups that relate to your topic.

6) Create a Facebook ( event called “Interviews about X for my new book.” Click on the applications box in the bottom left hand corner of your Facebook page, then click on the word “Events.” (If it isn’t listed, click on “Browse more applications.”) Then when you get to the events page, click on the “Create an Event” button. Then invite all your friends. Make sure you include the sentence, please spread the word about this by inviting your friends.

7) I will happily post your thirty-word request for stories in AuthorSecrets, which currently has 43,432 subscribers and is growing by thousands of subscribers a month. Send your request to you have an y other suggestions for getting interviewsfor your book, leave a comment at www.AuthorsMBAblog.comand there's a chance it will show up, with attribution,in this e-ine and my blog.

Here's to your bestseller,
Mahesh Grossman President The Authors Team

Downtime 2008

This may sound slightly insane, but I actually have to schedule in my downtime. What is downtime? The time where I do nothing but read, watch TV, or even just sit on the front porch and watch the birds.

Nothing infuriates me more than to have someone imply I do nothing all day. My own niece was trying to start her own business several years ago and actually said to me, "This will give you something to do all day."

Excuse me? Between my-then Mommy chores, which included changing diapers and encouraging a toddler to be independant; my daily housecleaning routine; and trying to squeeze in an hour or two of writing, when do I not have something to do?

I am rarily bored at home. I used to have a neighbor who cried when her youngest child began school, and who regularly called because she was sick of watching TV and wanted someone to talk to. I loved it when we got Caller ID, because I could choose to ignore her calls. I didn't understand her attitude then, nor do I understand people who complain they wenthave nothing to do. Maybe it is simply the fact I learned early to entertain myself, and I'm perfectly fine being at home by myself? Give me access to a radio, several books, a computer, and I'm perfectly happy. I don't need for people to entertain me; I'm perfectly capable of finding something to do.

Take yesterday. I had been gone for three days, and when I arrived home, my hubby had not done any housework. I decided to simply take it easy and catch up on the chores in a leisurely manner, instead of trying to frantically cram it all in before noon. Why noon? That's when my toddler would normally come home from school. But the kids are out for the summer, and I was still tired from all the driving. Why kill myself when I do not have to watch the clock anymore?

I actually woke up early and since we needed a few breakfast items, went to the store and bought them. Fixed the coffee and fired up the computer. Watched the morning news, read my email and favorite blogs. Posted my own, and then dressed, sorted the laundry, and helped hubby clean up the kitchen. I guess it was too messy for him at that point, so he jumped in and washed the dishes.

I only did two loads of laundry, but I finished writing my answers to an interview next week; I read two more chapters of Cheryl's book; I remembered I still had two episodes of 90210 to watch from Saturday, so I went downstairs and enjoyed some solitude. My oldest son went over to spend the night at my friend Jackie's house, and to help with a home improvement project; hubby and I decided to go to dinner and go grocery shopping.

Today, I slept later than usual, and was irritated that hubby had made plans that included me leaving the house. I have things I want (need?) to finish, but right now, it is more important that I be with friends who need our help with outside projects. And I get to use a laptop for the first time, and I kind of like it. I've accidentally exited out of the internet, and I've managed to shrink my screen, but that's okay. The chores will still be there when I get home, and I've been able to print out something I've needed

Monday, July 22, 2019

Life In Lumber, Week #17

Day 90:  Sleep Deprived Shift!
Began my shift by asking in a hopeful voice, "Tell me we're overstaffed and I can go home and sleep??"


Crap.  So I clock in, and thankfully, things went well.  No major issues, and I managed to stay awake and not yawn too much!  Makayla and I requested to have her work my shift on Friday, and hopefully it will be approved.

My final customer of the day was a tax exempt, plus I found four more loading tickets in the slot.  At 9pm, as Mel was making her 'we're now closed' speech, two men walked in and told me they'd be speedy!  Nevertheless, Tasha came down and closed me out asap.

Here's hoping I get a good night's sleep and am a little more 'chipper' tomorrow!

Day 91:  Good Shift!
The first two hours were nice and steady, then from 5-6, I swept, emptied the trash, checked my schedule and email, and tried to stay busy.  Went to lunch at 6:15, and when I came back, Tasha had found the note someone had taped above the register with the silica sand code, and questioned me and Rachel.  We didn't know who had posted it, and pointed out we couldn't find it on the computer or the app.  I went down and took a picture of it, so we'd know what to look under.  Meanwhile, T proceeds to type up a letter, saying 'cheat sheets should not be used, and if anyone is caught using one, consequences will be taken...'

*eye roll*

Good thing she doesn't know I've already got some items memorized!

Things went well 2nd half of the shift (after I remembered to clock in 5 minutes later!), and wiped down all the counters, cleaned under all the mats, and rotated the sodas.

If the rest of this week goes this smoothly, hallelujia!

Day 92:  Hump Day and I Escape The 'Let's-Return-From-Lunch-On-Time' Lecture!
At 1pm. as I was about to fix lunch, MK called and asked if I'd come in early.  I said sure, so we hurriedly got everyone in the truck and went to Wendy's for food.  I ate quickly, then went to work.  Things went smoothly all afternoon, then Tiff came down to relieve me for lunch.  Clocked out at 5:35, but had to go back to my locker and restroom; didn't leave until nearly 5:45.  Went to Subway for a chicken pesto, and set my alarm for 6:30.  Walked back; Tiff had a customer, so returned to my locker and the restroom, then clocked in at 6:44.  Returned to lumber, where Tiff logs out of the register, then helps Chris roll up some chicken wire and tie it shut.  About an hour later, I got a phone call from MK, asking why I returned 25 mins late.  I explain what had taken place, with Chris and the chicken wire, and she said okay.  Chris then comes down to see what my story is, and I repeated it.  He said, 'Understood', and that was the end of it.  I FULLY expected MK to either look at my time card or the video, and give me The Lecture, but none came:)  In fact, we were able to close on time, and everyone was in a good mood:)

Here's hoping tomorrow, my last day this week, goes well!

Day 93:  Day Before Trip To St. Louis!
Think everyone realized they hadn't been to the store this week; we were steady all day long!  But not so busy I couldn't do my closing duties.  Cydnee came down and got my trash at 7:30, but I filled another one by close, so Justin took it down.  Had one customer 'try to kill me', by dropping a 1x2 on the counter, nearly missing my head.  At the end of the shift, MK came down to close me out, but my final customer had 3 separate orders, so she could use up a few coupons.  Still, managed to get out of there by 9:15:)

Off to Perrysville tomorrow, whoot!  3 day weekend!

Friday, July 19, 2019

Flashback Friday: Catching Up

July 1989:
I attended Math Class in the morning, and either apartment and job hunted, or lounged in BM's pool before heading back to Frankfurt to work.  Five major events happened:

A)  July 3rd was by far the WORST night at my shift.  My boss pointed out several people who were on her tab, and I stupidly thought she meant the entire night.  Imagine my shock when, at the end of the night, she'd only meant THAT ROUND!  I had to surrender all my tips in order to pay for the rest of the drinks.  To say I was pissed was mild.  I also didn't understand why they hadn't brought in another server.....I was trying to break down the salad bar, serve everyone's drinks, AND suffer through my own hunger and sleepiness, since I'd forgotten about the 4th being the following day, and naturally it was packed.

B)  BM and I did have an actual date one evening, but after drinking 8 drinks, I, for whatever reason, turned to him and said, in a very slurry voice, "I don' wanna marry you; I jush wanna live with you til I gradiate."  

Is it any wonder that he suddenly began having no time for me?  Which led to disastrous decision C:

C)  I was minding my own business at the pool, when this guy struck up a conversation with me.  I'd just gotten the news plans for Chi-Chis had fallen through, so Jack very nicely offered to take me.  He turned out to be B's neighbor, so after a delicious meal, I went back to his apartment to hang out.  One thing led to another, and I ended up sneaking out in the morning, so B wouldn't see me.  I'd even parked in another lot, to avoid detection.  I did this for a week, until I was nearly busted, and by then, I'd had enough of the deception.

D)  I took my final in Math, then 'kidnapped' friends K and E, and proceeded to throw myself a graduation party.  We began at Olive Garden, then discovered, via our Very Cute Waiter, it was quarter beer night at The Vogue in Broadripple.  After dinner, we did a brief shopping trip through Castleton Mall, and bought some new clothes at Sycamore.  Went back to K's house to change, then headed to the bar.  We only saw our cute waiter once, then proceeded to dance and have a few drinks.  At 2am, we discovered it was pouring down rain, and got soaked running back to my car.  Drove to K's house, where we crashed for the night, startling her parents the next morning!

E}  K's wedding was set for July 28th, and I forgot to mention earlier in the year, when she and I and the other bridesmaids went shopping for accessories, we went on the day of the Antique Sale.  K was upset with me pawing through the books and Star Wars memorobilia, but I scored several treasures, in addition to my new shoes, earrings, and necklace.

For the rehearsal, I was mad at B for not going with me, so I talked CS into going.  Only problem was, I wasn't entirely sure of the address of the church, so we were slightly late.  I didn't really pay close attention to my groomsman, but enjoyed being with CS and my other friends at the dinner.  It was held in Westfield, at the Lighthouse Restaurant.  Afterward, we girls headed to a bar, and the guys offered to take C home to Plainfield.  We had a good-humored drag race down SR 31, with my little Chevy beating a truck full of men!  We danced and drank some more, then I headed home.

The day of the wedding, I arrived at the church and got dressed, plus helped K with her preparations.  Pictures were taken, ceremony went off without a hitch, until the Maid of Honor revealed she and her boyfriend had gotten married the day before.  I joked this bumped me up to MOH!  B never showed up, even to the reception.  I led the procession to the Boat Club, even missing the turn, and saw about ten cars all making the same U-Turn!  Depressed over B not making it, I kicked off my shoes, drank an entire bottle of K's dad's homemade wine, and picked up my groomsman, so I'd have a dance partner.  At the end of the reception, my feet were too sore to shove into my pumps, so he carried me to my car, and we talked for maybe an hour until I 'sobered' up.  Drove barefoot to my grandmother's house and called B, who informed me he'd had some things to do for his mom, which had taken longer than expected, and hoped he'd get to see me before I started working full time.  I then hung with with Grandma for about an hour (sobering up even more, ha ha!), before driving back to Lafayette.

Next Month:  Job Offer and New Boyfriend

July 1999:
K didn't make All-Stars, which was fine with us, and we proceeded to enjoy the rest of July.  Went to the park for the 4th of July fireworks, and shuttled K back and forth to various friends' houses.  Went to the county fair and had a great time!

Next Month:  School Starts and I Get Half My Life Back!

Present Day:
I am off to my 35th Class Reunion this week!  Meeting at Sgt Preston's tonight, then touring the school tomorrow afternoon, followed by dinner at MCL and dancing at the Neon Cactus.  The Tippicanoe Fair starts this weekend, so hoping to go Sunday, and go home Monday.  I think S and I are going also, so we can all drive up in S's jeep.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Life In Lumber Week #16

Day 86:  Short Week!
Not sure what happened today; I had zero energy during my entire shift.  I know I had one customer that I joked had bought out our entire plumbing department, and had another customer who needed 34 sheets of plywood, and at first, the guys got the wrong ones and had to do it over.

Darren also teased me about being 12 feet away from my register as I was loading the soda machine, then ten minutes later, when I called him to help a customer load his vehicle...."Good luck with that; let me know how it goes."

"But I'm only allowed to be ten feet away from my register."

"Oh, that's right.  I'm on my way."

Was visited by a husky, who accidentally left us a 'present' in the concrete aisle, much to Ben's disgust....I thought the owner had said she had 'pottied', not 'done her business'!

Also Mark and Jenny McNeece and Wally came in!  Wally tried jumping up on the counter and sniffed the scanner....sorry I didn't have any treats on hand, Wally!\

Locked the doors at 8:58, and the larger door at 9:05.  We all clocked out at 9:15:)

Here's hoping tomorrow goes smooth, and we find the dust mop!

Day 87:  It's A 'Take This Job and Shove It' Night....
My mood went south around 4pm, and I don't know why.  1st half of the shift went well; the only hiccup was when two guys arrived with 5 corner panels and protested when they rang up $40.  Said they were marked $16.  Had Darren check; that's the price of the J-Channels.  They still protested, so consulted Ian, who authorized the price change (and told D to make sure all they corner panels were in the correct bin!).

With the on and off rain, the electricity went down for about 30 seconds (but not the registers), then flickered again 20 minutes later.

Went to lunch, and prayed for an easy night, but while I had time to get all my closing duties finished by 8pm, had several items arrive with either fading or torn bar codes, or none at all.  Wasn't able to find them on the app or the computer, so had D go look for me.

Manager T upset me; I knew I'd forgotten to drag one item over the scanner, so when it triggered the alarm, I simply reset it.  T told me the next time, I was call the customer back to double check.  I KNEW it was my fault!  *eye roll*

Even at the end, I knew we had at least one customer still in house, so wasn't surprised when they showed up at 9:05.  Unfortunately, they had a lot of plumbing items, and two without bar codes.  Found the coupler, but the p trap took longer, and finally one of them went back to check.  Turned out it was the $7 one I'd found 5 minutes earlier, but the other guy had insisted it was only $3!  Turned in my tax exempts and loading tickets, then put my vest up and clocked out.  I was READY to leave!

Day 88:  Long Day!
My mood was definitely improved!  Had my tongue twisted early in my shift when I tried to repeat, via intercom, "Customer needs assistance in plumbing....Customer neeth athith...."

Had to call HC McKrenda down 4 times in 90 mins:  overrides, needing $1s, and needing help.  Also threw pennies all over the floor when I was trying to fill the register.  Quarters behaved themselves, lol!

Went to lunch at 5:05; family met me at McAllister's.  Bought a Snickers from Rachel before clocking back in.

2nd half was slower; got all my closing duties finished by 8:20, then had a large order for my final customer.  Locked the doors at 9:10, and helped run carts.  Took my trash down, then my tax exempts and loading tickets.  MK had me take her vest back and retrieve her keys and umbrella, then we all clocked out.

Hoping tomorrow goes as well!  Final day before payday AND 3 day weekend!

Day 89:  95 Degrees!
1st half of the shift was nice and steady, with only one hiccup.  Man shoves two carts at me, full of plumbing stuff.  I scanned the pipes, then, as they customer peruses the Pro Desk, proceed to unload, sort, and count the three different types of plumbing fittings in the first 2 boxes.  He grabbed the 3rd one and said he'd help....then I discovered NONE of it had scanned, and had to start all over!  He protested when I proceeded to scan the 1st two boxes, but understood when I told him what had happened.  At the end of the 1st order ($1200), he wanted to know how to get the discount, and told him to return tomorrow and talk to the pros.  So then I rang up his 2nd order ($700) and he still shook his head and wondered why it was so expensive!  Finally sent him on his way; Marci took over, and I went to lunch, swinging past Flooring on my way to drop off a trowel.

After lunch, things slowed waaaaay down.  I managed to get everything done, even cleaned the windows and wiped off the soda machine.  The top of the Monster cooler was dusty, and one of the Monster boxes had come open.  Completely swept under all mats, and 'mucked out' the pro station.  Had an '8:45' rush, including a couple who walked in at 8:57, found what they needed, and were back in line before 9pm.  Waited for Jean to return with the forklift, then closed the large door, and took my loading tickets and tax exempts up front.

Headed to my HS reunion tomorrow, so 3 day weekend ahead!!!