Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019: Experimental Year.....and Heartache

Wow, I sure began 2019 with ambition, didn't I?  To recap, here's what I wanted to accomplish and how it all went down:

-Write RiKar's Redemption (The Chosen #5) Nope
-Finish/add words to Heart Song Nope
-Finish/submit Time Travel Trilogy Nope
-Finish Paranormal Preacher Nope
-Write new Bad Decisions story No; instead, submitted the 'recalled', so-called 'PTSD-trigger' story
-Mail Christmas cards and packages Yes:)
-Hand-sell 150 Books (last year's record 145) Almost; 137
-Pull titles from KU and learn D2D, plus maybe Audible? Nope
-Buy Inventory and vertical banner Inventory, yes; banner, no
-Pay cover artist for CR Yes:)
-Promote Catered Romance and have successful launch Yes:)
-Set up at:
   -April:  Kentuckiana Book Fair Sold 1, Dale Library no, due to scheduling conflict; attend writer's conference in Nashville, In No, due to scheduling conflict, but did two more craft fairs, selling two more.  Off to a slow start....
   -May:  Art Walk Sold 1, Farmer's Market sold 5:)
   -June:  Art Walk Sold 3, Celebration On Main Rained, but sold 1, Corning Irish Festival Rain-out, PrideFest Sold 7:)
   -July:  InConJunction Sold 10; 35th Class Reunion Sold 13 (2 MCH and 11 JHS), plus set up at inaugural Heroes For Kids, but sold 0
   -Aug:  Watermelon Fest Not in budget, but set up at Art Walk and sold 2, Royal Readers at Mall of America (17th) Sold 5, plus did State Fair, selling 18, and the Collector's Carnival, selling 4.
   -Sept:  Cil-Con Sold 2 Saints and Sinners Indy Author Fair (Pd last year??) Sold 2, plus Saluki-Con, sold 7:)
   -Oct:  Imaginarium Sold 5, Carnivals Crafters Fair Rain; sold 2 Plus set up at Farmer's Market and sold 3:)
   -Nov:  ICGAHS ($100 deposit pd) Sold 29!, Rivet Sold 10, Art Walk Sold 1
   -Dec:  DNH.
-Put new roof on the house 1/24:  Day 1 (Left side); 1/25 :  Day 2 (Right side); 1/29:  Day 3 (shingles going up!)
-Enjoy 35th Class Reunion Yes!
-Finish cleaning out Green House and get it torn down Nope
-Finish clearing out Brown House front room and start rearranging.  Also, turn on electricity. Nope
-Participation In MFRW Blog Challenge Check:)
-Lose 5 pounds per month (Starting weight:  240) Actually only lost 6 pounds, but had gone up as high as 247, so managed to lose 15, and ended with 323....at least, prior to Nov 20th.
-Get Mom back on her feet and finish decluttering house She's back on her feet a little, but the rest will happen in 2020.
-Set up signing at local coffee shop/brewery/library?? Nope, though we did have a successful Open Mic night in April and a failed one in Oct.
-Watch SE 7 of GOT, plus keep up with shows online Yes, though decided to quit watching all but the Reality TV, This Is Us, and Big Bang Theory.
-Reading Goal:  200 books, including all of the GOT titles. GOT, yes, with the exception on prequel; read 67 total.
-Karaoke Goal:  Thurs:  Get through the W titles. Yes!  Am now on the 'U' titles 
                                 Sat:  Get through the R titles Almost; made it to the 'RU' ones.
                   Total Songs: 95
                             Thurs:  69 
                                 Sat:  26 At the beginning of the year, Bottom's Up decided to only let Mark and Kelly be there every other week, but by June, they had fired them and brought in Dustin F, and two months later, the bar closed due to tax issues.  I began working my 'R' titles into my Thursday lineup.

To Recap The Year.....
Put a new roof on the house, and Mom did well in PT at Cumberland Point.  Friend MP and I were guests on the Star Chamber show, and was able to promote my upcoming 25th book, Catered Romance.

Super Bowl was between the Patriots and LA Rams, which turned into the 'Punt Bowl'....final score was 13-3, Patriots.  Found out Lowes was hiring, so decided to see if I was capable of getting myself hired.  Five minutes into my 1st interview, I realize the Ass't Mgr and I are no longer talking about ME, but instead, exchanging horror stories about things found in baby diapers!  He finished the interview, marched me down to the Manager's office, where I proceed to raise HIS eyebrows when I chimed in that cashiers were 'the face of the brand', not 'just' a 'cashier'.  He told HR to drug test me.  I texted Mel, "I think I managed to just get myself hired..."  Sure enough, I began training at the end of the month.

College Kid popped The Question to his g/f on the 15th.  I'm getting a DIL next year!

I loved my new schedule!  I worked 3/4/5-close, in Lumber with Mel the first two weeks, then up front, and finally earned my vest.  Made a few errors, but hey, I'm still learning.  Finalized the e-version of Catered Romance and put it up for pre-order:)

Had an interesting time at the Evansville Craft Fair, and an even more interesting time in LG area at work.  Went to the Kentuckiana Book Fair and ran over a table on the way home, stranding me in downtown Louisville for 2 hours.  Made it back just as the Easter Vigil was letting out, ha ha!  Also was able to spend a few days with MDQ and Master P.....we decided MDQ was an 'overprotective, lazy mom'.

Spent most of the month in LG, plus had requested a lot of weekends off.  Mgr Scott caught up with me one day and told me I couldn't have all of them....I said the ones he approved, I was happy; the others, I'd simply arrange to switch with someone.  Next day, he told me that beginning in June, I'd work M-F in Lumber.  I was thrilled!

Had a minor spat with the spouse:  He began griping, 'The point of you getting a job was to help out with the medical bills, not blow your paycheck on stupid stuff...'

That's funny; I thought me landing a job was MY idea, so I could pay for all MY trips!  If that's the case, then fine....I'll stop giving you half my paycheck until all MY expenses are paid....oh and BTW....I'll start paying that medical bill that you refuse to pay for!

Catered Romance released quietly; I'd only pre-sold 2 books.  Still, I was thrilled, and managed to hand-sell four to various co-workers.  Memorial Weekend was a hassle; I sold 5 books at the Farmer's Market; worked Sat night; drove up to Lafayette, and watched the 500 on TV......then we ribbed Dad, when he arrived home, because a crash had happened on the front straightaway, but he'd left before it had happened!  His arthritis was bothering him so much, he left before lap 100.  Memorial Day, we drove to Indy and had lunch with Uncle Bill and Will at the Mug-n-Bun, then I witnessed an accident while driving home, which caused me to call into work, saying I'd be an hour late.

Started my new schedule on the 17th:)  Sold 7 books at PrideFest, four while I was standing in line at the Thai truck for dinner!  Rainy month; Celebrate Washington and the Irish Fest were both a wash.  Took A to see Secret Life of Pets 2 for her birthday.

Did well at InConJunction; sold 11 books AND had a great time at my 35th HS reunion; had a good time at the Heroes For Kids Con, even though I didn't sell any, and met two celebrities.  Had all my booth fees paid for by this time, with the exception of the State Fair and the Christmas Show.

Skipped the Watermelon Festival, which turned out to be a good thing.....I was called into work!  Set up at the State Fair and over the course of 2 days, sold 18 books AND met Al Unser Jr!  Also discovered I'm officially 'too old' to ride my favorite ride, The Typhoon aka Remix.  Nearly vomited as the thing was winding down, ha ha!  Had an enjoyable visit with my sister, and spent a wonderful day at the Mall of America!  Kids went back to school:) Discovered Whispers made it to the final round of Imaginn Awards!

Was the Cashier of the Week:)  Had a good time at Cil-Con and the Indy Author Event, even though sales were low.  Did better at Saluki-Con:)

Enjoyed the Imaginarium Convention, even though Whispers didn't win Best Antho.  Had a wet, rainy day at the CCC, then went to see Billie G for two hours.  Wore my Pirate costume to karaoke....and surprise surprise, there were only a handful of us dressed in costume.

Began the month on a high note, since I sold 29 books at the Christmas show, and indulged in buying coffeecakes, the wine bottle opener, and a vest, as well as some Christmas presents for the kids.  Ended on a bad note when my dad passed away on the 20th, sending my world spiraling out of control.  Had a very quiet Thanksgiving in Lafayette.

Worked Black Friday and the weekend; saw Alex's Christmas concert, then returned to Lafayette.  Got several things accomplished, including dragging out all the ornaments.  Bittersweet Christmas; it's probably the last one in my childhood home.

Looking Ahead......
I'll be attempting to move some of what I want from Mom's house into mine.....and gently coaxing encouraging her to move in May or June.  I have no idea at this time about my job status; I do not qualify for FMLA, since I've not been there a year; I've got a pesky sore on my leg that hasn't healed, I need to go to the eye dr and the dentist, and there's just not time to do everything.

Monday, December 2, 2019

December Goals

November hit me like a sledgehammer:  The first two weeks were good, then WHAM!
 -Lose 5 pounds (starting 233?) Nope; gained 4 lbs instead.
-Do well at First Friday Sold only one...
-Do well at ICGAHS Check:)
          -11/6:  Sold 4:)
          -11/7:  Sold 3:)
          -11/8:  Sold 13:)  WOW!
         -11/9:  Sold 8:)
         -11/10:  Sold 1:)
         -TOTAL:  29!!!  Personal Best!
-Do well at Rivet Craft Show Sold 10; Nancy sold 5, so collectively, we equaled last year's!
-Attend cousin's wedding No; plans changed.
-Do well at Jasper show No; plans changed
-Enjoy a relaxing Thanksgiving Check:)
-Work enough hours to meet expenses Check:)
-Add words to Regrets Nope; spent entire month editing K and K
-Revise K and K Reunion 75% complete! and contact Dawne for cover (Second Chances??) Not yet
-Add words to Angel story and type it up (NaNo project) Not yet
-Organize more basement Nope

Books Read:  2
           Print:  2

Karaoke Songs Added:  2

December Goals:
-Conference call with Mom's investment planner Forgot to fill phone, but sister filled me in.
-File FMLA Check!  Now waiting for documents to arrive in email.
-Attend Granddaughter's Christmas Program Check!  It was cute:)
-Rent car Check:)
-Celebrate K's birthday Check:)
-Help Mom seriously declutter Forgetaboutit...we decorated for Christmas instead.  So NY's goal??
-Have a good birthday Check!  Saw the Mr. Rogers movie, went to B and N, and had dinner at Red Lobster!/Christmas
-Enjoy New Year's
-Finish revising Second Chances (1st pass finished!) and contact Dawne for cover
-Buy CR and WHH inventory Check:)
-Mail packages Check:)
-Lose 5 pounds (starting 237)
-Add words to Angel Story and type it up

Payment Schedule:
November 16-22:  4
       23-29:  8
Dec 6th Payday hours:  12
    -Projected income:  $211
        -$21 to church; pay (GSH) medical bill ($61 Check!); pay credit card ($50 Check!) +$88 (banked)-$167- $50 (Maurices Check!)-$47 (inventory Check! )=$70-$23 (Scrivenor Check!)-$8 (lunch)-$7 (lunch)=$32 banked+$200 birthday=$232-$50 (charms Check!)-$6 (books mailed Check!)=$176 banked-$158 (Christmas expenses)=$18 banked
Nov 30-Dec 6:  16
               7-13:  Off Schedule
Dec 20th Payday hours:  16
    -Projected income:  $172
         -$17 to church; pay GSH ($61 Check!); pay medical bill (Neuberg) $50 Check!.  Bank $44 +$18 banked=$62 banked+$300 Christmas money=$362-pay Penned Con $245 Check! (half table);  pay Cil-Con ($75 Check!)=$42 banked
December 26:  $200
          -$20 to church;pay medical insurance ($88 Check!); pay for rest of MOA table ($65 Check!)=$27 banked+$30 left from 20th =$57 banked

2020 Expenses:
-Book Lovers Con Book signing Sat (March 2020) $10+ travel expenses; Nashville, TN
-Liberty Writers-New Jersey Not gonna happen this year
-Kentuckiana Authors Fair (April) -$78 for hotel; $83 for car rental; $36 (gas total); $10 (book); $15 (approx Arby's); $2.12 (iced tea); $16 +$2 tip (Sweet-n-Savory Food Truck). 
-Weekend With The Authors 2020 (April) and 2021:  20 ($200 hotel/gas/food/rental car);$50 charms (Paid 12/13).  21:  $225-300 table fee; hotel/gas/food/rental car
-Writer's Workshop (April 25, 2020) Nashville, IN $25-50??
-Farmer's Market (June 6, 2020) $12
-PrideFest (June 20, 2020)
-Corning IrishFest (June 21, 2020)
-InConJunction (June 3-5, 2020)?????
-Imaginarium (July 10-12, 2020):  $100 early bird booth fee (PAID!); $30 banquet; $100 food, $200 hotel, gas. ($186 hotel, $371 rental car (prepaid $30 gas), $35 food, $10 gas)
-Heroes For Kids (July 18, 2020) Perrysville, MO car rental $252, gas $40, hotel room, $140, food $40=$472 total)
-Watermelon Festival (July 31-Aug 1, 2020) $45 ?????
-Indy State Fair (Aug $100) ($100-200) Rental car:  $257, gas $30, $15 admission; $24 parking fee; $20 food; $6 ride
-Minneapolis travel expenses (Aug 8, 2020) ($200-hotel, $228 car rental, $120-food,$100- gas=$648 needed)
-Penned Con: $225 half table (6') (Paid 12/21) Hotel/rental car/food/gas
-Cil-Con 2020 ($75 Paid 12/21) plus  $340 car rental, $112 hotel, $30 food, $15 gas)
-Saluki Con expenses-Sept ($340 car rental (credit card), $203 ($25 refunded after stay) hotel. $66 food and $40 gas.)  
-ICGAHS:  $340 booth fee, $440 rental car, hotel/gas/food

December Reading Schedule:
Life and Death of Erica Flynn-Sara Marian Interesting.  
Justice-Karen Robards Interesting story; keeps you guessing until the last chapter!
Six Years-Harlan Coben Kept me guessing til the last few chapters!  WOW.....well done:)
Blind To Blood 2:  End Game
Eleanor Oliphant Is Just Fine-Gail Honeyman Thoroughly enjoyed this!!!  DRR!
Rich People Problems-Kevin Kwan DRR!!  Loved this!!!
Rosie Colored Glasses-Brianna Wolfson
The Wedding Date-Jasmine Guillory

Real Men Don't Break Hearts-Colleen Kwan Good:)
Friday Night Alibi-Cassie Mae Loved this!!  DRR!
Stage Mom-KL Montgomery Very enjoyable!  RR:)
Pride-Brynn Paulin Very enjoyable!!
Sugar and Spice-Phoebe Alexander
Now and Forever:  A Love Story-Jean Joachim
The Flip-KL Montgomery

Alphabet Karaoke has been put on hiatus, as I leave to go help my mother.  I've had several people remark to me this past week that 'you're doing well'....there are a few things I need to clarify about my father's passing:
-I spent four mornings with him when I was working the Christmas Show, and we'd chat for at least an hour or two, plus I'd kiss him goodbye before leaving.

-When I arrived home on Sunday, he was the one who answered the phone, and his last words to me were 'Love you, talk later.'

-My father was a firm believer in God, Jesus Christ, and Heaven.  I KNOW where he is; he's up there, immersed in the Word, and chatting away with RC Sproul, CS Lewis, and possibly Jesus Himself.

-He's finally seeing his sister Julie in her perfect self, no abnormalities, as she's able to move, speak, and run.

-He's chatting with his parents, his favorite uncle, and possibly clearing up the mystery of WHY the spelling of our last name was changed between two branches of the family.  We THINK we know the story, but who knows if that was the ACTUAL story?  Two brothers had a feud over a barber shop, so one of the brothers changed the spelling of his last name to M-c-I-n-t-i-r-e instead of M-c-I-n-t-y-r-e.

-Finally, my father didn't suffer.  He had a massive heart attack and went quickly.  He would have hated being hooked up to tubes and wires, and passed away in his favorite place, the garage, surrounded by his beloved Craftsman tools.  Possibly his only regret was the fact Mom was the one who found him, and he didn't get 'everything' in order, since we had a septic issue and the tires on the van need replacing.  But then again, Dad raised us to be capable women, able to pick up the phone and take care of it!

Friday, November 29, 2019

Life As A Red Vest, Week 35

Day 156:  Black Friday
Who knew LHIC would be a 'hot spot' for holiday shopping?  I arrived at 12:30 after a difficult week off; my dad passed away on the 20th.  I'd decided to work the weekend, so a) I'd have a larger paycheck next Friday and b) I'd get a paycheck on the following pay period!  I also needed to find out how to file for the FMLA leave of absence.  Walked in; Mgr Tasha asked if I was all right to work, and to let her know if I needed any breaks.  Assured her I was fine, then headed to the back.  Ran into HR Don, who pointed me in the direction of the 800 #.  Located it, but the break room was noisy.  At some pizza, then clocked in and headed up front.

Was a bagger for 30 minutes, then when I suggested going out for carts, they had me hop on Reg 9. At 2:40, they sent me to Lumber, where I stayed the rest of the day.  I was on #1 and Ashley on #2.  Was fairly steady, and went to lunch from 4-5.  When I returned, Ash went, then we were sent on our 15 min breaks, me at 6:30 and her at 6:45.  From 7-9, I did mainly the closing duties:  Soda count and restocking the cooler; trash; sweeping.So when we closed at 9, our section was done.  Went up front to help with Returns; I took the CS trash, then swept the area.  Had to put a Rayovac Battery box back together, then swept the front aisle.  Clocked out at 10pm.

Here's hoping tomorrow goes just as smoothly!

Outfit:  Teal tee, dark flex jeggings, red/green cascading earrings.

Day 157:  
Had to laugh; I was paid to stand around for 2 hours and chat!  There were 3 of us in Lumber, and we were NOT busy, so Marci and I spent more time talking than ringing up customers!  The lights still weren't working, so we joked we were doing a new twist on the joke, 'the lights are on, but no one's home'....in our case, we were open, but the lights were off!  Marci went to lunch at 2; Jill left at 2:45; I went to lunch from 5:10-6:15 (I came back to buy my turbo scrubber, but it was gone).  Since we'd gone to McAllister's, the tea made my bladder work a little overtime, so I pretty much took my 15 minute break immediately, ha ha!  Still, when Marci left at 7, I did the closing duties and had zero customers between 8:30 and close.

Khadijah said she'd work for me on Mon, so I can attend Alex's X-mas show.  I need to run it past Tasha though.

Outfit:  Blue Cabella's hoodie, dark flex jeggings, green Santa hat earrings, red/green X-mas charm bracelet, black snow boots, since it rained all day.

Day 158:
Another BS day......arrived early and bought my cup phone, windmill, and all-weather notebook, then clocked in. Smuggled two long john doughnuts down to Lumber and ate them on the sly.  From 10:30-12, I returned items, helped Marci inventory the expired snacks, and filled in when necessary.  From 12-1:30, I was on the computer, doing my bias training, as well as another training video series.  Helped Marci while Jill was at lunch, then D picked me up at 2:20 and we went to LJS.

When I returned at 3:30, I filled in when necessary, and did the pop count.  Tasha approved Khadijah taking my shift for Mon, and said she'd call me if they needed me for Tues.  At 5, Aggie came down and sent Marci home early, then Jill left at 6.  At 6:15, I gathered the rest of the trash and wiped down the counters.  Locked the doors at 7, and Cindy had my register cleaned out five minutes later.  Went up front to help out, and Crystal sent us all out for carts.  I went to the bathroom before getting my coat, and discovered that Rachel and Co had already brought in all the carts:)  So clocked out and told everyone that I'd see them 'next year', in case I wasn't needed for Tues.

Outfit:  Bless This Mess sweatshirt, dark flex jeggings, red/green stocking earrings, X-mas charm bracelet.

Day 159:  Filing FMLA

Flashback Friday

Nov 2009:
-K was finishing up his Eagle badge, plus lettered in Fball and joined the National Junior Honor Society.  We also went to the Purdue/Wisconsin game

-T'day was the infamous Big Boy who was fried for the 1st time vs'Junior', who was baked traditional, debate, plus the 'Great Lemon Pie Fight' between R the birthday girl and her brother J.

-Class Reunion was finished, plus received a contract for Teacher's Pet!

Present Day:
Thanksgiving is being spent in Lafayette this year:)  We're taking Taco with us, and I'm undecided what dishes we're hauling with us.  Stay tuned.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Flashback Friday: Thanksgiving On The Farm

Nov 1989:
I spent T'day with my potential new inlaws, at J's sister M's house.

I felt like an outsider, since I knew very few people, and I'd worn casual clothes, as we did at home, and felt like a slob.  I also disliked most of the trimmings, outside of the turkey, mashed potatoes, and the rolls, and felt relieved when we returned to my apartment.

I think we went to my parents' house on the weekend, and my Aunt Janet, Uncle Bob, and cousins Zach and Caty were there.

Next Month:  I turn 24 and The Best Christmas Ever!

Present Day:
I've worked three days this week, and am off to my cousin Brooklyn's wedding tomorrow:)  First, I set up at Jasper Craft Fair, then take off for the wedding.  Sunday, I'll be at Jasper all day.  I think I'm only 12-13 books away from my goal of 150 sold, so fingers crossed this is a good one!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Life As A Red Vest, Week 34

Day 155:
Began the evening up front, then was sent to Lumber.  Took my break at 6:30, and returned fifteen mins later.  I'd already done the pop count and collected the tax exempts, but five mins after Aliscia took them up front, I had another tax exempt.

Around 7:30, Robert, the swing-maker guy on 2nd St, came in and handed me two $100 bills.  They just didn't look right, so I called HC MK, who came down, looked at 'em, then opened my register and pulled out another bill to compare.  Sure enough, the two he'd given me were fake.  He told me he'd gotten them from a customer that day, from Illinois, who'd bought a swing from him.  He was upset to learn he'd been taken.  MK gave them back to him, and we pushed his cart to the side.  He didn't come back, so I'm assuming he's trying to track down the guy who'd hosed him!

I'm expecting when I work next, to be taken aside and told what to do when finding any further fake bills.

Finished my closing duties, and shined up the place more, since Corporate's coming in tomorrow.

Outfit:  Red plaid shirt, black vest, dark flex jeggings, gold hoop earrings.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Life As A Red Vest, Week 33

Day 153:
Snow began falling; D dropped me off close to 4pm.  Clocked in and went to Lumber, and was steady but slow all the way til 7pm.  Darren reported a car sliding sideways up 6th St; he also made a tiny snowman.  I did the AP4Me and got to 3 star Gold.  Started to do my Unconscious Bias Training, but kept getting interrupted.

Billy relieved me at 6:15, and when I returned fifteen minutes later, filled the soda cooler and started closing duties.  Took my time, and as it turned out, Kyle left at 7:30; his g/f had been in an accident over by Walmart.  Discovered Ian was no longer Lumber Supervisor, and Jerrod had gone back to Office Max.  Brendan's now over Lumber, instead of LG.  Only had one customer between 8 and 9.

Mel left at 8, so Crystal took over and closed us out.  She asked me to double-check the front doors, so I did, and clocked out at 9:30.

Outfit:  Red shark-bite turtleneck and faded flex jeggings.

Day 154:
I arrived at 2; HC Cindy said she was thinking about swapping me and Aliscia.  So an hour later, I checked, and yup, I was in Lumber, and could close if I wanted to.  Texted home and told D to pick me up at 9.  Was fairly steady until 5; was able to get the pop count done and the tax exempts gathered.  Aliscia relieved me at 5, and when I returned 30 minutes later, she took her break.  Had one override all night:  Customer had three display tools, all $25.  MK came down to override them, them I was able to gather the trash and wipe down all the counters, as well as sweep.  Went the Extra Mile for one customer; wasn't able to find their VA account, so when HC Cindy came down with the soda and my $1 dollar bills, she looked it up and was able to fix it.  The couple thanked us both profusely!

Aliscia took my trash at 8, after covering for me for a 5 minute bathroom break.  I'd gone outside to empty the trash and bladder complained!  Cindy came down at 9:05 and cleaned out my register.

Outfit:  Bless This Mess sweatshirt, Lowes tee, tear drop earrings, faded flex jeggings.

I work again next week, but was able to bump my hours up by 2 this week!  Had the chance to work Tuesday, but after the 5-day stretch at the Christmas show, I needed a 'down' day!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Life As A Red Vest: Week 32

Day 151:
Was up front for 4 hours; the first 90 mins, chatted with Sandy and HC Mel while ringing up a few customers.  Also teased Mgr Scott when he came through my line, to not spend his $.18 all in the same place!  A few minutes later, Mgr Steve was leaving, and I asked him who was minding the store and to get his butt back to the office, ha ha!  He smiled, patted my shoulder, and said he was confident we were in good hands!

At 6:30, I was sent to Lumber to give Brenda her break.  Rang up 3 customers and filled her soda cooler.  Took my own break an hour later, then as soon as the 8pm people left, had a 'rush' of three customers in a row!  At 9:05, locked the outside doors, and by 9:10 was at my locker.  Clocked out at 9:15.

Outfit:  Yellow plaid, black v-neck shirt, faded jeggings, tiny 'drop' earrings.

Here's hoping tomorrow goes as smoothly:)

Day 152:
Was asked to come in at 3, so began my day in Lumber.  Did the soda count; gathered the tax exempt tickets, and was fairly steady.  Also did the AP4Me quizzes and managed to move myself into the 2 Gold Star level.  I'm only 20 points away from 3 Gold Star:)

At 5, when Brenda arrived, I went up front for an hour, then was sent to LG to give Deb her break.  Froze my butt off for 15 mins, and when I went back in, Aggie sent me down to Lumber to give Brenda her break.  B was dealing with a difficult order, so I hopped on #2 and rang up everyone else.  When she was finished, she took off while I finished ringing everyone up.  Finally got back on Reg #1 for a few minutes until she returned.  I headed for the break room for my turn....and got a phone call.  Brandon helped me answer it, then tried to call Brenda to relay Kim's message.  The 2nd time it worked, and I finally clocked out at 6:55.  Returned up front at 7:25, and Deb had wondered where I was; she had been due to get off at 7.  I explained what had happened, and how the breaks went long.  Deb left and I had maybe a dozen or so customers until the final one left at 8:50.  Locked the doors, pulled all the doors across the aisles, and then took off my vest.

Outfit:  Red/black hounds tooth plaid; black vest; faded flex jeans, zirconian earrings.

I'm off to the Christmas Gift and Hobby Show in Indianapolis!  I work again next week, Mon and Thurs, unless I'm called in.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

November Goals

How Well Did October Go?
-Do well at Imaginarium Sold 4, plus even trade:)  So 5 total??
-Enjoy Imaginn Awards Check.....came in 2nd to Neil Gaiman, lol!  Damn it....
-Order copies of TP ($61 Check!), Dreamscapes ($51 Check!), HLC ($40 Check!), Hotel ($80 Check!), and CR ($30 Check!)
-Lose 5 lbs (starting:  235) 10/11:  233...lost 2:)
-Do well at Farmer's Market  Sold 3:)
-Have a good Open Mic Night/Launch of Bad Decisions Bleh...no one showed.
-Do well at Collector's Carnival Rained; managed to sell 2
-Add words to Regrets (Not yet, but have the titles!) and new story, plus type it up (Reached Ch 4!)
-Work enough hours to meet expenses Sort of; hubby had to chip in $100
-Do more work in Green House Nope; weather and my schedule didn't cooperate
-Organize more basement Filled two more totes, so check:)

Books Read:  4
           Print:  4

Karaoke Songs Added:  9

November Goals:
-Lose 5 pounds (starting 233?)
-Do well at First Friday Sold only one...
-Do well at ICGAHS Check:)
          -11/6:  Sold 4:)
          -11/7:  Sold 3:)
          -11/8:  Sold 13:)  WOW!
         -11/9:  Sold 8:)
         -11/10:  Sold 1:)
         -TOTAL:  29!!!  Personal Best!
-Do well at Rivet Craft Show Sold 10; Nancy sold 5, so collectively, we equaled last year's!
-Attend cousin's wedding No; plans changed.
-Do well at Jasper show No; plans changed
-Enjoy a relaxing Thanksgiving Check:)
-Work enough hours to meet expenses Check:)
-Add words to Regrets
-Revise K and K Reunion and contact Dawne for cover (Second Chances??)
-Add words to Angel story and type it up (NaNo project)
-Organize more basement

Payment Schedule:
19-25:  11
      26-Nov 1: 10 
Nov 8th Payday hours:  21
    -Projected income:  $229
        -$22 to church; pay Maurice's ($50 Check!); pay (GSH) medical bill ($61 Check!);pay credit card ($50 Check!); pay (Unity) medical bill ($30 Check!). Bank funds ($77).

Nov 2-8:  18.5?
        9-15:  11
Nov 22nd Payday hours:  29.5
    -Projected income:  $322
       -$32 to church;pay (Neubergh) medical bill ($50); pay (GSH) medical bill ($61 Check!); pay Unity ($80.64 Check!); groceries ($45)=$180.  Imaginarium:  $100 Check!  Pay Suzanne $50??  Need WHH and CR inventory ($50??)

Expenses List:
  -ICTAHS:  $240+expenses (gas/rental car/food/lodging) (Sept-Oct) ($50 sent 5/10; $50 sent 6/21; $100 sent 10/15....now owe $40 Pd 11/10)
-2020 MOA table fee $120 (9/17:  Pd $60)

2020 Expenses:
-Book Lovers Con Book signing Sat (March 2020) $10+ travel expenses; Nashville, TN
-Liberty Writer's Workshop (April 4, 2020) New Jersey $50 plus hotel, car, gas and food expenses
-Kentuckiana Authors Fair (April) -$78 for hotel Paid! $83 for car rental Check:) Spent $36 (gas total); $10 (book); $15 (approx Arby's); $2.12 (iced tea); $16 +$2 tip (Sweet-n-Savory Food Truck). 
-Weekend With The Authors 2020 (April) and 2021:  20 ($200 hotel/gas/food/rental car);$50 charms.  21:  $225-300 table fee; hotel/gas/food/rental car
-Heroes For Kids (July 18, 2020) Perrysville, MO car rental $252, gas $40, hotel room, $140, food $40=$472 total)
-Indy State Fair (Aug $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 (Aug 8, 2020) ($200-hotel, $228 car rental, $120-food,$100- gas=$648 needed)
-Cil-Con 2020 ($75 plus  $340 car rental, $112 hotel, $30 food, $15 gas)
-Saluki Con expenses-Sept ($340 car rental (credit card), $203 ($25 refunded after stay) hotel. $66 food and $40 gas.)  
Imaginarium 2020:  $100 booth fee (PAID!); $30 banquet; $100 food, $200 hotel, gas. ($186 hotel, $371 rental car (prepaid $30 gas), $35 food, $10 gas)
ICGAHS:  $340 booth fee, $440 rental car, hotel/gas/food

November Reading Schedule:
Cosmic Egg Rapture-Robb Hoff Interesting concept; found some of it hard to follow and slightly confusing in places.  But well written, and I do want to read the next one!
Carrie-Stephen King Very interesting way to tell a story, but enjoyed it!

Karaoke Songs:
Upside Down-Diana Ross Wasn't too bad....
Rock-n-Roll Love Letter-Bay City Rollars DNH
I Don't Deserve You-Plumb DNH
Chasing Cars-Snow Patrol Slightly too low, but wasn't too bad.


My father passed away Nov 20th, and until further notice, 'Alphabet' karaoke is suspended.  I may attend karaoke in Lafayette, but singing favorite ones.

It is my hope that 'Alphabet' Karaoke will resume sometime in the summer, after my mother's living arrangements have been made.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Flashback Friday: Fallout From Halloween

Halloween Recap:
I'd gone as (my interpretation of) a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader, and another neighbor was a Playboy Bunny.  As the evening wound down, I thought I recognized a voice, but dismissed it, since he didn't live around us.....

November 1979:
I arrived at school the next morning to cat-calls, jeers, whistles, and teasing.  I was asked if I planned to pose for Playboy, and one kid even commented on my costume, even though he'd not seen it.  I just shrank inside myself and tried to get through the day.  I was confused; why weren't they picking on Rhonda, the 9th grader who'd dressed as a Bunny?  What was wrong with my cheerleader costume?

Later that day, I learned the awful truth....the boy who'd seen me had spread the word I'd dressed as a street walker.  I was horrified....and tried to tell a few of my friends the truth.  But the teasing from Mike and his buddies was too much.  I began to try to hide again.

Later on that month, I got a case of cradle cap.  Mom smeared my scalp with aloe vera, and we went to Indianapolis to the Paramount Pizza Palace with friends, to see the massive pipe organ.

For Thanksgiving, we checked into the Holidome in Lebanon, In.  We ate a wonderful Turkey dinner in the restaurant, then Mom and Dad turned us loose.  W and I had our own room, and we were told to swim, play in the arcade, or charge any food to the room.  It was one of my most memorable Thanksgiving days EVER!  The next day, Mom, W and I went shopping in Indianapolis.  I think we went downtown to the LS Ayers store, ate lunch in the Tea Room, and shopped.

Next Month:  I turn 14!

Present Day:
Tonight is the First Friday Art Walk, and the 10th anniversary of The Open Gallery:)  Hoping for a successful evening!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Life In Lumber: Week 31

Day 148:
Woke up this morning to a text from Mel, asking if I could come in from 5-close?  So I did, and was sent to Lumber.  Was busy the first hour and a half, and wasn't even able to get the soda count done.  Cassie came down and did it, plus even filled it, then sent me to break.  Before she did, however, I had to call Aggie down 3 times for overrides:  A $2.50 discounted can of paint; a damaged door knocked down to $16, and a $40 cull pack for $10.

After I returned from break, I discovered I needed to change my PW, so did; then everything went downhill from then.  A veteran, for whatever reason, had his discount applied, but then it disappeared.

Another customer showed up with three carts full....then after he paid, I noticed the bucket of paint on the floor of the scooter.

Customer C tried to pay, but his boss hadn't loaded the card yet.  When others appeared in line, I saved his order, rang up the other two customers, then rang up C successfully.

I was sweeping up and moved a cart around when one of the guys from another dept decided to tell me to stay by the register.  So I did...which both pissed me off and stacked up carts in the area.

AMgr T and B told me to make sure I was scanning everything, due to the fact inventory had shown sooo many discrepancies.  We're only supposed to use the quantity section for items over 10.  Ummmm....I already DO that, unless there's a back up!  Yes, I've been guilty (today) of tabbing over for 4-7 of the same item....

After my final customer left, T cleaned out the register and told me to take my trash down.  After we clocked out, she asked if I could come in at 3 on Tues; apparently Tiffany's been calling in this week.  Gives me more hours:)  Whoot!

Here's hoping tomorrow isn't as crazy as today was?

Outfit:  Halloween shirt, faded flex jeggings, skeleton earrings, sides of hair pulled back in a clip.

Day 149:  All Over The Place!
Showed up at 2; Mel said, "Ummm....you're not supposed to be here."  Informed her of Tasha's request; Cindy told me to come up front at 3 and they'd let me know if they needed me.

Turned out they did, so I clocked in and worked Reg #11 for a few minutes, then was told to go to Lumber and let Kem go home until Tiff returned.  That took five mins, so went back up front.  Worked until nearly 4, then was told to go to LG and sent Taylor inside.  Was out there for 2 hours, and only had 10 customers.  Aggie called once and laughed when I told her I was in the Arctic, then called Cindy at 6 to request a bathroom break.  She came down at 6:15 and closed down LG, then told me to take my lunch.

Tried to thaw out, and at 6:45, went back to Reg 11, then at 7 took over Reg 9 and stayed there for the rest of the night.  Tasha took me into the office at 8:45 and we worked the calendar to give me a few more hours the rest of the month, then we closed up.

It had been a nice slow day, with no screw-ups!

Outfit:  Cabella's hooded sweatshirt, faded flex jeggings, skeleton earrings, hair in ponytail.

No clue if they'll call me the rest of the week, but I volunteered to work Sat 12:30-8 or close.  Hoping things go as well as they did today!

Day 150:
Went in at 12:30, and for an hour, was paid to stand around and talk to Sandy.  Had maybe ten customers between us.  Close to 2, Mel had me go swap places with Rashad in Lumber, who hugged me!  I spent the rest of the day down there, in 'my happy place', with Jill until 3.  Took my lunch break at 4:15 when Billy came down; met the hubby at McAllister's.  Was busy all the way until 8pm. but did manage to get all the closing duties accomplished....even though I didn't empty the trash until 8, after loading the soda cooler.

Wore the same outfit as Tuesday, minus the earrings.  Nice day with no screw-ups:)

Friday, October 25, 2019

Flashback Friday: My Football Player:)

Oct 2009:
Our weekends were full of football games, including Homecoming, Senior Night, and Sectionals.  K rode in the parade, played only on Senior Night and mostly in one game (the one we actually WON), and froze our butts off at our last game.  Never have I ever been so happy to see a game come to an end, because I was freezing!

S and I embarked on the Great Picture Hunt, as we make a poster of embarrassing pictures for K's Senior Night, and decorated a sheet for Homecoming with spray paint.

In The News...
Letterman was being blackmailed by a former lover; body modifications were becoming more and more popular (specifically, tongue splitting, being suspended by hooks in one's back-I'm still squeamish over that one!-and tattoos); and liposuction.

W was Spiderman, and S was 'Vampira'.  One of her friends went as a Dark Angel.

Next Month:  Football Winds Down; Time To Finish Up Eagle Scout!

Present Day:
I'm off to the Collectors Carnival tomorrow in Princeton, at the Gibson Co Fairgrounds.  Weather is supposed to be rainy; here's hoping it doesn't last ALL day, and sales are good!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Life In Lumber, Week #30

Day 146:
After three days off, it was refreshing to be back at work!  Whoa.....how many people actually say that???  Had several regulars ask where I've been; had one customer gruffly tell me he was in a bad mood.

"Shall I get out my kid gloves?"

He chuckled.  "You're all right."

Another customer told me not to go over $5.  I rang him up.  "That will be $5 plus $101..."

"You paying the $101?"

"No; I don't get paid until tomorrow."

(sigh)  "Oh, all right...."  (winks at me)

Only had to call for two overrides; one for carpet and another for paint.  Rachel relieved me at 6:15, and when I returned 30 mins later, she was dealing with a customer getting an insulation blower....but the cord was missing.  I hopped on #2 to take care of the others in line, and her issue was finally solved.

Began my closing duties and noticed the trash was piled up, both at the Pro desk AND outside.  Will had to take the entire can to the dumpster; there was just too much.

I also couldn't find the correct bags to line the outside one, so we made do with the square ones.

One of my final customers bought a Dewalt something that needed propane, so he told me he wanted two propane tanks.  I was confused, but sold 'em to him.

Another customer said he had 4 2x2x8s; took me a while to realize they were all cut in half.  One was damaged, so I knocked off $2, which made him happy.  His daughter was a 'chatty Cathy', who held me up for 5 minutes.

My only other issue was a guy wanted to buy a toolbag and a bunch of tools, but only had $93 on his card.  Had to call HC Cindy down to fix it.

My only other problem was my hair.  I'd bought a new clip, but my hair kept falling down!  Finally figured how to make it stick, but still had to readjust it every half hour or so.  I don't recall having to do this the past two days I've worn it!

We got out of there on time:)  Here's hoping tomorrow goes just as smoothly!

Heard several complaints from the staff in 'inventory hell'.

Outfit:  Brown 3/4 sleeve shirt, older flex jeggings, brown 'dream catcher' earrings.

Day 147:
We were BUSY today!  Turned out Kyle knew how to run a register, so I logged him in on #2 and he helped me out for an hour.  Then....I discovered my 'tab' button on the scanner wasn't working, which alarmed me; I don't know how many items weren't rung up.  Scott did NOT look happy when I told him.  He took the scanner, so I tried using the one on #2, but that 'tab' button wasn't working either, so I switched to the #3 scanner, which DID work.

Scott came down again to give me an override, and I joked, "You want to just hang out down here with me?"

"Ah, no."

Upset one customer accidentally.  His bill came to $97; he told me he wanted to pay half, but handed me a $100 bill.  Without thinking, I used the entire amount....then realized what he'd wanted.  Apologized profusely, but told him the only thing he could do was go to the CS desk.

Over all, everyone was in a good mood; I was able to go to lunch at 7, and HC Aggie brought down a cart full of soda for me to fill.  Was steady all the way up until the end, and managed to finish stocking the cooler right before we closed.

I'd only made one pass with the broom; I did get the trash collected, but didn't wipe anything down.  Still, was happy to be working again.

Scott asked me if I was on vacation next week, and I said no; the computer hadn't given me any hours.  Both he and Aggie said they'd call me in if they needed me.

Outfit:  Colts jersey, black undershirt, flex jeggings, and treble clef earrings.  Hair pulled back with a clip.

Here's hoping I get some hours next week!  I'm off to the Collector's Carnival tomorrow, and I'm reaally  hoping the rain holds off, comes early, or misses us all together!