Monday, January 31, 2022

Life In Lumber, Y3, W44

 Day 183:  $4,166

Arrived slightly early and knocked out most of my AP4Me.  Went down and discovered the new system was successfully loaded onto #1.  Had no issues with it.  Helped Kerri with her LU (the pro stuff I had to do last week), then finished up my AP4Me and my own LU. Went to break at 7, and when I returned, did the closing duties.  Swept from 8-8:30, the sanitized the registers and mucked out under the mats.  Brought the cull cart in and locked the doors at 8:58. Walked HC A to the front, then took the trash to the hopper. Clocked out at 9:15.

Outfit: Crewneck Cabela's sweatshirt, red polo, new darker jeggings, LJs, blue fingerless gloves, red hoodie, Lt blue earrings, Monet mask

Day 184:  $5,895

Arrived and bought a bag of salt.  Clocked in and took over for Bill, did the prelim duties.  Did my LU and went to break at 7:20.  Had an issue when I couldn't find a customer's account; ASM N and HC A found it.  Later, had another issue when I couldn't find an invoice under 1.6.  N helped me with it.  Had two incidents of wire having the wrong item #, but was able to solve it soon. Got the floor swept and the registers sanitized.  

N got my hopes up when he told me to check the board up front.  I didn't get Cashier of the Month, but I got Scan vs Hand Key again.

Loader AW called in, due to nausea.

Clocked out at 9:15.

Outfit:  Bless This Mess sweatshirt, new darker jeggings, LJs, Lt blue earrings, Monet mask.

Weather is supposed to arrive after midnight; we've got reports of freezing rain, ice, and snow for the next two days.  Hoping for an all RAIN event; no ice, no snow.  Temps are supposed to drop over the next 3 days from 60-5.  Thank god I'm off til Friday, unless I get called in!

Day 185:  $5,648

Had D drive me in, due to the ice and snow (got maybe 7 inches??).  Made a payment on his Lowes bill, then went to lumber.  Found out I had no loader; AM called in.  In fact, had a LOT of people call in. Also discovered after 6, was not going to have any HC.  Fortunately, I only needed on o/r, and Kylie came down for it. Did soda count and prelim duties, then filled the soda and began sweeping in between ringing up customers.  Was fairly steady, then Lee arrived at 7:30 to give me my break.  Afterwards, I finished sweeping, then did my LU and sanitized the registers.  Pulled trash and mucked out under the mats.  ASM M closed me down at 8:53.  Walked her up front, then took the trash to the hopper and returned an item to Tools.  Clocked out at 9:20.

Outfit:  Gray sweater, red polo, new dark jeggings, LJs, Lt blue earrings, blue tools mask, blue fingerless gloves.

Day 186:  Rare Saturday $15,220

Arrived and decided to keep my boots on, but take my shoes with me just in case, and ended up keeping them on the entire time (feet didn't hurt until nearly 7).  First half of shift went well; Lee was with me and we were steady, though was hit with an intestinal issue less than an hour after I arrived.  Guess I can no longer eat Fruity Pebbles before work....

L went to lunch at 2, then I went at 4 (Subway).  When I came back, I walked into chaos....there was a cluster around #1 and L was on the phone.  Apparently they wanted to do a phone order, and she didn't know how to do it.  I didn't either, and hopped over to #2.  Turned out everyone was together, but bought drinks from me.  N and H came down; we joked good-naturedly while N handled the issue.  L was upset that apparently one of the customers 'threw' an object at rolled across the counter and nearly hit her, then got snotty when she asked them to 'in the future, please place them on the counter'. 

I asked N how he did it, and turns out we CAN use Genesis for phone orders until IT works out the kinks in the new system.  This knowledge came in VERY handy later, when I had to do 2 phone orders, one for Kaitlyn on nightshift and another for one of my regular phone order people.

HC C said not to do soda count; just pull it forward.  I swept and did the prelim duties when they recalled L to the front, then took my final break at 7:30.  Returned and pulled trash, then huddled next to Pro K's heater until close.  Locked the doors, walked HC C to the front, and took the trash to the hopper before putting up my vest.  Clocked out at 9:20.

Teased ASM N about either closing the store next Sun for Superbowl Sun at 5, or bringing in a TV, or letting me work 9-5?  Then told him 'No matter what shift I work, I'll be leaving around 5, ha ha!' (Yeah, I'm a brat! But it's SUPERBOWL SUNDAY!!!!  Will we REALLY have anyone in the store past 6pm??)

Outfit:  Dark gray 'home' sweatshirt, new dark jeggings, LJs, blue fingerless gloves, Lt blue earrings, B/W houndstooth mask

Day 187:  Rare Sunday $8,258

Arrived; almost didn't recognize Jill; she was bundled in a coat, hat, and mask!  Logged on and began taking turns with her, ringing up customers.  Brought carts in when needed.  J griped about being cold; I turned on K's heater and told her to stand in front of it if she wanted. She went to lunch at 1; I handled things by myself.  I went to lunch at 3:20 (McA's) and when I returned, J was sent hone, due to too many people and not enough customers.  Loader AW tested pos for CV, but thankfully Cam and my two newbies, Kole and Riley, were around. Only needed on o/r, and that was for discounted wire.  Swept, did soda count, and gathered trash.  Sanitized registers at 7:30, and did my LU.  Locked the doors at 7:58.  HC C cleaned me out shortly after, and put up my vest, since Cam took my trash at 7:45. Clocked out at 8:20.

Outfit:  Brown striped fleece shirt, new dark jeggings, LJs, blue fingerless gloves, Lt blue earrings, B/W houndstooth mask.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Life In Lumber Y3, W43

 Day 178:  $6,090

Went in at 1:30 and delivered mini chocolate cupcakes for Loader J's final day, and ate 4 slices of sausage pizza.  Returned for my shift at 5 and was told both times that everyone was in a pissy mood.  Things were fine for customers A-D.  Customer E, however, had an issue.  Military discount, no prob.  Rang up all 4 carts....punched in their phone #, and she handed me a GC.  No problem.  Then she hands me a promo code for special financing.  Problem....should have scanned it before we used the GC.  Called HC M down, and hopped over to #2 to ring up the others in line.  M and ASM N come down....can't use both Military and promo code at same time.  Custormer pitches hissy fit, pays, and leaves, shooting me a nasty look.  M later explains it to me later.  Okay; it wasn't ENTIRELY my fault! 

Saw Peppers; did soda count and closing duties.  Loader J and his wife came in; I hugged him and wished him well on the R/R, and he said I was the kindest closer he'd worked with.  Awwww.....Loader G arrived, since Loader M has a disability and not allowed to drive a forklift.  They filled the 2x4s and took out the trash, brought in the concrete, and set the safety pallets.  My final customer must have used an entire row of staples on his lumber!  He also drank 3 cups of coffee as he was loading his truck.  Locked the doors at 9, called Loader M to watch the door as I walked HC M to the front, then put up my vest.  Returned to lumber and ate the final cupcake, made a pit stop, and clocked out at 9:20.

Outfit:  Gray hooded sweatshirt, new faded jeggings, LJs, blue fingerless gloves, red hooded cardi, Monet mask, Lt blue earrings.

Day 179:  $3,115 (and 89 cents!)

Arrived; did prelim duties and rang up a few customers....was fairly slow, so was able to sweep pay extra attention to the loose concrete. ASM N was our HC, since H had gotten sick.  Patty gave me my break, so I bought the toilet bowl cleaner and Dawn 1st, then ate.  After break, I watched the IT guy replace the inner components of #1, and after he left, sanitized all the registers, pulled the trash, and wiped down the counters.  When N came to clean me out, I took the trash to the hopper, then grabbed my stuff and walked him to the front, put up my vest, grabbed my coat, bag, and purse, and went to Receiving for the trash can bags, then lined 4 cans in lumber before clocking out.

Outfit:  Thick white sweater, red polo, new faded jeggings, LJs, blue fingerless gloves, Lt blue earrings, Blue Elephant mask

Day 180:  $4,920

Day began on a sad note; I caught our pit bull, Dexter, killing one of our stray kittens, the cute tiger striped one.  I picked it up, once I got the dog away from it, and held it as it died.  I wanted the poor thing to know it was loved.

Arrived at work and met a new potential coworker, doing her computer training. Went to lumber and felt the need to return to the bathroom; Bill graciously stayed over. Did the prelim duties and my LU, then checked my schedule and printed it out, and also went ahead and requested W and D's birthdays off.  Took my break at 7, and came back and swept while ASM N tried to get IT on the phone to fix #1. After an hour, he gave up. I sanitized the registers and pulled the trash, then after Loader AM took the hopper out, watched HC C take the $$ to the front and waited for AM to return. Returned items to Plumbing, Tools, Paint, and RTM.  Made anther pit stop before putting up my vest. Clocked out a little after 9:30.

I'm off tomorrow, and am headed up to Lafayette to see Mom and friend Angie:)

Outfit:  Gray V-neck, black/white vest, new faded jeggings, blue fingerless gloves, LJs, Lt blue earrings, Blue Elephant mask.

Day 181:  Rare Saturday $6,875

Had a good visit with Mom; learned Sandy Peterson had passed away, and funeral was 11am today at church.  Got together with friend Angie, and walked around Walmart, ate dinner at Cracker Barrel, and went to Linwood Bar for Kimieoke.  I sang F'n Perfect and Edge of 17; she sang White Rabbit and Hotel California.  Drove her back to her daughter M's, then spent the night at Reagan's.

Had called earlier and talked to Kylie; explained the funeral situation and asked if I could come in around 4.  She checked the schedule and said yes.

Arrived a little after 4 and changed my boots for shoes (it was snowy up north!), and clocked in around 4:15.  Went to Lumber and did the soda count and prelim duties, then started on my LU, a multi-level info about the news MyPro Benefits *eye roll* there's an app and three levels, plus perks.  Ugh....

After Grace left at 6, the crowd arrived, and I was busy for nearly two hours.  Did manage to sweep, and Cait relieved me at 7:45 for break.  When I came back, I finished sweeping and pulled the trash.  Nearly locked a guy out at 8:58, but let him in....and he (thankfully!) only needed one item!  Locked the doors behind him; Loader AM set the safety pallets and brought in the concrete.  I walked HC C down front and returned items to Flooring and Plumbing, then took the trash to the hopper.  Clocked out at 9:20.

Outfit:  Teal patterned L/S shirt, white vest, new darker jeggings, blue fingerless gloves, Lt blue earrings and spider mask.  Had to wear my red hooded sweatshirt for warmth.

Day 182:  Rare Sunday $  13,709

Arrived; hopped on #2 and sent Jill to break.  Was slow; I putzed around and brought in carts. Was steady, and took my 1st break at 12:45.  J went to lunch at 1 and things were steady for 45 mins.  When she came back, things slowed again.  I did my LU, then she took her 2nd break.  I went to lunch at 4, and when I returned, J left.  Started the closing duties, and an hour later, began having gas pains, which resulted in an intestinal issue.  Livia came down so I could take care of it, then Grace relieved me at 6:45 for my 2nd break.  I finished sweeping, then sanitized the registers, and pulled the trash.  Was able to get everything into one bag!  Put the soda away, and at 8, locked the doors.  When HC M cleaned me out, I took the trash to the hopper, then walked her up front and took an item back to plumbing.  Put up my vest, then ended up taking two items down to RTM.  Clocked out around 8:20.

Outfit:  Mama Bear sweatshirt, new dark jeggings, blue fingerless gloves, Lt blue earrings, and spider mask (which for whatever reason bothered my left ear, so wore it as little as possible.)

Monday, January 17, 2022

Life In Lumber Y3, W42

 Day 173:  $4139

Snowed; wore my boots to work and changed into my new tennis shoes. Decided to use the new system, in order to get used to it, and all was fine until customer #3.  He had some MDF that wouldn't ring up, and the first item # we found quickly.  But the trim was slightly harder, but finally found it.  I thanked everyone in line for their patience!  Did my LU and AP4Me, and the prelim duties after B left.  Patty came down to relieve me for break, and then needed my help.  I misunderstood her issue and hit the wrong button, causing me to have to call HC M down to fix it.  I hopped back on #1 to help with the line, then finally at 6:40, took my break.  

After returning, pulled trash and the sodas forward, then swept and sanitized.  Locked the doors at 9, and put up my vest.  Didn't have any returns for once!  Clocked out around 9:15.

Outfit:  Blue Whitehorse sweatshirt, new faded jeggings, blue fingerless gloves, blue earrings, starry night mask.

Day 174:  $4,689 (and 3 cents!)

Arrived, and was involved in 2 conversations before I made it to the front!  We weren't that busy, and the new system 'behaved', with the exception of when I rang up too many insulation bags and couldn't change the total.  Had to back out and start all over. Had a funny moment; ASM M came down and asked me to sweep the entire area.  I informed her I already do that every night....from aisle 21 to 18, AND the horseshoe!

Did the soda count, then gathered the paperwork and other prelim duties.  Went to break at 7, and when I returned, gathered the trash and started sweeping and sanitizing. Accidentally let an insulation machine walk out without being checked out or even charged a deposit; I'd set it aside for a customer, but when he returned for it, I was busy with a large order and it didn't dawn on me until later that we hadn't rung it up!  Called ASM N and fessed up; he told me not to worry about it.

Put the soda away and locked the doors at 9.  After Loader AM took the trash, we closed the door and I went to put up my vest and return two items to Hardware.

Outfit:  Palm tree sweatshirt, new faded jeggings, blue fingerless gloves, blue stud earrings, starry night mask.

Day 175: $2,351

Arrived slightly late, but managed to get down to lumber on time.  Wasn't that busy (as you can tell from my total!); in fact, I let B take all the customers until 5, so he could break the $10K amount. Things went well for an hour, then I was sent to break, since only Livia and I were there after 6.  Afte I returned, I had issues with the new system and using the LAR function, and ended up switching to the old system. Did get one credit app; they weren't approved, but it still counts!  Did the closing duties and rearranged the Monster cooler.  Did my LU and sanitized the registers.  Locked the doors at 9, and put away 4 lumber brackets after Loader AM took the trash down.

Outfit:  Brown sweater, new faded jeggings, blue stud earrings, Monet mask

Day 176:  Rare Saturday $14,862

Arrived; discovered J had called in.  Was thrilled to learn Cindy was in Lumber; we work well together.  Hopped on #2 for an hour, then did my LU;  Pro S talked my ear off for the 1st hour. C took her break at 1:30; I took mine at 2.  C left at 3, then I went to lunch at 4.  Was upset Subway had NO soup!  Thawed out by the fireplace, and when I returned, I started the closing duties.  Had everything swept by 7, then pulled the trash.  HC H had already done the soda count, and she filled it while I was busy with customers.  Stayed on #2, due to the reduced wind blowing through the doors.  Sanitized the registers at 8:30, and at closing, locked the doors after letting Loader C out, then walked HC H to the front, put my trash in the lumber hopper, and put up my vest.

Outfit:  Gray IN sweatshirt, new faded jeggings, blue stud earrings, astronaut mask.

Day 177:  Rare Sunday $12,407

Arrived; Marilyn and I tripped over each other for 3 hours, taking turns with customers.  Did my LU and brought in carts.  At 2:30, my sis called, when we weren't busy; however, I did take care of 3 customers (While ASM K was present), and made no attempt to hide my conversation.  In retrospect, yes, I should have hung up the phone.  But my rebellious nature took over....and in 5 mins, I was escorted to the office to talk to ASM M and K, who lectured me on not using my phone while ringing up customers.  I apologized, saying it was my sis in Canada, and admitted my error.  But then M made it worse...."I realize you're all by yourself and maybe you think, 'oh, no one will notice...'" THAT set me off.  I curbed my temper, but walked out of the office with a smile on my face and thinking, 'There goes ANY attempt at getting a credit app today!'

Childish, yes.  I later found out CSR J was also talked to about her attitude, so there was something in the air today!

Went to lunch at McA's, and when I returned, began the closing duties while Liv handled the customers. I swept, consolidated the trash, and at 5:30, while L took her break, wiped down all the counters. At 6, they let L go home, which ticked me off, since I was due for my 2nd break at 6:30.   At closing, let loader AW out the door, walked HC H to the front, then returned and met AW at the door.  He set the safety pallets and brought in the concrete and the hopper; I closed the door again. Put up my vest and clocked out at 9:20 after taking a pit stop.

I DID get one credit app...customer asked me, so I set him up with an LBA, and he was approved. I'm also going to try to take Loader J a cupcake or scone tomorrow before he leaves at 3:30.  Tomorrow's his final day before starting at CSX as a trainee conductor. Also helped out a guy who was $7 short for his items.  He said he'd repay me, and scraped up $1...I told him not to worry about it.

Outfit:  Lavandar striped sweater, white vest, new faded jeggings, long johns, blue fingerless gloves, blue stud earrings, astronaut mask.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Life In Lumber Y3, W41

 Day 171:  $6806 (and 12 cents!)

Bob Sagat died last night.  Sidney Poitier passed a few days ago, and Betty White on Dec 31st.  Can we just stop already???

Arrived and helped Bill with the line, then checked; we only had 3 closers, so didn't bother with the soda count.  After B left, did the preliminary closing duties, and took my break at 6:30.  Afterward, thoroughly swept the floor, and mucked out under all the mats.  At 8, sanitized all the registers AND the counters.  Final customer was at 8:45.  Put in my request for Feb 26th off, for our book signing at the library.

Apparently began the shift by taking my 'stupid' pills.....didn't realize a drill came with a battery, and tried to explain the benefits of the LPP.  Thankfully, the customer bought it!  At least I 'smartened' up after break....

Took bubble wrap back to aisle 30, then Loader AM arrived with the hopper, and tossed my trash in.  I stayed while he set the safety pallets and brought in the concrete, then put up my vest.  Clocked out at 9:30.  I'm off until Wednesday!

Outfit:  Gray IN sweatshirt, dark jeggings, blue tools mask, blue stud earrings.

Day 172:  $7,518

Arrived; bought the window kits to weatherproof the kids and LRM windows.  Discovered Tyler had 1st dibs on the clay targets, so good for him.  Things were slow, so returned items to Paint, Tools, and plumbing.  Rang up a few customers, and when Bill left, did the prelim duties.  Kenzie came down at 6 and did the soda count; said she was bored up front.  I helped her put some away, then she relieved me at 6:20 for my break.  After lunch, I thoroughly swept the place and wrote over a page.  At nine, locked the doors; Loader AW, who'd come in to view his paystub, pushed in the two cull carts and left.  Walked HC M to the front, and after taking the trash to the hopper, I noticed a family pushing two carts up the insulation aisle.  Walked back up and asked if they were ready to check out, and explained I could only do a credit card sale.  Rang up their 7 cabinets and the loose items, then unlocked the door for them.  Waited around until they loaded, then put the carts away.  Clocked out at 9:25.

Outfit:  Red/white turtleneck, dark jeggings, white tools mask, blue stud earrings.

I'm off the rest of the week for vacation, unless they call me in!

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Happy New Year! Looking Ahead To 2022

New Year, New Goals!  

This year, I plan to do the following:

-Save as much $$ as possible

-Edit Defending Your Life story

-Add words or even finish Heart Song, RiKar, Paranormal Preacher, Time Travel and publish something.

-Publish Rex, Beach Antho, and one or more of the previously stated titles

-Write Beach story (edit the wip??)

-Survive this damn pandemic/political climate

-Buy monthly promo items 

    -Rex keychains


-Pay off (current) GSH bill and start working on next one; pay down hearing aids and gall bladder medical debt; pay down CC.

-Tithe better

-Get teeth checked/fixed

-Get carport roof fixed

-Green house torn down

-Brown house sorted

-Scrap hauled away

-Shelf in Bdrm

-Shelf in MB

-House re-wired

-Taco and Butterscotch to the vet

-Kitchen floor redone

-Mom's storage unit sorted

-Attend the following Conventions/signings: (Most are already paid for)

      -Jan:  Saluki Con (Jan 15-16) Carbondale, Il

      -Feb:  Knox Co Public Library, Vincennes, In 2-4pm

     -April:  Weekend With The Authors (April ) Nashville, TN; GSH vendor fair; Dale Library 

    -May:  Elwood Home and Garden Expo

     -June:  Corning Irish Festival, PrideFest, QuadCon, Superman Festival
     -July:  Imaginarium, Heroes For Kids
     -Aug:  Watermelon Fest (not paid for)Royal Readers at Mall of America, State Fair
     -Sept:  Penned Con (paid for), Non-Con
     -Oct:  Art Walk, CCC (not paid for)
     -Nov:  ICGAHS, Rivet, Art Walk

Monday, January 3, 2022

Life In Lumber: Y3, W40

 Day 166:  $7,821

Arrived and things were rather slow, so did soda count and returned items to Electrical, Plumbing, Tools, OSLG, and flooring.  Bill left, and the crowd arrived.  Sometime between 6 and 6:30, had two CFH.  Cust A brought a bunch of items, and had a check from his boss....but I needed his ID.  He disappeared, and I rang up Cust B on Sonia's register.  Their credit card kept declining, so they called the bank, which I overheard via automated system, they had over $15K available, but their $2K purchase kept getting declined.  In the meantime, A returns with his boss's ID # written down....but it doesn't work.  I ran it again, thinking maybe the system was timing out, but no, declined it again.  He the meantime, Alecia comes down to lend a hand, but even she gets backed up.  I hopped over to Jeremy's register to help ring up others.  B finally decides to remove their fridge and microwave, effectively taking their $2K to $104....and the card accepted it, and they were on their way.  I decided to remove A's transaction, pushed his cart out of the way, and rang up one more customer before taking my break at 6:55.

Returned from break and began sweeping....then Customer C arrived with two couplings w/o codes.  I just tossed them in the bag to send 'em on their way.  Then Customer D arrived with a bunch of items 'from the clearance rack'....I went ahead and did it.  I was over the day, and ready to get a drink. Did my LU and AP4Me, and did the rest of the closing duties.

Locked the doors at 9, walked HC A to the front, then let Loader A out to bring in the forklift....oh, that was another thing.  At the beginning of my shift, had a customer who was very concerned about the fact the forklift had a leaky transmission.  Loader Cam assured me they knew of it....but customer 'just knew' someone would hop on it and overheat the engine!  Both C and AW assured him they were only going to bring it in and park it.

Pushed Cust A's cart to Tools, since there were two I couldn't lift, and put up my vest, then helped Mgr K bring in the other carts.  Clocked out at 9:30.

K's Daily Drama:  She couldn't delete her emails all at once, and complained about how it was going to take her 'forever' to do them one at a time.

Outfit:  Blue Manning Jersey, white tunic, faded jeggings, shark mask.

Day 167:  $3,772 (and 1 cent!)

Arrived; took back a ductwork item and did the soda count. When Bill left, the crowd arrived, and was steady until 6:25, when Kenzie arrived to send me to break.  When I returned, things slowed down, and I was able to do my LU.  Got some sad news; Mgr N told me 'soon' 1.4 was going away 'forever', and we'd be using the new system.  Tried it out, and 1st customer did well, then had do an LAR and couldn't figure it out!  N saved it, then logged back into Genesis and we went from there.  Another customer asked if he could put his items behind the desk; he'd forgotten his card.  Told him I could print of a temp one; he was thrilled!  

A was swamped earlier; he needed a forklift and a spotter, then while he was finding a spotter, Cust B asked if there was someone to help load his counters; C wanted a board cut; and D wanted help with drywall!  I know the board was cut, but not sure if B and D were helped....

Mgr K told me she was letting me go at 9; I laughed.  And sure enough, HC A cleaned me out at 9:05; Loader AW took the trash, set the safety pallets, and brought in the concrete. By the time I took a pit stop, put up my vest, and walked up front, it was 9:30.

Only needed one o/r; customer bought a cart full of discounted Millwork for $20.  Off tomorrow; hopefully going to Lafayette.

Outfit:  Black/gray tee, black vest, zirconian earrings, faded jeggings, tools mask.

Day 168:  $ $6,367 (and 8 cents!)

Arrived; began ringing up customers and doing soda count.  After Bill left, gathered the paperwork and helped Sonia with two orders; one was using his LAR and was invoiced; we couldn't find the invoice, so went to 1.6 and found it, then figured out how to get it to the payment screen.  Rang him up and he was on his way.  The 2nd, S clocked out just as the customer was ready to be rung up, so she gave it to me.  Was fairly busy; one of my favorite customers arrived with a decorated chocolate chip cookie; I joked about them bringing it for me; she surprised me by saying, 'yes, it is!'

That same customer arrived at 6:30 and needed an o/r; then I sent HC M on her way and rang up the discounted paneling....then discovered it was marked down to $1/sheet, not $13!  So cleared the screen; rang it all up again, and called for another o/r.  Turned out I missed the closet organizer the 1st time around....but the line was backing up, so called for back up.  Matt arrived, only to discover neither of #2 or #3 scan guns worked!  I was already on S's register, ringing up a CC order, when Kris and Jess arrived to give me my o/r.  After everyone had been taken care of, Livia arrived for my break; Jess asked about the flooring I'd rung up.  Took me a few minutes to remember; turned out when I got it from 1.6, it put it under MY sales ID instead of Desiree's.  Told D I'd throw some sales her way to make it up to her.

After my break, we were fairly steady, but did my LU, swept, and gathered the trash. Locked the doors at 9 and after Mgr G took the hopper, waited until he returned before closing the door and putting up my vest.  The temps dropped from 20 to 14.  Brrrr.....

I'm off tomorrow, then work the weekend.

Outfit:  Blue hooded Cabela's sweatshirt, faded jeggings, fancy diamond earrings, blue mask.

Day 169:  Rare Saturday $10,838 (and 89 cents!)

Arrived; hopped on #1 and began ringing up customers.  Cindy arrived back from lunch at 1, and I took over #2 while Jill went up front.  We were steady, and at 2:30, I took my break.  Went to lunch at 4 (Subway) and when I returned, started the closing duties.  Had to call HC C for a couple of o/rs; one for a discounted door, another for a discounted tool. Took my final break at 7:30; put away the soda; and at 8:30, Loader Cam brought down the hopper. Chatted with Kenzie for half an hour and checked out final customer as the store was closing.  After HC C cleaned me out and I'd locked the doors, returned one item to Aisle 21 and four more to the electrical aisle.  Then put up my vest and clocked out atg 9:25.

Outfit:  Mama Bear sweatshirt, dark jeggings, elephant mask, fancy diamond earrings.

Day 170:  Rare Sunday  $ $6,855

Arrived to the wonderful news our heaters were taken away, due to either Jill or Sonia plugging one into the wrong socket and blowing the breakers.  Took my coat AND my heavy red sweatshirt down and gave J her break, and was fairly busy for several hours. S mildly drove me batty with the news of a new potential b/f, but thankfully, I was busy and able to tune her out.  Took my 1st break at 1:30, but helped a customer in plumbing, then spent 10 mins with another customer in Millwork, before finding Brent and turning her over to him!  Took a pit stop, then grabbed my book and went back. Was able to shuttle $3K to Desi, to make up for Thursday's 'oops'.  J went to lunch at 2, and when she returned, I went at 3:30 (McA's).  When I returned, things slowed down.  J took her 2nd break and we started the closing duties.  I gathered the paperwork while she did the trash. J left at 6, and things really slowed down.  Had one customer after 7pm/

Saw Kyle from the Mom and Pop; it's good to see him back on his feet!  Gave him a hug and told him I'd been praying for his recovery.

Took my 2nd break at 5:30 and put up my book and took my coats back to the break room.

Loader M took my trash down, and I locked the doors at 7:58.  Put up my vest after HC C cleaned me out, then went to Receiving for a roll of trash bags ('Can Liners' they're called).  Clocked out at 8:15.

Outfit:  Home sweatshirt, dark jeggings, elephant mask, fancy diamond earrings.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Happy New Year!

How well did I do in December?

-Do well at Writer's Block Author Fair Cancelled, due to transportation issue.  D's truck needs new starter or battery.

-Lose 5 lbs (starting 228)

-Pay down debt

-Wrap presents Check!

-Bake cookies

     12/11:  10 Doz Choc chip

    12/19:  3.10 Doz Oatmeal Raisin

-Mail books 12/21:  Check!

-Enjoy my birthday Slept in; baked cookies; drank wine; ate at Texas Roadhouse, then saw the X-mas lights:)

-Enjoy the TSO concert It was AWESOME!!!!

-Have relaxing Christmas Check!  Stomach flu hit Christmas Eve, so didn't do a whole lot.

Health Update:

I think I'm fully recovered from the gall bladder surgery and my stomach flu:)  

Books Read:  6        

           Print:  4

          E-book:  2

Karaoke Songs Added:  4

2022 Events:

-Saluki Con (Jan 15-16, 2022) Carbondale, Il $70 Pd 10/22/21 UPDATE:  Rescheduled for April 16th

-SI Comic Con (April 2, 2022) Benton, Il Pd $35 9/18/21

-Indy ComiCon (Easter weekend) Indpls, In Skipped this year, since Saluki Con rescheduled for 16th

-Weekend With The Authors (May 13-15, 2022) Nashville, TN Pd $300 2021; may need to cancel, due to cousin's wedding on 14th....depends on if Mom wants to go.

-Quad Con (June 4, 2022) Springfield, Il $40

-Superman Celebration (June 9-12th, 2022) Metropolis, Il 

-Wild Deadwood Reads (June 16-18th, 2022) Deadwood, SD 10-3pm Cost:  $160 (full table)  Skipping it this year; too many cons scheduled already.

-Imaginarium Convention (July 8-10, 2022) Louisville, KY $110 Pd 9/15

-Heroes For Kids (July 17th) Perrysville, Mo

-Royal Readers (Aug 6th) Mall of America $110 Pd 9/16/21

-State Fair

-Daviess Co Wine and Art Fair

-Penned Con, St, Louis, Mo Pd 2020

-First City Music Festival $50

-Lexington Legendary Book Signing $185 Pd $100 1/18/22

-Cil-Con Mattoon, Il Pd $100 10/21/21

-Non-Con Middletown, OH

-Collector's Carnival and Crafts (Oct 29th) Princeton, In

-Indpls Christmas Gift and Hobby Show (Nov) Indpls State Fairgrounds $100 Pd 11/26 (Bal:  $250)

-Writer's Block Author Fair Toledo, Oh

January Goals:

-Order Inventory (5 CR and 5 WHH, check; 10 Whispers, check)

-Order new bookshelf (for promotional)

-Send books to library Check; sent LOTR, FL, BA, and EL; will send CR and WHH when arrive (Check!)

-De-decorate Mom's room Check!

-Lose 5lbs

-Find desk Check!

January Reading Schedule:


The Grass Crown-Colleen McCullough Good!  Really enjoyed reading about the lives and interactions between the characters; skimmed over the 'war' parts.
California Gold-John Jakes
The Velvet Promise-Jude Deveraux I've not read this in probably 20 or so years; there were a lot of details I'd forgotten!  Also, I noticed the head-hopping I'd not noticed before; it did NOT bother me, but now I'd like to reread the other books in this series.  The one I remember best is Velvet Song.
The Third Heiress-Brenda Joyce Finally finished this book.  Too much angst and repetition at times, and even figured out the 'villain' before it was revealed.
Confessions of a Wild Child-Jackie Collins DRR!  Loved this glimpse into Lucky's teen years and read the whole thing in about an hour!  Now I want to reread the entire series....
Delusions of Grandma-Carrie Fisher Somewhat enjoyable; I kept falling asleep at times
Pulp Reality 2-Amy Hale, Brian Morris, et al Really enjoyed Amy's story, but the others really weren't my style.  Passing it off to my daughter and Teen, to see if they like it.
I Don't Belong Here-Jessica Wettig Hendrix Nice, easy read.
The Secret Sanctuary-TL Shively Good story; something I normally wouldn't read.  Left me hanging, so guess I'll have to get the next one!
Three Sisters, Three Queens-Phillipa Gregory Interesting!  Slightly confusing, with some of the same names, and Margaret of Scotland comes across very self-important/self-centered at times.  Lost track of how many times she is brought low, before regaining her title again.
Illyria-Armin Shimmerman DNF.....sorry; read the 1st two chapters and realized it really wasn't holding my attention.

The Duke and the Wallflower-Jessie Cleaver DRR!!  Loved this story!!!

Karaoke Songs:

 1/6-Stayed home; too cold!


That Was Yesterday-Foreigner Nailed it!
Say You Will-Foreigner Nailed it!
Ebony and Ivory-P.McCartney/S. Wonder DNH
Eye of the Tiger-Survivor Nailed it!
I Remember You-Skid Row Nailed it:)
Will have to re-sing the 1st three, since camera malfunctioned.  Think my memory card is full.

1/20:  Too cold to go out!
1/27:  Re-sang the above four songs

Saturday, January 1, 2022

2021: A Look Back

 All in all, 2021 was a fairly good one, with the exception of politics, the economy, and the continued stupid mask and CV vaccine mandates.  Yes, the price of gas nearly doubled; food prices increased, and supplies were low, but I managed to see 199 books; managed to do 14 in-person events; made new friends; got to see good friends again; and published two books (Creative Generations in June and Mixed Bag antho in Oct).  Submitted Rex The Piddling Pup and it's slated for release next June.

I also worked fairly steadily and paid down my GSH bill.  As of this draft, I will have it paid off by the end of February, and will be able to apply those funds elsewhere.

The only aggravating thing was, I broke my arm in Feb and had to have my gall bladder out in November.  I'll still be making hospital payments...crap.

But I did get to finally hug and be with my mother, as well as take her out of the facility for appointments and lunch; my sister was able to come home for a week; and I got to see my Teen Idol, Shaun Cassidy, in concert AND have a private Zoom meeting with him!

So there it is in a nutshell; now to break it down month-by-month:


Worked. We were short-staffed at work, due to CV infections, but it snowed, so we weren't too busy. I also wasn't happy when Team GLBTQ won the Amazing Race; I was hoping Team Beards would.


Fell out of bed while up in Lafayette and broke my arm.  Fortunately, D was with me, and I tested positive for CV while in the ER, so he had to learn to text and use my phone while I was laid up for 24 hours.  Fortunately, the day after my surgery, my hazard pay arrived; the following week, my regular check arrived; two weeks later, my CV pay arrived, plus I was already back at work (see my 'Life As A One-Armed Lumber Queen' posts), so I never missed a paycheck!  God is good:)


Spent these two months working with one arm in a sling and making monthly visits to the dr. Also seriously considered driving to Hannibal, Mo for Big River Comic Con, but couldn't get anyone to cover my shift.  Then I discovered Mgr T had gotten wind of my plans and had made fun of them.  So, I sucked it up and worked....and never said another word to anyone about future plans.  I also did a local craft show, but it was a bust, given we were competing with three other shows the same week.  All in all, it was good practice for the upcoming convention ciruit.

Also was able to go in to my mom's room and hug her for the 1st time in over a year.  I hurst into tears and just cried for about 5 minutes!!!  But you don't realize how much you miss human contact....and it was like losing both my parents last year.  Mom and I could TALK and SEE each other, but we weren't allowed to TOUCH!

Also discovered my mother had swallowed Dr. F's 'koolaid'....she keeps harping on the fact I'm unvaxxed.  I'm the lone holdout....W and Co's vaxxed, and so is Mom.  I'm sorry; I don't trust it. Also lost my voice for two weeks; called in the first week, then discovered I can still work w/o a voice; pantomine works just fine, ha ha!


Lucked into a Home and Garden Show for only $20 in Elwood!  Sold 9 there; the readers were out in full force, since 'we've been stuck at home and need new reading material!'  Afterward, toured Arcadia and went past my old apartment building, where the new owner is trying to convert it back to a single-family dwelling.  I'd love to go up and see it, but the new owner wasn't around; spoke to the next-door neighbor.

Jeanna gave birth to Baby Isabelle Rose, born May 19th!!

Decided not to go to the 500, since Uncle B and Cousin W weren't coming.  Had DVR'd it....and Helio won his 4th.  Damn it.,...I wanted TK to win!  Did dress in my costume and sing at the worship service at Rendezvous, then went to work in my costume!


Drove to Peoria, Il for Quad Con and did well!  We were also informed that if we were vaxxed at work, we didn't have to wear a mask....but it was also illegal to ask for proof.  So.....didn't wear my mask for a week or two!  HEAVEN!!


Was scared the first week I was about to be fired, since I could NOT find anyone to cover my shift over 4th of July weekend.  So I called in....and was chewed out by our store manager.  What saved me when I returned was 1) I was the #1 cashier that week; 2) we  were busier on Monday, the day I was back, than we'd been all weekend; and 3) with the labor shortage, could they really afford to fire me?  I avoided S all month, ha ha....

InConJunction was good.  Spent way too much $$, since I'd taken S and A; A had a blast in the Motley Kids area, doing crafts for three days! S enjoyed walking around and her birthday dinner at Cracker Barrel.  Think I sold 8...but the crowd was down, and I did receive a nice email from a customer, telling me they plan to purchase the other books in The Chosen series:)  I'm only going to do this show every other year while employed, since it's technically a 'black out' date....meaning no one's allowed to request it off.

Imaginarium was also good....sold 6 and enjoyed seeing friends.

Heroes For Kids was also good; I sold 6, so yes, will be back again!

Superman Festival was AMAZING!  Sold 19 books!  Will definitely return next year!


Went up to see Mom and took her and BC to Texas Roadhouse for their birthdays (B's was July 29th and Mom's Aug 1st), and got B to sit on the saddle!

Did well at the State Fair, selling a total of 29!  Drove to Mall of America and was disappointed I only sold 5; the ride I wanted to ride was closed; I DID enjoy a delicious meal at Wahlburgers, but felt left out and isolated from the other authors (see Observations post), and to cap it all off, discovered later I'd gotten a speeding ticket in Cedar Rapids, costing me $75.  I may give MOA one more year....

Loader Justin got pissy when he discovered I'd taken a picture of him picking up an H-cart of shingles with the forklift, and read me the riot act.  Little did he know he was NOT in the picture...


Month began on a high note:  I managed to find someone to take my shift on Sunday Sept 5th so I could drive to Nashville, TN with friend Elaine, and go see Shaun Cassidy in concert.  Ate some delicious goat cheese-risotto balls and a flatbread pizza, and met Lisa K, who was thrilled we invited her to sit with us at dinner.  Her seat was better than ours, but oh well!  Got to also meet Patrick Cassidy:)

Issues arose over Loader Justin's attitude....since I'd gotten on his bad side, he refused to speak to me....which creates a problem, since the cashier and her loader NEED to communicate!  Fortunately, we didn't have to work together that much anymore.....and he began calling in.

I persuaded NR to attend Non Con with me....and it was a bust this year.

Was able to have an enjoyable visit with my sister....even when her stress level boiled over and we had to change dinner plans on her final night.


Did three events:  1st City Music Fest (sold 10!); Comic Con (sold 18!); and the CCC (sold 8!). Kyle and Dalton began a jewelry business, so I loaned them my tables for the Watermelon Festival, where they did well, and shared the booths at the Music Fest and CCC.  Was complimented by D...."I've been watching your mom; we gotta find a pitch!"

Shake up at work:  Mgr T quit after being passed over for a promotion (ASM Scott had left, and they hired someone else).  Lumber's ASM, Misty, returned to the Admin office; then Jess W quit....and Gareth took over. Mel B was promoted to Paint Mgr.

Had to make the heartbreaking decision to put Abby the Pit Bull down.  She had become incontinent and could hardly walk, and was ready; the vet gave her the relaxing shot, and she gave Sara a kiss, closed her eyes, and passed away.

For Halloween, I was a 'Spider Pirate'....wore my pirate costume with the Spider headband:)


Went off to the Indpls Christmas Gift and Hobby Show and picked up two morning shifts, due to people testing positive for CV.  Sold a whopping 46 books!!

Arrived home and promptly landed in the hospital with pancreatitis, and had my gall bladder out four days later.  Then had tire issues....they finally found a tiny finishing nail the size of a needle in my tire!

Kyle and Jeanna discovered they were expecting again!  Baby H due July 12th!


Was supposed to go to Toledo, OH for an author fair, but due to the transportation issues (D's truck was acting up and turned out he needed both a starter AND a new battery), I bowed out.  Worked every weekend; went up to see Mom once; and got the stomach flu on Christmas Eve.  Spent Christmas on the couch in recovery mode.

Alex is the proud new staff member of a tiny kitten named Smokey aka 'Monster' aka 'Hooligan'.  She will attack Taco, Dexter, and even take on Jelly and Butterscotch!

Watched the  ball drop on NYE with D, and drank wine.

What Else Did I Accomplish?  

-Publish M/M Tales (working title) Creative Generations, released June 28th, 2021

-Find artist for kiddie book and start collaboration Check!  Sent it off to Pen It Publications!

-Save as much $$ as possible Sort of...used part of it to pay down my CC.

-Edit Defending Your Life story Sort of....still sitting on this one,

-Add words or even finish Heart Song, RiKar, Paranormal Preacher, Time Travel and publish something. Nope; too busy.

-Write 'Mixed Nuts' story Recycled YA murder mystery for it

-Survive this damn pandemic/political climate Check...

-Buy monthly promo items  Check; took 40-50 to Superman Festival, where they were snapped up.

    -10 red stylus ordered 1/3

    -10 blue stylus ordered 1/15

-Pay off St. V medical debt Check!  Thank you stimulus $$!!!; pay down GSH and hearing aids medical debt; pay down CC. GSH:  Will be paid off in Feb; still paying on others.

-Get eyes and teeth checked/fixed New lenses in glasses; not made teeth appt,

-Get carport roof fixed No

-Green house torn down  No

-Brown house sorted No

-Scrap hauled away No

-Shelf in Bdrm No

-Shelf in MB No

-House re-wired No

-Taco and Butterscotch to the vet No

-Mom's room organized Check!

-Mom's storage unit sorted Sort of....

-W's things sent to her Check!

-Attend the following Conventions/signings: (Most are already paid for) Check!

      -Jan:  StoryCon at Benton Co. Public Library Not gonna happen this year

     -April:  Evansville Women's Conference (April 8th); Kentuckiana Book Fair, Dale Library 

    -May:  ComicCon (not paid for)

     -June:  Corning Irish Festival, PrideFest, Weekend with the Authors (Nashville, TN-Pd 1-14-21)
     -July:  InConJunction, Imaginarium, Heroes For Kids
     -Aug:  Watermelon Fest (not paid for)Royal Readers at Mall of America, State Fair
     -Sept:  Penned Con, Non-Con
     -Oct:  Art Walk, CCC (not paid for)
     -Nov:  ICGAHS, Rivet, Art Walk

Books Read:  79

            DNF:  9

Karaoke Songs Added:  46