Saturday, December 31, 2005

Put this year to bed already

For the first time, I am truly happy that a year is ending. 2005 took too many loved ones from us. It has been far too chaotic, even for me.

I'm working tomorrow, to do a favor for the p/t manager who complained about closing Christmas Eve, and got scheduled to close New Year's Eve and all day New Year's day. We're not really doing anything, so it wasn't a big deal. What peeves me about it is that after Ioffered to cover tomorrow, she had the gall to bitch that she'd been scheduled. Hello? Yeah, you were, but now you have the day off. GET OVER IT!!! She didn't seem to digest the fact that in 5+ years with my employer, this was the first New Year's that I wasn't scheduled both days. Up north, I was scheduled every Mother's and Father's day, too. This is the sucky part of retail management.

2006, please bring some healing to those who are hurting.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Long day

We were at Epcot yesterday-it was CROWDED. We saw some of the Living seas, although the line for Turtle Talk with Crush looked like it was 5 shows worth of audience.

Had our Mickey bar break, went to Mexico and Norway. My phone rings while in the movie (yes, we saw the movie) and I silenced it. As soon as we get outside, the phone rings again. SIL had called 911 because her blood sugar was too high and she felt like she was going to pass out. Out to Lakeland we go.

Ed and boys stayed with his mom, I went to the hospital. They kept SIL until 11:30. Lucky that neither one of us was at work. We both work the type of jobs where we can't up and leave.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Prayers, please

Ed and I got a reality check last night. We were missing Mom and Nancy but our pain is small in comparison to friends of ours.

Their son, Brian Joseph, was due December 14th. Sometime in the week following the 14th, Brian died in utero. His mom was induced and Brian was delivered on December 23rd. He was a beautiful, perfect looking angel and his parents and the doctors are baffled as to what happened.

My heart aches for his parents. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain of losing a child, or meeting and saying goodbye in the same breath.

God bless Brian Joseph.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Woohoo!

We went to bed around 3 and awoke to hear paper ripping. The ruffians were going to open all their presents while we slept!

I had an Ipod video under the tree. AWESOME!!! It's updating, courtesy of the laptop. Ed's Sirius has been activated and the kids are playing in their rooms with the toys.

A nap would be good, but there's too much to do. Headed out at 11 to go get stepdad. Should check in with inlaws, too. Finally, it's not too early to call the rest of the family.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Santa's cookies have been made. MIL is home from the hospital. NORAD got my kids to go to be in record time when they said Santa had just passed Cape Canaveral and I've got a buttload of presents to wrap. On coffee #2 as I write this.

At least I don't have to wrap Jill's, Jane's, Mema's or Bills until the morning, haha.

Off to do the work I should have done when we bought the @$%@#%% stuff!

Friday, December 23, 2005

I'm cool, Momma

Youngest has gotten dressed. He was having issues finding pants (it's cold here) and I suggested a pair that has a torn (but patched on the back) knee. He then finds his black Darth Vader shirt, a la American Chopper styling.

He comments that he now looks really cool, like a guitar player in a band and wants the same ripped jeans and t shirt in adult sizes so that he can look like this when he's a big kid. He's riffing on looking like a tough boy!

It feels like a Saturday

Why do my days get so messed up around the holidays? It sure feels like a Saturday to me.

Lots of errands to run, gifts to buy, food to purchase. My Christmas cards are going out on Christmas eve, so if you wondered why it hasn't arrived, that's why! Better late than never.

MIL's surgery went well. Ed says she's got a very small bandage covering the incision. Pretty sure she'll be in the hospital until Monday or Tuesday at the very least.

Called Stepdad last night and asked him what time I was picking him up for Christmas dinner, rather than asking if he wanted to join us. Still have to figure out what we're eating, but that's why I'm heading to the butcher as soon as the kids get dressed.

Still have to buy stuff for the kid's stockings, alas, they'll be with me and youngest doesnt' miss a single thing. I was contemplating a Wallyworld stop after work, and I think that's the only way this will happen.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Your Christmas Stocking Will Be Filled With a Puppy

Well - one cute, soft, cuddly puppy...
And a very soiled Christmas stocking.

Guess I was good. I stayed at work an extra few hours, then got the word ABSOLUTELY NO OVERTIME. That earned me Christmas Eve off. :) Think it was the 19 hours of OT on my check that pushed them over the edge? If so, remind me to do it again next year! Oh wait, next year is going to be OUT of retail!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Proof I've lived too far south of the Manson-Nixon

http://www.alphadictionary.com/articles/yankeetest.html

43% yankee-barely a Yankee. Heck, I'm a Mets fan, anyway.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Basta! Basta!

Ok, so the parade of 'what can go wrong?' continues.

While Ed and sister were dropping off nephew at the airport and trying to find a Christmas present at Downtown Disney, my MIL fell in her house. From the way she described being in her bedroom,walking into the bathroom, I think she caught her foot on the threshold between the carpeted bedroom and tiled bathroom. She fractured her collarbone, a bone in her face and has a nasty bruise on her face. They've been in the house for a week today.

MIL is in the hospital, but expected to be discharged this afternoon. When I got to the hospital last night, I joked that she didn't have to investigate how good the hospital was so soon-it could have waited. For being in a lot of pain, she was still making jokes. She told Jane that if anyone asks what happened to her face, she'd tell them that Jane punched her!

I'm thinking that we need to put 2005 to bed. Way too much bad stuff has happened this year.

A conversation

We were driving home from grocery shopping, and I pointed out a very nice display to the boys.

Younger Son: "Wow, we should ask them to give us some lights. They've got a thousand!"
Me: "Sweetie, we have a thousand lights already"
Younger Son: "Then they have three hundred thousand and fifty"
Older Son: "How do you KNOW?"
Younger Son: "I counted all of them"

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Bunny Funny

http://www.starz.com/features/christmasstory/

and son's favorite:
http://www.angryalien.com/1205/starwarsbuns.asp

Always good for a laugh!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Got some sleep. First time I woke up, it was 9am. Boys got situated with a movie, once they realized that the VCR is not hooked up. Then I went back to bed.

10am, work calls. I can have whatever overtime I want. Do I want to come in at 2? No, still feeling the effects of the week, plus I'd already told my daycare provider that the boys would come to her at 4 now, not noon.

Older son put Star Wars Episode 4 in to watch and I was watching along. I didn't get very far-next thing I know, I'm waking up to watch the end of the movie. Oops!

At least I feel rested.

Geez

So, I'm leaving work two hours late, what a surprise. I'm driving home, minding my own business. About 1/2 mile from my house, there's a traffic light that I can either turn at or go straight. Well, the light is red, I decide to make the right. The car behind me (in the middle lane) decides to make the right as well. Didn't seem right. I get to the next traffic light, where I get into the left lane.

As I'm turning, some kid in the other car throws something at my car. It honestly sounded like a gunshot. Scared the daylights out of me, I dunno what the stuff was, but instead of getting home and climbing right into bed, I have to clean the stuff off the car. Adrenaline is still pumping. I backtracked to see if there was a cup or anything-no dice. It wasn't an egg, because there's no shell anywhere.

Guess I'm going to the car wash tomorrow, rain or shine.

Friday, December 16, 2005

It was Very Merry!

First up, no pictures, as I apparently had the camera ON in my bag all week since I last charged the battery.

The party was great. We got there at 8, just in time to find a spot for the parade near the castle. Good location, long (by Disney standards) parade-really enjoyable. We saw some characters that we've never seen before. Bert from Mary Poppins, for instance.

Went to get our cocoa and cookie, then came back to the bridge into tomorrowland for the fireworks. Ed noticed the line of rain drawing closer, and it started raining lightly about a minute before the show began. No matter. This is easily the BEST fireworks show I have ever seen. They've gotten really good at the changing color fireworks and the shapes (boxes and bows). I liked it so much that I will be calling to get an ADR at 'Ohana for Sunday night, just so we can see the show again.

Then we headed into tomorrowland and got our pictures taken, went on TTA and Buzz Lightyear after a missed attempt to see the Mickey's Night Before Christmas show. It started pouring just before the show started, we bailed and then saw that the show got cancelled.

Over to Fantasyland and Peter Pan, It's A Small World and Winnie the Pooh. It was time to head out, but we went and had hot dogs at Caseys. Yum. My momento for the evening is another porcelain disc ornament for the tree. :)

In waiting for the monorail, I asked for the front-and got it (younger son was asking earlier why we didn't ask on the way in). It was neat being in the front at night, and youngest had a commentary about the Polynesian and 'the best restaurant on the planet, 'Ohana' as we went by.

A great evening, and the tram ride announcer was the funniest. Some of his nuttiness...

As we're leaving the tram stop, to the people in line "Folks, please be patient, another tram will be here...in an hour"
On the parking lot "If your car won't start, you can't find your car, or it is surrounded by a biker gang, please flag down Security and they will assist you. Mind you, you won't see them, and when you do, they'll be too far away to see you"
After leaving the first stop, Minnie "If you are parked in Minnie, so sorry, but that WAS your stop. You are welcome to stay on the tram as we will return to Minnie...tomorrow morning."
As we got off at our stop "Next stop, Donald. That's right, the next stop is McDonalds. It will take us 8 hours to get there, but the big macs are good"

Loads of fun. Too bad I didn't get his name, because I would send a commendation letter! He had the whole tram laughing.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Woohoo, into overtime!

Yep, I walked out the door at 1pm-39.25 hours in and 15 left to work this week. That is, if closing goes as scheduled both nights! Time and a half, baby!

Ran over to Costco to find younger son's present. We heard about a remote control R2D2 that we know he'll absolutely love. No dice on that, but did pick up a couple of other presents and teacher gifts. I've tried to be different where teacher gifts are concerned-so they're getting flowers. The ever so helpful team at this Costco once again proved why they're great. The cashier asked if I found everything, and when I told him what I was looking for and that they'd sold out, he informed me that the website has them. Yay!

Then I ran to Walmart and got vases for those flowers.

The dumb move of the day was that I was so busy doing work stuff that I forgot to call the school and tell them the kids would be car riders today. No big, day care got them-but I waited in line and realized when I saw that older son wasn't with the older kids. Sleep deprivation strikes again.

So, here I am at home for another 20 minutes while I wait for day care to finish her pickups and get back to her house. Putting the time to good use, aren't I? Hid those presents, now to the Costco site.

Headed to Mickey's Very Merry as soon as Ed gets home from work. Jill tells me the fireworks alone are worth the price of admission. Just the fact that I can GO to the parks in November and December is worth the price we're paying, lol. :)

Oh yeah, it's 80 degrees. It'll make the snow falling on Main Street seem weird, but fun.

Who knows, I may even post pictures from the event.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ugh

Super long day at work, but at least all of it was on the clock this time!

I went in at 8am, we had a huge sale set, p/t manager out on medical leave, store manager out (interviewing at corporate, but I'm not supposed to know that) and I ended up working until 2am with the other p/t manager.

No where near being done, but at least it's in good shape for the full crew that will be there in a few hours.

Pet peeve: all the people who bug me for more hours, then when I call to offer them more hours they don't want them!

Bonus: on day two of being top volume, woohoo!

Sleep, must sleep.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Very Merry!

Yet another crazy day at work. It's pretty funny when other stores in the district keep calling to find out where we are in our sales for the day. We've been beating the top store in the district all week, and it happens more and more, but when the bottom ranking store calls to find out my sales, then I scratch my head.

I got in at 2:30, then had to take my break at 3:30 because the other two managers were leaving. I put the time to good use-got on the phone to WDW and got tickets for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party for Thursday night. Yay! We didn't get to go last year, and it was crazy talk to even suggest time off in November or December to come see it in the past.

When it's snowing up North, everyone starts flocking down here. H&J are here from Maryland, and I'm hoping to see them before they fly back Thursday. Thinking that will happen on Wednesday. Dave is down from NY and in St. Augustine. Haven't seen him since I was pregnant with older son, but we're AIMing back and forth a couple times a month. I got a voice mail that he'd love to drive over today to see us. Small problem-guess who's working? I think he's got an AP for WDW-maybe he'll meet us there?

The inlaws are homeless for 72 hours. They sold their house in NY Thursday afternoon, fly down later today, then close on a house here tomorrow. It'll be nice to have them 25 minutes away. Very happy that they're not going to have any snow to shovel ever again. I believe they've given the snow blower to their next door neighbor.

I need some sleep. The kids will wake me around 9am and I have another evening of working until 11pm!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

It's been the usual, hectic week. Thursday, Ed and I ventured over to Orlando with a rental van to pick up the armoires and nightstands. The guys at Mousesurplus are great, they loaded the van up for us. We tipped them and headed back home.

Then the fun began. These things are about 300 pounds each! I'd mentioned to Ed while en route that maybe we should drive the van up on to the grass. We didn't, but probably should have. We got the armoires out, and then tried to contemplate getting them in the house! Eventually, we decided to use our hand truck as a dolly. In the process, I smashed my pinky pretty bad, but we got one armoire in the room and the other is in the garage. It needs a minor repair to the door.

The main thing is that little guy is very happy with his furniture. He is enjoying that the tv and dvd player go inside. I suppose in January, we'll paint his bedroom. We have the paint, just need to lighten it a bit.

Speaking of which, my paycheck must be inaccurate. It shows that I still have two personal days and by the end of January, have four days of vacation. I thought I used all the P Days in April. Have to investigate. I can understand the vacation day error-I get three weeks now, and I didn't use a whole week when we went to NY and I used three days when Mom went into the hospital. I tried to use all my time, but it didn't happen.

If the remodel *does* happen on schedule, it shouldn't be too difficult to be off for a week. That said, we're on one remodel schedule, not on another. However, we *are* scheduled for an inventory that is a week after the store is supposedly closing for the remodel. Works for me-the later they push this back, the easier it will be for me to take Easter week to take that twice postponed California trip. Our vouchers have to be used by March 28th.

Off to get change for the store. We use an Automated Banking Center. Yesterday, I went to get ones out of it and it swallowed my money and said "service not available", blanked out and wouldn't let me get change. I had to call the bank to find out what they were going to do-they gave me a claim number to go to a branch and get the money. Makes me leery of getting change out of the thing again.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Score!

We went over to Orlando yesterday and visited Mouse Suplus. It's this really cool place that has WDW cast offs. Anyway, we procured two armoires, a nightstand, a framed watercolor, a mirror and a bedspread that had been used at the Polynesian resort. They will go into younger son's Tiki/Poly bedroom-yes, that's what he wanted his room to be decorated.

While there, I was commenting to the woman showing us around how I saw on their website that they needed an eBay lister and that it sounded like a cool job. Long and the short is that Ed applied for the job. Talk about a cool thing to do!

Off to work for a few minutes. Got another short shift to make up for the long one earlier in the week.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Click to see my Star Wars Personality!!

Score another Barnie's convert

So, I finally got around to listening to my voice mails from today. Hey, I'm listening to them. Anyway, Donna called and told me she was enjoying a cup of of Barnie's Decadent Dark Chocolate while braving the mall crowds.

1. Congratulations, Donna, you are now a Coffee Achiever! (remember those commercials?)
2. Your mall has a Barnies and mine doesn't. Life sucks!
3. Barnie's is going to make all of us former non coffee drinkers into addicts!
4. What possessed you to go to a mall on a weekend in December?

Okay, that "Wizards in Winter" song will not get out of my brain! Only Ed's asleep, so if I play the darn thing to get it out, I'll wake him up.

I tweaked the settings on here. You can now comment as you wish, but I'm moderating the comments (oh, the power). This is so that I can delete the spam advertising crap I wouldn't buy for people I hate.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

This and That

Okay, so I'm not original...I was sent a link to www.uglychristmaslights.com. It is humorous, and it catches the local flavor of the guy hosting the site. I may be nuts, but most of those houses have an eastern Pennsylvania look to me.

Speaking of Christmas lights, I'm sure you've seen the "Wizards in Winter" video that's going around. Some amazing work, Ed thought it was stop action, I thought it was just a poor quality video. Ends up that the compression to make the video fit on www.planetchristmas.com is why it's funky looking. Oh, and Planet Christmas? Scary place-I won't delve too far, lest I think about spending oodles of money on Light O Rama and use a choral masterwork for my lights, lol.

We drank our last bottle of a new favorite wine, Ausbruch, Matraalja from Hungary. Alas, we've discovered that it's a very rare wine from a region that doesn't produce a crop every year. We'll miss you, schizophrenic red, and hope 2006 brings a crop of grapes.

A public service announcement to serve me: If you text message me, I get charged for it. When I left T Mobile, I declined the text messaging offered by AT&T, now Cingular, soon to be AT&T again (?!), because I was NOT paying 8 bucks a month for texting.

Today was a 13 hour day. I should be tired, but I'm not. Tomorrow brings a 5 hour day that begins at 8pm. If Ed has to work, I go off to stepdads. If not, we'll head over to Mouse Surplus in Orlando and get little man some furniture. Ed's kinda hoping he doesn't get called into work, but we need him to work more days. We'll see what the morning brings.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

badchristmaslights.com

I keep thinking I should host a website and call it Bad Christmas Lights. You see, here in Florida it doesn't FEEL like Christmas. Everything is green, some days are warm enough that the air conditioning gets used. We're wearing shorts, flip flops and may only put on a jacket early in the morning or after sundown. You can shoot daggers at me all you want, I moved away from the snow for a reason.

As a result, people tend to go hog wild in decorating their homes for the holidays. Some look really, really nice, some look okay, and some are absolutely awful! If someone is going to take the time and climb a ladder, you'd think they would make an effort to make the lights attractive, lol.

I want to take pictures of the crappy displays and post them on a website. Why not? A fellow I know from an online community hosts a site, www.badshoe.com, in which he and his family post pictures of poor footwear choices seen upon the feet of vacationers at Walt Disney World. Very humorous site and something of a public service.

I'll probably take the tripod out and take a picture of our display. Simple multicolored icicle lights line the front of the house and both windows are adorned with multicolor lit trees. Hopefullly, we don't make anyone's badchristmaslights webpage!

If you're interested, there are over 5o houses in our neighborhood (about 40 are decorated) and we are the only ones with mulitcolored lights.

This ponderous entry comes as a resul of our ritual of driving around, looking at the neighborhoods surrounding ours. We'd ventured out to see Christmas Lane, a local highlight of the season, but it doesn't open until Monday. Instead, we drove aimlessly for an hour, running commentary the whole time.

After looking at all this, do I miss the snow? Not one bit!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Longer day

Well, I thought I had another 12 hour day. That said, I was there 18 hours. Waited for a shipment that never arrived and spent the remainder of the time opening some of those other boxes, reorganzing the postage stamped stockroom, cleaning the management office, attempting to get change (no luck), and wearing myself out.

Got home at 12:30, had some pizza and vegged for about an hour, then fell into bed. When I woke up this morning, Ed happened to be in the room. I asked what time is it, and was told to go back to bed-I assumed it was still early. Finally woke up about 10:45. Killed my plans for heading over to WDW briefly today, but that's okay.

One of my employees dad's is a chef. A really good chef who teaches cooking at Johnson and Wales (a college KNOWN for producing great chefs). We've had some conversations about food in our shifts together. If you don't know, I am a foodie. Welllll, she went to her parent's for Thanksgiving and her Dad was kind enough to send her back with yummy stuff for ME! Woohoo, got these really yummy chocolate raspberry balls. Not quite truffles, but not quite cookies-heavenly. I've got a half of a chocolate cake in the fridge that looks soooooo good. She told me to enjoy it with wine, so I think we'll be doing that tonight after the kids go to bed.

Doctor's appt for older son today. Meds *may* be improving things, but we've really only had a week to gauge it, since he took it upon himself to eat candy with dyes for the first week of it. He was sneaking out of his candy bucket.

Tonight, take stepdad for the dinner we were going to on Monday night. Trying to figure out where we're going over on that side of the bay. We know Mom's favorite steak place is out. It's his choice and I'm thinking it may be italian, since he doesn't know how to cook that. I'll be getting in the habit of freezing some of each batch of my marinara for him.

At least tomorrow isn't a 6am day!