Thank goodness for friends. Many of my online friends wrote with calming words, words of personal experience, and just to let me know I was being thought of. So today I'm not as freaked, but just a normal amount of worried.
Worked til 8 and sold some stuff today, talked to some nice people, some not-so-nice people, and spent the last hour or so tidying up the stock room. It looked great. Would that cleaning my own house would be so easy and rewarding.
I had a total brain spazz for about 20 minutes today. When I mentioned this to an asst. mgr, he cleared me of all responsibility, saying that it was all because of the full moon. I can live with that! For that short period, I could not ring up sales easily because everything I did, I did out of proper sequence. Totally strange.
I noticed today while driving in to work that there are these wonderful areas that are a real yellow tan and a mahogany brown color - think marsh grasses and oak leaves. I just kept catching glimpses of this and thinking that the irregular jagged edges and those two colors together were just compelling. Overall a grey and rather rainy day, which of course helps pop out those colors. we really need the rain, so I have no complaints there. And now to sleep.
OK, this has just been a totally weird weird weird week. I'm tired. I'm over loaded. I've apparently lost whatever little I had. I haven't been able to keep a schedule of when to go to work with me so that I have it when I get home since last week. Monday I was early, which was OK - I went and had my hair cut. Yesterday I was there insanely early because of the way-to-early doctor appointment. Today I was sure positive I was supposed to start at 11. Got there right on time. uh..... did you know the schedule has you starting at 10? yikes. So I'm not doing well. I made DOUBLE sure I had the schedule for the rest of the week and next in my pocket when I left work tonight. Geesh. They were totally ok with it, had enough people, not swamped with customers, but boy did I feel like a total ditz.
And while we're on the "lost it" subject - as I was reviewing a handful of sites last night for yesterday's entry links, I managed to totally freak myself out about the spots I was having checked out yesterday at the doctors. He wants to remove and check out both of them which is pretty routine but he seemed more interested in the one that was less worrisome to me. After looking at the photos I understood why. This left me wondering - should HE remove them? should I ask for a referral to a surgeon? Should I ask for the day off? Is it likely that it's really bad? If I hadn't been really sleep deprived I doubt I would have slept much last night. Luckily I guess I was so tired that sleep was a good thing.
I did get my flu shot but turns out I had a pneumonia shot last year and they're good for a long time. We discussed side effects of flu shots. He mentioned that some people think that they got the flu from the shot. I allowed as most of them never had the REAL flu. I have. It's bad and worth trying to prevent, even if it means a sore arm, which I got as a bonus. whooo hooo.
And just a general admonition to watch your spots! Do keep out of the sun and have any suspicious spots checked out by your doctor.
My neighbor and I went to see Monsters, Inc tonight. Since the last movie I saw was probably Chicken Run (still one of my ALLTIME fav films), I was a little skeptical. Well! we had a ball. Definitely NOT a kids' flick, full of other movie references. Unbelievably easy to accept this animated world as reality. No problem. Even had a clencher closing.
Oh and the pre-film flick was a hoot too. Go see it. The 10 year old kid sitting in the row ahead of us kept looking back at us thinking "what the heck is so funny?" and that was funny all on its own.
Every year I think something along the same lines. And every year get sucked into the same ol' same ol'.
This year I already have some special gifts picked up along the way during travel etc for different friends and family. And yesterday I picked up some um, some raw materials that were in a clearance bin. Let's just say, I'm taking a page from my Grandmother Mulligan's book and making a bunch of gifts from something else. And they'll be quite nice too. If you knew my Gram, you'll have an idea of what I'm doing, since it was a frequent gift we received from her.
PSsssst (added 11pm) -- wanna see a cool gift my brother gave me last year for Christmas?
OK, I got myself in gear this morning and hit the road to start some "holiday shopping." I didn't do too bad. Nothing huge, but at least a start which is good. And I got some stuff at some incredible prices. Do retailers actually pay anything for the stuff they sell us? I mean, if I pick up something from a rack marked "originally $29.99-99.99, now $9.99" you do have to wonder at the mark up! I lay my money down, I lay my money down. Go Boscovs and Borders
In a housework-avoidance move I began working on the NYQuilts! site relaunch. Yes, different from last year.
Well, I'd say that the turkey crock pot dish was successful -- more than half of it was gone. I was able to get some hard rolls on my way to work, so that was a good antidote for the high spice level. Had a bit with Ron tonight and it was still interesting that the dish was pleasantly flavored but the spiciness was definitely in the sausage.
Busy busy day at work. I don't think I've set foot in a mall on "black friday" in at least 10 years, maybe more. ack. Wave after wave of people, many actually buying things. Some doing some investigative shopping. I was glad to sit down when I got home.
It's interesting that I'm losing a bit of weight working in the store because there's no real opportunity to nosh. If you do a reasonable lunch, it's a way to curb the calorie intake. The main problem is that it's hard to drink enough - by the end of the day I'm parched. And I really wish the genius bar had a coffee bar behind it.
One spicy kielbasa, cut into 1/4" thick half "coins"
about 2 cups of turkey, light and dark meat, cut into easy to eat sized pieces
one medium onion diced or 1/4 cup dried onion
2 cloves garlic chopped fine
1 large can kidney beans
4-5 carrots peeled and diced about 1/4" squares
4-5 stalks celery diced about the same
2 cups white rice, uncooked
4 cups water
1 can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped (set liquid aside)
Fry kielbasa and add turkey. Add onion, garlic, beans, carrots and celery. Stir until hot and onion starts to cook if fresh. Stir in white rice and add the water. Cover tightly and reduce heat to simmer. Cook about 18-20 minutes until rice is cooked. Add chopped tomatoes. Add more tomato juice if you like.
I had no idea that the sausage would be as spicy as it was. Luckily I tasted a piece after it was fried. I basically didn't put any more seasoning in there! I cooked this Thanksgiving night and put into the crockpot to be reheated the next day for the crew at work.
Serve with a salad and rolls etc. Nice break from stuffing and cranberry sauce.
11/22/2001 11:16:00 PM
Happy Thanksgiving folks! Hope you're having a good day and one filled with all the gladness of a day off, with or without cranberry sauce and family and friends.
We'll be joining my folks and brother and family for dinner in awhile. The house still smelled yummily of turkey this morning. Bright sunny day and one that was just meant for relaxing in many forms.
Tomorrow - Black Friday in the retail world. I don't have to be there for 7 AM (Hey, I did volunteer!) so I'll be the one circling the parking lot no doubt looking for a parking space. I did get spicy sausage to throw into a crockpot with some beans and rice and cubed turkey. How does that sound as lunch?
For visitors with their own web pages, check this out before December first:
Quiet evening at home. Tweaked this very page a bit including a new email link. Right now the kitten Gus is lounging on my lap whilest the house smells very much like thanksgiving. We'll be joining the rest of the Frezon clan tomorrow for dinner at the Century House in Latham, but I missed leftovers last year, so I did get a smallish turkey to cook. It's in the oven as I type and MAN does it smell good. Lucky for the kits - it came with a double helping of innards so there's a heap of liver for them to have tomorrow. Everyone should have something to be grateful for, right Gus?
11/21/2001 11:04:00 PM
Interestingly, even though I was tired last night, and I didn't exactly leap out of bed this morning, I did feel less tired today. There's a lot to be said for both acknowledging that something is going on and then seeing what the causes might be. That's actually a part of critical stress debriefing, knowing that these feelings and reactions are normal and will progress and change over time.
Today we were really busy in the apple store, which made the time go really fast. Barb brought in a crock pot full of beef stew and biscuits which was GREAT since Ian and I had been on duty alone for part of the busy morning and so our lunch breaks got delayed til about 2. When I thanked Barb later, she admitted that her secret recipe was Campbells. Let me tell you - it was mighty tasty! The crockpot idea worked out really well, so maybe next week I'll make my chicken glop: chicken (usually thighs), keilbasa, tomatoes, kidney beans and rice. Heck. I could even do that with left over turkey.
11/21/2001 09:30:00 PM
Almost forgot to mention -- it SNOWED tonight! whooo hooo! First flakes of the season. Nothing on the ground of course, but winter is here at last.
It's true. I have often been asked 'how do you get so much done? Do you not sleep at all?' The answer was revealed to me years ago when a woman in my guild said she had figured it out - she had decided that she was my sleep surrogate. What a concept. I get to stay up to the wee hours and do my work. She goes to bed early and sleeps for both of us.
So lately, I've been plain exhausted. Deeply tired. I'm still getting some stuff done, but not to my normal level and it's a push to keep going. what the heck is that all about? I kept trying to convince myself that it was the new job, the change in working hours, the change in seasons. none of that made a lot of sense to me.
Finally I realized tonight - it's my sleep surrogate's fault! She must be staying out and partying til the wee hours herself and not sleeping for me. This means that I'm sleeping for two myself now. That stinks! After the meeting I told her my conclusions and that I didn't think it was really all that fair that she was having all this fun and I might even have to go out and find myself a new sleep surrogate if that continues.
Luckily she laughed. And then she told me that I was the fifth person she knew who was describing this deep tiredness. We talked some more and decided that it was probably all related to September 11th, and hopefully would pass with time. In the meantime, I hope she understood my need for her to take afternoon naps on my behalf for awhile!
Yes, chocolate IS good for you. We already knew that. But according to this report, it can be used as a regular diet feature to help increase "good" cholesterols in your blood. OK, I can work with that. :-) Pass the Godiva please, or as Ms Elkin suggests, a good El Rey will do the trick!
Strikes me as this is up there with my tshirt: Hand over the chocolate and no one gets hurt!
11/20/2001 06:29:00 PM
Last time, gentle reader, I wrote some vague phrases about starting out assuming a goodness in people. Today, although I find all that still true, I find myself confronting those times when people are just, well, incredibly rude.
Today I worked until 4 (was scheduled until 3:30 but was actually SELLING something to a real customer!). As I started home I thought - I'll just pop in to my MD's office. I really need a flu shot and maybe a pneumonia shot as well. I doubted if they'd give me one on the spot but I'd see what they have for appointments. I go in and explain what I need and that I normally work from 9 or 10 to 6 or 7 so I need something early, probably first thing in the morning. For them that's 7 or 7:30 am. After the interminable last name, first name, date of birth litany, I'm told that they're only doing nurse appointments for flu shots. How about 9:30 on Friday. How about I explain again that I work from 9 or 10 til 6 or 7. How about 8:15 am. How About I have to BE at work most days at 9 am, so I can't be HERE after 8 am. Well all they have is 8:00 - 2 pm for nurse appointments.
She actually told me there was nothing she could do but have the head nurse call me tomorrow to discuss this and what's my Date of Birth and phone number again? I point out that of course, I'll be working tomorrow, so probably won't be home whenever the nurse calls me. thanks anyway.
Now how's THAT for caring customer service? AND she was a little annoyed that I walked away from the counter as I explained that I would indeed be working tomorrow and not be there. As they say - get over it honey. It was better than me actually saying what was in my head.
OK, this tiredness has to go away. Today was yet another work day. I realized yet again that even though people come in all shapes sizes and mindsets, it helps to assume that they are OK. Yes, some are nasty. I ran into a whole bunch of them on the way to and inside the grocery store the other day. But if you're in the customer service business no matter in sales or support, it only serves you well to think well of people and be kind and try to do the best you can for them. Yes there are bad people out there. Yes not every interaction will go well. But to start from a mean place or denigrating place is just plain not going to work.
Now I feel better but I'm still tired.
Did a little work tonight on the apple quilt. First though I had a warmed plate of leftovers from yesterday's dinner - lamb, mashed potatoes mmmmmmmm.
Oh, and I ran into a customer from the apple store in Williams Sonoma today. I'd gone to get a new veggie peeler. He had told me when he was my customer that he is a personal chef and cook book author. So he gave me some free advice about the peeler and so I'm going with it. I came home with a lovely OXO peeler. I also got an apple sized tea ball sort of thing. It was being marketed for making mulled cider but I'm planning on using it for my herbs and spices in soup making.
On a different note - I'm still a little sleep deprived today because we went out to look at the Leonid meteor shower at around 5 AM this morning. Well worth the warm clothes and early hour. When you think about the rarity of seeing a single shooting star on a regular night this was a treat - almost anywhere you looked, and large trails, and ever so many. We didn't stay out for hours, but I'll bet I saw 100, some of them large. There were other folks awake and out and looking up as well, we could hear them talking and you'd hear an echo'd "aaaaah" after an especially big shooting star.
Tonight - a nice dinner featuring fresh rosemary to go with lamb and mashed potatoes. mmmmmmmmmm
The seasons quilt is really too large to photograph in my workspace, but here's a quick shot of it, quilting done, but in need of trimming up and binding.
Oh and here's a quick shot of Gus Just a quick shot because he's WAY too busy being a kitten to pose for silly photos. He's made a real friend in Deirdre and at last with Sam, so between those two and Mo' he has some good wrestling and tag playmates.
Last night, I really felt like I was approaching the groove again. I printed out some of the photos that relate to my grant quilts to bring with me on Saturday. I started quilting (!!!!) the apple dapple quilt and was super pleased with how it looks. I'm using a new-to-me thread that was sent by an on-line friend Bonnie. It's a pastel varigated thread and goes from blue through yellow through pink through green. very nice. And nice to use.
I had made a physical note that I wanted to quilt small apple blossoms over the front of this quilt, perhaps with some leaves. I even remember checking what I remembered - that apple blossoms have five petals. So that's what I'm doing - blossoms of various sizes and leaves as well. I'm thinking while I am quilting that I may do a more orderly orange peel sort of quilting design over the last couple rows of squares as a sort of border to contain all these flowers. So far I've done a bobbin's worth of quilting and it's looking GREAT.
Remember if you're in town, come meet me at the Nassau Free Library 11/17/01 starting at 10 am.
Had an email from my folks - they heard about the plane crash in Far Rockaway and said they'd keep an eye out for any travel delays and let me know. On a different family note - my brother Mike and his son Andy stopped by the Apple store today while out shopping. That was nice.
I'm still waiting, mp3's in hand, for my ipod. Of course, I have lots to keep me busy since I have a quilting day to prepare for. Saturday, Nassau Free Library - 10 AM to whenever. Be there or be square! I'll have all the grant quilts with me, in whatever stage they're in, as well as a bunch of other recent quilts.
Oh and one more thing - on a more somber note. From the NYTimes: Why Trade Center Towers Stood, Then Fell This seems to be based on a similar article in Scientific American. (free registration at NYTimes required)
11/11/2001 11:34:00 AM
doodling about this morning and found this cool site which lets you build printable word and number puzzles. This would be great for helping kids practice vocabulary and math skills. In a few minutes I built a nifty crossword puzzle using 11 words about the earth and mapping like: globe, equator, latitude, artic, antartica, greenwich etc. It was easy!
getting back to the iPod count: 405 songs on my machine..... and 628 on Ron's. We're almost through all our CD's! Well, closer to the end than to the beginning anyway. I think after I am done ripping, I'll go through and remove some cuts that I tend to blip over when listening to the CD. Ah, freedom from cuts you don't like Ron's already starting to "prune"!
At beliefnet.com, click on the "Being Peace" icon near the top. Gave me a few moments of thoughtfulness. Nice way to start the day or give yourself a quiet break.
I found this very nice after some bad excitement at work yesterday. In training I had learned that most theft in stores is done by professional thieves. That idea was pretty incredible to me. Yesterday we got to experience it first hand, and in fact, I actually got to speak to both members of the team of thieves during the couple of minutes they were in the store. Totally breath-taking in the speed of the operation and frightening to me in how it affected my thoughts and feelings toward people in the store for the rest of the day. Along the same lines, I read in Dear Abby today something that pushed all my buttons:
DEAR ABBY: I am a grandmother who volunteers in a third-grade class. Last week, a child I was reading to turned to me and said, "Grandma, have you ever been so hungry that you couldn't play at recess?" It broke my heart that an 8-year-old girl could get her brother and herself off to school, but not have food for breakfast. Of course, our elementary school has a free breakfast program. The irony is that some parents would rather send their children to school hungry than sign them up. Unfortunately, many children complain of hunger during the school day. My teachers and I have started a classroom pantry so we can provide a nutritious snack to any student who, because of hunger, struggles to read, solve an arithmetic problem or play actively on the school grounds.
Now - the schools have breakfast and lunch programs which provide free or low-cost meals to students who need them. And yet it's up to the parents to sign up the kids who need and would benefit from such a program? That seems to be so against the purpose of the program. If the school finds that a child is going hungry, don't we have an obligation to provide the child with meals? We have ok'd the expense of such programs. Our goal is to give kids the meals they need in order to prosper and learn. I think we can find a way to do it without embarrassing parents or compromising anyone's beliefs, don't you?
Just counted. As of this moment, I've ripped 29 CD's to mp3 format for future uploading to iPod. yikes.
11/08/2001 11:54:00 PM
OK, I'm pooped, I'm tired, I'm exhausted. But no rest in sight. Yikes whatta week. And the week ahead shows no let up either. More on this as time goes by.
The good news to report today is that our new little kitten, Fergus (gus for short) made it through his hernia repair operation ok. He was wobbly and a little disoriented when I got him home and spent a lot of time crying. I'm sure he's got more than a little pain. I've got no way to explain it to him. He's upstairs now, finally asleep on top of Ron. We're supposed to keep him quiet for a few days and keep him from going up and down stairs, leaping about etc. uh huh. Ron passed up overtime tonight to stay home with him tomorrow. what a guy!
Meanwhile, work continues on "ripping" CD's in preparation for the coming iPod. I'm sure I'm not even 20% done. takes awhile, even using two machines. Ron's machine is much faster than mine for importing the CD files and converting them because he has a CD-R drive whereas mine is a DVD. Never wanted it in the first place! LOL. Oh well, little by little it gets done. Can't complain about it being hard. iTunes makes it easy.
I almost forgot to post the home video of the kitten I made using iMovie. Turned out pretty good - best viewed if you have a higher speed or at least steady internet connection. what's iMovie? A wonderful Apple software that lets you drag and drop and edit video and still and music files into a single unit and then export it to quicktime etc.
Yeah yeah yeah, he's cute beyond words.
The background music is two music files I had on hand from Twink It was the most appropriate music I could find and it always makes me smile.
11/05/2001 10:28:00 PM
I AM 30% GEEK.
According to this easy to take survey, I probably work in computers, or a history department at a college. I never really fit in with the "normal" crowd. But I have friends, and this is a good thing.
Ok, so I don't work for a college history (ick) dept. but I guess that working at the Crossgates Apple Store would count as working in computers....
Today was my parents' fiftieth (yes, as in 5-0) wedding anniversary. They renewed their vows and later in the day we had a family dinner party with my brother and his family and two aunts and two uncles. A good time was had by all.
As I said to my parents as we were saying our goodbyes - they've set quite a standard for us in many ways.
I'm pleased to say that our little kitten passed his blood tests with flying colors and has now been officially introduced to the rest of the herd. We always hold our breaths during the process - it's so hard not to get attached to little kittens. I don't know what we'd do if one turned up positive for FIV or feline leukemia.
as is always the case, all the folks at Nassau vets were just smitten with our little guy. I always feel better when the staff actually loves animals -- gotta be good vibes for the critters.
On the hernia front, we're on the schedule for Thursday for repair of the hernia. The vet said that if they're small, the plan is usually to wait and see if they correct themselves otherwise they'll fix them during spaying/neutering. This one is too large and would be too large a risk for strangulation etc so fixing sooner rather than later is recommended. Should be just a one day visit, but we always worry about the anesthesia. Heck, we just worry.
Here's a plea. PLEASE don't think that dropping your unwanted or no longer wanted animals in the country is a good solution. We love kittens, but it's a huge financial decision for us and one that we don't take lightly. Good homes are hard to find. Please do your best to find a home yourself. And for the record, cats aren't automatically able to fend for themselves in the wild, especially young kittens. In our neck of the woods, they often die by starvation, exposure to cold, foxes, coyotes, dogs or automobiles.