Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm Hired and Surprised All On The Same Day

After three long weeks, and after giving up entirely on the job at the casino coming through for me, I got a call this morning that they're offering me the restaurant hostess job I interviewed for.

I was told I had to come to the casino by 3pm today to sign a contingency letter to begin the hiring process. I wasn't sure why they were so insistent I do it today, but I was excited and eagerly drove over to do it.

When I got there the lady told me this was actually for the drug test, but that they don't tell people that, because some people won't show up, or will want to reschedule for a more "convenient" day.

Well, they sure fooled me! As long as they don't test for high levels of chocolate, I should be okay.

So the process begins...I have more hoops to jump through for them next week, and then some training, but hey, I'm on my way to a second paycheck again. Hurray!

Notes on Christmas

December 23, Christmas Light Excursion
We always go to a certain neighborhood when we visit my dad at Christmas time that's known for it's awesome light display. This year we found a couple new spots too. My new favorite thing is lights synchronized to music.

To me, looking at Christmas lights is the thing that really gets me into the spirit of Christmas. I absolutely love it. I am a cheap Christmas date, for sure-show me some lights and I'm good!

Christmas Eve, celebrate with Aunt and Uncle and Grandpa
I bought a gingerbread cookie kit for the kids since I never had time to bake this year. This also kept them busy while waiting for Aunt Tracy and Uncle Dave to come visit and spoil them all.

Let the spoiling begin!

Christmas morning at home

The big kids' dad came and spent Christmas morning with us. It was really, really nice, and a small Christmas miracle.

Here's a happy kid that got just what she wanted

and here's one that almost got thrown out with the trash

and who knew my son would still want (and enjoy) Legos at age 21? Nat enjoys them too, and here she and Bub build their Legos together.

I "conveniently" had my purse stolen right before Christmas giving the kids inspiration for my gift (a new wallet and purse). See how accommodating I am?

But the best gift of all was just having all my babies under one roof and enjoying each other's company. Moms are easy to please that way.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Articles of Faith Challenge

On Saturday, the Primary president had a small get-together of the kids who are working to get their Articles of Faith memorized by the end of the year so that they can receive their special certificates. Nat and Shel were there earnestly trying to get the last of their's checked off.

The Bishop of the church showed up, because he too wanted to accept the challenge of memorizing all 13 of these basic points of belief of the LDS church (and be a good example to the kids of course). He sat at the table surrounded by little girls and diligently worked on reciting them to the Primary president.

Nat looked up at him and noticed his Blue tooth headset on his ear, and asked him what it was. Before he could explain, she asked him if it was telling him the words. We all had a good laugh over that---the thought of the Bishop having someone on the line feeding him the answers!

The Articles of Faith are not easy to memorize (although thankfully there are songs that make it easier) and the Bishop left still having #13 (by far the most wordy) to work on. About an hour later, we received a call from him however, and over speaker phone, he was able to pass off this last one. The kids were proud of him.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sick Kid, Warm Dog

Nat has the creeping crud, so I left her home with Sis while Shel and I went to church this morning.

This is the scene as I left--Nat using our "ferocious" pit bull Suey as a lounge while watching tv. Thank goodness for tolerant, cuddly dogs!

The Gift of Music

Two years ago Cam and his dad went around "caroling" as a trumpet and trombone duet. Here they are in front of our house playing Carol of the Bells, which has since become my all time favorite Christmas carol.

Being able to play music and share that gift with others is so incredible (spoken by someone who wishes she had that gift). This really made my Christmas in 2006.

Carol of the Bells-Cam on Trumpet

Friday, December 19, 2008

One Less Job, One Less Paycheck

Well I'm partially unemployed as of today. It was my last day at the printing place. I seriously counted down the days (only 8 more days...only 3 more days, 1 more day to go...).

I have been a printer before. Right out of high school I started at PIP printing running a press and put myself through college with that job. Then I worked at this current printing company some 9 years ago, again running a press.

I know the printing business is stressful. There's always a deadline and there's always a machine that seems to want to work against you making that deadline, but it was something I knew and was ok with, until I came back to work at said printing place. Now I know that I really don't ever need to revisit the printing business as a viable job option again. Ever. If I even think about it slap some sense into me, seriously.

This time when I came back to the printing place, they had gotten rid of the offset press, so I was their Jill of all trades so to speak. They just put me where they needed me. Then I learned that things had gone down hill a bit in the management area, and there was a lot of yelling and blaming and tense feelings as well as very little training.

I thought it was just me, until a gal that's worked there for 12 years confided in me that she planned on working 2 more years until she was of retirement age, but because things had gotten so bad at the shop she wasn't sure she would make it that long.

It was such a relief to walk out today and know I didn't have to come back. But then it was scary because I need a second job still (my restaurant job is only Friday and Saturday nights plus a few events per month). I'm learning that the job market is very competitive right now, even for part-time no-benefit minimum-wage type jobs.

So should I have stuck it out until I had another job? Probably, but already my attitude is uplifted and the stress has melted from my shoulders. What price sanity and happiness? I guess I'll find out!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Poetic Masterpiece?

This week has been crazy. I've felt like I'm on a treadmill and someone keeps increasing the speed. I've been filling out job applications and updating my resume and bothering people to write me letters of reference all in my search for another job (I gave my 2 weeks notice at the printing job on Monday. I figured I didn't need to be working at a place that made me want to kill myself. Yeah, that's just NOT good.)

So on Wednesday night, after doing my day job and returning at 10pm from my restaurant job, I'm sitting at the computer writing my resume, when Sis informs me that if I'm going to do a senior ad for her in the yearbook, the deadline is the following day. Whoops! I know she really wants me to do this for her, she's been pretty blatant about letting me know, and leaving the form in a convenient spot for me, but in my busy-ness, I had forgotten about it.

So here it is, after 11pm, I am beat, I've got tons of things still to do, but I want to make sure this gets done tonight. I search for inspiration on the internet, and not finding anything that sounds just right, I decide to compose a poem on my own. I really must have been delirious, because I just don't DO poetry.

I start typing stuff out, and finding rhyming words, and before I know it, I'm getting all sappy and sentimental and even tearing up a bit. It's about midnight when I finally finish it. I put my poetic masterpiece in a sealed envelope along with the requisite form and money for Sis to take to school the next day. I give myself a hearty pat on the back and I'm off to bed.

Well the next day after work, I start thinking about this poem and go back and re-read it. It is seriously heavy on the sap...and a little dorky sounding...and well, to be honest it sounds like I was drunk when I wrote it (keeping in mind that I don't drink). Sis is pretty hard to embarrass, but this may actually do it.

I can't print it here and ruin the "surprise", but Sis may come to regret pushing me to do a senior ad for her!

Note to self: Writing poetry at midnight, when it's not your strong suit to begin with, is a BAD IDEA.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Tonight Shelby was involved in a school music concert. Mike and the girls arrived before me and I arrived with a few minutes to spare. I had to park way out on the street, and I tossed my purse on the floor board because I knew I wouldn't need it, then locked my car and hurriedly walked to the auditorium.

Well, this is what I found after the program was over:

A jagged hole where my passenger window used to be, and a missing purse. Dang it! I felt so dumb! I don't think my purse would've been noticeable had I not parked right under a street light. It was really unexpected, as I've never had anything like this happen in our close-knit little community.

Nat and Shel were totally freaked out and started crying. They definitely took it harder than I did.

After the sheriff arrived and took a report, I drove home and immediately canceled my credit and debit cards. My credit card had already been used, but they charged only $1. The credit card lady said it was probably a "test charge" to see if the card was good. Weird. I called the sheriff and told him when and where the card had been used, and maybe that information will prove useful.

Luckily I only had $5 in my wallet and had just deposited the checks that were in my purse. I will notify the bank tomorrow, and am racking my brain to think of what else I may need to be concerned about that was in my purse.

Scrooged! Someone's getting coal in their stocking this year for sure!

Special Visitors

Cam and Cass drove up for the day yesterday to visit. I was able to leave work at noon and they treated me to a picnic at the park.

Then we strolled through town for a little window shopping. Really fun! I love hanging out with these two. They're adorable together.

Shel, and especially Nat look at their brother like he's a rock star. They just adore him and can't get enough of being near him. It's very sweet.

Sis and her boyfriend arrived after school. We happened to have some melty beads out and wouldn't you know all 6 of these "kids" started making things with beads, then Cam got out some Legos, to add to the fun.

I got a kick out of seeing them all "playing together". It kind of reminded me of doing daycare!

But it was also really cool to get a feel for how it might be in years to come when I have a daughter or son-in-law. I could really get used to that!

We'll get to have more fun with Cam and Cass in a couple weeks at Chritmas. I can't wait!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Wow! I got to see the likes of Rachel Brice, Zoe Jakes and Ariellah dance tonight. It was fantastic. A different style of bellydance than I practice, but fantastic just the same. A lot of the music was very industrial, I guess you'd say. Lots of clanking and such. The dancing consisted of a lot of locking and snakey movements. Very different, but very inspiring. I think I have a new tribal fusion favorite:

Zoe Jakes

She's just oozing personality and talent. What a treat it was to see her perform.

The cool thing was the performance was fairly local, so nearly all the dancers in our area showed up. As we waited for the performance to start, I made the rounds saying hello, and catching up with women I haven't seen in a while.

It stuck me, that it really wasn't that long ago that I was at a local event seeing a troupe of belly dancers perform, and I was just so in awe of them. I thought at the time how cool it would be to learn belly dance, and now here I am a part of the local belly dance community, and friends with those same women who inspired me not so many years ago.

Wow. Funny what you can accomplish when you set your mind to it. Inspiring indeed.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

There's No Such Thing As Too Much Thankfulness Or Too Much Turkey, Right?

Ok, here I go being all thankful again, because it beats being all poopy like I have been (but seriously this is not my favorite time of year -- I hate the pressure of Christmas and I don't like the short days and dark, cold nights...but I digress, oops!)

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving visiting my dad, my sister and my brother-in-law. Mike did all the cooking as usual, and I did the last minute cranberry sauce (or rolls, or butter, or turkey baster) run to the grocery store just hours before the big meal, as usual.

So in honor of Thanksgiving here's a few more things I'm thankful about:

My dad for generously helping me out with Christmas and for refraining from telling me that I seriously need to get my life together one of these years, 'cause I'm 44, for Pete's sake.

Getting to hang out with my incredibly grown up son and his incredibly gorgeous and sweet girlfriend (who totally knows how to tease Mike).

Turkey, seriously I can't get enough of left-over sandwiches.

The weather on Thanksgiving day for being so warm and sunny and nice! Phooey on all you crisp fall day people!

Having 2 1/2 days off of work. Sheer bliss!

Shopping at the mall with my girls (and dare I say I'm thankful for Mrs. Field's and her tasty cookies?)

My dog, because she's so easy to take with us. (Plus also Petsmart, because it's fun to have a place to take the dog shopping too.)

I call this photo "Dogouflage"

Getting to spend time with my sister. and how sweet she is with the girls.