Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Christmas and New Year Crunch Time

Picture of me taken by Paul at "Albert's Christmas Party" on Saturday.  I found a dry red!  

Back to work and all things were crazy.  Catching up from needs from Friday.  The need for 3 or even 4 people in my department is becoming apparent very quickly.  We have a PT person helping the Nashville plant interview.  So they need the help as well with that number of emps.  I really think an HR Rep is almost in order for there as it's the biggest plant and that would solve that big need.  I need another person as well.  My assistant is maxed out to the point I'm having to take some things back b/c it's all she can do to get the hires in and the terms in and keeping up with b/g checks and drug screens.  And we were maxed out before the acquisition.  It's nuts now.  I did not work on my regular job at all yesterday.  Many are waiting for things from me and will continue to wait. Take a number and have a seat and get your patience britches on.  You gonna need 'em!  lol

I am taking Friday off, or trying to, instead of the 26th so I can go get Mom.  She has agreed to come in and spend a few days I am so excited!  This makes it feel more like Christmas should.  So we are excited she will be among us and get to see Katy and Cody and get to experience a Christmas with us.  It's like a special gift to me!  But it will be a gift to her as well!  We are so happy she is coming.  

I may have to work part of the day though if I don't get enough done that I feel comfortable with this acquisition going on of the plant in Oregon.  We are contemplating what we need to do and how to do it and how to make it smooth.  

Anyway, I don't like to talk about work on here and I just did.  But it's usurping my world right now.  So not much else to write about, lol.  Anyway, I'm burning the candle at both ends.  I didn't get all the shopping done I needed to do on the 7th so I finished up with George's stocking stuffers last night and also another "run" I always do for him as the holiday nears.  He knows what it is but maybe not the particulars.  So I have some more wrapping to do now.  I will test his stocking but it's going to be pretty much over loaded.  So I had to make several stops and didn't get home til 8:30.  I didn't leave work until 6:15 though.  

Tonight I have another stop I need to make.  Then the rest of the week will be final wrapping and cleaning up and planning the stretch of Christmas and our meal.  

We were invited by George's Aunt for a dinner at her house this Thursday night.  With company coming and lack of time I have, it really puts a stress on to try to do this so I have politely declined being able to attend.  If the house comes together and Christmas comes together and I'm able to join George and his sister, I will.  I always love it when we go, but I'm just afraid that will send me over the edge not to have the time I need to prep.  So we'll see how it goes.  I have been listening to the boundary "The Joy Junkie" on how to get thru the holidays.  Saying "no" to be sane has to happen sometimes.  You know what you can handle.  Working FT and extra hours at that - trying to get things done so you are ready for just the basics, and I just am afraid I'll need that time.  So it's there if I need it.  And if it all comes together I can join.  I want to go but we'll see how crazy this darn week gets first.  For now Thurs eve is reserved for Christmas prep and house plumping.  I need a maid so I can party! lol

I think since we traveled a week, I got a week behind in getting ready for Christmas.  I truly could use another week.  Normally we have more things ready and can party the last half of December and try to enjoy it.  But last minute pop up invites the week before Christmas is hard to come by in my "every minute is planned" week.  I'm going to work to try to make it happen but no guarrantee.  I just do the best I can but I love his aunt and her dinner parties.  So I hope I can knock my socks off and go.  

George is trying to help.  We so counter each other's efforts though.  He is becoming displaced.  He uses the dining room table and also the guest bedroom bed to house all his "stuff" - books, magazines, bills, to do lists, projects he wants to work on, things he needs to fix.  So when we have company he has to clear those areas and he does.  

Here's where we counter - I had all the gifts in the guest bedroom bed and also on the folding camping table I bought for Isagenix parties and subsequent RV'ing to come (lol).  It made a great table for holding the gifts we needed to wrap.  But then we wrapped them and I made a mental note to fold the table up and stick under the bed or downstairs til needed again.  It's a great table!  Well, George put all his stuff on the table and was so proud.  lol I told him "that is all well and good for today but that table is going to be folded up and the bedroom will look like a bed room and not a storage unit".  He said he's running out of space.  We have talked about making a room into our "split offices".  We rarely have more than one guest here at a time.  But I don't know.  He just needs some major horizontal space and it grows and grows.  

Anyway, I'm off of here to get started on the day and head in early.  The coffee is good this morning and smooth.  It's the Isagenix coffee.  It has some tea leaves in it.  I like it.  Maybe not as deep and robust as some others, which I do like the earthy deep robust french roasty kind of coffee - Columbian, Antiquan Guatamalan is a favorite of ours.  

Anyway, we have overdone Christmas this year.  George said "we need to be frugal in January".  I said yeah - and I go to Phoenix."  He said "that's a work trip though".  I said "nope it's NYKO with Isagenix".  He said "oh I forgot about that".  My airline ticket is already paid for and it's the 8th through 11th of vac time.  I think we come back on Sunday though.  I'm very excited.   But I am afraid to allow myself to get excited in case I have to cancel b/c of work.  I think I can make it work though - but I may have to take my laptop and work part of the trip and compromise.  I'd rather not have to compromise but if that is the only way I can pull it off then I will b/c it's a serious and busy time at work.  So we'll see.  I'm trying to put the hours in now so I can do what needs to be done.  Seems these days you have to work the hours you are taking for vacation in the weeks before and after so it kinda doesn't work as far as actually getting time off, lol.  You are really working the hours anyway just on a different day.  But what can you do?  If you are a responsible person you do what it takes to get it done.  

So that said I need to quit blabbing and head for the races!  Ya'll have a great Tuesday.  I'm going for more coffee!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Gifts are Wrapped and a Another Productive Day

Yesterday was critical.  All the wrapping is finished!  I still have some stocking work to do for George and plan to do that tonight. 

We took George's car to Firestone to get a tire fixed.  He had to get new ones.  We took it early and then went to Walmart for Birthday wrapping paper for Katy.  Then to Lowe's to get George's shop Vac that he wanted for Christmas.  I told him that I was not wrapping that big thing.  Lowe's didn't have big huge xmas shopping bags and I am not going to search for any at this point.  I really don't think a vacuum makes a good gift.  lol  But he wants one and got a wet/dry vac.  I'll stick a bow on it.  But he'll have to bring it upstairs first.  lol Then we went to get my oil changed and transmission fluid changed.  I hope it's done right.  I've never heard such hollering and hooping.  I really don't like going anymore.  I'm just glad I don't have to answer all the questions they ask.  It's a nerving process, lol.
I was glad to be sitting over there playing Diamond Diaries. 

I've played that game so much in the last week to relax - it takes the nervous edge off of you and even makes me groggy.  Truth be known I guess it's mostly at night or when I'm tired that I'm playing it so that makes sense.  But I have enjoyed it so much.  I love hearing the "glass beads" clink together and also it has a glass that breaks on some of them and it sounds so real.  I think it takes the stress off.

So we came back home and I boiled eggs and fixed tuna fish for lunch and set the TV on modern fireplace and Christmas music to set the mood to wrap.  And George went out for about 3 hours shopping for me.  I finished all the wrapping but a couple of items.  And George came in.  He wanted to watch the Titans.  I told him the fireplace TV was warming things up but go ahead - lol lol lol. 

After that he finished wrapping the remaining few items. 

So our view now is to go from presents to "menu planning".  We are tossing things around as to how it will go. 

I am hoping to take the 21st off and go get Mom that day.  I've asked if she will come in and stay with us so she can see Katy and Cody and have some fun at Christmas.  I am not going to get to take my Dec 26th as I usually do so I will take her back on Christmas Day night as we will be doing our celebrating that morning and around lunch.  Then I have to work on the 26th. 

I also will be working at night to get the house in order for Christmas.  And work on stockings and menu planning for Christmas Day at our house.  Katy and Cody leave early on the morning of the 22nd to come in.  And we'll get to see them that night.  We'll have birthday brunch out one morning!  And get them for Christmas brunch on Christmas Day.  I don't think we get to do dinner with them any but we'll take what we can get.  Cody's grandmother offered to fix dinner for them all one night.  And Cody's parents are fixing for them one night.  It's hard for them trying to fit everyone and everything in. They also have a dinner out with close friends one night.  We can't wait to see them again.  Then I guess it'll be a while before we lay eyes on her again!

Well, I need to get ready and head out to work.  Hope everyone has a wonderful day! 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Albert's Christmas Party and Final Preps for Christmas

This is a dog that has an annual Christmas party.  Meet Albert.  We went to Albert's annual Christmas Swap at Paul and Judy's house.  What fun, every year.  

I ended up with the ornament I bought!  And I'm happy with that!  Albert looks a little grumpy below.  But perhaps the crowds make him a little worried.  

Once most were gone he wanted a tummy rub!  I kept him from getting into the treats on the dining room table, b/c he could reach if he stood on his back legs.  lol  And when we left, he seemed to say...."Why are you leaving? Don't go!"  I love Mr. Albert.  He's so cute.

All of our dogs got their grooming yesterday.  We made it to the party on time.  
We came home and then worked on cleaning up and picking up the house to get a head start on today. 

Today we have to go get George's tires fixed and my oil change and get some birthday wrapping paper.  I have to finish up the wrapping and do some planning for the next week. 

I've invited Mom to come visit and I would go get her on Friday and take her back on Christmas Day.  We have snow in the forecast possible for that day, of course.  But they are not sure of the forecast - so we might have to alter our plans a bit on the timing if it IS going to snow.  But we will get it figured out.  

I got up about 4:30 or 5 this morning, woken up by Tugie who was trying to make a bed out of my chair pillow.  I guess I need to redo her bed with a fresh blanket b/c she is tired of her bed.   So I'll work on that today.  

We stopped and got diapers for Tugie on the way home from the party last night.  She has been peeing "lakes" and my guess is beginning to lose her control.  My guess is her kidneys are starting to fail as she is drinking a lot of water and the peeing massive amounts.  We are amazed that she is still with us.  Bless her little heart.  She walks like a really old woman but she still eats like a horse. She has been very sweet to allow me to put her diaper on.  She has always let me dress her.  So when we go outside we have to take the diaper off and put it back on.  Thank goodness it is velcro like so you can reuse the diaper when we come back in if it is not soiled already.  

The diapers were $16 a pack.  I looked at a diaper made of material.  I told George we'd have to have several if we went that way b/c I can't wash it every night.  So we just went with disposable as at least we got a pack of them.  

I need to order her more doggie shirts.  I have two but we need to change them more than a couple of times a week.  I do towels and such about once a week so how many ever will get me thru a week.  A couple more would help.  She loves her doggies shirts.  It's hard to find just a basic doggie shirt in the store that is not a costume, really heavy, or has something stupid on the front.  lol  So Amazon here we come. 

Oh that party was wonderful yesterday.  So much food! Good people! Made new friends! Got to catch up with some old friends.  Oh so fun!  

Anyway, George is up so I'm going to fix us some eggs and get ready to go drop off his car.  Ya'll take care!  

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Christmas Past, Christmas Present, Christmas Future

I guess the week was so busy trying to dodge stress from every angle that the first part of my morning, aside from the normal morning routine of doggies and getting the laundry going, I really just wanted to sit and play the new King game Diamond Diaries (akin to candy crush).  I love to hear the glass beads crush against each other.  I needed to "VEG".  I did get the kitchen cleaned, flannel sheets washed, and most all the laundry done and dogs required a lot of attention..  I finally got into the wrapping around 10:30 or so and felt guilty I hadn't already done it.  

I got all George's stuff out and wrapped it first.  Then started on the rest.  I am 80% through.  Now I know what I have and know kinda what is left to get.  George had picked out a few things to wrap and I didn't have them all written down.  I do need to get him a few more goodies so he'll have some more surprises.  I will take care of that one night this week.  

I played Christmas music.  Christmasing now for me has a range of emotion.  And I let them come and go.  Sentimental feelings and the love and joy and fun of the Christmases past.  It seems since Dad has passed the peace of the holidays in my extended family is hard to come by.  I miss my grandmothers and my grandfathers who gave such love through the years.   I love remembering the Christmas mornings with my Kate as she opened the gifts and saw what Santa left and went through her stockings.  And while we will miss that going forward, as she is married now and starting new traditions, we look forward to celebrating whatever day we can get them here.  It's joyous thinking about the future and what it will bring.  

Part of being alive, is realizing that the only things that is consistent is CHANGE.  It's not always easy to accept.  But it is forthcoming.  Embracing what you have and going through the Bah Humbug process and de-Scrooging ones self takes guts, allowing yourself to love thru the frustrations and letting go of traditions, and learning to appreciate the Christmas pasts, Christmas presents, and Christmas future.  It's a non-selfish way of being able to love those around you, to accept that change is inevitable, but life can still be great if you let it.  I love yesterday's entry - about choosing to enjoy life if you just choose not to be a miserable cow!  That will always crack me up.

I smiled at this yesterday in my living room.  I'm going to LOVE sharing this bottle of Antibellum with my love this season.  I love that wine, and will savor it with every sip - most likely on the night we fix the prime rib. 

So the day went quickly.  I stopped to fix pop corn at some point.   Just because!  And Tugie and I ate popcorn and watched part of a show on YouTube, Traveling Robert.  His are longer episodes and I needed to get back to wrapping.  

Then at 4 it was time to get ready for our dinner out.  What a great time we had.  A great meal.  We went to Texas de Brazil.  George's boss took his department out, spouses included, for this wonderful meal.  

You can click on the link above on "Texas de Brazil" and see the skewers of meat they pass around.  I think we liked it better than Rodizio.  We had all kinds of steak, prime rib, leg of lamb, bacon wrapped chicken, bacon wrapped filet, polish sausage.  And a wonderful salad bar.  All so good.  We split dessert - Creme Brulee.

So George and I are taking the pets for their Spa Day today and then running errands while that is going on.  And then we pick them up and take them home and head to a party at a friend's house, the annual Topham's Ornament Swap party.  Dirty Santa is played with the ornaments but you only get ONE swap if  you don't like what you opened and it stops there.  lol  I've played it before where it keeps going until everyone has swapped in that turn. 

So it will be a fun day.  Sleep was good last night.  We are about to head out.  Have a wonderful day.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Equipping Yourself to Deal with Holiday Stress

Monday I'll find out who my secret Santa is.  They have been so good to me!  

I did not blog yesterday as I really needed to get so much done at work and I really needed today off to finish getting ready for Christmas.   So it worked.  There is much to do but none of it so critical it couldn't wait until next week.  

So here I sit and able to enjoy coffee and blog before I dive into the day.

This year, like all the others, has been stressful.  Having had lessons in "boundaries" and relying on God in the challenging times, and a supportive spouse this season, and wonderful friends, I've been able to manage and keep a good spirit in the madness.  

It seems like the devil has tried to knock me down at every angle and at every opportunity.  And even the ones you think should be giving you the most love and support - can give you more grief than anyone.  So it helps to be equipped. 

I am so thankful that I have had lessons in "YOU are ENOUGH" and "Self-Care" and how you talk to yourself in your own head and getting rid of unhealthy negative thoughts that we tend to do by saying to ourselves "I guess I'm not good enough" or "maybe I'm not a good person" or "I'm so stupid" or any of those things we tell ourselves when the world gives us kickback. 

I am thankful during the stress of the holidays that I can sip my coffee and have faith.  That I am equipped in my psyche to get through it.  And that I know what my body, mind, and soul needs.  I also realize that I am human, fall short, and will never be able to meet every ones needs and expectations during the holidays.  And I am equipped now to not beat myself up for it nor to have expectations so high myself that others cannot meet my own.  

I am thankful for the blessings of the season and that this year I have learned to have gratitude and that has been a gift alongside the nutrition - what a surprise! 

At 55 I've learned and grown so much this year and probably more than any single year since getting the Master's Degree, lol.  I've also learned that the proper nutrition gives balance to your body and helps with stress, self control, peace and sits alongside with the fruits of the spirit somehow.  If you don't feel good and don't take care of yourself, it's hard to have these things below.  God says for us to take care of our temple.  And then HE can reside in it.  

So as the hustle and bustle and negativity (aka "darts") come at you.  Remember these things.  Don't let it bring you down.  

But think upon these things when your mind starts to nose dive: 

And when you lay down at night, remember God said we can REST in HIM.  How wonderful is it that we can let him take the burdens, as we rest and ask Him to "take this from me, Father, and fix it b/c it's greater than me".  What pure and beautiful sleep comes from that. 

It's amazing isn't it being equipped with what you need to fend off the evil one and his entanglements, which would include those things opposite of all the above.  How you deal with life and how successful you are at finding happiness, comes from within and how you handle your day.  So be equipped and decide to have a happy day.  

Ya'll have a good day.  I'm going to clean and do laundry and get the wrapping done.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Secret Santa, Christmas Meals, and Busy Days

My Secret Santa left me the cutest gift.  First of all, I love the blue and silver paper.  You know I don't really like Christmas colors lol. So this was perfect!   OF course when getting a gift, the color of the wrapping paper doesn't matter. lol

The gift was so nice.  Cactus ornaments to remind me of Katy and Cody in Texas.  Not that I'd ever forget them.  But it reminds me of our trip and memories of being there.  And a pretty 2019 calendar with pretty scenes and Psalms.

I've been adding Christmas cards to the tree in my office. 

Here is the break room tree from the plant below.  Our meal at the plant went very well.  The food was wonderful.  We helped  get the tables set up and filled in the food when needed and helped serve it and put ice in cups and poured the drinks and cleaned up afterward so it was ready for 2nd shift.  And that shift is much smaller and is not as big of a process.  They can handle the small crew.   The catering folks set it up always. So that part no one has to worry about.  Anyway all went well.  Since we were there, and there was left overs, we decided to eat ourselves instead of grabbing lunch out. It was heavenly.  And we get the same meal today at Corporate.  It's our turn.

My world was crazy yesterday.  Everyone has something they need for me to do for them.  But I had a conf call at 9 and left for the plant at 10 and back at our place at 1:30 where I had orientation and following up making sure that our sales folks are on boarded.  And then on to a project for my boss which took the remainder of the afternoon.  I stayed til our offices close.  We are supposed to be out by 6:00 but I know some folks stay as late as 8:00.  I don't like to stay that late by myself.  So I left at 6 when another person encouraged me to go home and finish tomorrow.  So here we are in tomorrow and I am hurrying with this so I can get in early.  

I want to take Friday off to finish with our Christmas wrapping.  But if I do I have to get a lot done today and tomorrow.  

Last night we invited our neighbor to come over for wine and dinner - she had already eaten but we gave her a glass of wine and paid her for taking care of Little Bit and looking out over things while we were gone.  

And we had the best time talking!  I fixed dinner after she left.  It was 9 or close to it when I began cooking dinner I think.  I was fixing spaghetti so it didn't take long.  We ate and I was in bed by 10.  Surprised I was able to get up this morning!  

Katy texted us to let us know that they were leaving Texas on the 22nd and so Findlay will be arriving at our house that night and they will be here for Christmas and have to leave on the 27th.  George and I have to work on the 26th now.  I was off but my assistant needed the day off for something important she needs to do and so I will work b/c someone needs to be there.   But we'll get to see her at least some during the 23rd, 24th or 25th while they are in town.  They will be staying with Cody's parents this trip while we keep the doggy. 

Anyway, I need to go so I can *try* to get there earlier.   Traffic has been hideous anyway.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Christmas Time Fun and a Few Christmas Woes

My Secret Santa was nice to me today.  Lots of favorite goodies.  

Yesterday was very busy.  Started with 227 emails which kept coming.  Most were resumes from two office positions listed.  We have enough resumes that I put the jobs on hold for now as that many emails are just disruptive to deal with.  IF we need more again, I'll switch it back to active.  We'll weed through what we have first. We need a full time recruiting person just to do ads, forward emails/resumes to the hiring manager after screening them, help interview and so forth, and coordinate all the hiring portion then I can concentrate on everything else.  It's getting way too busy for just two people in HR.  

It was announced yesterday that we are taking over a new plant near Portland, Oregon.  I've checked.  It's over an hour to the beach I think.  lol  So as you can imagine our world is going to get even crazier as we add anywhere from 40 to 60 people. 

My assistant and I went to buy the drinks and desserts and some back up supplies for the plant and office meals.  I took her to lunch for helping me do this.  I paid for it - not the company.  It took two buggies of food to get it all.  We had it separated out by facility to make it an easier process.  You know us women, most of us like to be organized.  We have our process.  

So we go through the line and the cashier, who also has her process, you gotta love it - was like "oh no, I must have all the paper goods first out of all the buggies, and we'll do it like that".  I was like "no we have a process; it goes to several locations and has to be bagged a certain way".  She insisted and said "let me ring all the like things together as it'll be easier"  I said "but then we will have to separate it all out again and count it in certain quantities".   She was nice but persistent so I finally said "Let's just do this, it's three separate orders".  I had to do it that way so she would give it up already.   I mean good grief.  I think she finally "got it" what we were trying to do.  She lightened up and then bragged on us for having two buggies of stuff but the cost was minimal.  She said "ya'll did good".  I laughed at how us women are so organized at how we want to do things in certain orders.  She just didn't understand what was going on.  But we got it done.  

The funniest thing about the Kroger experience was that my cart made noises - not just any noise, but like a wild hiena on a rampage kind of noise.  Like some kind of flock of birds on steroids.  People stared and laughed or tried not to laugh.  If they smiled at me I would say "we have arrived" and "we're here".  Christina followed way behind me as if "I do not know this person".  I haven't had that much fun in a long time.  Next time you want to laugh, grab the squeakiest cart.  Here's a clip: 

I also got Aunt Martha's gifts sent via UPS.  George wanted me to use the Postal Service as it would be cheaper but their line was 15 to 20 deep.  I didn't have that kind of time.  The UPS store two miles away had ZERO people in line. 

And we heard from Katy and they began opening their 12 days of Christmas box we gave them.  They opened one of the days.  They get to pick which "day" they want.  There is two gifts in each day, one for each of them.  Here's pics.  They are sometimes silly gifts.  Cody loves dinosaurs so George bought this memo holder to be funny mainly.  And Katy's gift in the box was a pig in the blanket. 

We howled at the pic that came next. 

The pig had been added to the Manger Scene!  lol

Awww how funny. 

Anyway, George fixed pork chops for dinner and hominy and there was a third thing which I cannot recall at this point.  We watched Mr. Robot.

 And then my sister called and Christmas is up in the air again but I think we got it worked out.  My sister had asked me a while back if we could eat early so the guys could watch the Alabama game on the 29th while we did presents and desserts after dinner out.  George was happy with that.  Normally we watch the Hallmark or Lifetime Channel in the background.  Didn't bother me which one it was but we had one in the family that doesn't want the game on in the background while opening gifts.  Everyone else is fine with it.  But the one family member is so upset that we discussed whether to change it to another channel or change the date to a date in January on a non-game day when everyone is available.  But that seemed sillier than fussing over what was on TV.  So we decided to keep the date and please 86% of those present.   Sometimes you just want to do the John Grisham thing and skip Christmas.  It's hard to please everyone!  It was hard enough to get a date agreeable to 2 of the 3 families that even sortof worked.  So let's take it for what it's worth and move on!  I wish life could be perfect for everyone but sometimes you gotta give a little.  To me what is on TV in the background is no big deal.  What is important to one person is not to another.  If someone is willing to host the party they get to pick what is on TV at the time.  That only makes sense to me.  At this point, we should be glad we are all going to be in the same room b/c the TV thing is only a small wave compared to some really big waves in the past.  Life is so stressful.  Especially when trying to get family together.  It's always something! Always!

Anyway I'm off to get the day going.  Much to do with the holiday meal at the Nashville plant today.  They are always short staffed and needy so off to help them with their meal for the employees so they get a good meal from the Company.  And then back to the office to do an orientation with two sales folks. 

And then maybe hopefully I can have an hour or two get something ---anything done!!

I'm off Friday and have cancelled my day after Christmas vacation day, to let my assistant have the day.  She decided she needed the time off so I'll work and let her have it.  I was going to enjoy the day at home in coffee and PJ's.  But I'll switch to another day, I guess. If I can take it.  I'll get the day one way or another!  I do not loose vac time!  They are too precious and we work too much in life in my opinion as it is with no time to take care of our families and homes. 

So I need to go.  I'm like 20 min behind. Yikes.