Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Express? You Bet!

I'll post more tomorrow, but I wanted to give everyone a quick check in since you've been so supportive. And believe me, every single kind and encouraging word and prayer have been heard and appreciated!

Well, on Friday I asked Champs to call Express, the temp / job placement agency I work for, to request an interview. He agreed and called them on Monday afternoon. He was granted an interview Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday, he went in and, as is usual, impressed the gal with his work ethic and commitment to customer service. She promised to call him soon with an opportunity. She called him before he got home! At 1:00, he went to a large-format printing company for an interview and started a temp assignment there today. If he likes it, it will go to a "temp-to-hire" in three months.

After that, at 5:00, he went for an interview with a respiratory-therapy company and he has to return a call for another possible interview.

The doors are opening. We are beyond grateful. And Sweet Girl? Well, when her daddy came home for dinner and put her to bed, well, let's just say that joyful smiles like that are what inspire flowers to grow...

Here's some comments from this post:
kenju said...
WONDERFUL! It is so nice to hear you sounding hopeful, and the benefits to the family are great!

Carmi said...
I believe in my heart of hearts that good people are ultimately rewarded. Your husband is receiving such recognition from the job market because it's his nature to go above and beyond. What's extraordinary to to others - work ethic, commitment to customer service, family commitment - is par for the course for him.
Solid backbone and fundamental goodness go a long way in life. This week proved it, and I couldn't be happier for you all. You deserve happiness. Sweet Girl deserves to continue to have so many reasons to smile.
This entry couldn't have come at a better time, BG. It's been a tough week. Thank you so much for your kind words on my blog earlier today.

Paul said...
All Right!!! You da man!!!

Monday, February 20, 2006

A Couple of Thoughts for Sunday

Thought Number 1. My sweet hubby wins the best husband award!
I don't think I came back and gave Champs the proper kudos here on my blog. Chalk it up to really busy or just plain tired; I think they both apply. Anyway....

My Valentines day rocked! Last Sunday I asked Champs what we were doing for Valentine's Day since it was on Tuesday and he leaves town at 6:00 a.m. He let on that he had something planned and had spent about $100.00 or so on me. Now, I was intrigued and ...panicked!

Why panicked? Well, I had to spend at least the same amount on him and get it by Monday evening. I considered a stainless steel bracelet but I wasn't sure he'd like it. A watch was out; he doesn't wear one. He wants an MP3 player, but the one he wants is more than $100.00. What to do? What to do? I narrowed it down to the bracelet and, the obvious choice, power tools. Now, power tools are great, but how romantic are they, really? Give the man a sander and a card that says "you smooth out my rough edges"? No man is going to like that, right? WRONG. Every person I asked on Monday unanimously said "power tools!" "No brainer, Blond Girl - get the man power tools". I had a hard time accepting this, since a power tool is basically an appliance, and if he bought me, say, a blender for Valentine's Day, I would have been a bit "put out". But, everyone assured me that men just don't see it that way. So, right after work on Monday I high-tailed it over to Home Depot and bought him a Ridgid palm sander and a Ryobi cordless screwdriver. Since I didn't think it would be very classy to write "wanna screw?" on the card, I wrote "thank you for smoothing my rough edges". He loved it. Like everyone said; a no brainer. Go with the power tools.

Now, the part where he wins an award is my gift. On Monday night when I asked him when he wanted his present, he said that he would take his then, but mine would come on Tuesday. The next day, every hour on the hour, he called to see if I had received a delivery. Nope, not yet. Was it a singing telegram, my friends wondered. I knew he wouldn't do that - not his style. Was it jewelry? Well, it could be, but why have it delivered when he could give it to me himself?

No, finally at 2:00 p.m., it came: A truly beautiful bouquet of a dozen long-stemmed red roses! In eight years together, he has never had flowers delivered to me at work and never a dozen. He had achieved the gold medal in husbandom. And it was obvious from my co-worker's reactions; the women loved them, oohing and ahhing all week and the men hated them. That's my husband: raising the bar one holiday at a time.

Thought Number 2. ¡Usted es un gato loco!
Gus is amazing. He has two kitty speeds: sleep and 95 mph. Every morning he has to try to catch one of us and is happiest leaping for our ankles. I can tell he's gotten hold of Sweet Girl when I hear loud crying and yelling "Kitty, NO!!!"

Then, when we come home, he gets "the rips", my favorite name for that particular feline habit of running frantically from one end of the house to the other as though all the hounds of hell are on his heels. Between these times, he turns into a boneless animal who can sleep upside down anywhere. And around 8:00 at night is that magical time when he actually wants to be held and will curl up and purr like crazy when I hold him and stroke him from chin to tummy. Those are the moments when I know he's accepted me as mommy.

Now, Gus is the 4th or 5th kitten I've had, so none of this surprises me. But it is fun to remember. And every time he starts up again, one of us is liable to say, "Gus, you are one crazy cat!"

Here are some comments from this post:
princssis said...
OK. I'm jealous. The last time flowers were delivered to me from AR was 1 1/2 years ago on our 13th anniversary, which is on the 13th of July. This was out of the ordinary for AR. Later that day, we had a storm come through town. There's reports there was an aloft tornado, and wind speeds were over 90mph. I was so scared. Afterward, AR proclaimed, "See what happens when I get you flowers?" I don't expect them again any time soon. If they appear, I will be heading for the basement!

Geekwif said...
That first statement (regarding the screwdriver) would have been funny! but you're right, the second was much more classy. ;)

Russ said...
Ahhh.... power tools, the next best thing to nude.
Good choice.

kenju said...
I love it when my cats get the "rips". Theya re too fat, and that running around the house like their tails are on fire is the only exercise they get!
Love the power tools and what you said about them. Mr. kenju can't use a hammer by himself, so tools or any kind would be wasted on him!

Shannin said...
Our dogs are like that - either on doggie downers or puppy uppers - no middle ground ever. When they get "the rips" we call them the Thundering Herd!

Corina Bowen said...
LOL-- My cat use to do the same thing~~she was a very stttttttrange animal.. fit in well with our family!

HolyMama! said...
You must, must, must go ahead and write the ah, 'first sentiment' even if it's with a plain old fashioned screwdriver! He will be buying you roses all the time, girl!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

It's two a.m. Do you know where your Dr. Scholl's are?

Thanks to the indignity of low blood sugar (I didn't even take any insulin before bed! Gah!) I am up so I thought I would spend a few moments telling you a quick story before I hop back in bed. The handful of yogurt burst cheerios I ate should have done their magic by then and I will be glad to be back in bed. But first, Dr. Scholl's.

So it's Christmas and we're doing the whole send-us-a-wish-list-for-the-gift-exchange thing and I didn't really know exactly what I wanted. That is, until I got an email from Famous Footwear showing the Dr. Scholl's Toasty Moc slipper. Un Be Leave A Bell! They were a full-foot fleece slipper with a rubber tread bottom so you could wear them inside or out to get the mail. I was in L-O-V-E and quickly put them down on my list. And I got them! My future sister-in-law gave them to me in baby blue. I loved them so much that I went and bought myself another pair in pink. So I could be toasty in all moods, don'cha know.

OK, so fast forward to yesterday. I got up at 4:15 a.m. because I needed to be to work extremely early to finish the preparation for a diversity team black history month bingo game. You know, create 110 Bingo cards, send out the rules, assemble the trivia, etc. etc. etc. ANYwhooooo.... So I got up at this unholy hour and right away I put on my wonderful baby blue toasty mocs to keep from getting cold. I got dressed in the bathroom so I wouldn't wake Champs. I took my slippers off long only enough to put my socks on. Then I finished getting ready for work.

I drove yesterday, which is unusual for me - I normally ride the bus - but I had to go to the Laundromat after work (yes, it's a long and stupid story, but for now I can't do laundry here at the rental house), so the car was the easiest option. Not to mention that there aren't many buses moving at 4:45 in the morning! I got the car de-frosted and went off to The Big Company. About halfway there I looked down and realized that I was wearing teal corduroys.... And baby blue Toasty Mocs! NOT my black sketchers, like I was supposed to be wearing!

And this is just how tired I was: I did not care. I did not go home to get my shoes; I went to work in my slippers and I wore them proudly. I went to the Laundromat in my slippers and I was comfortable as heck folding my clothes. And the funny thing is - not one person noticed. Or at least, no one asked.....

But it is Valentine's Day today and when I get up I'll be putting on red jeans...And black sketchers!

Here are some comments from this post:
Geekwif said...
You are too too funny! I can't believe no one said anything to you all day! I bet your feet were nice and comfy and warm all day.

Russ said...
One day I wore my sneakers to work because I was just too damn tired to look for the Rockports.
Screw 'em if they can't take a joke!!

Suzy said...
lol this story was cute....I have done this very thing oh so many times I forget how many!! =) Now my problem is, I have two great pairs of slippers and each are missing the exact opposite foot. Ughhh....so I trance around the house with each different slipper on my feet. Hey, at least I've got the right foot on, eh? =) Loved the story and have missed visiting....been a while and I'm glad to have caught up on a few of your posts. =)
Happy Valentines Day to you and your loves!!

Shannin said...
So you're the one the whole 5th floor was talking about!! OK, just kidding. I would love to have worn my slippers in. That sounds awfully comfy.

Some More Tee Shirts for You

OK Folks... Here are the rest of the shirts that I want for my collection and more about our move.

One of these days, I'm going to find Murphy and kick his ever-lovin' @ss! (Red tee with bold black print)
Many of you have been waiting patiently to find out what we named our cute orange and blue kitten. Well, he had named him Chief. It fit; the Illinois family was ready to love the little cuss based on his name and coloring alone. Sweet Girl was beside herself waiting for him to arrive. And then it happened; Murphy stuck his stupid nose where it wasn't wanted. I submit to you the phone call...

Blond Girl: Hi! We're all moved in an ready to come get our kitty!

Kitty Giving Guy: Ah, yeah. Well, there's a problem with that.

BG: Oooookay.. What?

KGG: Well, the other night a family came to pick up the other boy cat and I wasn't home. My son gave him your cat by mistake. Your cat is gone.

BG: NOOOOO! That's our cat! Can you get him back?

KGG: Well, they came from out of town to get him. You can still have the other boy cat. He's the only one left and he's still here...

BG: But, we came over and picked out our cat special and you agreed to hold him for me. I mean, he has a name and everything! We've bought all the stuff and our little girl has been counting the minutes until he comes home. Can you call the other people and see if they'll trade?

*** a while later***

KGG: Well, I spoke to them. They won't give him up. They said they've given him to a child.

BG: Yes, but we had already given him to a child - first!

*** a day of tense frustration ensues, and then the inevitable - we told the child ***

BG: Well, honey, we will be bringing home the kitty's brother, instead. He looks like the other kitty, only tan colored instead of orange. What do you think? We can still call him Chief.

Sweet Girl: No, I don't like chief. I want to call him Gus. His name is Gus. Can we go get him tonight? (can't you just feel the emotional turmoil and disappointment of the child? Insert snigger here)

So, we don't have blue and orange Chief. We have tan and hazel Gus, like the mouse Gus in Cinderella. It's appropriate. As it turns out, I may possibly forgive Murphy, but only this one time. Gus is a cutie and has already turned into a mamma's boy. He's all kitten and is keeping me on my toes. Or, attacking my toes, depending on the time of day and how much sleep and food he has had recently.

Welcome home, Gus.

I'll create my own trouble, thank you very much! (White tee with neon print - either green or pink)
OK, so as if moving wasn't enough, I had to set goals. Yes, goals. I know, I'm weird. See, since I knew I wanted to get settled in after the move as soon as possible, I did the one thing that would ensure I would get my work done: I scheduled a Longaberger party for one week after our move. Then, too, there was the fact that, prior to the move, I had agreed to sing a solo at church - and it turned out to be one week and one day after the move. Oh yeah - and then there was that invitation to the people who moved into our old house to come for dinner on Sunday night. After all the work during the week to get settled, the weekend was overwhelmingly busy and I had no one to blame but myself. Oh well; it was good to get back to work on Monday so I could rest!

The one who dies with the most baskets wins (baby blue tee with an embroidered basket and brown print)
No, I don't really believe that; but it is fun to say. That Longaberger party I talked about? Well, it was a GREAT party! The company had this incredibly fantastic sale and everyone took advantage of the savings. Oh, and I bought a few baskets myself. OK, I bought a LOT of baskets. And pottery. And wrought iron. What can I say? In more than 3 years of Longaberger devotion, I have never been in a financial position to buy more than one or two items. But this time, I got my yearly bonus right at the time when I could play a bit. I can't wait for my new corner stand and baskets to come!

Help! I'm talking and I can't shut up! (red tee with white print)
No, I don't have a story for this... It's just a tee shirt that I should have. It fits.

Here are some comments for this post:
Thumper said...
Ah, see, you get the kitty you're meant for! Gus is sooooo pretty :) And I am such a sucker for kitties...I hope you post more pictures!

Geekwif said...
I knew you wouldn't be able to help falling in love with that little guy. I mean, just look at that darlin' little head. He's so cute!
I like the basket t-shirt idea. If you make that one, I want one too, k?

Monday, February 6, 2006

Wanna Buy a Tee-Shirt?

I started this post on Saturday and it's not done yet. If I don't post it now, though, it may be 3 or 4 more days! Yes, I'm that busy. So here is installment one... There will be more tee shirts coming!

OK, so I was gone longer than a few days. As it turns out, I have only just stopped running. Thanks to you all who left comments and waited patiently for a new entry. Over the last, what, 13 days (I think?) I've had a number of experiences and all of them can be summed up in tee-shirts that I want to have made up for myself....

Here's a few of them:

It Ain't Over Till the Blond Girl Says it's Over! (Dark purple print on a lavender tee)
The move went pretty well. The last time I wrote, I was already exhausted from getting us ready for the move and the next day was closing. The closing went well; I have all the fun pictures of us with the realtor; handing the keys over to the new owner, etc., etc. After the closing, our realtor, Tom, took us out for lunch to ciao Bella, a lovely Italian restaurant. Then we went back home and kept working.

Saturday was the real killer of a day. We went to get the truck and instead of the lift-gate 24 foot we were promised, there was a ramp. They wanted me to take the ramp, but they didn't know that when it comes to customer service, I am a 15 year veteran in the field and I always get what I want. We got the lift-gate, though we had to go to St. Paul to get it. Back at the house, our friends and some friends of the new owners started showing up around 9:30 to help us with the move. In short order, we had 13 men and 3 women (of which Geekwif was one!) working our tails off. After awhile they sent the women to our duplex to start cleaning and prepping for them. The truck arrived with the first load about 45 minutes later. We all stopped for a pizza break and then they started to unload the truck.

Now, after all my tummy surgeries, I was not expected to move any heavy boxes. My role was to be the director and tell people where to go and where to put things. Sounds fun, doesn't it? Well, yeah, to a point. Except when there are 13 men and half of them are calling "Hey Blond Girl! What do you want me to do with this?" and they are calling from both ends of the house. I was running like mad! After the first load was brought in, we went back to the house for a last walk through and cleanup. In fact, my vacuum was the last thing on the truck!

Before we left, I took a walk through our empty house. Already, it didn't feel like ours anymore, but I could hear memories, like sweet ghosts of the past, ringing through my head and heart. The day, just a month after we moved in, when Champs lost his job and we had to fight for the next 5 months to keep the house. Sweet Girl at 5:30 in the morning on her third birthday, calling me to get her out of her crib; "pity tums! Pity tums! Mommy, I need pity tums!" (I had polished her toenails the night before. When I walked in, she was pointing to her toes and her thumbs. She said, "I got pity toes. I need pity tums!") The phone ringing the Saturday morning when Mom called to say that Daddy had passed away. I walked into the bathroom to say a private goodbye to our home. I sat on the vanity and looked at the ever-so-slightly lopsided toilet that I had installed all by myself and burst into tears. Somehow that toilet symbolized our three years in this house for me; lopsided, but still an accomplishment I could take pride in. It hurt to leave the house, because I was leaving our first real home and because it was the first step in leaving Minnesota. Once I calmed down, I wiped off my eyes and walked out. Thank God for Geekwif; she understood all I was feeling and helped me know it was OK to feel it.

Back at the house, we finished with getting everything into the house. I managed to keep my cool for the entire day, though I almost lost it when one of the casters was lost off the refridgerator and I had to convince two of the guys helping us that, no, it was NOT ok for the fridge to list forward two inches to the left. We got it all worked out, though. Throughout the afternoon the guys left by ones and twos until at 6:30, we were done with everything and only Geekwif and one of the guys from our church, Al, were left. We took them to a nice casual Mexican restaurant and then went to return the truck. By 10:30, Champs and I were alone in the house (Sweet Girl went to stay with a friend for the move) and surrounded by boxes. Utterly exhausted, we dropped off to sleep.

I Make Obsessive Look GOOOOOOD (white print on a black tee)
OK, I have a confession to make. I am a stickler for details and once I decide something needs to be done, I get it done. No matter what and to the possible detriment of other things. Now there are times when this is a strength and times when it is a hindrance. I've experienced both in the last few weeks. When we woke up on Sunday, I was determined that we would get as much done as possible - and I think Champs regretted it. We worked side by side to get a path through the living room and to get Sweet Girl's room fully settled. When she came home at 4:00, her room was done, complete with a new canopy and bed spread. She was so excited! Amazingly, she has not had one bad dream since moving here, except for the one night when the canopy fell down and we didn't get it back up. She says it makes her feel safe to have the bed surrounded. I'm just glad that she is sleeping through the night with no bad dreams. I had gotten pretty used to her coming into bed with us 3 or 4 times a week, so this is a real blessing. Anyway, even after Sweet Girl went to bed and Champs was ready to give in, I kept working. By the time we went to bed, the living room was almost done, including a new area rug for the living room put down and all the furniture set up. Finally, we again dropped off to sleep, utterly exhausted and in pain. Champs had to go back to work the next day, but I stayed home on Monday and Tuesday to finish getting us settled.

Monday was crazy! The thought of getting the kitchen settled was a terrifying prospect, especially when you add a Comcast installation guy, a refridgerator repairman and a plumber/heater repairman all coming at the same time. About 5 hours and five hundred dollars later, our refridgerator was working properly again, the TV was hooked up, the kitchen sink was unplugged and the dryer and stove were properly installed without any gas leaks. Whew! Not only that, but I had the kitchen completely settled and looking beautiful and the boxes all broken down. When Champs walked in, I made him go back out and come back in two times until he gave the proper "wow, honey, the kitchen looks great!" exclamation that I was looking for. Thankfully, he was able to laugh with me over that...

On Tuesday I worked and worked until the bathroom (another terrifying prospect, since it is, literally, a third of the size of our old bathroom and has about a third of the storage space) was done as well as our bedroom and all the decorative stuff. By the time I went to bed, I was ready to go back to work, but so sore and tired I could barely move. Remember, please, that we had filled a 24 foot truck. Half of the stuff went into storage for our move, but the other half had to be put somewhere - and I wanted it done before I went back to work. That's what I mean by advantage and detriment.

After 5 days away from work, I went back on Wednesday to more boxes and settling in; see, while I was out, my desk was moved, so I had to box everything up the week before. In true Big Company fashion, I had computer troubles for the next three days and we had two huge corporate communication issues that came up that I had to drop all my work to complete. By Friday, I felt like a zombie.

Check back... more tees to come!

Here are some comments from this post:
Star said...
Boy have you been busy/ I still remember moving into this house 28 years ago. I swore I wasn't ever moving aggain! Still sticking to that. I relate to your comment about being a veteran of customer service. Me too. 23 years. I sum it up this wasy"Never bulls**t a bulls**tter".(hope that didn't offend you. I don't usually blog that kind of language0

Geekwif said...
Well, I was wondering when you were going to finish that post you told me would be up on Sunday. ;-) Now I understand. That is one long post! And more to come?! I like the 2nd one. It was all worth it in the end. Your new house looked lovely by Saturday!

kenju said...
Welcome back - and what a nice long update. You make me tired just reading about all you had to do to get the new place in order. Glad to know you are settled in. Oh, and I like your T-shirt ideas.

princssis said...
Well, neither of those shirts really match me, so I'll have to wait to put in my order until the next line of shirts is revealed! ;-)
It's so good to have you back! I've felt so incomplete the last couple weeks.
Good job getting all that done! I can't wait till you're here - maybe you can light the fire under my toosh! :)

princssis said...
Oh, I just thought of a tee for me: "WHERE is the finish line?" Hee-hee

Shannin said...
My desk was moved on Friday. I plan on getting in extra early on Monday since I know there will be problems...