Saturday, April 23, 2011


Easter beings in 5 hours.

I am roughly 12 hours from an ice cream binge. Why? Ice Cream was my Lenten sacrifice.

Lent is a forty-day season of preparation for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter.

I found this website that explains Lent this way:

"Today, Lent is marked by a time of prayer and preparation to celebrate Easter. Since Sundays celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, the six Sundays that occur during Lent are not counted as part of the 40 days of Lent, and are referred to as the Sundays in Lent. The number 40 is connected with many biblical events, but especially with the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness preparing for His ministry by facing the temptations that could lead him to abandon his mission and calling. Christians today use this period of time for introspection, self examination, and repentance. This season of the year is equal only to the Season of Advent in importance in the Christian year, and is part of the second major grouping of Christian festivals and sacred time that includes Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost."

I've given up things for Lent before, gum, soda, chocolate, but none has really gotten to me like Ice Cream. Forty days is a really, long time.

I was in the habit of having a small bowl of ice cream every evening, kind of a reward for the crappy days I usually have at work. I had come to look forward to that little bowl of ice cream. That is why it was the perfect sacrifice.

I had run out of ice cream over the weekend before Ash Wednesday. On Fat Tuesday, I had every intention of pigging out on a pint of Hagen Daas, but completely forgot, and the next thing I know, Lent had begun.

That didn't stop me from going to the freezer every evening around 8:30ish to stare into the open space my ice cream had previously occupied. I complained to all my friends about how hard it was. Without thinking I turned to my best friend and actually said "I don't know how Jesus did it!"

I had several close calls, mostly involving milk shakes.I know that drive thru operators have thought I was crazy these past few weeks.

I was starting to be okay with my sacrifice when the unthinkable happened 2 weeks ago: darling hubby bought more ice cream! So I've spent the last 2 weeks looking into the freezer every night at this:

The spoon is from a weak moment. I left it there as a reminder that I am stronger than temptation and I can do all things, including NOT eating this ice cream, through Christ who strengthens me.

It also assures me that I will have a clean spoon at the ready tomorrow morning.

I helped the Easter Bunny out today.

I spent most of the day today driving around town trying to find three chocolate crosses. Actually, two milk chocolate crosses and a white chocolate cross. (Tigger hates chocolate).

I have always believed that, while the Easter Bunny can drop by and leave a basket full of goodies, some of those goodies should be related to the actual holiday. I have never allowed a chocolate bunny in any of their baskets. And never had to, until last year.

Again, like last year, I was unsuccessful at locating the aforementioned chocolate crosses. I am disappointed and understandably irratated. Just like there is no "Christmas" without Christ, without the cross, there would be no Easter.

I think that between now and next Easter I will try to locate a candy mold and just make my own. How about that for a new Easter tradition?!

In the meantime, I'm going about the normal pre-Easter preperation: ironing, making sure everyone had shoes and socks (yes, I have teenagers and I still have to do that), getting things together before the mad dash to Mother's church in the morning.

Maybe the kids won't notice the bunnies.

Blessed Easter everyone!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Confession Time: I'm a Packrat

You know how in a movie, when someone gets fired, they hand them a little box to put their belongings in to leave?

That will never be me.

If I were ever to be fired from my job, it would take me three days to clean out my desk.

Why? I'm a pack rat.

This is what my desk currently looks like:

I find it hard to part with things, especially printed information. You never know what you may need down the road. Trust me, if someone in my office needed to know the price of tea in China ten years ago, I have the memo.

Though it might take me a few minutes to find it.

Yes, I know. But there is some method to my madness.

I love "sticky notes." I honestly don't know how I functioned before I had them. I jot down things on sticky notes all the time. I have several sizes and colors of sticky notes and use them for everything from jotting down a quick reminder to scripting whole memo's to document occurances. The downside to sticky notes is there is a limit to their stickiness and you often find them stuck to unrelated items. I cleaned out the bottom of my purse today and found six sticky notes in the bottom. They have random notes (such as "home", which means "take this home") to telephone numbers of unnamed people (here I must apologize, if you are expecting a call from me, as soon as I figure out which one of these numbers might be yours).

I also love highlighters. I use a different color for each day of the week, an idea I got from a former nurse, who explained that each shift used a different color to make chart notes. It was a given that notes in a particular color were made by a particular shift nurse at just a glance. That seemed logical to me so I devised my own system. Monday's are yellow, Tuesday's are pink, Wednesday's are green, Thursday is blue, and Friday is orange. I've used this color code for years. If you bring me the original document of an order I keyed ten years ago and it's highlighted in green, I can tell you at just a glance that I processed the order on a Wednesday.

I use a type of paperweight to mark various stacks of pending work. They are actually laminated strips of paper, each printed with the type of stack they are protecting. "Orders with Issues" is my favorite.

A great deal of real estate, that large bottom desk drawer to be exact, is filled to the brim with my "Things To Do" note books. I use them to jot down my objectives for the day, or things that I handle that day and tick them off as they are down. And I probably have everyone one I've ever used. You know that memo about the price of tea in China? There is a note made that I recieved it and sent it to be distributed to the CSR team and it's in a notebook in the bottom of that drawer.

After 20 years at a company, one accumulates quite a bit of personal property. I have a stress ball shaped like a coffee cup. I have a stress ball shaped like a lion. I have a stuffed fish, a paddle ball shaped like a fish, I have a paddle ball shaped like a lion. I have 2 dozen coffee mugs and about 30 magnets, half of which are somehow coffee related. I have at least 15 different name tags from various events. There is an apothocary jar full to the rim with buttons to celebrate a customer visit. I have 10 or 12 photos of my family, none of which are remotely current.

Under my desk is a box of tee shirts, 4 empty vases, and a box of empty Walmart bags (that I do share whenever we get the "cleaning out the fridge" memo). There is no telling what is hiding behind that black curtain behind my chair.

We have a "tour ready" philosophy, that I am currently failing to meet. I try to conduct my tours in the middle of the room where it's less crowded and I don't have to worry about explaining the cartoon I have pinned to my wall that makes me laugh hysterically whenever I take the time to read it.

My email is not much better. IT has me on their "top ten offenders" list and has since disabled my "manual empty" option on the trash folder. It automatically empties itself every sixty days. The thought that sixty-one days from now I might need something I fliptantly deleted has driven me to avoid deleting anything.

Letting go of things is especially hard, because time and time again, I've thrown something out/deleted it, only to have someone ask me if I have it the very next day.

Maybe it's just the thought that one day I will be able to save the day because of something I've saved in my email or on my desk.

People do come from all over the office in search of things, because they know, of all people, I'm most likely to have it. They are more surprised when I don't have it than they are when I do.

I have a personal goal to have my office weeded and organized by the end of this year.

But it looks like I may have to take a few days off to do it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Confession Time: Lazy People and the Motorized Shopping Scooter

Lazy people irk me.

Lazy people who feel the need to use the motorized shopping scooter at my local Walmart irk me more.

I completely understand the need for the motorized shopping scooter. I understand that I may, one day, be someone driving one. I completely understand why I completely understand that there are seemingly healthy-looking sick people that also need to use them. But I slso know a few seemingly healthy-looking sick people who wouldn't be caught dead on one too.

Our local Walmart has about 6 or 8 of these scooters. Yesterday, while I was grocery shopping, ALL of them were in use. They were all over the place, putt-putting along and making navigating the aisles a little time consuming. I am fine with that.

But when I see an extremely overweight husband and wife, who happened to park next to me in a regular parking space, not displaying a handicap placard, having showed no problem making it from our parking spot into the store, driving along shopping, it REALLY irked me!

I mean, what are the odds that they would BOTH to use the scooters?!
It was obvious that they were just too lazy to walk around the store.

My BFF has fibromyalgia. She doesn't "look" like she has a debilitating condition. If anyone deserves a ride in the scooter, she does. But she won't. Just like she doesn't need to be lifting the milk from the cart, she wouldn't dream of giving into her condition. She is fighting it tooth and nail. And she wouldn't dream of using a scooter.

I broke my toe about this time last year. I spent nearly 2 weeks on crutches, but at no time during that time did I feel the need to use the scooters.

Everytime I see someone scooting along, too lazy to walk the aisles, I think about the movie "Wall-E." You know, where everyone is overweight and atrophied and riding around in little scooters, watching the t.v. and not interacting one another, despite being side by side.

Yeah, it all starts with the scooters at Walmart.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

You Gonna Make Me Lose My Mind Up In Here...

Today was the Moody Miracle League Opening Day! Despite a chilly start, the weather could not have been more perfect. We are excited to welcome a host of new players.

I was in charge of registering volunteers and selling an awesome souveneir tee shirt and caps.

The recent thunderstorms have produced high winds that did damage to the gazebo where we usually set up the souvenier table. I had to set up on one of the picnic tables under the pavillion. Because we have a tee-ball field adjacent, and the other fields behind us, there is always mixing and mingling and passing through from one area to another. We have wide sidewalks on one side of the pavillion and a walking track on the other side, so traffic moves through easily.

Which is why, there was no reason whatsoever, for my former stalker, Dan Smith* to walk his family like little ducks right thru the pavillion, right next to me.

Luckily, earlier in the day I had moved an adirondack chair that we have under the pavillion up next to the table so that one of the parents could charge their cell phone at the adjacent outlet. It blocked the path directly behind me or he would have passed close enough to touch me.

I saw him coming, and he saw me too. Our eyes locked. I sat, frozen with fear. His eyes never left mine, nor did mine leave his. He practically walked right up to me. His wife did not notice, because she was busy texting.

I told the parent charging the phone and another parent because I was freaked out.

Next time it happens I will embarass him. Heck, I'll probably embarass myself.

I will jump up and shout "STOP WATCHING ME!!!!!!!!!"

He will not get away with it again.

*names have been changed to protect the innocent, namely me