Friday, February 20, 2015

the 15th birthday cake that wasn't

My sister and her ex-husband have usually tried to remain civil and share the birthday celebrations for their two children since their divorce. Well, my stunning and super smart niece Diana turned 15 on Wednesday. Her father was in charge of the cake.

He showed up at 8pm. With....a half eaten dutch apple pie.

And he saw absolutely nothing wrong with that. Just like the time he was put in charge of bringing the deep fried turkey to Thanksgiving. It arrived, minus a leg.

Happy Birthday Diana! Emma will be the first to tell you fondant is for the birds, but you deserve a cake just as special and unique as YOU! Here you go:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

sister power: painting the back room

"Come paint the back room," I said to my sister. She wanted the plan. "We'll paint from 8am-noon," I said. "Sister power. We'll knock it out." I convinced her.

8am this morning came and I was still in bed. She had gotten her tax return yesterday and paid off her car. She had taken me to celebrate at the Winking Lizard. What did she expect? I'm over 40. She knows this so she woke me up with a phone call.

Two hours and one Home Depot trip later, I met her at the house. She put together the floor steamer while I prepped the back room. We debated whether the room had been primed. She convinced me it was. Two thirds a can of paint later she would change her mind.

The first coat was finished about 12:30pm so we took a break. There is only one moldy loaf of bread at the house so my niece chose Panera for lunch. She was very hungry from lounging on the loveseat watching The Office on DVD. We swung by the Habitat for Humanity ReStore on the way so I could check for a bathroom sink and a kitchen counter top. I struck out on both but they accepted my flush mount brass chandelier donation with a smile.

After lunch, we collected Caroline at Pizza Hut so Kevin could do his annual V-day shift. Back at the house we divided and conquered with Diana playing with Caroline, Dawn beginning the second coat and me steaming the wood floors in the foyer, living room, and sun room. I joined her after I finished up and by 4:30pm we were done.

We left my ALL WHEEL DRIVE vehicle in the driveway and headed home through a snowstorm. Her Chevy Aveo handles like a joke so she got to pay me back for all the times she's white knuckled it in the death seat of my car. She even did me a huge solid by picking up Jake and his friend on the way home. A quick stop at our neighborhood Subway and then Drug Mart completed the day. She dropped us off and headed home for a hot bath.

I'm glad we are almost done painting because I fear the next time I may be on my own.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

that big box store, but not the one you're thinking

Recently I began working at a local superstore on the weekends to make up for lost daycare income. They hired me as a temporary hardlines toy merchandiser. I get a nice discount in addition to the minimum wage and I get to talk to other full grown humans. Win-win. After Christmas they asked me to stay on permanently(no surprise after I saw the competition) and I agreed.

Toys hasn't been so busy since Christmas but is starting to pick up due to tax refund time. On Saturday during one 5 hour shift I sold the last Barbie Dreamhouse, a Kawasaki Power Wheels, and almost talked a customer into a $400 elliptical. I was looking forward to a lot more of that, but...

During one of my last shifts in January, the grocery manager had pulled me to work in HBC(Heath and Beauty). I got completely absorbed in organizing makeup, which I don't even wear. There are at least 500 different L'Oreal lip products we sell and they all look the same til you read the fine print. Well, I did such a bang up job they told me today I have been reassigned permanently. They even gave me a key!

So today, in between watching the rest of an ADA Compliance Training video, I organized cold medications and pulled expired stock. There was quite a bit due to the night crew pushing the old stock to the back to make room for new items.

I also gave assistance to a few customers. One was visiting from West Virginia and forgot her Vicks Vaporub. She puts it on her feet at night to help her athlete's foot. She can't use the regular medication because her liver is "gone". She said she usually buys the ointment at the Dollar Tree 4 or 5 jars at a time. It does not sound like it is working.

At one point a Spanish speaking couple in my aisle got into a heated conversation over some pain reliever.  I speak un poco but heard enough "ella" to discern they were discussing whether to ask me for help so I approached them. He held up the Advil and said, "For headache?" I let him know the Tylenol was "mas bueno" for headache and they were grateful. He even reminded me that it should be "mejor."

All in a day's work, or at least, a five hour shift.