Thursday, October 30, 2008

Attack of the Crazy Aunt

I am going to be totally and completely irreverent here.....so if you can't take jokes about aging nuns...please stop reading now! The Background - Sr. Marcelle is my Dad's sister. She's been a nun since she's 17 and she's now 85. She's started to lose it a bit, as you can well imagine with a woman of that age. However, even when she was younger, she was always a bit of a PITA. Last year I ended out inviting her and 2 extra nuns to my parents' 50th wedding anniversary party because she finagled me into it.......but I digress. The Rest of the Background - Aunt Isy is my Dad's brother's widow. She moved into my neighborhood last year. Sadly, her only son passed away this week. She really has no blood relatives.....just her in-laws who are my parents and my family. I've been helping her out with some financial stuff so of course I was one of the first to know about her son. So today I get a voice message from Sr. Marcelle, "Karen. Uh........I guess it would be easier if you call me back. Here's my number." and she proceeds to give me my PARENTS' phone number. HUH? She lives about 2 1/2 hours away from my parents and doesn't drive. But who knows - maybe she wanted to be with my parents to commiserate over my cousin's death. (my cousin had elected to have no funeral or service of any kind, so she wasn't there for the funeral). So I figure she's just being cute....giving me my parent's number so she could answer their phone and "surprise" me there. So I call my parents' house, and my Dad answers. "Hey - I guess you have Sr. Marcelle there, huh?" My Dad was quite confused. "No," he says. "What the hell are you talking about?" Apparently Sr. Marcelle was just confused and somehow gave me my parents' number instead of her own. Okay. So I call her back at the convent. She just wanted to let me know about my cousin's death. uh huh. I already know, Auntie. She just wants me to make sure to call Aunt Isy every now and then - to reach out to her. I already am doing that, Auntie. Then she proceeded to tell me I was her favorite. Great. I called my Dad back, because he was bursting with curiousity over why Sr. Marcelle called me. When I told him I was her favorite, he said in that case, he'd sit me next to her at Thanksgiving. Great.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Challenge

I saw this post on my friend Joan's blog "How to Be a Housewife" www.joanoh2.blogspot.com and thought I'd give it a try. The trick is to answer each question with just one word. If you read it and try it on your blog, let me know and I'll come over and read it! 1. Where is your cell phone? bedroom 2. Where is your significant other? Work 3. Your hair color? Reddish 4. Your mother? Home 5. Your father? Work 6. Your favorite thing? Reading 7. Your dream last night? Singing 8. Your dream/goal? Grandkids 9. The room you're in? Bedroom 10. Your hobby? Cross-stitching 11. Your fear? Crashing 12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Home 13. Where were you last night? Bed 14. What you're not? Angry 15. One of your wish-list items? Travel 16. Where you grew up? Massachusetts 17. The last thing you did? Showered 18. What are you wearing? Pants 19. Your TV? Off 20. Your pet? None 21. Your computer? Nice 22. Your mood? Happy 23. Missing someone? Hubby 24. Your car? Fixed 25. Something you're not wearing? Shoes 26. Favorite store? None 27. Your summer? Wet l28. Love someone? Crazily 29. Your favorite color? Purple 30. When is the last time you laughed? Evening 31. Last time you cried? Months

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This and That

Several things to write about today. We'll start off with bad news - My car went into the shop yesterday. Actually it's been in the shop about three times in two weeks. A big fat pain in the butt when you have to shuttle each other to jobs, etc. My hubby loves this independent mechanic, but I think he's difficult because he's one man in the shop and if he has time to get to your car, he does. If not, you're out of luck. Anyway, when all was said and done, all the repairs cost $560!! AND we still have to get a front-end alignment. I hate cars!!! The sad news today is that my cousin Michael has passed away. It's a long story.....his mother, my Aunt Isy, moved to town here in Salem about six months ago....she finally got a space in the elderly housing. She'd no sooner settled in than her son got sick. He had liver disease and was in dire straits. Auntie asked if I'd help her out with some legal stuff because she's literally all alone. No sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews...no grandkids. So I said I would and now that her son passed away I feel just terrible for her. I dont' want her to feel like she's all alone in the world, so I'll try hard to keep in touch and make her a part of my life. And just to make everyone feel happy after such a sad, sad blog......my DIL sent photos of my little Emily eating yogurt by herself for the first time. Hubby and I literally laughed out loud looking at the pictures. Here's the best one: Happy Tuesday everyone!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Higgins Armory Museum

Hubby and I took a trip with Son Nicholas and his Girlfriend Kelly to Worcester to the Higgins Armory Museum. Nick loves all things Medieval. In 2000, we went to South Carolina and he and I visited a Medieval Castle where they served dinner and put on a show including jousting. Nick usually attends the King Richard's Fair where it's the same idea only outside. When Hubby heard about this Armory Museum, he knew Nick would love it. It was built by a guy named Higgins who also loved everything Medieval, most especially Armor and Weapons. He built the Museum to look like a Medieval Castle, which was really cool. We saw many, many suits of armor: I was quite intrigued by the beautiful design work on a lot of the suits of armor. I found out that all the work was done painstakingly by hand. It took up to a year for a decorated suit of armor to be made. Each one was designed for a specific person. There was a 20 minute presentation that told us about the different kinds of armor and weapons. After the man was done, we were invited to handle some of the weapons and touch the armor. We had to wear gloves because the armor is not made of stainless steel and can be affected by persperation, etc. One of the things I liked best was a "game room" where you could try on armored helmets. Each of us looked just as goofy as the other: There was also a bunch of dress-up clothes for the kids, a toy castle and knights and horses and ladies, a puppet theater, and a giant chess game: Nick and Kelly played a game of "Nine Men's Morris" which was played back in the days of the Roman Empire.
We had a really nice afternoon. The place was insteresting and different. It was great to spend the day with my son and his girlfriend, too.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Some Good Stuff

The AAA office I was hired for is in my hometown of Salem, NH. The building they're in was an old gift shop. We are in the process now of bringing in a portable office to put on the site, and the building they're now housed in will be demolished and a new building put up. Today we went into the unused rooms of the building to check things out and, although most of the place was cleaned out, I did find a couple of things left behind. Now.....Hubby is the packrat. He can't pass up anything without wanting to take it home. I'm the opposite, mostly because we live in a very tiny place and there simply is not room for most things. But today I was the one who brought home a couple of treasures. I only took them because I know they will be used. First is this picture frame. The picture is ugly, but Hubby is always looking for frames for his paintings and this one is very pretty. The other thing I found was this mantle clock. We don't have a mantle but I do want a clock in my living room. Right now we go by the little digital display on our VCR and I can't SEE it! So we'll find a spot for this.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Hubby the Musician

My hubby is a musician. He totally enjoys every kind of instrument. He plays the piano beautifully. He also loves his guitar. For Valentine's Day one year I got him a banjo. And last Christmas my kids got him a ukulele. He plays them all like he's played them his whole life. And all this without a lesson. He even has a couple of accordions that someone gave him - which I will only let him play when I'm not home. So far I've been able to hold him off on the bagpipes. If we had the room I'd let him get a harp.

For his birthday I got him a thing-a-ma-jiggy that will let him play his music directly from his instruments onto the computer. (see the previous blog about UPS) After a lot of hassle, he finally got it installed last night and started trying to figure out how to use it. Like any other "instrument" it's going to take him a while to learn how to play it.

He's already informed me that I will be a "music widow" for the next few weeks (or months) while he has fun with his new toy. I don't mind though. I'm excited that he'll be doing something he likes so much....something he enjoys. Hopefully some day in the future I'll be able to put some of his music onto this blog.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

UPS Update

I finally got the package from UPS that was supposed to be delivered a week ago. I had to drive to Nashua - a 40 mile round trip that took me 1 1/2 hours. There was no triumph in getting the package. I wasted my time, my gas and added stress to my life that I really did not need. My letter to UPS: (which I personally think is way too polite) Dear UPS, I am writing to complain about the “customer service” I received from your company during a recent transaction. My husband ordered a part for our computer from Dell. Dell chose to deliver it via UPS. We live in a condo building which has a locked outer door and this package needed a signature. My husband and I both work full-time and are unavailable during the day. After receiving the first notice that UPS had tried to deliver the package, I called the number on the slip and met up with your “customer service” representative. After explaining the situation, your employee first told me the package could be routed to another address. I was delighted and chose my husband’s work address. Then she checked further (which she should have done before offering me that option) and found out Dell had put a restriction on the package that prevented it from being sent to another address. After going through every option I could think of, including: delivery after 5pm, delivery on Saturday, picking it up on Saturday at the UPS Store, etc. I even asked if the package could be sent from your store in Nashua to the store in Salem, which is right by my house. Again, the answer was no. I asked to speak to a supervisor. She hung up on me. I re-dialed, got a different representative, again asked for a supervisor, and he sent me to no man’s land. I hung up and called again, got the same person, who finally got me a supervisor. This supervisor answered everything I said with, “I’m so sorry, we can’t do that.” I finally hung up from her in frustration. After thinking about it for a while I called and asked my daughter, who lives in Nashua to get the package. I had to call UPS again to find out which store in Nashua had the package and was told my daughter could not pick it up if her address wasn’t the same as my husband’s. After some incredulous words on my part, she agreed that it could be picked up by my daughter if she had a signed letter from my husband giving her permission to do so. Finally, I had an unexpected morning off and went to get it myself. My drive to Nashua was 40 miles long and took me 1 ½ hours. I received it a week later than I should have. Your customer service representatives were rude and unhelpful. They refused to work with me and try to think outside the box in helping me retrieve my package. Your policies make it difficult for the average working person to get a package without a lot of problems. My suggestions: 1. Have one or two nights a week when signature deliveries can be made by appointment after 6pm. 2. Allow for packages to be delivered at a different address – including a transfer from one UPS store to another. 3. Have Saturday deliveries or at least have your stores open on Saturday morning so the average working person can get there. 4. Teach your customer service representatives the correct way to deal with customers and provide customer service. 5. Give us some recourse beyond the supervisor who gave me the exact same rhetoric as the person who answered the phone. In conclusion, I will say that I would hesitate to order anything via internet again that would involve delivery by UPS. There are other package handling companies out there and if I have the option, I would use one of them.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Making Strides for Cancer Walkathon

Today was the Walkathon for Cancer that our family participated in to support my Mom, who is a 14 month survivor. Mom had been working out at Curves before her diagnosis, and the people at Curves are huge supporters of Breast Cancer research and the search for a cure. We walked with the group from Curves of Hampstead. It was a bright, beautiful New England fall day....perfect to celebrate all the Survivors who were there with their families and friends. Below is the group of people who walked just in support of my Mom: Back Row: My brother John, my daughter Jamie, my sister Chris, my nephew Marc, my neice Jessica, my friend Sylvie, my husband Tag, and me. Middle Row: My neice Samantha, my Mom, my Dad, and in front is my neice Laura. Our family group raised about $1800. We got there and there were huge balloon arches in pink and white. A band was playing and a dance group was entertaining the crowd as we waited for the walk to begin. There were bagels and bananas and apples, coffee and hot apple cider. There were tables for raffles and lots of free giveaways as well. They did a few speeches, then read off the names of the survivors present who each came up to receive a pink carnation.

My mom on the left with two of her survivor friends from Curves. The Curves group raised $8600. And the Exeter Making Strides group raised $226,000. It was just one group of many from around the state who walked on this day.

Four of my Mom's granddaughters: Jamie, Jessica, Samanth and Laura.

Everyone did a great job of walking the 3.2 miles, including my Dad who underwent triple-bypass surgery in January. I'm so proud of both my parents for their courage and strength, and proud of my whole family for supporting such a worthwhile cause.

Friday, October 17, 2008

STUPID UPS!!!!

I am so thoroughly *&%$ed off at UPS I could spit!! Here's how the story goes:
I bought Hubby a thing-a-majiggy for the computer that will allow him to record his music from his keyboard, guitar, etc digitally and put in on the computer where he can use the software to edit it, mix it, etc. Of course, he went to install it and it needed some other kind of doo-dad that would allow it to work on our computer. So he went online to Dell and ordered it. ($22.95 plus shipping).
Wednesday we came home and there was the sticker on the outside door of the condo building saying UPS had tried to deliver it but no one was home. I didn't read until it was too late to call that they needed a signature.
Thursday we came home to another sticker saying they'd made a second attempt. This time I called right away and listened through the EXTREMELY annoying voice mail system. (do they think if they try to make the voice sound human we will think it's a real person????) I finally got ahold of a person and told her that we would not be home to give a signature. She says, "We can send it to another address".
Fantastic. Send it to my husband's work address.
"Oh no, sorry," she says, "the shipper (Dell) has put a restriction on it that it can't be sent to another address."
Okay. How about delivering it Saturday?
They don't deliver on Saturdays.
Okay. How about you keep it at the store and we'll pick it up? What are your hours?
9-6, Monday through Friday. uh huh. And it's at the NASHUA store.
I tell her we can't get to Nashua in the middle of the day, it's too far.
She snidely remarks, "It's ONLY 16 miles."
yea, but as they say in these parts, "You just cant get thea from hea". How about if you transfer it to the Salem store (I could WALK to the Salem store from my house).
Sorry, we can't send it to a different place.
Okay, let me get this straight. You can't deliver it during a time when I will be home to sign for it. You can't deliver it to a different address. We can't pick it up during business hours. How about I speak to your supervisor??
"Sure," she says. And hangs up on me!
I call back.....frantically pushing the 000000000 button until the computerized voice gives up and sends me to a person. A guy answers. I tell him I was waiting for a supervisor when I was hung up on. He says, "Can I help you?"
"Are you a supervisor?"
"No."
"Then you can't help me. Give me a Supervisor."
He sends me to some bizarre voice mail place that was obviously meant for corporate accounts.
I hang up and viciously pound on the 000000 buttons again until I get a person. It's the same guy. By now I'm livid. "Do not hang up on me. Do not lose me. I want a supervisor....NOW!"
I finally talk to a supervisor who basically tells me the same thing. "Sorry, there's nothing I can do. Sorry, that's our policy. Sorry, we signed a contract with Dell and will not allow us to change addresses. Sorry Sorry Sorry. The only thing we can do is have a neighbor sign for it. I tell her I don't have neighbors who hang out at home waiting for my packages. And wouldn't that violate the "can't send it to a different address" rule????
I finally hang up on her (as she's in the process of wishing me a nice day). I'm beyond frustrated and ready to strangle someone. Later in the evening I think about my daughter who lives in Nashua, who might have some free time in the middle of the day. I call her up and of course she says she'd be happy to go get the package. (After Hubby bribes her with the promise of ice cream).
Naturally when I check to see where the UPS store is in Nashua, there is more than one so I must go AGAIN and call UPS to find out which store it will be at. When I tell the woman my daughter will pick it up, she says, "Be sure she has a picture ID with her."
OMG!!! Does it have to be her name on the package?????? "Does she live in the household? Is her last name the same as on the package?" No. Then she can't ....UNLESS.....she has a SIGNED NOTE from Hubby saying he gives her permission to pick it up!!!! ARE YOU FRIGGIN KIDDING ME??? (yes, I actually said that to her). Nope, not kidding. A neighbor can sign for it with no note, but my daughter can't.
So that's our plan to get the package. Hubby will give Jamie a note on Sunday when we see her so she can go to the UPS store next week and get the package. If they give her a hard time....you will see the fireworks in all parts of the country!!
PS....I will post on my blog the letters I intend to write to both UPS and Dell.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Babysitting Emily

I've been having a wonderful time babysitting Emily every Wednesday night while DIL Kara goes to her mother's to teach piano lessons. (her mother has a studio in her house). Kara leaves about 2:30 and Doug doesn't get home until around 6. It's been great for me.....I would have missed seeing her every week like I used to when I babysat during the day last week.
We always have lots of fun. She's the happiest baby you'd ever want to meet. She's very content to play with her toys. Her mom left a kitchen cupboard unlocked for her to play in: (Joan, notice the cups!!)

video

My very favorite time with he is giving her a bath at night. She loves the water......has no fear:

Then she gets all dried off and rubbed with lotion and into her jammies and she smells so good!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tag's Birthday Party

It sure was fun to have all the kids over for Tag's birthday yesterday. We all did a great job keeping it a secret. He says he had no idea.....to the point that when Doug showed up first with Emily he thought they were just dropping by for a visit. It wasn't until Jamie showed up that he figured something was going on. We're so sneaky!! The only one not there was DIL Kara. Doug was there with Emily, Nick and his girlfriend Kelly, Jamie, Tag's daughter Wendy and her boyfriend Allan and the new baby, Noah and Tag's son Kenny. It was a tight fit in our little condo, but it was okay. I ordered pizzas cause there was no way I could serve a meal to that many people if they all had to sit at the table. The babies were excellent. Emily had fun checking out Memere and Pepere's place. She was very good about not getting into stuff she shouldn't. And Noah of course was a little angel. Everybody got a turn to hold him. Emily was totally unimpressed with him. I thought she'd think it was cool to see a little baby. The first thing she did was went over and took the binky right out of Noah's mouth!! Then she patted his head and that was it. I'm looking forward to more times like this. It's fun to see your family grow. I remember one time several years ago when we were all at a cookout at my brother's house. We were all out on his deck with my brothers, sister and spouses and all the kids....probably about 10 grandchildren at that point. And my dad looked around in amazement at all the people and said to my mom , "Wow....we're responsible for all this!"

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Our two grandkids

Our two grandbabies got to meet each other for the first time today.

Busy Weekend

It's been quite the busy weekend. It started on Friday. I was supposed to work only half a day. I figured I could spend the afternoon catching up on housework, laundry and grocerty shopping since I knew we'd be busy this weekend. About 15 minutes before I was scheduled to leave, the other girl working in the office reminded our supervisor that she was leaving at 12:30 - she had a wedding to go to and had asked for the 1/2 day off. That would mean the supervisor would be there by herself. I offered to stay for the afternoon and the offer was accepted. I quickly emailed Hubby and asked him to pick up something for supper because we were going to eat and then out to a coffeehouse. I got home at six and by seven we were out the door. We went to the Java Room to hear some friends play. It was an excellent night. They out-did themselves, even without the third member of their group who was unable to be there. We got home about 10:30 and watched the end of the Red Sox game. They won. Saturday morning we had to get up early because Hubby was playing piano at the Java Room at 9am. It was their fifth anniversary and they were having music all day. He played for an hour, then we went over to his sister's house to pick her up to take her to a Pow-wow. It turned out to be the Pow-wow that wasn't. We drove to the address and there was no one there and no pow-wow. We felt bad bringing his sister back to her house after giving her nothing. She didnt' seem too upset. We visited with Hubby's mom for a while then decided is was so nice out we'd go apple picking. We go for our apple picking to Apple Acres in Windham. I used to take my preschool there all the time for a field trip. I like going there because not only do they have apples, but they have the most scrumtious home-made donuts. We eat them hot with a cup of cold apple cider. mmmmmm........ We picked a bushel of apples.....oh my gosh....there are a lot of apples in a bushel! Hubby wants to make pies and I'll have to dig out some recipes for apple bread, apple butter, etc. We thought about going out to eat for supper, but we were both so tired we decided to order in some Chinese food and watch the Red Sox game. We slept through the middle innings...Hubby went to bed before the ninth inning and I lasted until the tenth and then gave up. They lost the game anyway. This morning we had to be sure to be out of bed and looking decent because my parents were coming by to pick up our donations for the walkathon. We sat and visited with them for a bit, then they left to go to my brother's house. Hubby made me some french toast and I did some cleaning in anticipation of the kids coming over this afternoon. I also baked a cake for him and had to go to the store on the pretext of getting milk so I could get the cash to have for the pizza delivery. Hubby doesn't know the kids are coming but I'm sure he has a clue. I don't normally make a cake for no reason. I'm not sure what time they'll get here. I told them mid-afternoon. I don't anticipate them staying very long. We'll have some pizza and cake and they'll be off. The Patriots are playing tonight, but I already know we shouldn't stay up for the whole game. Maybe just until halftime. Tomorrow is Columbus Day. I have it off but Hubby doesn't. Maybe I'll do all the laundry I didn't get to today.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

RANT!

Time for me to rant again. Can I just say how sick I am of hearing car alarms go off???? I live in a condo in a building with a bunch of other buildings all around. All summer long there was one particular car that had a very touchy alarm that went off two or three times a DAY! Every time a motorcycle or a loud car would go by, the damn thing would go off! Does anyone pay any attention to them? It's like the boy who cried wolf....they go off so often people don't even check anymore to see if someone is actually stealing their car. They just shut it off by remote from inside their house. I don't know if they guy fixed his alarm so it wasn't so touchy, or if he got sick of listening to it so didn't set it anymore, or if there are just fewer motorcycles out now to set it off, but we hadn't heard it very often in the past couple of weeks. Two nights ago, I woke up out of a dead sleep to the sound of that stupid alarm going off again. I was completely terrified and shaking like a leaf...I had no idea what it was at first. Naturally, I couldn't get back to sleep after that. And last night it went off again. If I can have the presence of mind to look out and see if I can tell which vehicle is blaring like that in the middle of the night, I'll find out which condo it belongs to and see if I can get the condo association to do something about it. If not...maybe the police. I can't imagine any other way of getting rid of the noise....except maybe shooting the damn car until it's dead! By the way, the reason I went into this rant is because I'm sitting here at 9 at night listening to an alarm go off......and off.......and off................

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The New Job

Today was my second day on the new job. Up until now I've been in the training environment.....a small room in the downstairs of the AAA in Lawrence. I called it the cave. No daylight. The one time we opened the cellar style window, the yard maintenance man came along with his leafblower and blew leaves, bark mulch and a lot of other crap into the room! Plus, we found out later the staff that closed couldn't get the window to shut and therefore couldn't set the alarm for the night. eek!
So I was excited about going out into the "real" environment. I knew that the things I'd been taught in training wouldn't set in until I'd actually done them myself for a customer.
It's so much harder than it looks! I spent most of Monday getting all my passwords in order. There are so many different sites we have to be on and a different username and password for each one. Some passwords can be simple. But some have to be complicated because they involve money. Those passwords have to have a combination of letters (upper and lower case), symbols and numbers. Everything is case sensitive. My simple six letter password that I use for most things just wouldn't do. Some of the passwords are assigned to me and I haven't had time or inclination to change them. So I have a list of my usernames and passwords which I have to refer to each time I go on a site. The sites that are web-based time out on you so you have to go back into them each time.
The other problem I had on Monday was getting the computer to recognize me! Because I was new on that computer, some of the sites wouldn't give me access. I had to go out and back into it.....I guess I was trying to trick it into thinking it knew me! The poor guys in IT heard from us way too many times yesterday and today!
At the end of the day yesterday, I asked my supervisor (who is also my friend Sylvie) if I could wait on customers and do some transactions. I was getting itchy to do something productive. She said I could do whatever I felt comfortable with. So today I tried to get in there and handle some customers. The first guy who came in had a simple problem. I was able to take care of him.....all by myself!! I was quite proud of myself. However, I'm pretty sure that's the last customer I helped without having to ask for help myself.
Some of the help I needed was because of problems with the computer. But most of it was just help doing the things I'd been taught but hadn't done with a live customer yet. I felt stupid having to ask for help in almost everything I did. Not that anyone seemed to mind. The people I work with are extremely helpful and very friendly. I just wanted to be able to accomplish something on my own.
My next-to-last customer was the worst. He came in and said he wanted to go to Quebec, but not by the most direct route. He wanted to go via Route 3. I dutifully wrote that down on our order sheet, but didn't know what he was talking about. I had no idea what Route 3 was about. After the customer left, I took out a map and started looking at it. Route 3 is extremely round-about. Did he want to go East? West? Did he want to follow Route 3 the whole way? Did he want to return along the same route or come home direct? I had neglected to ask him any of these questions. I had broken the cardinal rule of AAA - We are not order-takers. We are counselors. I should have opened the map right there in front of him and discussed the route he wanted to take.....talked to him about the pros and cons of going that way, etc. But I didn't. So I had to call him to ask him what he wanted. But the number we had in our membership file was disconnected. He had no phone number on whitepages.com. My supervisor had left to go to another office. Now I have to wait until tomorrow for her to help me out of this mess. Dammit!
The good thing was - my last customer made me feel better. She came in to pay her bill....which I accomplished with only one question for my co-worker. Then she asked for a tour book of RI where she is going on Thursday. I gladly got that for her. Then she started talking about how she was going to the Naval Base in Newport and she wasn't sure how to get there and she hadn't had much luck with Yahoo maps. (Yahoo, Google and Mapquest are dirty words in our business). I told her we could make her a map that would take her directly to the Naval Base. She was thrilled. She thanked me more than once.
Now hopefully I can make the map tomorrow without too much trouble and without having to ask any co-workers for help. If only it were as easy as this:

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Bit Chilly Today

We've definitely been getting some "fall-ish" weather. I don't know what the temperature was today but we had to shut the windows this morning and we even turned on the heat for a bit tonight. It was such a gorgeous day.....sunny, chilly....perfect for hiking.
I had told Hubby I wanted to get outside today. It's such waste to stay inside on such a beautiful day. My new job at AAA has a web page of Things to Do in every state, so I looked up NH and found that there was a "Craftworkers' Guild Harvest Fair" in Bedford, NH. Then I looked up hiking in Bedford and found two areas that had trails.
We packed a picnic lunch and left around 11:30 and headed to Bedford for the harvest fair, hoping to see some really great crafts and artwork. The "harvest fair" turned out to be a big fat nothing. The Craftworkers' Guild did have their building open and we looked around at the crafts (mostly knitted hats and sweaters, sewed coasters and placemats, and painted objects) but there was no "fair". Oh well.
We left there and went to the Heritage Trail. It was a one mile trail along the Merrimack River with some areas that had picnic tables. We had a very enjoyable walk and stopped and had our lunch. The day was just perfect for hiking.
After the Heritage Trail we went to the Van Loan Reserve Trail. This was bigger and had a couple of different trails. There were quite a few areas where the Boy Scouts had laid down wooden walkways, and there was also a great wooden bridge across the brook. It was a beautiful walk in there. We stayed out until about 5pm.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Working

Yesterday was a day off for me. A day off when you're working is different from a day when you just don't get called in to sub. I knew I was working full time the other four days of the week, so I planned to do my housework, laundry and grocery shopping on the day off. And of course, I also babysat Emily in the afternoon. It was a very productive day - I accomplished a lot and felt very organized by getting my laundry all done so I don't have to do any this weekend, and also grocery shopping for three days. In the past I've stopped at the grocery store every day and just picked up what we needed for supper plus whatever we needed from the list. I don't want to do that anymore because I don't have the time, so I have to be more organized and think ahead and plan what we need. It's not difficult, just different. Today was a very un-productive day at work. I have to say that AAA has the most unbelievable training for it's member service counselors. There is an incredible amount to learn, and they make sure you have plenty of time to look at it and digest it. The only problem is.....the trainer loves to talk and she spends more time talking about everything under the sun and not training us! We've been there about nine days and seriously, she could have taught us what we've learned so far in about three. Now push is coming to shove and she realizes tomorrow is our last day and she still has some stuff we haven't even touched on. So we spent the whole day in the training room today until I thought my head would explode. I wish we could have spent more time upstairs at the counter actually doing some hands-on. I guess that's what will happen next week when I'm actually in one of the district offices. I'm looking forward to that - I spent a day there last week and really enjoyed it. I didn't do much.....didnt' help any customers, but I worked side-by-side with a couple people and feel like I learned a lot. Emily was very cute yesterday. She sings the refrain from Old McDonald "E-I-E-I-O". For some reason, she finishes it with the word "duck". So it's "E-I-E-I-O....DUCK!" She has some little plastic ducks and she picked them up yesterday and I said, "Emily, you found your ducks" and she responded with "E-I-E-I-O"! She also learned one of her first words....."sit". Her other Grandmother babysits her at the grandmother's house, and she has a little step between the kitchen and living room. So she's been trying to teach Emily to sit in order to go down the step. Emily walks up to the edge of the step, stops, and says, "sit".....but then just stands there! In her high chair yesterday, she put her leg under her to get ready to stand up and I said in a warning voice, "Emily......" and she looked at me and said "sit"! And she did! She's a genius....we all know it.