Thursday, December 27, 2007

No more secrets

Remember a few weeks ago when I alluded to a friend that was "moving forward" in her relationship? Well, she's moved alright.

Congratulations Diane & Jim on your engagement!!!

She's asked me to be a bridesmaid too so it looks like I'll be making a trip to Michigan in 2009. I can't wait! Bring on the wedding planning!

Christmas 2007

Well, Santa didn't come through on any of my last minute wishes but that's okay. I still had a good Christmas.

Christmas Eve I stayed at work until the bitter end. 4:30. Brutal. I broke the day up by doing a Starbucks run at 9 in the morning and eating LOTS of chocolate during the day :) After work I went basically straight over to my parents and then we, along with my youngest brother and his girlfriend went for dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory. It was my Dad's birthday so we wanted to do something different considering we had had a family dinner on Sunday.

After dinner we drove around looking at lights. I stopped at my friends house to feed her dog and then we drove past almost every single house my family has ever lived in in this town (6 of them!) The lights weren't really that exciting but it was fun to drive around and reminisce.

When we got back to my parents we had birthday cake (the traditional angel food with chocolate icing) and then Mom, Dad and I watched a movie.

I went home and slept in my own bed and was back at my parents by about 11am Christmas Day. Mom had the turkey going and we helped with some of the side dishes. Around 2pm we loaded it all up and went over to the church. Our church just finished major renovations downstairs. My mom's cousin and her family and another couple joined us for lunch. None of us have enough space to seat that many people so the church was a great central place to meet up. Plus it has three ovens and a dishwasher! After dinner we played games. Mad Gab, Ziggity, Uno Attack and a really long game of Monopoly.

Boxing Day I slept in and then checked out some boxing day sales. I came home empty handed which was perfectly fine. I worked at the store from 2-6:30. It was busier that day then the three days before Christmas put together. Crazy! I love it that way. It makes the time fly.

So that was my Christmas. Today I was back at work and I'll be there tomorrow too. I'm taking Monday off and aside from doing a layout at the store on Saturday evening I get a full four day weekend. Of course that's already full of holiday parties too but that's my life. Eat, work, sleep, party!

To all my loyal blog readers, I hope you each had a fantastic Christmas and I wish you all the best for the new year.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I know I haven't really been in the Christmas spirit this year and it is already Christmas Eve and they're already tracking you on via NORAD (I heard this morning you were in Thailand already) but I figured I'd take a moment to write you a quick letter anyways. I'm not really in a position to ask for anything because I haven't been giving anything this year but that's not what you're about is it?

So, without further ado, my Christmas list including the big uncontrollable things and the little material things.
  1. To get off work early on December 24th. You must know how it is. Working many, many hours in a week, I'm reaching burn out and being able to leave the office early would be fantastic.
  2. To have all my brothers home for Christmas. I know it's not going to happen but I believe you generally fly East to West. If you pick up the boys while you're in Alberta and bring them home to me in BC that would be awesome.
  3. Health for everyone. Is this your department? I'm realizing more and more each day that my parents and other loved ones are getting older and I ask for good health for them.
  4. No debt. I'm in control of this one and I'm working on it. A cheque to help with my journey would be much appreciated it.
  5. A computer of my own (with Microsoft programs) and an iPod. Not on the list of possibilities but something I really want and would use.
  6. A couple of Christmas cd's. I talked myself out of them at the beginning of the season and now I'm wishing I had them.

There's a few other things I would like too but these would suffice. Merry Christmas Santa. Fly safe.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

"Dude I don't USE raisins!"

Tuesday we had a goodie day at work. Everyone brought an appetizer and dessert (or both). I had Monday night off so I made some butterscotch brownies and buffalo chicken dip. As I was doing dishes I realized I still had time to make more so I whipped up a loaf of banana bread and I threw in chocolate chips like I always do.

There were lots of leftovers and my co-worker was eating a piece of banana bread yesterday. He said "There's chocolate chips in this! You're supposed to use raisins". Uh, no. No thank you. Raisins are the one thing that I DON'T like. My mom used to make bran muffins and she'd make half the batch with raisins for my dad.

When we went trick-or-treating at Halloween we'd come home and go through our candy. The first thing we'd do was remove all the boxes of raisins and give them to my dad. Of course he'd still try and get chocolate and candy from us but he knew the raisins were definitely his.

So, no raisins. Especially in my banana bread!!!

But craisins? Bring them on! Not in my bread though. Just on a salad or straight.

~Heidi...not a raisin fan...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas is Cancelled

After much discussion, debate, justifying and soul searching, Christmas has been cancelled for my family. Cancelled in the sense that we won't all be getting together and we won't be exchanging gifts this year. We've all started new jobs (me at the store, Dad and Seth & Robert) and no one can get enough time off to travel. To get time off I would have to quit my job at the store. Something I'm not really wanting to do. Seth & Robert aren't able, or willing to come home simply because it's too expensive.

We (Mom and I first and then everyone else) talked about it and we decided:
  1. Christmas is for the kids. We don't have any kids around. Aaron will be 17 in January and frankly, he's much more excited about buying gifts for his friends than his family
  2. None of us really *need* anything and there is NOTHING worse than buying out of obligation. Plus the boys (Seth & Robert) don't even have a place of their own. Giving them more "stuff" is silly. And exchanging gift cards is just ridiculous.
  3. We had a fantastic Thanksgiving. Christmas is about togetherness and since that's not possible this year, we'll just be glad that we had a really nice time at Thanksgiving and we'll try and get together sometime in the new year. Maybe for Robert's birthday (in February), maybe not till Easter. Either works.
  4. Christmas 2008 will be here in 53 weeks. The countdown is on! LOL I'm taking charge and for next year we're going away. Probably to Sun Peaks or somewhere were skiing is an option, or we can just be together. The gift question is up for debate for next year but we should all be settled in to our jobs enough to make plans. Plus next year Christmas is on a Thursday so we should have Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday to go away for.
  5. Lastly I made myself sick last year with worrying about making Christmas the way it was "supposed" to be. It turned out really good but the self imposed stress was stupid. This year I've let go and realized that it's not really that bid a deal.

So there. Christmas, the way it "usually" is, won't be this year. I'm totally okay with that though. It's a huge load of my mind, especially since I'll be logging well over 60 hours of work this week and I'm working both Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. I'm not even worried about not getting or giving gifts. Between all my commitments I've attended 5 Christmas parties so far this year and I've got some really nice things there and that's more than sufficient. I do need to try and find something for my Dad's birthday (Christmas Eve) but one is easier than five.

Merry un-Christmas to you!


PS I will get together with my parents for dinner on Christmas day but I eat with them all the time so it's not that unique. We may be including my mom's cousin for the first time. I'll report if anything interesting happens :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tis the season to be busy!

This is copy and paste from my email to Deb this morning:

I had a good weekend. Super, super busy but hey, my name wouldn't be "Heidi" if it wasn't right? LOL Friday I went *straight* from my day job to the store. Didn't even have time to eat dinner. Not something I'd recommend but it worked. Afterwards I went over to a friends. I know, I know. I should have just gone to bed. The thing is we've been trying to hook up for months and I knew if I didn't go then I wouldn't get there till after Christmas.

Saturday it was up and back to work from 11-3. After that I went out to Langley and had coffee with Diane and Shannon. I came back in to town after coffee and I was supposed to go to bible study but I decided to skip out. Good decision. I finished writing my Christmas cards and was in bed, asleep by 9pm.

Sunday I got up and went to church. Afterwards I worked at the store from 2-6:30 and then went over to my friends for a big Christmas party. They had a full turkey dinner, a tacky gift exchange and other fun games. We had a great time. Most of the people who were there are my "Hemlock Crew" and I haven't seen them in a few months so it was nice.

Tonight I actually have a night off!!! I have to go grocery shopping though and I'm planning on doing some baking. Tomorrow I work until about 1:30 and then I'm off to a board meeting with my old job and their Christmas party. And then I work at the store Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Yipee! LOL

Friday, December 14, 2007

Basics for Babies 2007

Happy Blogversary! Two years ago tomorrow I joined the wonderful world of blogging. Through that time I've created over 600 posts, shared pictures and life. I've also gotten to know my fellow bloggers that much better.

Two years ago the first major event that I posted about was the JRfm Basics for Babies Breakfast. Today I took the morning off work to attend again. Traffic was heavy at 6:30 in the morning so I arrived just as the first act, newcomer Jessie Farrell from Vancouver was wrapping up. That was okay though because I was really there to see Doc Walker!!!

My loyal blog readers will probably recognize the name and remember that they opened for Dierks in January. They're also the first concert I ever went to. It was super exciting to be able to hear them do some acoustic songs and get a chance to chat with them briefly, get autographs and pictures.

I was especially excited to talk to Dave (first picture) because I wanted to thank him for being so accessible to his fans. He makes a point of posting on the message board on their website and responding to messages on Facebook. It's very cool.

Dave and Chris both confirmed that new music should hit the air in January. They performed the song that they will probably release as a single, a new one called "Beautiful Life". I love it already and I think it might be my theme song for 2008 :D

They also performed their first single, "Rocket Girl" and a fantastic Christmas song called "Remember December". It was awesome. Definitely worth the drive to Surrey :)

I asked Dave about a tour and he said "Commodore in April". OMFSM that would be AMAZING. I really, really hope that happens and I can't wait!!! Three songs really wasn't enough. If you haven't heard these guys yet, check them out here


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hello poor neglected blog :(

I appologize for not blogging lately. I was doing so well there! Then I just got busy and blogging fell down the list as a priority. Work has been nuts. It seems to take forever to get anything done lately and I'm not even procrastinating by blogging like normal LOL

I've been pulling quite a few hours at the store too and that is only increasing. I knew it would as we got closer to Christmas but looking at the schedule is kind of scary. I have started the tranining as key holder as well. That means that I'm learning the paperwork to be able to close which means (after Christmas) I could work alone in the store).

The big thing that's been taking my time lately is Christmas parties! I've been to three already and I have more coming. They've all been great. The first one was an industry luncheon for office support staff on Friday afternoon. After lunch we got to go home which was great. Sunday night all the NR staff went to a local Greek restaurant. We laughed and ate and drank and exchanged gifts and, I even got $40 in NR "bucks" to put towards clothes!!!

Tuesday was my day job staff Christmas dinner. Last year we went to a dinner theatre production. It was okay but some people weren't comfortable with joining in so it make it kind of akward. This year we just went to a nice quiet Italian restaurant. My boss picked me up because it's on the way and there's not very much parking at the restaurant. There were only about a dozen of us there and she was down at the other end of the table. I was across from our chairman and his girlfriend and beside some other co-workers. On the way home she turned to me and said "I just want to tell you that you are a very good networker. I've seen you in a few situations now and you do a great job of carrying conversation without being pushy." She used some other very flattering adjectives as well. It was really nice to hear. I thanked her and told her that I am my dad's daughter, because I get a lot of that confidence from him and I had good training at my last job. When I got home I called my mom and told her "Well done Mom and Dad, you done good" :D

So that's my life right now. Work, eat, sleep, party, repeat :) It's good.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Snow day!

Sunday morning I got up and puttered around before getting ready for church. Just before I hopped in the shower my dad called. Church had been cancelled due to the snow. (I still showered ;)) I spent the day doing dishes, baking, watching tv, surfing online and making cards.

I was scheduled to work at the store that evening. I had actually been scheduled from 12-4 but on Saturday I switched shifts with one of my co-workers so I could go to church. Around 3 I called the store just to see how they were doing and my boss said they were basically finished doing the layout so if I didn't want to brave the weather (it snowed steadily ALL day) I didn't have to bother coming in. I took her up on that.

I also talked to my boss from my day job. The snow was even heavier north of the river so the office was closed on Monday. She and I still had a conference call to attend though. I didn't want to run the call off my cell phone since we had a lengthy agenda. Instead I packed up Sunday night and went over to my parents house. Mom and I started a round of Scrabble and I pulled out all the old Christmas tapes. "Six White Boomers" by Uncle Tony was the first one out of the box. He recorded that in his basement and the date on the tape is 1991. You can tell it's getting old too...or we just played it a LOT. It sounded pretty good though. Next out was John Denver. Mom got that tape probably around 1996 or so. Not too long ago but I totally fell in love with it. About halfway through the tape and our game, Dad called us downstairs to the tv room because there was a John Denver movie on! I hadn't seen that one before so we watched it through. (Mom also beat me in Scrabble because she spelled "INJURED".

I spent the night at their house. I think that's the first time since I moved out 1.5 years ago. Even last Christmas I slept in my own bed. Monday morning I got up and joined the conference call (which ended up lasting for an hour and forty five minutes) and then started working on the minutes right away.

Monday afternoon I had actually booked off. I'll put that adventure in a separate post.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Snow White Boomers

I got a package yesterday. Of course I had to wait until after my 6 hour shift before I could go go the post office but it was there waiting. I opened it right away anticipating what it might be. I was right. Chirstmas ornaments from Veronica! An adorable clear penguin in a top hat and a kangaroo in a Santa suit.

The kangaroo is especially meaningful to me. It was actually the first one I unwrapped and my first thought was "It's my very own snow white boomer!!!" Okay, so it's not "snow white" but seeing it took me right back to my childhood. I've mentioned before that my paternal grandfather was a champion fiddle player. My uncle (my Dad's oldest sister's husband) was/is an avid accordian player. Grandpa and Uncle Tony used to get together all the time to play. They even recorded a few cassetes including a Christmas one. My favourite song off that cassette was about Joey and the Snow White Boomers that came to take him back to his mama. Here's a YouTube video with the original singer . It's the same version they used to do except HEAVY on the fiddle and accordian obviously.

I haven't heard from or about Uncle Tony in many years but I have many fond memories. His hair has always been thin and he used to tease me saying that I had lots and should share with him LOL
I'm going to have to dig that tape out next time I'm at Mom & Dad's.
Not today though. It's snowing like crazy again. Church even got cancelled because it's out on an unplowed country road. I'm enjoying my "snow day" today along with happy memories.
Thanks Veronica!!!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Quitting My Day Job?

A few days ago, in response to this post Veronica asked:
Looks like a new career is looming for you :) Do you like this job more than
your day job? Could you see yourself giving up your day job to become an assistant manager (or a manager)?

I wrote the following response right away but I've waited to post it until I had worked another shift. My original response:
Actually no. Well, maybe it will be different with the assistant manager gone. I can honestly say that I have had FUN for the past two days. That said, this job REALLY makes me appreciate my day job. It's not just the fact that I make half the amount of money at the store, but there's a certain sense of futility with chasing the almighty dollar. Also, and again, this could just be my ex-assistant manager, there's desparation in retail that I don't feel in the corporate world. A desparation to get hours and hit sales goals and always, always making sure you are staying on track because head office could drop by any day.

I don't think I could do retail full time. I'd either go nuts or get caught up in that rat race. Honestly, part of what is keeping me sane with that job is

1. knowing that it ISN'T what pays my rent and if I don't get as many hours next week, I won't starve.

2. knowing that I CAN quit at any time (for the reasons in #1) and that I am in control of the situation. I am working there by CHOICE. It's a really nice position to be in. One I wouldn't have if I quit my day job.

We'll see how it goes with the new staff set up. Maybe I'll change my mind. I kind of doubt it though. Oh, and I've been thinking about the offer, of becoming a key holder? I'm going to tell her that I'm willing to learn how to open and close but I'm not interested in full day shifts, especially on Sunday's. That's kind of what she's looking for. Someone who can do the 10-5:30 (9:30-6) shift. That's not me. I already work five full days a week thankyouverymuch. Four hour shifts here and there are more than enough.

It's been interesting though and I am glad that I'm trying it out...on my terms.

I had my first six hour shift today and even though we had fun, my observations from above still stand. I have been doing really well with sales lately. Today there were snow flurries so there weren't all that many people in and my sales sucked. Big time. I was at about half of what my goal was, and only after I processed two transactions AFTER I was supposed to be off.

I'm enjoying myself but I'm not ready to give up my day job just yet. I'll keep you posted.


PS I did tell her that I'm willing to train as a key holder but not for full Sunday's she seemed happy with that.