Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Socks - are they really a part of LAUNDRY??

OK, the reason I ask this question is because everyone in my family seems to think that socks are the things that you leave in a basket - apparently they will fold themselves (or I will do it!). We had almost 2 full laundry baskets of socks. I don't like doing them, either, but I also don't like digging through a basket full to find 2 matching socks to wear! So on Sunday, I sat down and mated all of them. I swear there were over 100. With 5 people in our house, it is not too hard to imagine!

And speaking of laundry and socks...

Sunday night, Jeff had to go to bed so that he could get up @ 12:30 am for work. He had not been able to finish all of his work clothes, so I told him I would take care of them. He also had bought a few gifts for a few of the women on his route, and he asked that I wrap them for him. No problem, although I did give him a hard time (and still do) about his "girlfriends" at his stops. I really don't mind, but it's funny to tease him about it.

Anyway, he went to bed. Conor, on the other hand would NOT go to bed. I finished Jeff's laundry, folded and hung up his clothes and SOCKS, and put it in his suitcase. Then I laid down with Conor to see if he would go to sleep with me there. No such luck. So, around midnight, I remembered that he needed his presents wrapped. I got up and wrapped them and also decorated them with candy canes. Then I went in to wake Jeff up because he hardly hears the alarm clock. He finally woke up a little before 1 am and asked me to make him some chocolate milk. So I did. After he had gotten up, he said, "I probably shouldn't say this, it will probably make you mad, but it is something that has been bothering me."

Me - "What now?" *Groan*

Jeff - "Wellllll, I really don't like the way you fold my socks."

Me - "Are you serious?? After all I have done for you today and tonight, you are going to COMPLAIN!?!?!"

Jeff - "I knew I shouldn't have said anything, but I just woke up...."

Me - "Well, I haven't been to bed yet, and I am tired, too. I finished your laundry, packed your stuff for you, wrapped the presents for your 'girlfriends', AND made you chocolate milk - and you are going to complain about the way I did your SOCKS?!?!?!" *Incredulous*

Me again - "You can do all your own laundry from now on!" Hmph!

I go to lay down in my bed and then in came Conor (yeah, not asleep yet!) and crawled into bed with me. He didn't want to go to sleep, he wanted to watch a movie. But I said absolutely not, it is way past bed-time and we are going to sleep. He was actually asleep within 2 minutes of getting into my bed.

Jeff was apologetic about his complaining, and said 'goodnight' and kissed me goodbye. Me - "I'm putting this in my blog, you know." *Smile*

Jeff - *Groan* "You won't tell it right.... You won't tell them that I was half asleep and I just don't want my new, favorite socks to get all stretched out and fall down."

lol - So, I have tried to put it in here fairly, but I probably did bias it a little toward my side (of course!). But I am not folding his socks anymore. If they are left in a laundry basket, I will just put individual socks in his drawer! :)

Trying another....

Well, the red all washed out of my hair, so I decided to try a dark brown, almost black. I did it on Saturday morning, before Jeff got home. It's fun to see how people react to it. It also is surprising because the people I think will notice, don't say anything. And the ones who I don't think will notice, notice. And it is VERY noticeable. Mostly it has been men who have noticed and commented.

Jeff was the first. No, not Allie (who was even here the day I did it AND she still hasn't said anything!) My mom was the next. I took Allie over there to spend the night and my mom noticed right away.

I went to my Grandma's for Sunday dinner and 2 of my uncles and my brother-in-law were the first to notice and say anything. They were convinced that it was a wig. They did not believe that it wasn't until the both pulled my hair for themselves.

My boss noticed (male). Our regional manager noticed (I only see him maybe once a month). I know others noticed, they just didn't say anything. Again, because they don't like it, I guess. Oh, well, I like it. Good thing, too. Because the red was a 8-10 shampoo wash out - this one is a 28 shampoo wash out. So it will be here a little longer.

As I don't really like pictures of myself - I took this strange one, just to let you see a sample. I am having fun experimenting with my hair. I don't know what color I will try next, but I will let you know! :)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thanksgiving Day

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Day!!

Due to Jeff's having to go to work Thursday night/Friday Morning (2am), I fixed a dinner here and invited my parents, his parents, and our siblings. Jeff's Mom had to work, and his sister, Naomi had other plans already (with her husband's family), but his Dad (Jim) was able to make it. Three of my parents made it. :) Yep, I said 3 - Mom, Step-dad Jack, and Dad. My step-mom was at home making a dinner for them there, so she was unable to make it. My sister, Molly, her husband (Jeff, also), and her kids (Austin 10, and Gage 3) also came. So we had quite a few.

Every year I buy canned Cranberry Sauce, and every year I forget to get it out!! I guess that is because I do not eat it and I forget about it. lol So, that is still in my pantry. But for dinner we had Turkey (of course), stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, sweet potatoe casserole, green beans, peas, macaroni and cheese (home made by Mom), and rolls (home made by Jim).

For dessert, we had Toffee Brownies (made by Molly), coconut cake (made by Mom), miniature pumpkin and pecan pies, mini cakes, and Pumpkin Cheesecake.

It was all very wonderful! Everyone got stuffed, and then we hung out and talked a bit. The football game was on in the back-ground, but not many were watching it.

Allie managed to get herself locked into our new shed while trying to find a ball. It has windows, and she was yelling out them, but apparently no one heard her. Austin eventually went looking for her and let her out. It wasn't too long, maybe 5 minutes or so. She could have acutally climbed out the window, but it didn't come to that.

I think everyone had fun, and enjoyed the meal. We will have to do it again next year, but maybe next year we will have more activities so that everyone won't run off so quickly!

After eveyone left, though, I was able to pack up some containers to take a sample of everything to Jeff's Mom, who was stuck at work until 10! She was happy to get to have a home cooked dinner on Thanksgiving, since she had to work. Next year she should be off and be able to join us here, too!

Jeff, Conor, and I all ate it again today. :)

Hope everyone had a good Turkey day!

Below are some pictures (I forgot to get my camera out until everyone was done eating and a few had left!)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thanksgiving Day Pictures

From front to back - Gage, Molly, Conor, and Mom
(ignore the dog prints on my sliding glass door that show up so well!)

Poppy and the boys (Gage on the left, Conor on the right)

Friday, November 11, 2005

New Links

I have added some links on the side of some of my favorite blogs to read. If you have some time - take a look at them. The Daily Rant is a great and funny blog to read. She posts some of the most amazing pictures. Check out her archives, particularly September. Scroll to the bottom and go up - there are some beautiful pictures of Alaska. She is a traveling woman - riding across the country in an 18 wheeler, taking beautiful pictures and telling funny stories. She has been helping me figure stuff out about how to post some of the the links and the guest map thingy.

I also have Poop and Boogies. This one is written about being a parent - the father's side of it. He is very funny, some of the things that go through his head are hilarious! The title of the blog is explained in his profile. :)

I have a few others that I like to read, and I will post them eventually, but I didn't want to overwhelm you! And - I don't want you to stop reading mine to catch up on all the great ones that I post for you! hee hee. :)


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Seeing Red

Well, I finally did it! I dyed my hair red. I think I mentioned in previous posts that I was thinking about it, but I didn't do it until this past weekend! Ceara and I went shopping at Target on Sunday to get some sheets for Conor's new bed, and I passed the hair coloring section and thought - hey, I need that! :) It is, however, only a temporary color. It is supposed to wash out in 8-10 shampoos. So most of you will not get to see me as a red-head!

I have tried to do this one previous time - years ago. That was when my hair was highlighted and was a lot lighter than it is now. When I did it before, the red mixed with the blonde and turned a very unflattering shade of orange. I went through some pretty intense hair treatments with the lady who does my hair - she had to strip my hair, re-color it my natural color, and then re-highlight it to get it back to where it had been before my mis-hap. Since I let all of my highlights grow out, and my hair is (or was before the red) a light brown, the red took pretty well.

Conor was the first to notice it on Monday morning. He smiled and said he liked it. Allie didn't notice until I told her - and then she said she couldn't tell that much. Then my boss (who as you recall in a previous post couldn't tell I got a major hair cut!) noticed as soon as he looked at me when I got to work. Surprising! :) No ex-lax brownies for him this time! (I didn't actually do that last time, just thought about it!)

Jeff had left for work at 1:30 am after I did it, so he did notice in the dark - but it was still alittle wet from my shower, so he didn't get to see the actual color until he came home Tuesday night. He did say he liked it though.

I think it is an obvious change, so I figure the people who haven't said anything are those people who were taught "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything!". I am thinking that they do not like it. But it wouldn't hurt my feelings if they told me that - it is only temporary. Next I might try a dark brown to see how I like that!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Mrs. Dad

Well, everyone has heard of Mr. Mom, right? Well, I have now been referred to as Mrs. Dad! We bought Conor a new bunk bed for his birthday (yeah, it is still a month away, but it was needed!) and have had it for quite a while now - sitting in boxes in the garage. We have been so busy with our weekend trips, birthdays, and being sick, that Jeff and I have not had the time to try to put it together. So we decided that Saturday was the day to do it. The bed came in 7 boxes - BIG boxes - that Jeff lugged into the living room to prepare. Jeff invited his dad - Jim - to come over and hang out with us while we did it. Then Jeff, Ceara, Conor and I began emptying his room.

I shampooed his carpet while Jeff, Jim, Ceara and Conor began opening boxes to look for instructions. They got 5 boxes opened and still nothing. Then it was Pizza time. Jim and the kids went to get pizza while Jeff and I opened and emptied the 2 remaining boxes. The directions were in the 6th box we opened.

We began taking the "bed" pieces into the bedroom to put them together. Then we broke for pizza. After eating, Jim was tired and decided to go home. I teased him that all it took was 2 hours at our crazy house for him to want to be alone again! :)

Then Jeff, Ceara, Conor and I began the construction. Jeff showed Conor how to use the screw-driver and help us. We got the 2 beds put together when Jeff got pretty tired - around 8:30. He decided to take a "nap" and wanted to get up at 10:30pm so that he could help us finish. I took the kids with me to go and get a coffee (yep, that late at night, there was a lot more work to do on the bed!). We went through the drive thru, though, because I had not bothered to shower that day and was looking mighty scraggly.

When we returned home, Conor went to bed with his Daddy, and Ceara and I set about finishing the bed. We put the "hutch" together, then the desk, then the shelves - all out in the living room because there wasn't any room left in the bedroom with the beds in there. Then we lugged all the pieces into the bedroom and set the desk, shelves and drawers in a position so that we could put the top bunk on. I wasn't sure we would be able to do it because the bed was heavy and I wasn't sure Ceara could lift it. But she did! We put it up on top, then had to lift the mattress up there. Then we put the lower bed into place and put the mattress and box-spring onto it. Then we had to put up all the tents, which Ceara did most of.

After getting all done, it was around 12:30. No, Jeff did not get up at 10:30. He hit snooze on the alarm clock. I had tried to wake him several times, but he would not get up, so I just let him sleep. I didn't mind, but I knew if I didn't try he would ask me why I hadn't tried to wake him up when I knew he didn't want to sleep all night. :)

Now for the clean up. Uggghh. There was Styrofoam all over the living room - between Conor and the dogs, it was pretty torn up. I went to get the vacuum cleaner and a screw fell out of the handle. So I got the screw driver and fixed the handle so that I could us it.

Ceara said, "You know, your kinda like that Mr. Mom, but the female version - Mr. Dad. Usually it is the man who puts everything together and fixes stuff."

Me: "Do you mean Mrs. Dad?"

Ceara: "Yeah, that's it!"

Now, a couple of years ago Ceara complained that yard work and other types of chores were a "boys job" and she didn't want to do it. So we have tried to break her from any type of "girls don't do that kind of work" thoughts. She has come a long way since then, because she certainly got into putting the bed together with me! Heavy lifting, moving and putting together - and she did not complain once. She volunteered to help, kept doing it when we (Jeff and I) took breaks and everything. So I responded with:

Me: "There isn't anything that girls/women can't do if you set your mind to do it and teach yourself (or learn from someone) how to do it. I lived alone for a while, and I do not have the most patience waiting on someone to do something for me when I want it done. So I taught myself to do a lot of things that are normally pegged "boys/men" jobs. Don't ever let someone tell you that you cannot do something because you are a girl."

I think I got my point across, and it made me feel good that she said it in an admirable way, so hopefully she will not limit herself to only learning "girl" things in life. :)

But now I guess I am Mrs. Dad. :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

By the way....

Well, just thought I would own up to the fact that I can't pick very straight boards. :( Turns out that only 3 of the 7 (2X4X8s) that I picked out were actually straight. I finally got the opportunity to ask Jack about it yesterday when he came to hang the doors on our shed. He said he figured that I forgot my glasses or something. lol

I told him that I spent a lot of time finding all those boards and that I was trying to hurry because there was someone waiting for me to get done so that they could get some off of the pile that I was inspecting. His response - "Too bad, that's their tough luck - they should have gotten there before you." Which I guess is correct, but when someone is waiting for me to finish with something so that they can access it, I tend to try to hurry.

Oh, well, our door is only a little off because of it. The other boards I haven't gotten a verdict on yet. We are almost ready to start filling it up (the shed)! I am excited. I have to lay the hard wood floor tiles that I got for it first though. :) Yeah, I am really putting that kind of floor in my shed. Why? Because I got a really good deal on it. All of the pieces do not match - I got the "last box" of a couple of boxes on the clearance rack at Sam's club. So, it will add re-enforcement to the floor, and it didn't cost as much as some other stuff that I could have used. :)

Monday, November 07, 2005

"Place Your Pin" on my map...

I finally figured out how to do it! I saw this "place your pin on my map" on another blog that I read reguarly and thought it would be cool to try to put one on my blog. But I had a hard time at first and just gave up. So I just figured it out! :) So if you would like, just click on it - it will give a map of the earth, and you can put a little "figure" (girl, boy, alien, and such) on the map where you are located with a little message.

I guess my blog address is being sent around to some more family members - Hi, Misty (in Oklahoma)! :) Thanks for your comment! - so I thought it would be cool to see who else reads it. There are a few in my family, some in Jeff's family, and a few friends, but it seems like my mom and Jeff's mom (Mimi and Barb) are the only ones who comment reguarly, so I'm not sure who else is reading it. This way, I can see... :)

Anyway, I have some new stuff to post soon, but I haven't gotten a chance to write it all down. Or I guess I should say "type it all down". Have a good evening!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Cleaning up.....

On Sunday, Conor didn't act like he felt very well, and he wouldn't eat anything. He didn't complain, but he did go to bed rather early. At 3am, he crawled into bed with me, crying. I felt his head and he was burning up. I got up and got him some medicine and a drink. He took both and went back to sleep. Jeff had left for work around 1:30. So it was just me and Conor in my bed. We we woke up, he still had a fever - and had added a cough and runny nose. Monday's are the busiest day of the week for me at work. Plus this was the end of the month Monday - meaning we only had that day left to bill everything we could to try to make our forecast. I had to go to work. But I couldn't take Conor to the sitter's because he would get the other kids sick. So, I took him to work with me. Just for a short time, I was able to take care of everything that I had to do there in just 2 hours. Then I got the documents that I would need to be able to work from home the rest of the day.

Conor spent most of the time coloring with my highlighters. He was VERY good. His fever was down, so he just had a cough and runny nose. So, I thought since it was trick or treat night, and I had given my candy to Allie to take to the football game (tailgate party), I thought I would just run to Sam's and get another bag of candy to make sure I had enough. I really didn't think it would hurt Conor to run in and out quickly. So off we went to Sam's. Conor rode in the cart, and we were only there for about 5 minutes when he asked me for a cough drop (I had just put one in my mouth). I thought, well, he probably won't like it, and he will spit it out. But - it might help just having it in his mouth for the couple of seconds it will take before he spits it out.

Not the best decision I have ever made. He liked it. So he started biting on it. Then he threw up - into my hands. It wasn't much since he had not eaten anything solid - just liquids. So I found the nearest trash can, got some tissue out of my purse, and cleaned my hands best I could. I then "pushed" the cart with my elbows over to the bathroom, got Conor out, and went in to wash my hands and his mouth. As soon as I had us all cleaned up, I got out of there. We went directly home where Conor spent most of the day in bed while I did work. He never did eat any solid food, but he did drink juice and water.

Tuesday: he still was not well. He still would not eat. I kept him home again and worked from here. It is a good thing I can access my work system from here, and that I have a great boss that will allow me to do it! I had checked Conor's throat on Monday, and although it looked red and a little swollen, it wasn't very bad. So when he wouldn't eat on Tuesday morning, I looked again. It was pretty swollen and had white stuff on it. Oh, no - strep throat. It had to be. That was the only thing I had ever seen that caused a white throat. Allie and I get that all the time, so it would be only a matter of time before we both had it too.

I called the doctor's office and made an appointment. They did the strep test and it came back negative. So the doctor said it was a virus and there wasn't anything they could do, that it would just have to run it's course. She also said he wasn't contagious anymore because he no longer had a fever. We went home and once again, he spent most of the time resting on the couch or in my bed. He ended up going to bed at around 8:00.

Wednesday: I went to work because Jeff was home that day. I still didn't want to send Conor to the sitter's if I didn't have to. In the morning before I left for work, he was up - running around with a lot of energy, acting like he felt better. Allie didn't feel good, though. She stayed home from school. Conor ate very little, but he did eat some. On my way home from work for lunch, I stopped and got a few groceries - just a few things we needed. Milk - 2%, 1%, and chocolate; juice - 4 different kinds; and ice cream - maybe it would help Conor's throat.

When I got home, I found that Jeff had left with Conor to get their hair cut. Then he went to the grocery. He called me on his way home to tell me he would be there shortly. He got a lot of groceries, not just liquids, but he did get: Milk - 2%, whole, and chocolate; juice; and ice cream. So we have so much milk, we will never drink it all before it expires. We are trying, but the milk doesn't go down well with stuffy noses. Oh, well. :) He got lots of other stuff too.

Thursday: Jeff went back to work, Allie went back to school, and Conor went back to the sitter's. He ate a banana and drank some juice before we left in the morning, so that was a good sign. Some solid food! :) At the sitter's, they had missed him all week, so all the kids came out to the door to greet him when we arrived. Then I went to work. Normal day - or so I think.

After work, I went to pick Conor up. They said he did pretty well, but ate very little, and he did seem a little more easily worn out. We got into the car to go home and my boss called me on my cell phone. He conferenced me in with some corporate people about an issue we have with them. Jeff tried to call when I was on the phone, but I couldn't answer. So when I listened to the message he left, it said he wanted to know how everyone was, and that he was getting in the shower and to call him later. Conor had one of his coughing fits right before we got home. When I went to get him out of the car, I found that he had puked - on himself, the car seat, and the floor of my car. So I got him out and took him inside, cleaned him off, got him dressed and went outside to clean up the rest.

I decided to call Jeff quickly before he went to sleep to let him know how everyone was doing. Poor Jeff. I was tired, had a lot of cleaning up to do, so I wasn't looking for a big long conversation. He was trying to tell me some stuff about his day and I got a little irritated and told him that I didn't have time to listen to all of that because I had to get the car seat apart, wash it, dry it, put it back together, and get it back into my car before the next morning. I immediately apologized because I knew it wasn't fair to him and he sounded a little upset that I was irritated. I got off the phone, cleaned everything up, and got done around 9pm. Conor went to bed not too long after that.

Friday: Semi-normal. Everyone up and off to school, sitter's and work. Pretty normal Friday, and I was very glad it was Friday! Today is Pup's (AKA Teddy - our dog) 1 year birthday. I went during my lunch and got him a "special treat" at the store - a "Chicken" dinner for dogs, and some special bones. When I got off from work, I was in a pretty good mood. I called home to see if Jeff had made it home yet because he had thought that he would beat me home. I got his voicemail, so I left a message.

I got home and when I walked into the kitchen, there was dirt all over the floor. Seems the little Pup (AKA Zeus - our new puppy) had gotten ahold of my flower pot and tipped it over - then spread the dirt throughout the kitchen. Allie couldn't find the dust pan, so she had swept the majority of it into a corner. But she had missed a lot, too. I put everything down, took my shoes off, and went to walk into my bed-room to put some stuff in there - and I stepped in pee. Zeus had peed on the carpet in the hallway leading to my room (still working on that house training thing). This is all making me not so "happy". I clean up the pee, take my socks off, wash my foot, and get another pair of socks on. Then I set about looking for the dust pan to clean up the dirt. No where to be found. So I started sweeping the dirt to one location anyway. Then I find my sandle on the kitchen floor, chewed a little, and laying in a puddle of pee. Grrrrr.

Allie! - OK, not her fault entirely, but she had been home and could have kept a closer eye on the little dog to let him out. So I told her to clean it up. I take my shoe to the sink and run some water and let it soak. I start sweeping some more and Jeff calls. Once again, poor Jeff. I do not yell at him, but I just asked when he would be home and if he was getting Ceara. So he immediately starts asking "Why? What's going on? Why do you want to know?" Because with Jeff, there has to be a reason for everything, you can't just be curious, or you can't just want to know - he has to know why. So I got irritated again. I explained why I wanted to know if Ceara would be coming - Conor was excited to give Pups his treats, but I wanted to wait for Ceara to be there, too, if she was coming tonight. Well, he didn't know for sure because he couldn't get ahold of Ceara or Debbie to find out what was going on. "OK, well we will wait anyway, just in case," I told him. Then he said "What's for dinner?"

"I don't know (I said this very irritably) - I just got home and have been having to clean up a bunch of stuff and I haven't even thought about it."

So once again, he gets upset because of my irritation. He said, "Why do you bother to call me if all you are going to do is get irritated with me when I call you back?"

I apologized once again and told him I would just talk to him when he got home. Once he got home, I hugged him and said that I was sorry again and explained what all had been going on when he called. I was still searching for the dust pan so that I could get the pile of dirt off the floor. I finally gave up my search and went to the garage and got a piece of cardboard to sweep it onto.

Jeff and Conor fixed dinner - cheesy scrambled eggs, sausage balls, crispy crowns, apples, apple sauce, and toast. Breakfast for dinner. I like that sometimes.

Later, while Allie and I were playing "Family Feud" on the computer, Jeff and Conor were on the bed helping with the answers. I went to change Conor's pull-up because he had an accident, and when he was laying down, he started coughing. I sat him up as quickly as I could, and he coughed so hard that he puked all over himself and my bed.

So I cleaned it all up the best I could off of him and the bed. Jeff took Conor off to the shower and I started the bed sheets in the laundry. I then had to leave to take Allie to my mom's. When I returned, Conor and Jeff were laying on the blow-up mattress on the floor in my room watching cartoons. Jeff fell asleep pretty quickly and Conor followed not long after. I was thinking of all the things I have had to do this week - clean up pee, puke, cars, beds, kids - and I am so glad that tomorrow is Saturday and I get to sleep in a little. And I get the bed to myself tonight because the boys are both sleeping on the air mattress. JOY! I won't get pushed off like I normally do! :)

Now I just have to get off here and go make the bed and I will be in sound asleep really soon! Have a good night!

How I spent my Sunday....

Sunday - October 30th: I wasn't feeling too well, but I was fighting it off. Sore throat, stuffy head. I gave up my ticket to the Bengals / Packers game on Sunday because I didn't want to get worse. That didn't work out very well. I still got worse. Cough, stuffy AND runny nose, sore throat, just all around yucky. But I didn't give up. I maybe should have rested, but that's not really my thing, so I cleaned up the garage, the back yard, the kitchen, the living room, just whatever I came across that needed done. Naomi had taken Ceara and Conor to church with her, so I didn't want to give up that "free" time to do nothing. I had to get something done. Allie had gone to the game in my place, so the house was kid free for a few hours. Jeff had homework to do, so that left me to find my own things to do.

I went to Lowe's to get the remaining materials for my shed. We needed some 2X4X8s, a few 2X4X10 (or it may have been 2X6X10, I forget), and 3 sheets of USB board.

I had my list that Jack had given me so I wouldn't forget anything or get the wrong stuff. I had been to Lowe's with Jack enough to know how to look at the boards to see if they were straight, but I had never done it by myself. I had to find 7 of the 8 ft boards and 3 of the 10 ft ones. It took me FOREVER. I wanted to make extra sure all of them were straight, so if there was even a slight chance I thought one of the boards were not straight, I put it back and went on to the next. Funny, I kept looking at all the people around me (read: men) thinking that they probably thought I knew what I was doing because I was looking at them the way they were supposed to be "checked". And I was rejecting them, making sure I had a look on my face of "dang, don't they have any straight ones here?". I was amusing myself without showing it.

I finally got all the boards (I still haven't asked Jack if they were all straight) and I went down the next isle to get the 7/16 boad. Well, it is a lot harder to move than it looks. I got the first board off of the stack, positioned it to slide it into the slot on the cart, lifted it up onto the cart and pushed to slide in on. Well, the cart didn't exactly just sit there and let me do that. So it started wheeling on down the isle, and I was following - trying to hold it with my foot while pushing the board onto it. That didn't work too well, either - it just stayed on the corner that I was holding with my foot and it then went sidesways. I finally was able to get that board onto the cart, and I turned to get the 2nd one. I had just started to slide it off the stack when one of the men who work there came running - "Ma'am... ma'am? You don't have to do that, we have a big stack at the loading door. Just tell the cashier how many you want, then pull your truck up, and I will help you load it." Sounds good to me!! :)

So I got it all put into the truck and I was on my way. I went to my Grandma's house and ate dinner and visited with my family for a little bit. I got home in time to turn on the game, watching it in spurts when I happened through the living room during my cleaning. I listened from the kitchen.

I like the Bengals. I root for them to win ever week. Except for when they play the Packers. I love the Packers. More specifically, I admire Brett Favre. He is an amazing guy. As good as he is, as much money as he makes, and as well known as he is - he is still such an amazingly down to earth guy. He doesn't trash talk like a lot of these other players who have a good couple of games and think they are IT. He plays the game, he loves the game, and he does it for the love of it - not for the money. His record says it all. He is one amazing person. So I was rooting for the Packers on this day. But they did not win. They are not having such a great season this year, they have only won 1 game and lost 6. I wish they would do better because I have a feeling that Brett is going to retire after this year, and I think he deserves to go out on a winning season. Like Elway did - go out with a Super Bowl win! That would be awesome!

I don't even know if that is still possible this year - even if they win every other game. So I hope he does come back for another year.

Well, I am very tired, so that is going to be it for now. :) I have more to tell you, but it will wait until another day. Good Night!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Customer service....

There are so many people who do not realize the value of customer service, or just being friendly. It does matter! Here is an example: I LOVE Coffee, and I LOVE coffee shops. I collect Coffee mugs. Not the little regular mugs that can be gotten anywhere, but the BIG ones - kinda like soup mugs. I have lots of them, different sizes, colors, shapes. So when I see or hear of a new coffee shop opening, I like to go and check it out. I will give 3 examples for this post.

The first one I went to was a little on the uppity side. The decor was fabulous, if a little too ritzy, but it was really nice inside. The service? Ugh. No smile, no friendliness, nothing. Just "Can I help you?" and then the total, and then "They will call X number when your order is ready, it can be picked up over there (points down the counter)." OK. The ceiling is tiles, but not normal tiles - these are a copper tile with a design in them. It is really beautiful. They have a fire place and a leather couch in front of it, with a few chairs around too. And they have tables and chairs, some "high" and some regular. Overall? The interior was great, the coffee was great, and the service was blah. How many times have I been there? ONCE.

The second one I went to just opened down the street from where I work. I was on my way in one day and noticed it. I stopped to try it out. It is attached to another business, so it is just a little small piece of a building. No biggie. I go in and they have decent decorations. Most of it is, of course, coffee oriented. Coffee for sale, square shelves with coffee knick-knacks. Cute, quaint. I wasn't sure what I wanted so I was looking at the menu. The person taking my order was not helpful in any way, no suggestions. When I asked questions, just hum drum answers. Nothing special to stand out. The coffee was pretty good. Overall? The interior was OK, the coffee was good, and the service was, once again, blah. How many times have I been there? ONCE.

The third one I absolutely LOVE. My boss came back from a break one day with a frozen coffee. I asked him where he got it, and he told me. I had no idea that the place was there, but now I had to check it out. That very day, I stopped by after work. They close at 5PM on that particular weekday, but there was someone outside on the patio, cleaning up. He asked if I would like something. I told him I would come back another time, that I didn't realize they were closed. He assured me that it wasn't a problem, and convinced me to come in and he would get me whatever I wanted. He was one of the owners of this coffee shop, and when I wasn't sure what I wanted to try, he made suggestions. I went with one of his suggestions, and loved it. He talked to me for a few minutes, then I left. The decor? Fabulous. Paintings on the wall, painted by a local artist. Some for sale, some permanently attached. Pictures, too, that he had taken with a camera and framed. A couch and some chairs, separated by a coffee table with magazines on it. A few "regular" tables, with chairs to choose from also. The chairs have colorful cushions on them, some chairs square, some round. They also have Wi-Fi - wireless internet access for those people who want to bring their laptops in and hang out. Overall? The interior is WONDERFUL, the coffee is GREAT, and the service is TOP NOTCH. How many times have I been there? So many times I have lost count. I have gone almost EVERY weekday on my way to work since that day (May, 2005, I believe), and sometimes on the weekends, too.

I know most of the employees by name, as well as both owners, and they all know mine. Do you know how nice it is to walk into, or drive upto, a shop and have the person behind the counter say "Good morning , how are you doing today?" and they actually sound sincere? And "Do you want your usual, or do you want to try something else today?" Some days I just get coffee, sometimes I get a muffin or a brownie, or even a cookie. But anyway you look at it, their friendly service is what keeps me going back, day after day.

Neil and Jay are the owners. Neil is British and has an accent. He is the one who works in the mornings, so we see him the most. Jay works mostly evenings, sometimes comes in during the day, too, though. Jay is the one who was working on my first visit. And there is Jeff - who also works at a local theater. He is very friendly and has an excellent greeting when you go through the drive through. He sounds like he should be on the radio, or an anouncer of sorts. And there is Mary Jane - who works the night shift as a nurse and then comes into work at the coffee shop after her shift. Mary Jane is a wonderfully nice woman who simply adores Conor. She gave him glow sticks for Halloween so that he could "shine". When she is not there, Conor often asks me where she's at.

Most of the night shift people I do not know as well, I only know one of them by name - Shellie. She is a teacher at a local high school and just works at the coffee shop for fun. Only 1 night a week during school, and more in the summer. There is also a new guy working nights, but I have only met him a couple of times and I don't remember his name. He was still training and seemed a little nervous.

They know my family's names - Conor goes in with me every day and they adore him. He sits up on the counter and they talk to him, ask him questions, even give him some gifts. He loves going there.

They ask about Jeff, Allie and Ceara if it has been a while since they have seen any of them.

So how hard would have been for either of the other 2 places to just smile, or offer suggestions, or just be a little more friendly?? It would not have been that hard. And what would they have gotten out of it? A regular customer.

So - for those of you in the area - if you like coffee, give them a try. Cafe-a-go-go in Springboro, OH. Across from Hollywood Video. Tell them Katie and Conor sent you. :)

Appreciate your customers and they will appreciate you!