Christmas and the Aftermath!

Good morning. It seems like forever, being able to have time to blog. Thus the title of my blog – being even more of a mission than before? I mean at this point, should we not be slowing down? I am indeed drinking coffee. I’m on my 3rd cup. And thinking about another but it will be decaf. I just like the warmth of it.

We had a marvelous Christmas with my family.

Christmas Eve, in the afternoon, Mom and Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken arrived, along with Fancy and Coco. That morning I made sausage balls. Neighbors dropped by with baked goods and food gifts. (Ashamed we did not have anything ready. But we decided to feed everyone a meal in a neighborhood party we’ll have later on as a return gift. Next year I’ll be prepared. We have such good neighbors. I guess it never occurred to me to do this. But it is a kind gesture.)

The doggies were good and fun!

And if you really want to know how their personalities were over Christmas – their faces tell the story. Maisy was subdued, a little skeptical but tolerating everyone, Roger slept unphased, Fancy was happy to be there as long as she was with her Momma, and Coco was a little confused being in a new place. She mostly can’t see and barely can hear. She did respond to my voice and was able to stare straight at me so I think she must can see some. She would get lost looking for her Mom and Dad (my Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken) and we would have to steer her in the right direction or they would go and rescue her. When we left the room to go eat or something, she would get lost again. She is so cute. We were so happy to have them all. Meal time was fairly easy for them and they went out often.

We ate well! I hadn’t really planned on it but as everyone arrived, I filled the pub table with a few snacks to hold everyone til dinner.

Thanks to neighbors, and coworkers, and Publix (lol) we had a few things to set out. Katy spent a good part of the day with us as well. We had YouTube playing Christmas music and a fireplace. Which I’m sure we were all tired of by day 2.

We also had a great meal of Prime Rib, Wedge Salad, Baked Potato, and Peach Cobbler and Ice Cream. I enjoyed getting everything ready with the table, using the Christmas dishes, and even enjoyed the clean up. The meal was fairly simple to pull off. We enjoyed doing this very much. And dinner was excellently cooked by the Master Chef, George. And the wine was excellent. We have saved this Arrington Vineyard “Antebellum” wine just for Christmas. The wine is soaked in whiskey bourbon barrels and it gives it a flavor. I like this wine as a slow sipping wine to enjoy with every sip. The Arrington Vineyard, owned by country music artist Kix Brooks and a businessman, John Russell is where the wine was made.

We stayed up late and talked and each told stories from our child hood about a Christmas we enjoyed, or a gift we got – we went around the room and told stories. It was fun. We actually stayed up later than we meant to by doing this. Then we had to take doggies out again and Santa of course came while we were still up. lol. I think there might have been Ms. Clause there as well. She was just sneaking things about as was Santa. I am not sure I slept so well, having been thinking about the next day and a few other things on my mind. I was awake off and on and having missed most of my solid prime sleeping time from 9 to midnight (only time guaranteed to sleep straight through), I was struggling the next day. Answering questions and functioning before coffee is hard for me on little sleep. I get very bear like. I kept having to remind myself I had to be gracious host or they won’t come back. lol Once coffee set in though – I began to perk up. George had cooked most of the breakfast meats the day before: country ham, country sausage, and country bacon. I had rebooted the table with a fresh scene, different decor, and our regular white dishes.

We opened our stockings before breakfast and then ate and once all that was over, it seemed to take forever for the gift opening to occur! But soon Katy and Cody arrived and we opened gifts. I don’t know why I didn’t take pics during that – other than we were just having a good time. Everyone loved their air fryers and cook book and accessories. It was a big Christmas. We are all blessed. And thankful. I will take pics of the gifts as I put them up.

So everyone began to leave around 3:30 to 4:00 and while I needed a nap, I made myself stay up so I’d sleep good and not continue this sleep cycle (lack of sleep) I’ve been in. I tackled the house as best as I could until I hit a wall. I showered put on PJs and goofed off the rest of the evening. I think bedtime was around 8 or so and I did get a good night’s sleep to come back on Thursday to work. I had a very busy but pleasant day of doing after payroll activities, such as paying taxes, uploading 401k, doing my Thursday check run, getting the garnishment payments out and getting garns ready for next payroll.

Upon arriving home, George said “I think we need to set up your iMac”. I said “I agree”. So Thursday night we set that up and I began making it “mine”. I love it. I was surprised by the stereo sound of my iTunes playing. And I spent time setting up the settings via my phone so that it was including in the iCloud and back up – on reminders, notes, calendars and photos so that these things will be synced/available immediately across all devices. Ahhh though, the dominos impact sets in. Having photos accessible (on of the features I was looking forward to) meant my iCloud storage was not good enough. I was pushing the limit. So I bit the bullet to pay the .99 month for more storage. Lots more storage. Before I knew it – it was 10:30 and I still needed to do my bedtime routine and take Maisy out. George was in bed and snoring

Friday, I awoke having slept good but just not long enough. I was anxious to get the day going and also anxious period because we had a lot of critical things to do for year end payroll processes that had to be done before the next payroll run. I still had to do my pre-payroll duties of coding PTO’s. I had a list a mile long of things needed doing. One thing I knew for sure is I was not working on the the weekend. I worked the weekend before while family was in town and worked most of the time they were here. It’s been a crazy ash of a 6 weeks, and I (putting foot down) have declared this weekend as sacred. Normally I take the 26th off to recover from all the stress and anxiety that this time of the season brings. I had conformed my mind to be ok for holding on through 26th and 27th and holding off to have the weekend. But anything messing with that is going to have to mess with ME! I didn’t mind conveying that message if needed. Matter of fact I believe I conveyed it before it was needed. lol. Lack of sleep, stressed, bear like – don’t touch this! lol. So I started the day yesterday “done” before it ever began. I knew it would be tough because the list was so long. I had to run 2.5 hours of reports on a Greenbar printer and sit and wait for it to run b/c it had confidential data on it. A waste of a precious 2.5 hours but necessary. Done close to lunch time at that point, I still had about (who knows how many) PTO forms to code with plant, hourly or salary, their average pay, the number of available PTO, and hours taking at the top. Each has to be looked up on the computer. Except PTO was already cleared out for the year and I had to use a report for that. And I think everyone in the company had vacation time this week (not me, lol) and I had to upload the new 401k enrollments online. I’d never done this before but it was fairly easy. The emails kept pouring in with PTO’s at all hours of the day and stopped an hour after the deadline finally. I had to sign off on 3 different check runs (I am one of the signers for a/p checks). I had to check to see if it was a full moon b/c I had so many emails and questions and so many employees wanted things. Of course each person’s question – they don’t realize I have 30 other people asking for things at the same hour. Most of the time handling the 4 plants is easy but yesterday I saw that at this time of the year another person would be handy. Anyway, it was just pandamonium. Then I got a call to cut – about 12 manual checks immediately – for PTO’s that were turned in late that had missed the deadline. I weighed my options and decided to stay and remain employed. lol While I have sympathy for those involved, I’m still only one person. My bosses realized the reality of the impossible day I had yesterday and were gracious to jump in and help. I did the computations, my immediate boss cut the checks, our HR manager took the checks and or sent them via overnight and bought me an ice tea b/c he was trying to uphold my morale in an impossible day. My Controller did the same by rearranging some things we had planned. We got through it. I still didn’t get finished doing what I needed to do by about an hour but I will go in an hour earlier Monday. Once 5:30 came – it was me and the cleaning people and maybe another person or two and so I refused to be by myself there after dark. I needed to leave anyway as it had been a long day. Pretty much worked 4 days worth of work in the last two with the longer hours.

So I survived yesterday (barely) and was glad when it was over. I think I will describe yesterday as a nightmare. I will rank it as 3rd worst day ever in payroll. The first was when I was still b/w jobs in training and trying to learn while being bombarded with the old job – 14 hour days and then the 2nd was also during that time frame and the check statements wouldn’t print and we had to do them by hand. So yeah, yesterday rank and it stank. I was so glad to be home and glad it was over. I had anticipated it to be rough and it was. Mainly just b/c we were already slated to be overwhelmingly busy and then trying to fix everyone’s emergencies and downfalls and issues. Had it been a more prepared payroll on everyone’s part, we’d have been better off. It is what it is, and one day I’ll tell my grandchildren about it – if I live that long and don’t stroke out before then. Why in the hell I have to pick the most stressful jobs in the world, I have no idea. AT least I love what I’m doing – until something like yesterday happens where hell meets pandemonium.

Where do my phrases come from? I mean last night in the middle of the night I woke up thinking that my day should have been recorded and on tv…lol…it was akin to a Die Hard movie crosses reality show Survivor, with a little mix of Lucille Ball in there with me trying to organize that Greenbar wad of Tyrannosaurus reports that was spitting out so slow until the end where some report didn’t have as much data and it spit out faster that I could organize it. I had to put it on pause to catch up and not be strangled by paper. Anyway, laughter at that scene at 3:30 this morning, when I remembered it. Then visions of my hands on hips and declarations of “I ain’t working this weekend now”, lol. (Momma coming out of me there, putting foot down.). No one had asked me to but I didn’t want anyone getting any ideas, lol.

So Katy and Cody came by this morning about 4:30 to pick up their Christmas gifts and Findlay. Cody got a gun rack from his parents so they waited to get that loaded before taking their gifts. So I got a text from her and they are in Arkansas right now.

Prayers please for all as they travel (Katy and Cody back to TX and Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken back to FL today).

It has taken a while this morning to get the blog entry figured out. I’ve saved some favorites in my Safari set up. I googled how to use Safari. I really wanted to have Chrome but read an article to give Safari a chance as it’s quite simple and useful and pleasing to use. So I had to google how to pin things to the top bar and also how to create book marks and to put things in your favorites so it’s on the main page also (desktop icon of sorts when you open safari).

So many things are different – from the way you scroll or pin things. I did go in and set up a right click on the super mouse thing. But I’m not changing the direction of the scroll unless I stay confused – since it will be opposite from works. You can change the direction.

It prompted me to upgrade the software so it’s on the Catalina software. Not all the bugs have worked out and today my Safari got stuck and would not close. I had to get my phone and google how to do a forced close. Once all that figured out I went to blog and couldn’t upload pictures. I thought that was the case anyway. It won’t upload from the portal but after a google was reminded that you could click and drag the photos into place. It never worked in windows for me on my laptop so I never used that feature. Who knew it would work in Mac. That was a delightful surprise.

So as of right now I don’t think I can print anything and I think we are going to get a bluetooth printer for the iMac in here. Ours is pretty old at this point anyway. It has bluetooth but it never really worked. Katy’s computer it worked on and I had the same one and it would never work on mine nor George’s w/o the chord. So printer needed. Anyway the next thing is to also get my graphics loaded on this PC so I can blog with them. I’m hoping that is easy. I’ll back everything up to the hard drive and connect it via USB and hope that will allow me to copy over. However, I’m not sure that is how a Mac works. We’ll see. I will also need to work on how to do paint shop pro and may consider learning the new Pixelmator which is fairly cheap as those things go. Free for 15 days. So that is on the list. I will need to be able to do things with photos and graphics. Then later will need to be able to do video but that is a later goal.

I really like having photos already on the computer from whatever is in my phone. And being able to see text messages come across the screen, and notes and reminders on everything. It’s a sigh of relief and continuity and at this point – that is why I need. So going from a discombobulated day yesterday to a fun two days of Christmas holiday and payroll recovery.

I wouldn’t change much about my life but about right now I’d love to just take off in an RV (a little one) – take off for a couple or three months and go to Miami and keys, then thru TX and see Katy and Cody, and then on to the South West and onto CA. As the weather warms head up a little further and then across the mid country and come back. Ahhh yeah, de-stressing just thinking about it. Ah but I’d miss my new iMac. And my recliner. And that would be oh so irresponsible of me (to be w/o my iMac).

Well, I’ve much to do today and I’ve blogged a long time this morning. One day I’ll laugh about the end of year payroll run (not likely any time soon) but I’m just happy now to have two days in a row off to chill out. Much needed. But even at the end yesterday’s long day, I was so thankful for those that rallied around to help. I was not alone and that was much appreciated. Enough to help you deal and cope and I was grateful and happy with that. To have someone understand and be there to pull you though means a lot when you are traumatized (yes, I would go so far to use that word about yesterday, lol).

Anyway ya’ll have a wonderful weekend and hope you enjoy yours too.

Pray for our travelers.

And I’ll leave you with a photo below that reminds us of what the Christmas spirit should be the week of Christmas and it will hopefully revive my spirits again after such a hectic week with funeral, payroll, Christmas, and keeping up with so much in one week. Be Merry, Peaceful, and lets look toward a Happy New year 😉 in which we can once again work on our 2020 hopes and dreams.

4 responses to “Christmas and the Aftermath!”

  1. wow what a week you’ve had. i’m amazed you got it all done. you must be so relieved it’s over. i’m glad you were able to make wonderful memories with your loved ones. fortunately for us the weather was crazy good. it was 62 degrees here on christmas day. delightful indeed. enjoy what is left of your weekend. next hurdle is new years eve and day. can you believe it’s the end of a decade and is 2020. take care.

  2. Enjoyed our time at your home. Lots of fun and mounts of food. Miss Coco enjoyed herself at your home. She is such a little love bug regardless of her disabilities. We love you, Georg. Katy and Cody. Also, Masiey, Roger, Fanilly and Fancy. The fur babes run the shwo.

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