Back Home in Tennessee!

What a long one! Two days of travel but we are home again. Thanks for all your prayers over this long awaited and quickly fleeting trip to meet our Grandson. We made it. And here is a very tired ME, consoling Roger for the last few miles as we headed for the last 40 minutes to home.

Hoping George picked Nashville and not Jackson, MS LOL!

It was a pretty quick day. But the last few miles always the longest. We played “What am I thinking of?” And it lasted many miles! It takes a while to guess things like: Dust, Catholicism, Boppy, Cell Phone Tower, and Brewery. We had quite a few laughs.

At home we unloaded of course, which seemed to take forever in the cold wind. And I fixed spaghetti, which I’d been craving. Called my neighbor/house sitter/Little Bit looker-after and gave her a few surprises (and payment) for taking care of things, and got the remote back to the house/garage so I can get back in/out of the house tomorrow. It’s so nice to have someone to take care of these things.

We watched Below Deck and I went to bed at 8:00. I feel somewhat rested this morning and ready to tackle the things ahead. I had a bad dream though. I dreamed that the person in the position before me in my job, came back and fired me saying I was making too many mistakes. I kept saying “what mistakes?” They couldn’t tell me what they were as there were not that many other than just human ones that everyone does (+ or – 3%, lol). I realized I was being cast out because they liked someone else better than me. And came home and told George and we went to call our lawyer. Then I woke up and realized it was just a dream, LOL. Thank goodness. I like my job and want to keep it. I guess we dream of our fears. I’ve feared that I would lose the job because my grandson was born during the most critical time of the year. Of course, my company has been very kind to me through this. I’ve worried about this for some time because I am a responsible person and want to meet my obligations. And I’m happy to say that everyone realized family responsibility does indeed come first and my horribly timed vacation was approved. I was prepared to lose my job over it if I had to. But of course I’ll also be expected to pick up the pieces and get the quarter and the year closed as if nothing ever happened. I will try to do just that as best as I can. I will do what is humanly possible and will give it a few extra hours. And as George says, “You will do what a reasonable salaried person would do in this situation”. So yeah I won’t be living there but I’ll be trying to get the boxes ticked off the best I can. The first order of business though is getting the next payroll done and making up for being off last week. Then I can move forward to the rest.

Also there is a LOT of stuff to be done at home. Big things and little things. But we have a lot of time to work on it and through it. Plenty to keep me busy for a while. Most of it fun things. I will come up for air about March! lol

Anyway, glad to be home but I miss my Little Roo. Katy sent this to me yesterday of Findlay watching him in his swing.

So I better be off to work. Gotta shower and get ready first so as not to scare anyone. I’ve not even had coffee yet. I came to let you all know I was home while it was brewing and kept typing as usual!

Leaves Turning, Sunsets, and Holiday Planning

Good morning! It is Saturday morning as I type this with an excellent cup of hot coffee at my side in my favorite “Blue Lobster” mug from Maine! I have noticed the leaves changing this week. I vow every year to slow down and enjoy it. As I rushed out the door to work one morning, backing out of the driveway, I suddenly realized the “time is now”. I got out of the car and took pics and a video. It’s not as pretty here as it is at work. I’m not sure what makes the difference. So I also stopped there and took pics of the fire redness in the leaves.

It seems I’m out the door at sunrise and home and sunset.

Cloudy morning on the way to work complete with bird splat on window view, lol. Gotta love a reality blog right? lol

A Triangle in the sky formed by planes going across the sky. Of course I took it as a sign of change. Triangle = Delta = Change. Ooops you can see the reflection of my white board through the window.

Sunset on the way home.

Leaving it behind as I travel East toward home.

Another glimpse looking West getting off my cloverleaf exit at Mount Juliet.

It has been a quick minute of a week this week. I could hardly grasp that it was really Friday. Much accomplished yesterday with cleaning up from quarter end – meaning neatly packing up the reporting materials and prepping for the next one with worksheets and getting them ready to go for the next one. I also began getting everything ready for the next payroll quarter that starts in January. What does that mean? Tracking excel sheets where I have to track the numbers of employees for each state on the 12 of the month for unemployment reporting, making labels for all the tax sheets and payroll records where I have the w/e dates and pay dates. Saves me from having to write it about 30 times – just pop a label on it, and makes it easier to read and find when doing returns. I also placed the request for the files for our 2021 withholding and unemployment tax files. I also made out my 2021 calendar already with all the Friday pay day requirements for each payroll – certain days of the month require commissions to be paid for sales folk, auto allowances to be paid another Friday. Some paydays require holidays to be entered, some we deal with the fuel expense once a quarter for the sales folks, and then we have every other week is a salaried payroll in which I need to make sure I include their withholdings and deductions as a part of my records for tax filing and 401k uploads. So the calendar is set for 2021. I use my down time (not a lot of it) when it’s not quarter end or month end, to do prep work to make the quarter end easier and to catch up on what got behind during the quarter end. It works out about right on the time line. So it felt good to get started on some things I needed to get done and get ready for. I had to box up some 2019 records to make room for the current records. All that will go to storage. And we are about half way to the next quarter end lol. Time is flying by. By the time you get through with one, caught up, it’s time for the next one.

Dinner has been good this week. We’ve been busy a lot at night. But George fixed a pork roast one night.

And beans and corn bread! YUM.

We love this skillet! It’s my bacon skillet. But it makes excellent corn bread.

George gives Roger some much needed loving. He’s just an old doggie now. We have decided not to even take him for the next grooming. Just not sure we want Roger nor the groomer to go through it. He’s so uncomfortable and moany and groany and whiney when he’s not happy. He is more and more intent about being where George is. He seems happy at home because he is used to it, but he gets lost, stares at walls, stares into space, looks for George in the wrong places, trips and gets hung on our shoes, table legs, falls and wobbles over. And his back legs splay out when he walks on linoleum with his back legs not strong enough to stand up on the linoleum at times. We know our time with him is limited.

I don’t like to think of it coming but sadly it is. He is just a very elderly dog.

All week we have worked hard, we have done chores, we’ve planned some, we’ve done health insurance webinars, made weekend plans, made Christmas plans, made plans with friends, made to do lists, ordered Christmas gifts online, and have really been moving forward with plans/life despite the rage in coronavirus.

None of us knows what tomorrow brings. We are making plans and sometimes plans have to change but for now WE ARE MAKING PLANS. And it’s just been a busy little week of doing all that plus keeping up with the house and the dogs and ourselves.

So Friday night, even though I needed to be doing a ton of other things, I grabbed a hot tea, a blanket, and caught up on a few of my YouTube shows. It’s just what my soul and psyche was needing. I love our little den with the BAT (Big A$$ TV). It’s perfect for our day’s end.

So Katy’s shower is today and we’ll be going to a virtual shower and spending it live with my SIL and BIL Susan and Kevin. We will be celebrating Susan’s birthday after the shower.

Here’s our peeps right here, a photo of the last time we were together:

This is an angle I rarely get to see, the sun coming in through the sun room. Saturday’s it is so pretty. The sunroom is usually closed off these days as the evenings have been too cool. You can see the leaves changing. I keep fresh quilts/throws on the love seat there – I really need those stair step kind of a quilt rack to put it on. Where you can put 4 or 5 on it. I will grab in there and get the next one when it’s time to wash the current one. As always there is system for everything with me. LOL.

So for the next week or so the focus will be on Thanksgiving – cleaning the house, getting guest bedroom ready for Mom, listing and obtaining ingredients needed, and when to cook what and who is cooking what. George is hoping to secure the smoked turkey soon from Aldi. Christmas gifts, ordering is important. I have asked off for a vacation day in December. I had one day to burn so I wouldn’t lose it. Will still have my 40 to use in January – it will be 40 by then. So that felt good knowing I would at least have a day to do “something” toward Christmas.

I also want to work on the next LessHustleMoreCoffee YouTube video in iMovie. I’ve started it but have to stop long enough to make some strides toward our holiday goals so I don’t get too stressed. I will get stressed, but trying not to. We already have almost booked up our Saturday’s. We are really looking forward to getting the days off after Christmas. lol. It’s b/c the weekend falls that way. So yeah, looking forward to that down time after all the rush.

A lot going on in my office it seems. It doesn’t look as messy from a distance so that is good. I’ll be sitting here doing some orders and making some plans.

And “Christmas Corner” is expanding as gifts are starting to be purchased. It’s so exciting! And I guess I should get up and get started on the house and getting ready! I am going to wear makeup today. So excited! lol.

I’m leaving you with Mr. Turkey! George said he liked Mr. Turkey! Made my heart glad. That is what he is there for, to make us smile! I love a bit of holiday flair and so glad to find him.

Shampoo Games and Christmas Items

Over the years with all the travel I’ve been blessed to do – even with work – I have a collection of little shampoos, conditioners, and lotions from the hotels I’ve stayed. I have them separated into little bins in the closet shelf. I have used these through the years when going to Mom’s house or friends houses at overnights and it’s been nice, but the bins are overflowing and hardly getting used. So I decided during these Pandemic times, that I would start using them up. I mean maybe I should wait for retirement or perhaps RV’ng if I am ever lucky enough to get to do this in my life. But life has no guarantees, so I decided to just start using them.

Much of everything I do in life has a “game” about it or at least a “game plan”. Or an order. I’m methodical about most things. It’s why sometimes I have a hard time deciding something or answering a question because I go through a list of pros/cons through my head and decide if there’s something I need to do first, last, or instead, LOL.

So here’s my Shampoo Rule. I keep 3 varying shampoos in the shower. I think your hair does better when it has more than one type of shampoo. One is always my Suave Rosemary Mint shampoo or the Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo from Trader Joe’s but we rarely get there. The 2nd shampoo has always been an Herbal Essence shampoo because my hair has always done well with it, and usually it was a color one or the original one. But I’ve gone natural now and my color one is almost gone. I’ll replace it with the original most likely as it’s done best with that.

The third shampoo has always been the WILD CARD – it’s the one when getting low, I’ll pick any shampoo I want to try. This has been a fun system as I have my favorites plus getting to try other ones too.

As for conditioners – well, I mainly use VO5 Kiwi Lime as it is easy to wash out. I have deeper ones for the weekends but find I’m impatient with them. So I bought a spray on conditioner to use and like that from time to time when I remember to use it. I recently bought some shampoo and conditioner bundles to try and so the game is – if you use the shampoo you use the corresponding conditioner that goes with it so that I won’t just wimp out and use the VO5 and never use them. That’s the rule. Or I can just use none or the spray on if in a hurry.

Back to the shampoo. So….I have decided my little travel shampoos will become my 3rd shampoo until they are gone. I have made some little shampoo travel containers out of my system’s little cleansing bottles. They are a little bigger than these and I can use the shampoo from the big bottles to fill them if I ever need a smaller travel size.

So….game on. My 3rd bottle of full shampoo (the wild card) is almost gone so I’ll start using these up. I figure I’ll keep a start of about 5 little bottles so I won’t have to keep digging into the closet bin to get them every day. That will at least be about 2 to 3 weeks worth since I’m also using the other two bottles (Rosemary mint and Herbal Essence). I could also use the closet space for toilet paper! We ALL will be hoarding TP now until we die. LOL

Publix had their candy on sale for half price. Probably will have that all across the other stores? Maybe? Just letting you know. Quite a deal I’d say. I did not partake but it’s tempting.

I have a little Christmas pile started. Well there is that little turkey back there in the back. Doesn’t he look lonely. Actually he looks scared. As he should be. The holidays are coming around. Aren’t the elves cute. That came from the Dollar Store. I had been wanting some Christmas trees. And these are candles. I’ll be using them for decor. We will use them on our Christmas table.

I’m looking forward to the holidays this year. Except we won’t get to see our daughter though. That part makes me sad. I think George is sad because of it too because he keeps saying how different it will be. He kept saying that when his parents were gone. It’s sad. I am excited about it because Mom and my Aunt and Uncle are coming. And WE are here and alive and I feel we should make it as special as we can. We are not guaranteed any time at all. With Covid around, and us being heavy set – ok fat – we will have the harder time with heart disease or stroke or other issues looming about over our heads. So it makes me think we should enjoy the holidays regardless of the situation. But I guess it is really sad for him with no family from his side of the family at Christmas Day. As for our daughter, she is growing our grandson and it’s NOT the time to travel that close in. So we will miss seeing them. And I thought maybe we’d still get to do Christmas but we are shipping the gifts this year. In future years we can hopefully plan to eventually have a gift opening at some point. But I think we should plan to have a great holiday season this year and try to make it special to overcome what we will be missing.

I even ordered a pack of Christmas “Red Truck” socks. Mine have dwindled over the years and so as a sock lover anyway, these made me happy! You can see them barely in the pic above.

And so I’m off to do a few things. It’s payroll closing day. So an important day. Yesterday was a busy Monday as the plants had a lot of stuff they were holding on to, to send. Hardly had any emails all week then Monday BAM! It wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle. But wish that procrastination was not the name of the game. Nevertheless, I still had a bit of time to work on the quarter end yesterday and of course did not find the $1700 ish dollars. So…I’m not sure how to find this. Everyone’s numbers seemed correct. I’ll have to defer to the experts til I learn what rocks you look under. Last conversation I had with my boss she wasn’t sure either. So I don’t know – maybe we need to look at the spreadsheet again. Maybe it’s just a simple thing we’ve missed. Usually something that makes you go “DUH”.

Onto more coffee….I like to hit publish and then go get a 2nd cup and read what I wrote. Secretly, I don’t even spell check until after I’ve posted. I’m sure it’s not a secret as you probably see my spelling errors. It’s usually a missing word where the computer is saving as I’m typing and missed a beat or it’s a word like “cents” where my brain has misfired and used “sense”. I know which one it is but my fingers sometimes have a misfire from the brain. I try to have time to spell correct. Honestly sometimes I just barely get through getting my ideas on the pallet here. Some days there is not time for spell check so I apologize for that. I don’t claim to be a Pro. Just raw and real as I can be without getting into trouble. If I could say what I thought I’d be forever alone and fired as no one likes to see the truth in black and white, LOL. So I keep some of my reality to myself but most of it. I’d say 95 percent of it is raw and real. The other 5 percent that is missing is me being nice and not mentioning the flaws and rudeness in others. I have them too. I mention my own quite frequently.

Ya’ll have a good one. Coffee here I come.