My Travel on Snowy Roads, Work Day, and Pantry Storage Ideas

My little Grandson is growing! He is six weeks and counting. Katy posted this a few days ago. I thought it was a sweet pic and she is looking great! They are getting more sleep now. She joined a program called “Taking Cara Babies”. (The lady that owns it is a nurse and a Mom and her name is Cara and she is a certified pediatric sleep consultant). I’ve mentioned this before but I’ve connected a link and given you the name of the program in case you know someone that needs information as to how to get babies on a schedule. At the time she enrolled it was $99 and she said “it was the best $99 I’ve ever spent. I wish something like that existed when Katy was born. We just fumbled about and figured it out and I have loved and guarded my own sleep schedule ever since, vowing I’d turn into a pumpkin if I stayed up past 9:00! But I’ve been thrilled to hear “how” and “why”. She has been given scientific information as to why babies do what they do. Katy has learned so much. So I wanted to share this program in case you know someone who could benefit from the same. It has helped her quickly and she has resources to the program for a year I believe.

Snowy Roads in the Neighborhood and Driving in to Work

I just thought of it, seeing the hood of my car in this photo, but I guess it could be dangerous being a white car on a snowy day. I’m invisible! So here was what I had to drive in to get to the main roads! There are hills getting out of either side of the neighborhood. But the connecting roads were better than our road so that was good. George got it up the driveway for me (uphill). It took two tries but finally we made it. He took me around the block, applied brakes and such to show me how to test a snow road for “slippability” and it was fairly dry packed. The other roads had ruts. And the main roads and interstate were dry with water here and there for the melting. When I left it was 40. I waited until it got to 40. So I think I left around 9:30 or 10. And I worked until about 4:15 or so. Got a LOT done. I knew I had to do a lot when I got there but….I realized just how much I was behind.

The first order of business was printing everything that needed to be printed: PTO requests for the next Payroll, tax receipts paid, w-2 resends from requests that came in, check statements for the TN plant that needed to be stuffed into envelopes for 111 employees, and the list goes on. I also had garnishment sheets to work on for payroll as there were some changes. I did as much as I could and I am glad I have today to work on payroll related things as I have a ton of PTO requests as you can imagine from nearly every one of our plants b/c of the snow/ice storms that swept our nation. I have to look up their avg pay with incentive and make sure they are eligible and make sure they have the balance to take it and then put it in the plant’s payroll folder. So I’ll be doing that today and doing time sheets. Ahhhh I am so thankful it’s going to be above freezing all week so we don’t have to deal with snow, or at least much of it anyway. Some nights get down below freezing and sometime we have to watch for freezing fog but I’m hoping not this week!

I know it will be a looooong week this week as I’ll be working six days in a row. And then Friday I’ll be headed to Mom’s for a girls night. I will likely work enough hours all week to get off around 3 so I can get down there, and get our dinner picked up and get to her house before or around nightfall. I knew I was going down there the last weekend in FEB, and Mom had to remind me it was this next weekend. How did I not know that? I guess the last week was just a blur since we were iced/snowed in for 8 days. I just hadn’t realized time passed! I thought it was one more week away. So I’m looking forward to our time together. I’m taking food in when I get there Friday night and then Saturday we will go out to eat. She says she is READY to go SIT DOWN at a restaurant and eat! So we’ll do that. She does not want to shop, but I told her I needed to go to one store and buy a quilt ladder if they still have them. I think they were about $20 to $30 cheaper than buying them on line. On line they have to account for the shipping I guess but I want a quilt ladder for the den to put our quilts on. I enjoy them year round – sometimes the a/c in the summer gets to be too much for me and of course the winter chills and seasons changing. It’s something I’ll enjoy a lot and need to get them in their “place” instead of just laying around.

One of the things that surprised me of my drive in to work yesterday were the hills of snow on the side of the road. Our snows are usually not big enough to have snow banks on the side where the snow has been plowed.

Finished Organizing the Pantry Storage

Working on the Pantry has been a project I started a year ago, or was it two? I got some ideas from other bloggers and from Pinterest. Some of the ideas I already had in place. Our pantry shelves have deep shelves and it’s a lot of adequate space for us. We have plenty of room to buy extra things for back up. We use a lot of sauces and marinades and keep a lot of dried beans, pasta, and grains on hand. I don’t care so much about how it looks so much as “can we find what we are looking for”, “can we reach it easily”, and “grouping like things together”. It’s NOT perfect or pretty so much but I worked on it some yesterday and I think we have it better organized. I did NOT work on our back up supplies and I probably won’t as George usually likes to organize those things (hot sauces, condiments and such) but I did work on these shelves here a bit. Here are some things I’ve used or done to organize the pantry:

  • Lazy Susans – for Canned Veggies and Soups – Not all fit of course but I try to put canned veggies that we use as sides with our meals on them, as well as soups and then let the canned tomatoes and sauces and stuff hang to the back.
  • Dinner trays – The dinner trays slide in and out to where you can see what’s behind and look for things. This was a great idea. You can see below that I put the baking things on the right, including the jello, lol. On the left tray are canned chicken and tuna, soup and pasta kits. I mainly put those there so it was at eye level and we can use those up soon and not let them sit. We tend to forget about such “kits” when we are planning dinner for some reason.

  • Little shelves so you can double your space. I have pasta and some rice on the bottom and the topped is filled with dried beans of all kinds.
  • Baskets can be pulled out to see what is in them. WE have all kinds of rice and quinoa in the basked here.
  • I have bought into some air tight storage systems for oats, sugar, flour, and I had one left over so I put tea bags in it. WE have two lifetimes of tea bags in our house, LOL! George says he loves his little corn meal container that he has used for years and didn’t want me messing with it! (Story of my life). So he has his little corn meal container in there. Mainly he said when he uses this he knows how much he is adding when he pours from it.
  • And it’s nice to have some of these lights to use when finding things. But you have to remember to turn them off.

So I finished that project up with my storage containers as they arrived yesterday. It’s not the “prettiest” organization but it IS functional and I’m happy with it! I think the only thing I might add is a little container for sauce/spice packets but honestly I think if we lay them about we end up seeing them and using them more often. I through away a bunch of OLD flours too, stuff from 2014 to 2018 that I had no idea it’d been in there that long. Our daughter used to bake a lot and when she left – enhhhh we just don’t bake much! I filled up the trash can and made a lot of room! So be sure and check your expiration dates.

And now I must get ready for work and head out! What are you doing today on this fine Monday?

After work we are meeting up with my SIL and BIL nearby for a beer and dinner. Looking forward to that so much! (Reasons to love Monday! It doesn’t have to be a Friday to enjoy some fun!)

Dog Trims, A Day Off, and Slow Snow Thaws

As I was cleaning up the house yesterday, I kept noticing the sun and the snow and how pretty it is. But oh what problems it can cause. Temps got up close to 40 – it may have even reached it – and there was some melting. A salt truck came by mid day. But I cannot see any result from it. Our roads are horrible. I hear the main roads are fine so it’s just doing navigation on pure ice where it’s melted some and frozen back.

I took this pic because the ice on the road behind us, kept shimmering in my eyes. The sun was hitting the ice and it reflected up. You can see how icy the roads are by the center of this photo below.

You can see my foot prints from a couple of days ago where I went out to take some photos. And George called my attention to some icicles at his bathroom window.

I can’t tell you how wonderful yesterday was, being off, and knowing you were on your own time. I had much to do and to catch up on. I always do laundry and cleaned the kitchen deeply. While we were home I noticed in the foyer that I still had the manger scene in there! I laughed! We’ve been so busy doing xy and z and the manger is scene is natural colors and so is the foyer, that I totally missed it as a Christmas decoration. I was thinking in my heart we should leave the scene around all year as it was a precious scene and one in which our Lord was on his way to saving our souls and giving us hope for eternity. Something we absolutely should consider every hour. But I know it in my heart, so I wrapped all the breakable pieces, found a storage bag and put the hay in it, and a copier box was found and it all fit in it and I labeled it. I need to go through my Christmas boxes this next year and get rid of things not used but each year it seems we end up buying another storage box. lol.

So I tidied up things and packed up my work office and watched a YouTube about trimming dogs. George bought a trimmer to trim Roger with. I’ve been afraid to do it, but had considered it before and decided against it. But he needs it sooooo bad. And it takes a month usually to get an appointment as not enough groomers work the weekends and demand is high for those that work during the week. So he came home with this and I thought he said he bought it for me to do. I must have grimaced because I’m so afraid I’ll hurt him. Anyway, much to my surprise, as we sat down to do it, George grabbed the trimmer and began shearing! I used the scissors to do his ears and some of his paws. We are not finished yet. I want to work on his feet with the scissors. And we need to get his little toenails trimmed but we are afraid to do that.

So, you are supposed to do this on a table, but, we decided a different technique for this old dog and for his comfort. We allowed him to lay there and would trim what we could and turned him over and such. He looks so much better. He’s only a little “choppy” looking, lol. But at this point it’s about keeping him clean and having a functional cut, not so much for impressing others, ha! The part we needed to do, we didn’t get to do so much so there will be a “round three”. Yes we did this in two rounds yesterday. But I think he can only tolerate so much at a time. I do realize we have to “show him who is in control” but he’s just old so we gave him a break!

Looking at this, I’d say we’d found some success at it!

This is not Roger above, of course, but my Instagram pic with the graphic yesterday. Roger does not have enough teeth for this. But he snapped his gums at us a few times. He does not like his feet being done and of course he has concerns about his underbelly near his “parts”. That is where we need to get the most as he wears diapers. So that will be the 3rd attempt and we will have to do it without him laying in a pillow. I think one will have to hold him while the other trims.

Looking over at my guys last night, I felt a sense of contentment. We did it. Well George did it. Most of it. Even Roger felt better. He ran around the house like doggies do after a bath. I have to watch him though. He loses his balance and falls over and I’m afraid he’ll run into something and break it – a lamp, a guitar, or who knows what. He also has been known to get tangled up in cords – computer cords, vacuum cords, lol. He’s like a toddler for sure. Here he is worn out from the day. You can see how sleepy he is. He used up a lot of energy and it really probably wore him out to be messed with but he felt better I’m sure and looks better.

This Part Might Bore You….

The big news for me, is that it had been bothering me that I’ve not had time to set up my rugged Lacie files to move my iMovies and their working files over to it. But guess what? At around 4 ish, I grabbed a cup of coffee and watched videos. I somehow knew (since I have a Mac) that there was going to be “a catch”. So I have found that doing anything with a Mac it’s best to watch a YouTube video before you attack the project. And I’m so glad I did. The other Lacie drive I used as a back up drive and it backs up daily maybe several times a day, I cannot remember. But this one is just to be used as a storage drive. And so you set them up differently. The big thing was that the disc had to be formatted through disc utility and that made it Mac usable.

While I was YouTubing, some other videos caught my attention about how to set up your files on the Mac (or any computer). So I decided to title each one by year and then by month and date and the title of the video. So there is a file for each video. Something like this:

2020.5.2 Headed to Texas

This put all of my videos in chronological order. When I moved the files, It actually copied them, but that was pointless as the point was to get them off of my Mac. And also get any out of iCloud if they were still there. So I nervously sent them to trash after I had confirmed my videos were there on the new Lacie Drive! Yay! Both Lacies were called “Lacie” when they loaded so I had to rename one the Lacie Backup and the other Lacie1. As I hope there will be Lacie2 and Lacie3 as needed. If I ever get monetized on YouTube I’ll have to take additional steps. Because the external storage drive – if it ever dies – they are gone. I’m not too concerned though at this point, b/c all of that data is 1) already on YouTube so it’s not totally gone 2) Most of the photos are still in my photos which is on the back up drive. I’d say when I’m moving them over to the working file, it’s really only copying them over. So there is likely another copy in my photos on my hard drive. So far I’m not worried about that yet. I don’t keep many video footage and it’s mostly photos. I think the main thing is getting the big movie space suckers off the Mac.

I’m not through though. I have a lot of “working files” for each video. I will also be sending those files into each of the named video folders. That way I can go back and get “just a video clip” if I want to refer to something. It will all be organized and I’ll be able to find it. But I won’t be keeping many videos on my Mac itself from my “photo bank”.

So once I move ALL those working files over from each of those completed videos (I already have it pretty much organized and anything that is not organized already, I’m not spending a lot of time to go back and do. But will in the future make sure it IS!)

Then I’m still NOT through. I want to set up “working files” for all of the future videos. So I can break them up and organize it into folders. Now these I’ve decided will be OK to remain on the Mac until I finish it. That way they are being backed up until I get them into a movie. I’m so excited to have started the project. And working to set up the “future movie” files, I’ll be able to see all the photos and video clips that I have and can start to form ideas. This is going to help me so much! And once this is through I can focus on my new Intro and then I can get back into my routine.

I was really starting to get antsy b/c I miss doing the videos. I have continued videoing things we do, almost every weekend, I’m videoing something. So I have several to make! Now that some organization is coming together I can begin to get in a rhythm and can do more planning and creating for each thing in advance.

I do have to stop and take care of important things though, like trying to find a place for Mom, doing some mending, and a few household projects. When spring gets here I’ll be making some appointments and we’ll be doing our research and getting the flooring. Oh that will be a good video! lol

Photo by Louis on Pexels.com

Anyway, I keep typing as I’m waiting for things to thaw. I was wanting to leave at 7-ish for work, but decided 8ish, and now I may need to wait til 9. The sun is up but it’s 25. The temps are coming up pretty quick I guess as the sun shines bright. I’m trying to wait til it is above freezing, so perhaps I can find some traction and melting on these side roads. They are as slick as glass, I’m sure.

Wish me luck and say prayers. George has to get me out of the driveway, and then I have to navigate to the main roads. I’m scared to death as I thought it would be thawed by now. But we are going up to 50’s so if I have to wait til lunch time I can I guess. That would help. But I want to get as many hours in as I can today as there is a lot to do. I never thought I’d be so happy to go into work! ha. I just don’t like having important things pending and I don’t like being behind. But I’m not willing to risk my life though. I guess the good news is that we usually don’t have 18 wheelers driving in our neighborhood, so the worst that could happen is I’d slide off into a mail box or ditch. But, I don’t want to damage my car either. This is the most stubborn snow I think I’ve ever seen!

Are you thawing out where you are? Are you ready for Spring?

Snow Melting and Pros and Cons of Working at Home

Little Bit greets you! After losing MaisyDog, it’s been really nice to have Little Bit at my side. Truthfully, I think I’m his default plan. Roger dog is with George and so he doesn’t prefer to hang out with Roger so he hangs out with me. But I’ll take it. I do miss the photo opps that pets bring. I love taking pics of them in the house. They are our children. Maisy loved having her photo taken and I snapped away with my phone or camera. Sadly Roger is not too photo opp worthy right now. He needs a good grooming in a terrible way! We shall soon be making many appointments as March approaches. I’ve deemed it “appointment month”. If you were on Instagram you have seen a lot of these today.

Had the workday today. Had some payroll things to solve. Got it all taken care of. Well everything that I can do here. The official plan is to do housework and goals tomorrow and then work on Sunday. It’s going to be very very busy Sunday too. But it’s necessary. There are some critical pieces to my week and mainly getting ready for the next payroll.

Melting but Streets are VERY icy!

The snow began melting today. I loved to hear the sounds it was making. However, it’s not melted anything from our streets. If anything it’s icier.

Here’s George trying to get up the drive to go to Walmart. RogerDog is out of diapers. It took 3 tries. Here’s the first one. The rest of the videos are on Instagram. You can follow at @lesshustlemorecoffee – also a link in my side bar if you are on the pc. If on the phone or iPad, scroll to the end to follow. Love to have you!

Took some afternoon shots in the snow, messing around taking pics of shadows and light.

The above would make a good iPhone Wallpaper if you are into the ice and the color! I tried it and it looks nice.

Other than that our day was just busy working. I did however, make a list though of what I like and dislike about working from home. I think it would vary according to what job you are doing and what the situation is. But here are my thoughts on working from home in the payroll/tax position that I am in.

Pros for Working from Home

  • No drive to work
  • No having to pack lunch
  • Get to work with pets
  • Get to work in your sweats
  • Get your own bathroom
  • Can do laundry while you work
  • Can prep for dinner on your breaks
  • Get to sleep later
  • Chat with your Spouse if he’s home too
  • Watch a show on the Big TV on your lunch break
  • Can get caught up on lenghty but piddly data entry projects as there are so many things I can’t do from home.

Cons of Working at Home

  • Some urgent things cannot be done from home due to lack of proper equipment: supplies, technology (can’t print, scan, create checks, or send overnights from home, and my tax files are at work)
  • Creates a lot of anxiety at times when you feel helpless to be able to resolve something.
  • In my HR/Payroll Career (leaving specific companies out of it), it has always surprises me if someone thinks you should have lasso’d the moon when they know you don’t have the _______ (fill in the blank for the situation) to do it. I used to be anxious because of these rude surprises. It’s like a Jack-In-the-Box and it Pops Up to scare you on a whim when you least expect it, especially if someone yells or gets angry, embarrasses you, or creates a hostile work environment for you. And that is a big NO NO! Happy to say I don’t usually encounter these types of issues now, but if anything gets close to that I have ways of dealing with it.
  • Hampers plans, schedules, and routines. Since my job is not normally a work at home position, it means that it’s temporary for now and often it’s on a whim – something has happened – COVID, Ice Storms, or whatever. So there is not a lot of time to prep for it. You grab and go! So NOT having the supplies and technology you need hampers getting things done in a big way. That brings us to the next point.
  • Working longer hours when you go back to worksite to make up for what didn’t happen at home.

Some Work Surprises in Alternative Working Conditions can Pop Up When Least Expected

But it’s ALL GOOD. I always work out whatever issues or problems that come along as soon as I can. Maybe on another blog post I’ll share some of my ways I’ve dealt with anxiety and job stress and dealing with others who cause the same. I think we learn to be anxious by our experiences. I’ve learned so much in my career about stress, anxiety, dealing with _____________ (fill in the blank)! I’m happy to share.

Let me know if there is anything you particularly would like for me to share or discuss and I’ll be happy to write on the subject. Or feel free to ask questions. Much like Sybil asked about my work a day or two ago – I got two blog entries out of the subject. LOL

Awwww ya’ll. I’m just so happy that we are thawing out soon and life can get to some sort of normal – whatever that is these days. I’m happy, content, and looking forward to many things in the days to come – even if they are simple! Despite all that happens, we are blessed, loved, and have God to watch over us. And He does. He even sees that the birds have what they need. He says “don’t you know I’ll take care of you too?”.

Nite Nite <—–I used to end my blogs of long ago with Nite Nite. I used to blog in the evenings like I’m doing now. I think I prefer mornings, but as I said – when you work from home you get off your routines. Somehow I have done that!

Lit