Work Dreams, Buy-Outs, Night Outs, and Geeky To Do’s!

Well, I’m loving this weekend! It’s been a great relaxing time. Kinda of a geeky unwinding as we near the end of our extended “hibernation” period. Past Valentine’s Day, and looking toward spring – although no where near it yet, it does begin to feel like life will emerge soon! We’ll be headed into March before long and will have more warmer days here and there, more flowers, and….more plans. The year will fill up fast, if not already getting there.

Having been able to sleep in to 6:30 or 7 instead of the 4 o’clock weekday traumatizing awakening – it’s been great to just sleep in, but on the other hand, you DO lose a bit of time. I’ll take the sleep as it makes me catch up from the loss of it during the week.

Waking up later makes you dream as you are likely to wake up during the dream and can remember it. Last night I dreamed that our work went out of business. And in during the last days of the business we had to volunteer (lol) instead of get paid and we had to move to a church to finish out the work. There were only a few that volunteered (why would anyone do this, lol?). Anyway I remember in the last days George and I (not sure why he was volunteering too) we had to move out the last of the belongings from the church pulpit, as directed by our big boss. (Yes this is weird.). I woke up as I thinking – what are we going to do with all this stuff, where is it going to go and why am I here doing this and where is everyone else? Oh well. Glad again to wake up and find I’m not moving office furniture from a pulpit, and I’m still very much employed. I do know we dream about our fears and also I do know that I have been a part of how many company buy outs now? Let’s see – oh let me count the ways and give my age, lol. In it each time, God took excellent care of me:

  • Cain Sloan was bought by Dillards. I worked downtown, that store was closed and a position opened up in Green Hills for me and it was where I met my spouse. Oh that is a story in itself. Best to not go there. Interesting times to say the least.
  • Cyanede Plastics – I left Dillards in search of better pay as I was “topped out” in that range and that was unacceptable to me – a new boss that didn’t know me was not going to fight for a raise for me like the old one- so off I fled for a better position encouraged by my Dad who said manufacturing held more opportunity – no weekends and better pay. No sooner than a month after landing that position I learned it was being bought by Atlantis Plastics. I learned a lot about manufacturing, safety, and hiring, and exploring the field of HR instead of “personnel”. But Atlantis Plastics closed the Nashville plant about 2 to 3 years in.
  • I went to Atlantic Envelope pretty much before the end of Atlantis Plastics. Both home offices had been in Atlanta so travel began entering my world, my HR experience expanded exponentially as I had worked under the best VP of HR EVER, a lady named Nancy who taught me so much and showed me that I didn’t have to be like everyone else to be successful, that I brought unique skills and unique ways of looking at things to the team. I mention that because I was always comparing myself to others. But I had to learn that it’s ok to be different. That said, about 3 years or so into that – there were changes. We were sold and we were bought out by a guy that bought companies and sold them. We knew we were in for a ride. I knew it was kindof a joke when the owner drove up in a jeep without any kind of license plate on it, and asked us to improve the business by “googling” our way through it. He knew nothing of running an envelope company and was having to do that himself I guess. I believe after that we were sold to another investment firm and then eventually sold to National Envelope which gave us several more years. An interesting survivor story from the holocaust, owner William Unger (his story and book was incredible) we were proud to be a part of our new owner. However, Mr. Unger at the end of his life, retired and his daughters took over the company. The envelope industry became very competitive in an age when internet communication was taking over, and companies like Fed Ex and UPS began using alternative materials like plastic and cardboard instead of Tyvek to do their shipping. National Envelope, unable to keep up with trends, and unable to maintain costs, went bankrupt. Arising from bankruptcy in a remodel circumstance, our plant with its loss of business from Fed Ex, was closed.
  • So on to my current facility which shall remain nameless and since I’m employed there still will not discuss company business. However no company remains exempt from the perils of the normal business world. Change can and does and will happen.

“Job Security is a thing of the past” is something that you often hear people say. I think that is a mistake to allow oneself to think like that. We have often placed ourselves at the mercy and power of our companies and not enough belief in ourselves. Read just about any modern day business book or personal self help book and the mindset of being able to market yourself and your own brand – is key. So regardless of the dreams one wakes up to find, and the scariness of the situation of the end of a job era – one must realize – it’s happened before and likely will happen again. Change is enevitable. God sees us through.

I didn’t even mention what George just went through with Gibson’s bankruptcy and the ousting of all the older crew there – we just cannot escape it – it seems regardless of the size of company or circumstances. However, it’s scary to go through it because we are always afraid of the unknown, but we do need to have faith in ourselves and God. So….dream on. lol

You never know where this blog will go. lol

Well, I have a hair cut coming on and you know I’ve been undecided as to what to do. But all in all – there was really only one or two weeks where I didn’t like my hair. It was a shock at first. But even when I didn’t like it – what I DID like was getting up and not having to do anything much to it. And I began to like it. 😉 So in a couple of weeks I have an appointment and I’m going to go let her cut it again like she did before only maybe not so short. Even if she does, it’ll grow out. I kinda want to let it grow but really I think I have to keep getting it cut short til the color grows out as I’m letting my original hair shine through. I had said I’d wait til 60 but I’m not wanting to put the chemicals in my body anymore. So I’ll keep it short for while longer and then let it grow to bob status again when all the color is gone, unless I decide not to.

Yesterday I had to laugh at the following. I pop in on this family from time to time as I do several places that are my favorites. I snapped this b/c I was thinking this guy was funny in his house shoes. I can’t for the life of me imagine that this family knows they are on line. But anyway. Here ya go. I mean is he not in his underwear? lol. It’s the shoes that got my attention.

So the day went fast yesterday and before we knew it – it was time to go out. We went to Southern Grist, which has very weird and hazy beer – but then not so much. Any I have ever had, I’ve liked there.

We met my BIL and SIL there, Kevin and Susan. And then we all headed over to Nicky’s Coal Fired (same parking lot) where we had dinner reservations.

We ordered an array of appetizers, pasta dishes, and a pizza for the table and did family style so we could taste a little of everything. It was wonderful.

And then we did dessert and espresso.

Grand time had by all.

While there, Susan and I figured out we would throw a double shower for two in our extended family that are having babies! I wanted to do something for Ellen and Justin (Justin is Kevin and Susan’s son and Ellen, Justin’s wife). I was entertaining the thought of how to do a shower for Ellen (who is in the Knoxville area) and Susan had wanted to do a shower for one of the cousins, so we decided to pool together and have the family in (at my house) for June 20th for a double shower – making it easier on the family to come together all at once. So we have a project to work on and I’m glad to team up with someone. Now we can get together in planning mode and decide how to do it – themes, address lists, invitations, food, etc. Looking forward to it. And Susan and I get some girl time in planning. We can meet for coffee or a beer and get our thoughts together.

Here’s a funny for ya. Made me laugh. Something to pull when you have to wait in line:

Yesterday, I bit the bullet and downloaded Pixelmator for the iMac. I did a couple of YouTubes on it to learn about it. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do a lot of making graphics with it using the graphic files. But you can take photos and put text on it and change photos and do frames and it has most of the tools that PSP (Paint Shop Pro) has. Almost the same. I’m just not sure if it will take my PSP type of files. I’ll check it out though and see if it will do the tubes. I really don’t do much of that anymore anyway. I mostly just like to make blog toppers and logos and things and I can still do that. Heck I really don’t even use blog toppers anymore with the current blog. I kinda want to change the way the blog looks but I’m scared to. It took so long to get this one going I’m afraid I’ll mess it up if I change. The problem is that I don’t have a large chunk of time anymore of my own except for a bit on the weekends. lol But I’d like one that you could decorate with the seasons. I miss that. But I like WordPress a whole lot better than Blogger and I get more comments from you guys which really make my day!

Today I also went in and redeemed my Audible card – I think it was my SIL gave me. At first it didn’t want to accept the code. George even watched me enter it correctly. I was about to give up and decided to try one more time and it finally took. So I spent the morning joyfully picking out three more books. They are: Michael Pollan’s “Cooked”, Tightwads on the Loose by Wendy Hinman about a family sailing around out there in the Pacific, and Thomas Sims, “On Call in the Arctic” about a doctor who is called to practice there. Can’t wait. I have several other books in the waiting on the wait list since I found several. So this was on my list and I just needed some time to sort through and find ones that appeal to me. I love the adventures and the biographies. I also kinda picked by buying the more pricey ones with the three credits this card gave me. You get more for your money with Audible versus buying a real book. I think I got three for the price one hardback book would have been. Looking forward to my commute and my ironing time now. 😉

While in there I researched how to delete my former books from audible. I don’t want the ones I’ve read crowding up my library. I’m weird like that. And it doesn’t appear you can share with anyone unless they are in your family on the family plan but they have to have audible themselves. So I just deleted them. I won’t ever listen to them again. Life’s too short. Too many books out there.

So, today I need to go to the store so I’m prepared for the week. And then I need to spruce up a bit and do some more laundry. It’s totally been a weekend of relaxing. I need to wrap our gifts for Christmas with the Irelands and “French nite” – still two weeks away. Going to spend next weekend with Mom though – well Friday night and will head home around lunch time or afternoon Saturday so I have half the weekend to do something. I need to gather my ID’s for the new license thing and try to get that done. I hear it’s really busy with everyone getting their upgrades but I want to get it done soon so I can get it out of my mind. I plan to maybe go at an odd time and do it – like mid morning or mid afternoon and just take an early or late lunch. If it takes two hours – so what – when you think of the time I’ve worked over. I also want to go to Hobby Lobby but that won’t be today! I need to finish getting my phone pics saved on my iMac soon so I can take more pics in Tulsa next month. Need to clear out my phone. Also have some shows to watch. And all kinds of fun stuff to do on my to do list. I love it when I get down to the good stuff.

The good stuff is all the geeky stuff – non responsibility stuff – learning, playing, creating, planning, watching, writing, researching. I geek out on this stuff.

So enough for today. I can’t write away my day! Gotta go be a bit responsible for a little while. What you all doing today?

Webcams, Alexa in the Car, and Testy Tuesday

Good morning! I thought I would pop in mid-week and give an update. Mainly just working hard and trying to keep up with life.

Our neighbor did pass Sunday and I have heard the services will be up north where they are originally from. A celebration of Life will be held here in town later with friends here. It is really sad and shook our neighborhood. I look next door with sadness and a little bit of anxiety not knowing what to do. The Lord laid it on my heart to make two fudge pies, but I will wait til they return. And their church has been bringing food for many nights. I’m not sure of the schedule. Also I need to get George to swap numbers with our neighbor so we can communicate. Pam (the wife that passed) and I had each others number and also FB messenger and talked whenever things were going on, letting each other know we were away, asking each other to do things like turn the crock pot off and so forth. We even chatted about the neighborhood skunk. She was such a sweet person and loved her two boys. We will be taking them dinner at some point too.

So, let’s see…the payroll is closed for last week. My goal is always to get 4 plants closed in one day b/c that allows me more time to work on the taxes and do extra things besides payroll related things. If I don’t get that done it’s harder to find time to work on the taxes. Mainly doing the tax part I have to come in early or stay later to do – and work it in here or there. So getting it all done in one day gives me a little more time unless the plants have missed getting their PTO’s in or such in which I spend my spare time cutting checks and fixing instead of doing more productive things. Sad when that happens but everyone is human I guess. We don’t want unhappy employees on pay day b/c no one is happy when that happens. So I’m trying to plug away at this quarter end/year end thing. I’m finished with the plan’t withholding returns across the states, but need to work on our Transport’s withholding returns. They don’t take too long but every state is different. Most of the time the worst part is finding where to file it on some states. Ohio is weird and so is Oregon. Oregon takes three people to get it filed. lol Most states have a simple layout. Ohio and Oregon could learn some lessons, but they have extra local taxes and that is where it kinda gets a little more challenging. So hoping the plants have done a good job with their payroll (I always know on Friday) and I can make progress with these withholding returns that are left and also begin working on the reconciliation spreadsheet and then begin working on the unemployment returns. And then the year end w-2 filings that some states have you do on top of everything else just as a reconciliation feature – (if you missed any reporting or tax paying they have one last chance of making sure you paid the taxes, lol).

So yesterday doing payroll I kept getting hung up where the system wouldn’t let me finish. It was so frustrating. It kept happening and I would go around asking “is anyone in the system?” I emailed across the company to see if people in the system and finally had to go and have IT fix it. Come to find out it was being worked on as someone was doing some programming. Only one of us at a time can be in certain parts of the system. I figured I wouldn’t get closed with all four plants due to those continual delays and even stopped to eat lunch hoping whoever was in it would be done. I finally got through though and was ready to head home at that point. No tax paying for me after closing four payrolls and fighting with the system all day. My brain was done and my frustration was high and my tolerance was lowering with each thing that would go wrong. At 4 I began locking up and at 4:30 I was out of there. The main problem was that I’d not slept good the night before as the storms rolled through and Maisy was scared. I was awake numerous times between midnight and 4 – just disruptive sleep. Not only to mention that it was “Testy Tuesday” coming off of a Monday Cleanse. If the cleanse didn’t work so well, I wouldn’t do them, but they do release fat and increase metabolism. So lack of sleep and lack of food intake on Monday make Tuesday “Testy”. We called it Testy Tuesday. I have less of a tolerance for nonsense on those days, and my expectations of everything performing around me as it should in my world is “quite high” – where as other days it’s less taxing on me and I can shrug it off with a “well that sucks but oh well it’s life” and go on. Because we all know that life never goes perfectly even when you try to make it perfect. All one really can do is what they can control – and in today’s world – that is minimal.

So at night this week, I’ve watched Sister Wives. They are back on. I’ve been able to watch it on the iMac. I have a chair back here and I can sit and watch my show while George watches sports up front on the big TV. I enjoy watching the Sister Wives. I don’t believe that is the lifestyle God intends much as I don’t believe that a gay lifestyle is what God intends. I’m getting that from the Bible which I believe to be God’s inspired word. But they are people and it hurts my heart that people are so rude to them. I’ve watched and learned the personalities of each sister wife and I really like them a lot as people. They are kind and do not want to hurt anyone. It makes me mad that people are so rude to them. So they are in Flagstaff now and have a beautiful property. I am glad I’m able to watch it on the iMac through TLC website, and through Xfinity which is through my Comcast cable company. I had to sign in to a link that TLC gave to select my cable service and chose Xfinity and then signed in through that and had to download flash for it to work. It led me through each step but within 3 to 5 minutes I was streaming. It let me do the first one w/o all that – the day before – but yesterday after they have you hooked you have to go through your service or pay for viewing through TLC. I’m glad I didn’t have to pay extra.

So during commercials I often “people watch” and it’s especially exciting to do this over coffee the mornings I don’t blog b/c the over seas cams where people are already up and moving about – you can watch more. Here’s a few snapshots (screen shots) of things I’m watching through the webcam app.

Cat Cam in Aspen, CO
Cruise Ship Cam in Sydney Australia
A fun little Farm in Brisbane Australia (This is rain not smoke)

Look at that huge chess board above. lol

An oceanside Fish and Chips bar in New Jersey
A grocery store in Dublin Ireland
A meat market in Russia
A family living room in Vineland USA

The above is my favorite. I like to pop in and check in on them. It’s a family of 4 and they have 3 dogs. It seems funny to be able to pop in to someone’s living room and see what they are doing. I love to watch them and the doggies. They love their pets like we love ours. Seems like a sweet family. I watched her wrapped gifts and get ready for Christmas and even watched their little Christmas party. She worked hard getting ready for it. I’m not sure where Vineland is, but I pop in on them just about every night during commercials. It’s like watching a silent sit com. lol

A Coffee/Drink bar in Barcelona

This one has become a favorite. I could have sworn I saw Edward Snowden in there one day. I should have done a screen shot. I’m not sure where he is now? But anyway this has become one of my favorites. The workers faces are familiar to me lol. It’s fun to watch them make the coffee drinks and work the bar. And fun watching the people come in and out. It’s both a coffee and a tavern type place. I’d heard overseas they were not as separate as they are here in the US. Often we have our coffee shops, our breweries, and our wine bars – each with a separate focus.

The rest I’ll put in gallery style but here are some that I pop in on here and there at random. There are offices, runways/airstrips, pools, RV parks, backyards, laundry mats, city streets. It’s endless.

And then back in our own living room….lol

Alexis is in my car now!

Oh how could I forget? Sunday I hooked up Alexa for my car. I love it. It helps with the handsfree thing. She will call Momma and drop in on George at home and will open my Audible and tell me about the weather and how traffic is b/w work and home. She will put things on the grocery list and do my reminders and even order things. I’m loving this!

So I guess I better get my make up on and head in. Much to do today.

My vacation was approved within just a few minutes. Been a long time since that happened. So Katy and I are set to go to Tulsa in March. I’m longing for just a vacation day to be able to do nothing but what I want to do – it’s been a while. A long while. Weekends don’t count. There’s too much of a pace that has to be kept on the weekend. One day quarter end will be over. Maybe I can take a day in Feb just to BEEEEEE.

Got a Christmas gift package from my sister. Was thankful for that.

Ya’ll take care!