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!)

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!


Southern Snow and Getting Work Done

I was able to get out and take a few pics today of this beautiful snow, which has been both a beauty but a curse for many. Here in Tennessee we get a good snow about every 3 to 4 years. Usually a 2 to 3 day work loss event and not an entire week and then some. When I say work loss, let me stress the point that many of us are still working but from home and more on that later. Maybe even tomorrow. I slept til almost 6:00 this morning instead of the 4:00 a.m. hour. At the latest I am up by 4:45. I must have needed the sleep. But then I got up and showered and got ready for work (sweat pants outfit and warm socks as I sit by a window). By the time I got breakfast and sat down it was 7:38! So no time for blog entry this morning. I jotted down my outline for what I wanted to remember to blog about though.

This one above, with the focus in the distance.

Below with the focus on the limbs.

It has been just beautiful watching the snowfall. After I fix breakfast, then George fixed me another breakfast. Geez! I should just wait for his breakfast but I never know he’s gonna do it.

We’ve been well fed this week. That is for sure.

Here’s yesterday’s wine glass. After work, I sat in my office’s corner chair and watched the snow.

You can change the focus of the iPhone pics too by touching the screen where you want to place focus. Above I touched the screen where the snow was. Below I touched the screen where the wine was.

Honestly I think the iPhones (and mine is only an 8S right now) really just do almost as well as the camera. Well it does for me anyway since I use the manual settings still. Lessons, lessons, lessons – I know. Time, Time, Time!

Update on Daughter’s Power and Water

They are home with power and water now! And they said River was happy to be home, unbundled, and playing with all his toys – he swats at the jungle gyms and gets books read to him. I love this pic and had to share it. Look at his little legs! They are filling out! I love to see the healthy baby legs! This pic makes me want to hold him so bad. It’s so hard to live 14 hours away. I just can’t believe we do. I can’t believe we are letting this happen. Like we have a choice! Well we could move but George won’t let us. I’m glad we didn’t yet. We’d have been without power. And a shower for several days. Anyway, I’m glad all that worked out. Thank you LORD!

So I entered a bunch of W-2’s and almost finished entering the 188 I have to enter for one of our states – yes all manual as we don’t have the right software to upload I was told. So I only have like 12 left to do and I’ll do that tomorrow.

I have a headache though for dealing with all that today. I guess just from concentrating. I’m sipping a glass of wine now. I’m about to go cook spaghetti for dinner. Not really very hungry though as I had a late lunch of some leftovers and that was my 3rd meal of the day being I had two breakfasts. Oh my I need to exercise now!

Why am I working this Weekend?

Sybil, in the comments, wanted to know why on earth I would want to go in and work this weekend when I’m working all week from home. So I figured I’d answer that here for all.

  1. I have a check box of responsibilities that I do each week for payroll. My week is done when all the boxes are checked. There may be a few things that can slide over to the next week but I would only let that happen if I was on vacation or something like that. I DO NOT like being behind and I always get the most important things done but all of it usually is important and timely as I pay people for living and also pay taxes and do tax returns.

2. At home I don’t have all the supplies to be able to check all the boxes. So my days are usually shorter when I work from home. Maybe not a lot shorter but it is a bit shorter. I also take time to throw laundry in, lay out ingredients for dinner, take care of a pet’s needs (taking out, feeding, etc). I might even clean off the counter or take an extra few minutes at lunch or call Mom to check on her. So I have more time perks while at home to throw in a few things here and there. While I usually start on time, I might let up at 4 or so – but today I worked til 5 since I stopped to go outside and take pics and have a photo session aside from taking a lunch. I had a quota set for how many w-2’s I wanted to enter. I’ve also been checking the weather repeatedly both on line and looking out the window. And since George is home too, we sometimes chat in b/w our work sessions.

So it’s only fair to go in and work this weekend to do the things that are not checked off the list and complete the week. My list usually takes up most of the week, so if I have things left unchecked I’ve not completed enough hours yet. I’ve done this list long enough to know that. Now I’ve had extra work going on with these w-2’s so it’s likely that I’ve put close to 40 in but I’d guess about 35 so far. I haven’t figured it out yet but I’d guess with all the breaks I’ve put about that in. That’s not much. I did relax more on Monday since I worked Sunday. I answered emails but mainly did all the things I would have done Sunday if I didn’t close payroll. We needed whites, towels, and darks really bad! So I did some chores Monday as my Monday and Tuesday goals were met by doing it all on Sunday. So it’s only fair for me to go in this weekend and I’ll probably get another 8, 9 or 10 hours in. If Saturday is not a mess on the roads, I’ll go then. But it’s probably best for me to go once this weekend and work all day Sunday. I could go in both and work two halves but likely I’ll just go in Sunday and give this a chance to melt and go in once.

So that’s the reason! I mainly have to be ready for this next payroll and then do a few things I couldn’t do for this past one. And I will be happy to do it. I never like being behind and I try to keep a life/work balance and keep it fair for both sides. Don’t worry, I squawk loudly when I feel pinched upon! I do feel like you have to protect yourself sometime. It’s often hard to get a Saturday or Sunday back when you work it if you don’t take it right away. I think you grow to regret it when you don’t focus enough on your family life, home life, and do things that are important to you. You begin to feel like an owned robot. I don’t think that’s God’s plan either. I mean He said it. Even He Rested after doing His work, and He’s God!

Ok off to go cook my Mister some spaghetti. Ya’ll have a good evening. Our offices are closed tomorrow. Well, I mean even if it was open, I’d not be driving in this mess! No way! I want to live to see my Grandson!

Oh I’ve been talking with one of the ladies that owns a shop in Breckenridge, TX! I followed her on Instagram and struck up a conversation. I wasn’t sure she’d remember us but we shop in her store every time we go to Graham, TX – The Tattered Pearl! I sent her the YouTube video in TX as I told her we’d mentioned her shop in the video. She sent me a heart back and said she was thrilled we loved to shop there. I do love her shop. I remember the first time when Katy took me there. I was so excited. We love boutiques and they had clothes that fit me and the prices were right. They had cute and different things too. It was a charming place. So if ever in Graham TX, you must stop by The Tattered Pearl!

Ok when is Spring going to get here? When it does I have some plans! I’m going to make some appointments in March for sure. Ok gotta go!