Friday, December 16, 2011

Teachers need to remember that we have a life outside of the PTA.

Today was a fine example of, "Hey, I'm happy to volunteer, but please recall that I have to scrub my toilet, too."

K-'s teacher, lovely woman she is, has now decided that she wants to show The Polar Express next week.  She needs a crock-pot of hot chocolate on and a copy of the movie provided.  She needs no volunteers, though.  Alrighty then.  Please never mind that we have the class party the day before and I can't ask these moms to provide anything else.  I'll be swinging the stuff and I assume that the crock-pot will be returned to me at the end of winter break. 

I had a teacher whose class earned a pizza party back in October tell me today that her kids have been asking about it.  "Oh, when were you looking to have that?"  "Tomorrow."  Really?!  "Is that possible?"  "Barely, but I can make it happen."  I showed her that I had juice boxes set aside, a bag of chips and I need to purchase more, plates and napkins.  She wanted the pizza delivered.  That would be seven additional dollars, so I'll just order from up the street and pick it up myself.  I need to go help to do said party, which leaves me at school in the early AM to help with snowgrams (for my friend Kay that had surgery) and then come back mid afternoon. 

The oil needs changed in my truck.

The sheets need changed on the beds.

My bathroom needs cleaned.

My daughter's "girl party" is Saturday and I was planning on basically not leaving the house tomorrow in hopes of getting things done, but now I can't.


I love the PTA.  I love helping.  I had a handful of teachers tell me independent of each other of how they appreciate what I do.  That is wonderful.  I'm happy to help out.  Just please, for the love of the cleanliness of my toilet and home in general, remember that I do not have a time card and I do not get paid for my position.  I'm just a volunteer!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Retail Potpourri

My day involved the following:

1.  No one was there to help me open.  I was thinking that I was going to be a one man band.  Turns out, my co-worker was late.  All was well.
2.  A woman bought and wanted wrapped a flower that is taller than me.  I'm 5'1".  The head of the flower was wrapped by a co-worker (as round as our Tercel tire) and the stalk was dealt with by me.  I ended up floofing some tissue with the leaves, put some ribbons on it and did the best I could. 
3.  The perfume assault band of old ladies came in.  It gave me an instant headache and though it was 35 F out, I had to turn the air on with it blowing directly at the desk to hopefully blow it away.  Customers looked at me weird and I decided to just tell them.  "I'm so sorry.  I suffer from wretched perfume sensitivity and I have a horrible headache right now."  My customer apologized and said that it wasn't her.  The next lady in line said that she has the same problem as me.  Geeze people! 
4.  I was told by another co-worker that there was a lady that was sitting down in another room, I needed to take care of her purchases and bring the items to her.  I did that and found a very disabled woman sitting in a chair with one of those seat walkers in front of her.  She was very lovely, we got her purchase handled and then the challenge was how to get her back out.  I told her that I would walk ahead of her to clear the path.  She ended up taking out doorway merchandise (she felt so bad), we got that picked up, then her husband couldn't get her and her trappings all underhand.  I took her purse and her oxygen.  She toodled behind me as I cleared the way and opened doors.  We got her down the stairs, then I had her hang onto my back as I lead her between cars.  We got her to the van in one piece.  Whew.  I thought we were seriously going to lose her. 
5.  We had a return from something purchased nearly 2 months ago because they decided that "it smells like chemicals."  I sent them to our gallery director.
6.  A co-worker (office staff) was sent home because, with the blessing of her doctor, she came to work with shingles.  Still, one of the owners has a supressed immune system and, well, there is the rest of us. 
7.  Someone had my shingle co-worker blocked in and didn't hear the pages to move her car.  I ended up accidentally tracking her down by kidding with her friend about the car being paged, she went, moved her car but was given a hard time by another co-worker.  I apologized profusely and did an extra foofy job on her gift wrap.  She said that she noticed and I told her that I just felt so bad. 
8.  I can't handle hearing that steel drum band Christmas CD one more time.  I think that the other co-workers are going to fling it.  We have one co-worker who insists on playing it and playing it and playing it because we have three for sale.  She put it on while the #7 was lady at the counter.  The co-worker at the counter with me was going to begin to plead with the music CD player to please not and I told her to just let it go.  "It's not worth the energy."  All #7 could do was to laugh and agree.
9.  Self-service caused a customer to reach way high to get something that she shouldn't, knocked down a $35.00 Christmas figure which bounced off the carpet and her friend quickly scooped it up and went to put it back on the shelf.  "Ma'am, may I please have that.  I need to check it.  I'm sure that the drop broke it."  I looked at it and sure enough, the nose busted clean off of its face.  I told them that.  "Truly, if there is anything I can help you with, please let me know.  I'm happy to get it for you."  Apparently, they ducked back out.  No apology.  No offer to pay for the breakage.  Nothing.  Lovely.
10. Of course, we deal with people's inability to just back out of the parking lot.  E-r-e-r.  (That is the sound of them toggling between reverse and drive.)  It's a tiny lot, people.  JUST BACK OUT!  Thank you.

Smiles in my day:
-  The betamethasone that Dr. A-, allergist extraordinaire, prescribed seems to have lightened my redness with just one application.  Let's hope it continues to work.
-  It's Wednesday and that means that the second part of my "work week" starts tomorrow.  I can switch focus and, here's a thought, sit.
-  K-'s teacher called this evening and had a lovely chat with me. 

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

From the allergist's office.

Today I went back to have a nice, long visit with Dr. A-.  It seems as though my bee sting from October 23, 2011 flared up when I smacked my shin on the step, it was healing and I itched it, causing the bee sting area to get big, red and welted. 

Y'all, it wasn't so pretty.

On Monday morning, I called the allergist's office to see if he had any available appointments.  He didn't have any, but they said that they would call if he added some to his schedule.  I told her that I would go ahead and make an appointment with Dr. W-, my family doctor.  An hour later, I got a call that there were free appointments and would I like to have one.

Yes, please.

I had to leave work for an hour and a half, but the time was more than well worth it.  Here's the scoop:

Dr. A- said that he was "stunned by the negative bee tests given [my] family history" and my reaction to the yellow jacket sting.  I said that I was rather surprised myself and it was a two-sided coin.  On one hand, I was relieved to have it come back negative.  On the other hand, I told him that I feared that it made me look like a fool.

He assured me that wasn't he case.

He went on to tell me that though I tested negative, he's having me come back in 6 months for a retest on the bee venom (skin only) and to continue with the remainder of the skin testing for general allergies.  Then, I was told the most interesting piece of information. 

He's not convinced that I'm not allergic to bees. 

Seems as though there is 3% of the bee allergic population that tests negative.  Though he has never had such a case in his office, he said that he certainly would not discount it.  Family history (Grandpa died as a result of bee stings) and my reaction are enough to keep me hauling the Epi.  He said that I should have one, especially if I go down south.  "Do you go golfing?"  "No, but we camp."  "Do you camp in cabins or in a camper?"  "No, we tent camp."  "Oh!  Hearty people!"  He asked where we go and I told him Hocking Hills and Ohiopyle were a few places, and those aren't particularly close to hospitals.  He reviewed my concerns, discussed my welted and discolored leg and has given me a delightful prescription for a cream to apply "one week on and one week off" as it can cause skin atrophy.

"I like my skin.  I'd rather not have atrophy."  He smirked.

He discussed that when I shave my legs, I want to make sure to use the cream 12 hours later.  "Dr. A-, it is the winter and women don't shave their legs much in the winter."  "I didn't really know that."  "Just take a poll.  Others will agree."  He couldn't help but to laugh. 

So, the wind-up is this.  I have this cream.  I'll use it as directed.  If the cream doesn't make the bee irritation bit go away, I'll need to go to Dr. W- and have him perform a "punch biopsy" to remove the core of the scar that I have.  Perhaps that is something in there that is causing an irritation and the punch biopsy would possibly take care of it.  Hey, it could be worse. 

What is truly delightful is that Dr. A- is extremely thorough.  He takes his time with you.  He was with me for about a half hour.  He didn't think that I was a nut case and completely understood my concerns.  Hooray for scoring yet another wonderful doctor!

On a somewhat related note, I took my cream prescription to the local grocery up the street.  I was able to speak with the pharmacist at length about my need to fire my pharmacy, my desire to switch over to them and how things will be filled through their pharmacy.  I explained what happened with the Lipitor and he explained that insurance companies will possibly not be honoring the name brand version anymore.  Generics have to be the same active ingredient as their name brand counterpart, but their filler components can be different.  I explained my concern about switching to generic from name branded Lipitor and he understood.  He told me that I would need to have the prescription written "dispense as written" and all would be well with the insurance companies.  He was a wonderful young man who really took his time with me.  I did find out that they only carry Allegra D OTC, so I'll have to have the prescription for that transferred over to another Giant Eagle, or just bite it and leave it there.  Argh.

Hooray for good medical people!  What a wonderful thing to be thankful for!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tales from the Trenches: So sad.

I read this article online.  It is so very sad that a young man strayed off the trail and fell to his death.  This is an absolutely beautiful park.  We've vacationed at Hocking Hills several times.  I can absolutely tell you that the area is well posted with this sign:
I remember what it was like to be in college and thinking that I was invincible.  Our prayers to this family.  What an incredible loss.

Please keep this family in your prayers.

Monday, December 12, 2011

". . . And a cartridge in a pear tree."

"Babe, it's partridge."

"Mom, it's cartridge.  Like DS!" 
So I sit here on Sunday night, tuckered out and somewhat accomplished.  Laundry is twirling and swooshing in machines, the kitchen counters have been found, cookies are mounded and awaiting tomorrow evenings divvying up, we've eaten, we've played and we've accomplished much.

Friday was dough day.  I was able to make up all the cookie doughs that I needed for cookie baking this year.  What did I make?  Well, let me make you a list:

Cherry Thumbprints
Oatmeal Craisin Cinnamon Chip
Lemon Chip
Peanut Butter
Ginger Kisses
Chocolate Chippety Chunk
Red Hot Sugar Cookies
Butter Crisp
Triple Chocolate Fudge Bars

Being in the rather chilly environment that we're in, I kept the doughs in the back of my car, as it was too much to fit in the fridge.  It was freezing out there and I had to leave the dough out for a while to make it pliable enough to even work with.  If it's cold, embrace it.  What else can you do?

K- and Hubs got onto cleaning K-'s play area in the basement.  We were trying to encourage her to donate items, but the child is rather sentimental about everything-- major awards, rocks from the driveway, paper dots she's punched from homework . . .  I remembered that Goodyear was having a Toys for Tots toy drive at the blimp hangar a bit down the road.  I told her that we would make the trek to the hangar and that she could donate her new items that she never played with to the Marines that were there.  That put a spring in her step, especially after I explained to her that her donations may be the only things a child receives for Christmas this year.  The hangar closed at 6 PM, but I left more than enough time for travel and any type of line.  I had travel time right.  What I didn't have right was the time the line would take.  Last year we went, and we drove right on in.  This year the wait was an hour and 45 minutes. 

No kidding.

Hubs wanted to bag on the trip, but I was determined to allow K- donate the toys that she gathered-- tonight.  I figured that her step to thinking of others would lose steam and possibly have her reconsider her donations.  We waited, listed to K- read, listened to the radio and finally, it was our time to go in.  I had K- keep the donations in the back seat with her and she was able to pass them onto the Marine through her window.  When we left, she asked, "Mom, did I do the right thing?"  "Yes, baby.  You did."  "You know at first, it was hard.  I didn't want to give that doll away.  I put more things into the bag and it became easier."  She had received two dolls from my aunt last year that were very similar.  She had opened one, but one she never got to.  Over the years, she had amassed so many craft kits that she just didn't get to all of them.  K- didn't complain about the line we sat in, but occasionally I'd hear her in the back seat say, "Dude!  Pay attention and move up!"  Gee, where does her back seat driverism come from? 

The unexpected hours that we logged away from the house completely put me behind on the remainder of the baking.  I left the thumbprints for last, because K- told me about how her thumb was the perfect size for holes.  By the time we ate the pizza that we picked up (dinner on the fly because of the line), we bathed and only had enough time to have her help me with two sheets of thumbprints before she went to bed.  She was good with it, though. 

We did Lowe's this weekend.  She built her coal car and next week will be the third part to her three part train.  We'll be taking her friend, Rebecca, along with us.  Rebecca doesn't get to go to K-'s girl birthday party because of a family Christmas celebration that came up, but we were more than happy to party with her early.  K- and Rebecca went to preschool together and Rebecca's mom, Kay, is one of my best friends.  Kay would have done the same thing for K-. 


Hubs' Christmas party was Saturday night.  Talk about a snoozer.  I was able to check out the miniature golf course that Hubs and his coworkers have been crafting this past year.  That was cool.  The rest of it was rather lame.  There was dinner, which was a lovely turkey and ham, but the rest was boxed sides and the most disgusting stuffing I've ever eaten in my entire life.  They had a dinner mystery theater theme to the evening.  After dinner, Hubs scooted me out so that I could jet back home to retrieve K- from the sitter.  He said that he knew that I was hitting my limit of actors milling around and yelling at us while we ate.  He said that the evening got no better. 

Church this morning was absolutely delightful.  Pastor Karen did a visualization with us about love.  It brings shivers to me just thinking about it.  One of the teachers at K-'s school busted down out of the choir and tracked us down to fill me in a bit more on Sunday School.  (I left her a note in her mailbox at school pleading for some guidance.)  We cruised on down, had 17 in Sunday School and our topic today was what gift we would give Christ for his birthday.  It is a current issue class, which is right up our alley, but we were feeling a little wonky about it.  Today, we had different people recognize us, make us feel at home and even Pastor Karen caught us at the top of the steps and said, "The L- family!"  She double checked on K-'s name pronunciation (often mispronounced, misspelled, never remembered and just generally butchered in a number of other ways that I may not have listed) to which Hubs replied, "You are one of the few people to get it right!"  (It's not a weird name, just a really old name that isn't very popular in the states.)  I can't tell you how much it warmed my heart to have people really reaching out to us today.  I had been struggling this last week.  I just hadn't felt at home with the grove of Sunday School and this past week made a complete turn.  Even Mrs. McC-, the one who dashed down from choir, told me at school this week that she looked to see if we were there at the choir cantata last week.  (I had the tea and explained that is why we didn't get to go.)  Hubs and I are feeling more and more at home at this new church.  It really warms my heart to be able to say that. 

Now if you'll pardon me, I do believe that I have an evening of slumber and some cartridges in a pear tree to dream about.

Have a wonderful day!