Foot Care, Hair Cuts and Cars

Published June 18, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

The days keep rolling by. I’ve figured out the best way to care for my feet, gotten a new haircut, and finally got the full estimate on the car. It’s quite the 2 weeks!

My feet continue to complain about the sudden uptick in the work they are expected to do. I am on my feet all day at work. I rarely sit down for anything, and rarely take breaks. I’d rather just work. Since I have to walk to and from work, this means my feet work harder than they have for long time. They need a little extra care and attention.

After some trial and error, I found shoe inserts that work for my feet. I’m not sure when shoe manufacturers decided that support and padding was just too much to deal with, but it leaves those of us who wear the shoes having make them support our feet properly. Even high-end athletic shoes have nothing inside them to support the foot. It seems like a lot of money for a fancy shell with a logo on it. I also remembered epsom salt. Epsom salt is wonderful for sore muscles and exhausted feet. I found if I soak my feet, they recover faster, and are ready the next days pounding.

I got my hair cut. Well, technically, I got all my hairs cut. Cutting just one wouldn’t really show, now would it? I was letting my hair grow out from a short cut. I had gotten it almost even all the way ’round. It was in a bob above my shoulders, but it was a pain. It was messy and in my way. It never really looked nice. I know, that is all part of growing hair out. I’ve had long hair. I’ve had long, long hair. But this time, the awkward growing out phase just wasn’t something I was up for. I also remember what I do with long hair – nothing. I pretty pull it back, braid it and that’s it. I rarely wear down because it gets in my way. So I end up with long hair no one sees because I keep it braided all the time.

So why have long hair?

Now it’s short and fun. I  think I need the top a wee bit shorter, but I can wear it spiky, or messy, or blown dry and combed smooth. It also makes using my fun colours easier.   (I have some washable bright colours for my hair I use from time to time)

And I finally got the final estimate on my car. With a little help, I’ll get that paid for and have a car again in about a week. They gave me the worst case scenario estimate, so it may come down a little in the end. They are also taking advantage of the torn apart car to replace some parts that are due, or almost due, for replacement. All in all, my car ought to be very close to as good as new as it can get.

Now the only thing missing is summer weather.

 

 

 

Life Without Wheels

Published June 9, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

Feet

It has been close to three weeks since my car decided enough was enough and ceased to function. I am still sorting out what needs to be done to fix it and how much it will cost. At present, it looks be about $2,000 to make it a real car again. If only money truly grew on trees. *sigh*

But this isn’t about that.

I am lucky. I live in small town close most everything I need and I work about 5 blocks from home. I can walk. I bought a rain coat to keep dry on the many rainy days. I have good shoes with supportive insoles to keep my feet mostly happy. I am healthy enough to walk without it being a struggle. I even have one of those little wheeled carts for shopping trips.

Even if my car was working, I would still walk to work on nice days. I did that years ago when I lived a few blocks from work. The walk let me shake off the day and reset.  But walking when you want to walk is a little different from when you have to walk. Some days I rather not make the walk, but now, I have no choice. So I walk. No matter what the weather.

I walked to the grocery store with my little cart and did my shopping. This was fine on nice day. This would not be fine on cold day in the rain and screaming wind. I have new respect for the people who this all year – especially by choice.

I can get food and get to work. I can get to the touristy downtown shops, but not to the Dollar Store or Goodwill unless I take the bus. I can’t get to my favourite fabric shop, or even the not-so-great fabric shop unless I take the bus, or get a ride from someone. The issue with the bus, is the bus system here stinks and is expensive. One route only runs on weekdays, the other only on weekends. Seriously, it is cheaper for me to drive my car than ride the bus to Goodwill.

My little car gets an average of 27 miles to the gallon. Gasoline here is about $2.65 a gallon. The Dollar Store and Goodwill are in the same mall, about 10 miles up the road. The bus fare is $3.00 one way. That route is a weekday only route. My favourite fabric shop is even closer, only in the other direction. That is $1.00 fare one way, but that route only runs on weekends and I work weekends.

Mostly I miss being able to go where I want to go when I want to go. When I get a ride, I don’t want to ask to go to multiple places. I don’t ask to drive through the coffee stand for a fancy blended tea. I don’t get to wander into yard sales, or stop at funny little hole-in-wall shops. You just don’t ask someone to drive you all over the county. They are doing you a favour, and they may not want to doing that favour all damn day.

With a little luck I’ll have my car back in few weeks. I am hoping the lessons learned during this time of the feet will stick, and I will keep walking to the places I can walk to.

At least until the weather turns cold and wet.

 

 

The New Job Is A Sweet One

Published June 5, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

candy

I started my new job on the very last day of May.  My uniform consists of a tee-shirt and jeans, or black pants. They aren’t too picky as long you are clean and presentable. The only reason I need to wear the tee shirt is that I am on the floor all day.

I am working at sweets shop. We sell ice cream, cotton candy, candied apples, fudge, dipped Twinkies, dipped Pringles, dipped Oreo cookies and CANDY. Loads and loads of CANDY.

Sweet.

The candied apples, fudge, truffles, dipped items and such are all made on the premises. It is all fresh. They even make their waffle cones. There is a huge variety of fudge flavours that include cookie dough, pistachio and cookies and cream. Maybe one day I’ll write them all down for you. The candied apples come in several varieties from plain old caramel to rolled in mini M&M’s. Some are dipped in chocolate with a fancy drizzle on them.

And then there is the candy.

There is bulk wrapped candy sold by the pound, there is bulk loose candy sold by the pound. Love French Burnt Peanuts? We got ’em in bulk. Love Pixie Sticks? We got ’em in bulk. There is also well over 20 different kinds of salt water taffy in bulk.

We have a lot of the ‘old school’ candies as well – Cow Tails, Abba Zabba, Charleston Chew (3 flavours), Sugar Daddy, Sugar Babies, Long John, Zagnut, Bottle Caps. Chick-o-Stick, candy cigarettes, bubble gum cigars… the list goes on and on.

We also have a lot of international candies. Chocolates from Germany, Belgium, Italy, France, and Switzerland (to name a few).

And an entire section of theater box candy.

I had a customer ask me what we had that she wouldn’t find in grocery store. She was a little over whelmed as I showed her what we had. I’m pretty sure she found things no one would find in a typical grocery store.

My job is to keep it stocked and the merchandise facing the proper way. I also put things back in their proper places. On busy days I can simple continue to make my rounds, picking up strays and stocking the popular items. I can do this for 5 hours and never sit down.

It’s fun work. I like the customers. Who isn’t happy in candy shop? We get a grumpy kid once in while, but it’s a candy shop and the grumpies soon pass. Yeah, they still do crappy things from time to time, like fill a bag with different taffy flavours and then abandon the bag, but that isn’t too awful (yeah, we sort them back into the bins because they are all wrapped). But for the most part everyone who comes in is happy and amazed. They see candy from their childhood. Who can’t crack a smile remembering when they pretend smoked candy cigarettes?

I feel as though I deserve a job I like after the string of disasters I’ve had the past year. I finally found a job I like.

A sweet job.

More Changes

Published May 26, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

celebrate_life

 

Before I hit ‘real’ part of this post, a quick car update:

After a small wrinkle in getting the car to the repair shop, the car has been delivered to the hands of the fellas at my local repair shop. I am awaiting a call to tell me if the car is dead or not. Please cross your fingers.

I have finally managed to quit my housekeepers job (Yay!). I actually gave notice two weeks ago, but my supervisor didn’t want to lose me (I am a hard worker and reliable). She was trying to find somewhere else for me to work. But all the ‘let’s try this’ and ‘let me to talk the GM’ were going nowhere. I am sick and tired of hurting so much I can barely walk after work. I am also sick of it taking both of my days off to recover from 5 days of overwork. So I called it done.

My last day of work saw me and my team member with a total of 22 rooms to clean and service. And that was considered an easy day. With summer pretty much here, the workload was only going to go up, up, up. There isn’t the staff to support the number of rooms that need service everyday. I don’t want to be made a cripple by my job. I’m kinda funny like that.

When I left on that last day, I was left as an employee for back-up and for hire when laundry was allowed to have two people working. Not my idea of a good time, but at least it was some sort of work.

But today the tow truck came to take my car to the repair shop. After I got all that sorted, I walked into downtown and waltzed into the local sweets shop to apply for a stockers job.

The young man who is GM greeted me and we talked for minute or two. He then went and got the warehouse manager and an application for me to fill out. All this time I was having serious hair envy. His hair is a gorgeous shade of bright teal that blends into a deep, bright blue. I’d love to do something like that, but those colours are tough to care for and I am not only rather hair inept, but I am hair lazy.

But that is neither here nor there.

The warehouse manager came out and all  three of us chatted for a bit. Both of the guys are young men – young enough to be my kids. Both are adorable, smart and funny. We hit if off in about two seconds. I walked away with the newly created job of Stocker Supervisor/Warehouse Liaison (we don’t have a real job title yet) and a start date. The wages are little lower than the housekeeping gig, but this place is a lot more fun and relaxed. And far better staffed.

I am looking forward to starting this job, something I haven’t felt in long, long time. I have more of a feeling of this being long-term, rather just-until-I-find-something-better. If my dear little car is repairable, this will be better than a good day.

It will be fantastic.

 

 

Reducing My Carbon Footprint – Even If I Didn’t Plan On It

Published May 15, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

My work week generally goes from Sunday to Thursday,. This means I was at work on Mother’s Day doing all the cleaning (and grumbling) that goes along with my job.

When work was done I hopped into my little car to head home. One block from work it lurched, clunked, screamed and died. I called my roommate. She came and got me, we found a tow truck and had the car towed home. It was Sunday, so home was the only place to have it taken. Thankfully, the tow truck was close and home was 4 blocks away. That kept the cost down.

I know those sounds well enough to know the car is dead and beyond my finances to repair. I don’t know what to do with it. I pretty much don’t what to do over all.

You see, I am still paying for it. I have about 2 years of payments left. So here I have a car I have to pay for, but can’t drive, nor can I repair it. And while I was thinking about not having a car and the expenses associated with it, I was really hoping to do that on MY terms, not the car’s terms.

While I can walk to work, I don’t think my feet can handle the walk and the time on them at the job (as I wrote about before – my body isn’t doing well with my job). I don’t have a bicycle, nor would I have anyplace to store on inside. Not this will stop me from looking at bikes as a form of transportation around town, it is just another issue to deal with. Not to mention I live where it rains all the damn time, and I don’t own a raincoat of any sort.

So I guess I have accomplished reducing my carbon footprint, even if I wasn’t quite ready to take it this far. And I still have my rolling shopping basket cart thingie, so I can walk up to grocery store and have a way to get everything home without having to carry the bags. A small plus.

Today is a little bit upsetting, with a lot of questions that need to be answered. There are ‘phone calls to be made and research to be done. Whilst I won’t be at work, I still have work to do and the day will not be an enjoyable day off.

I kinda feel like God missed me, and smited my car. Thanks, God. Next time, take better care with your aim.

Spring is Sprunging – Sort of

Published May 7, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

Op-Spring-Cleaning

 

It is May. Time for spring to leap forth and the weather to warm up. At least on the west coast. The Mid West may have to wait a bit longer. My days of living in Minnesota taught me that snow in June was not an unreasonable thing to expect. Yeah, it was still unreasonable to freeze at night in JUNE. But let’s move forward.

My little corner of the world is still quite damp and chilly. Today was a sunny day, but the winds were coming off the ocean and they were cold. I think we have a little way to go before the weather is truly warm.

But today was good day to re-think my small space and DO something about what I perceive to be a mess.

Because this place is so small (and crappily built), I had several items of clothing in plastic tubs. This does not work for me. I began yesterday with the closet. ALL the skirts (and there are a lot of them) came out. Each one was appraised for size and frequency of wear. The same treatment was given to the jackets and the tops. The pile of things to leave got steadily larger. I had bought a set of sheets. I dislike the feel of them (they are microfiber and feel slimy, even after washing – ew), so they joined the discard pile. I cut down on shoes (again), keeping only the ones I actually wear often. Dresser drawers were pulled open, emptied, sorted and re-loaded.

Then I had to make it all fit without using the plastic tubs. With a huge pile of things to go away, this was easier. I re-arranged my dresser drawers to fit more things in the drawers (AND in a neater fashion than before). When I was finished, all my skirts, jackets, and summer tops were hanging up. My shoe rack had shrunken to fit in the closet (before this, it has been quite tall and outside of the closet), and the shoes I had left fit on the rack. The one remaining plastic tub now holds the extra hangers, and other odd and ends I rarely need, but want to keep. It is tucked under the short tops in closet.

The rest of my little room wasn’t spared. The blue end table I’ve had for the past 5 years was cleared off and given to a friend who needed it. Other odds and ends were sorted through and a box was set up for donations. Furniture was moved to new locations.  The carpet was vacuumed within an inch of its life.

I began sorting through family photographs and keepsakes. I am dividing them between my kids, and those will be mailed off over the next few weeks. It is time for them to have those things. It is time for me to let them move on.

I have a crap ton of stuff stored under my bed (limited space meant pressing the under-bed space into service). That is also on the chopping block. I haven’t gotten to all of it yet, but I will. Some of it will stay, but a lot of it will go. I just don’t ‘need’ all that stuff any longer.

Some the stuff went to a local thrift store, but all of my clothing went to a women’s shelter. I always try to give my clothing to a shelter. My roommate was going right by the drop point and generously took all those bags for me. I hope they help someone begin anew.

I am not finished. There is a lot to sort through. But I have a good beginning and I am happy with how things are going so far. There is something satisfying about putting your space in order and making it better. I suppose because I can’t do what I’d like to do, this better than doing nothing at all and being miserable.

Overall, today was a good day.

A New Career?

Published April 27, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

I am not particularly happy with my job. My immediate supervisor has no experience doing the job she manages. This leads some ridiculous scheduling, and impossible work loads to deal with. But the other day, whilst in the middle of cleaning a room, I had a thought.

Why not become a paid convention speaker and talk about housekeeping?

You know, basically get paid to shame the audience who traveled to the convention and is now staying at local hotels. All done with love and humor, of course. Sort of….well….maybe…okay – mostly with love and humor.

Just imagine – a convention for *insert your occupation here*, all gathered together to discuss all the ups and downs of working in the *insert your occupation here* field. When a one the colleagues takes to the stage to introduce the next speaker;

‘Ladies and Gentleman. Welcome the *insert your occupation here* annual convention. Tonight we pleased to have with us here tonight, a very special speaker. She is here to speak to you all about hotel housekeeping and hotel guests. Please welcome, Mind Full of Chatter.’

You can hear it can’t you? The murmurs of the audience as they think…

What the hell kind of name is Mind Full of Chatter?

Why the hell is she here at an *insert your occupation here* convention to talk about hotel housekeeping?

What on earth can be said about housekeeping? That’s kinda of boring, isn’t it?

And then the slow dawning, and fidgeting, of several audience members as they realize will be outed for being the worst hotel guests ever. Because no one wants hear about their own apparent inability to put trash in a trash can, change out their own toilet paper and flush their own toilet when staying at a hotel.

The Intentional Mess Makers will all fidget and cough. Some will try to sneak out. Others will suddenly be very interested in anything other than making eye contact with anyone else. A few will try to hide in their coffee cups and hope no one realizes they are the ones being spoken about.

The Unintentional Mess Makers will nervously laugh and spill their coffee. They will covertly glance around to see if anyone noticed they spilled their coffee, thus spilling more coffee and leaving drip marks all down the fronts of their shirts. They will then try to sop up the mess they made with a napkin, only to make a slightly larger mess.

The Neat Nics will look satisfied with themselves. Some will turn the person next to them to tell them all about the last tip they left. Others will simply smile and nod knowingly. A few will try to help The Unintentional Mess Makers clean up  their coffee spills.

Most everyone will laugh nervously (because I am hilarious) and glance around trying to identify whomever I am currently speaking about. In the end they applaud – because they don’t know what else to do.

And I will be paid to shut up and go on my merry way, leaving the audience of the *insert your occupation here* convention to go back to their hotel rooms, clean up their messes, change out their own toilet paper, flush their own toilets, and leave a tip for the housekeeper so they don’t feel so guilty about their own poor behavior.

Sounds like a win win to me.