Thursday, November 26, 2015

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Forgotten Holiday

Christmas decor, lights, six-foot tall Santas who move, or the kind you blow up and put out on the lawn, and fake Christmas trees have taken over what was the Halloween displays in stores.

Sure, people begin thinking it's only a month or so away, but Christmas isn't the next holiday. Thanksgiving is. Everyone I've talked to calls it "the forgotten holiday".

Well, what is Thanksgiving, really? Aside from the history, to me it's a turkey dinner that smells and tastes so good you can't not cook one. One year we went to a restaurant, and it just wasn't the same. No left-overs, for one thing. You wait hours for it to be done, and all the real work comes at the end when you try and get the potatoes mashed and the gravy done just right and heat up rolls....

Since it's only Dennis and I these days we do the easy microwave potatoes, now. And since he's staying away from bread (and really so am I), we don't do stuffing. Why be in misery afterward, right? But I miss it. I miss making it in the morning, and getting that turkey stuffed. Oh, yum!

I don't know why this holiday has come down to a meal (some are simple, like ours, some are lavish with lots of pie and deserts), and having family over, and football, and then wanting to just nap wherever you are while the game is on.

Maybe because there aren't any gifts involved. But isn't the gift in family? The people you love? As a tradition Dennis and I make a toast to either each other, or say something we want to be known, like how we've gotten through a year of hardship, or whatever the case was for our year.

Do you have any traditions for Thanksgiving you want to share here? Leave them in the comments, I'd love to hear about them!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

As the Pumpkin Rots... I Rant

I was busy this past week trying to do several things on the Internet. Being that I'm lost as to how to do certain things these all gave me headaches.

First of all the company I work for has gone paperless. Meaning that they no longer give you pay check stubs. I remember when they went direct deposit, which was fine, but we still got a pay stub. This past September they told us we had to go on-line to view it. There was an instruction "packet" for this. Now, as you all know what is required is some sort of User Name and then your password. Any variation on these things gets you nowhere fast. So, when I did all that I was supposed to [which included my social security #], and got the message they couldn't find me I'm incredulous. I've only worked for this company for 16 plus years, now.

So, I go to work the next day, tell my boss about it. He had someone he could speak with and they'd get it all straightened out.

Sure enough, someone on their side boo-booed. For some reason they had my husband's SS # down for me. Now, how do you do that? And it worries me because I wonder if they are doing something elsewhere down the line. So, they "fix" it. I go home and do that first step, and they had me finally. But when I went back to search for my pay stub, I couldn't get through. I wasn't sure what I was doing wrong. I gave up. I talked to my boss, and I knew what I had done wrong. I went back and tried it again. Well, they have such a long dumb ass user name and since I'm dyslexic it took me a couple of tries. Finally I was able to view it!

We had been waiting for pay raises, after this union ratification. I could rant about this for pages. The union we belong to manage to take $35/mo., and I don't know what they do, but we couldn't fight to get much better pay. This company--TRANSDEV--is huge. They could very quickly bring in non-union people from anywhere in the country and drive our buses if we took a strike vote. I was not going to go that route. We had to take the $12.18--barely up a dollar from what I was making so far. And this had been ratified and whatever for a couple of years. Transdev (I like to call them TransDIVE), dragged their feet, sent a contract that conveniently left out three things, so they could postpone payments. We all got some sort of "sign on" bonus. Some were to get $300+ whatever other bonuses were owed us.

Well, finally, that went through... but our pay raise is delayed for NEXT pay week. Can you believe it? One of the richest transit companies nickling and diming us to death. It just goes to show you those people who are at the top making the millions don't want to give those of us who do the real hard jobs what they owe us. I really REALLY can't wait to get out of this business, and it may come next year at some point. I just can't do this much longer. Not for twelve freaking dollars an hour and deal with bad drivers everywhere (in the winter it's amazing we don't kill anyone), all the students who walk out in front of you, expecting you to bring a twelve-tone bus to a screeching halt just to avoid smashing them to smithereens.

The next thing I did--or had to do--was go to my PayPal account and retrieve my royalties which went through at some point last week. Well, I didn't see it, even though I got confirmation through an email that my publisher did, indeed send the money (he also had difficulties doing the transfer, and we had to wait until the end of the month for the PayPal people to resolve the "glitch"--so, I'm not the only one with headaches). Not seeing it there--it should show it right on your summary page--and then I'm wondering why. I eventually see that I have to confirm my email with them (rolling my eyes). So I do that. The next day, YES! It's there. Now comes the tricky part. I'm wondering how I go about transferring it into my bank. If you are not familiar with this type of transaction, I'll explain it the best I can. After you've logged into PayPal, you'll get your page, and it will show you your payments, who it's from. At this point a couple of days ago I called my bank and asked someone via email, how it's done, thinking that they were the ones to contact. Don't do this. It's unnecessary. She sent me an outdated screen on how it's done. You don't need to go through your bank. All you have to do is click on choose bank. When that page comes up it you'll see all these different banks to choose from. If none of them are yours, you simply click on the phrase that says yours is a different bank. I did that. Up came two lines I had to fill out. First is the routing #, and then your account #. As soon as I put these in, my bank's name came up. Great!

Now, at this point PayPal isn't going to take for granted the account is really yours, because glitches can occur. Due to the fact that I'm dyslexic, I'm glad they are being really cautious. They tell you they are going to transfer a small amount (anywhere from one cent to .99) into your account. I think it's two deposits. You are to wait 2-3 business days and check your bank account. If it went through you tell them what the amount is. If it jives with them, then you'll have that money in your bank account. I'm not at that point as yet. I'm hoping I was careful enough to give them the correct numbers.

This stuff all takes time away from other things I have to do. And I don't like doing this after I come home from my full day of driving. It's why I don't get on line too much. I'm trying to detox from my day. Forget what happened, even when it all went well, there's always one or two irritations that bugged me, so I sit and crochet, or whatever I need to do after I get home.

Then, yesterday, I got the bill for getting my Internet hooked up. I was charged for things I wasn't supposed to get charged for. Plus, it's not no $29.99 per month, I find I'm charged $34. The bill came to over $100. I did call, told him my beef. Asked why I was charged all this and I got nowhere. So sick of beating my head against the wall, I tell Dennis (in a heated discussion), I'm just going to eat the loss. Neither one  of us wants to go into town to try and get this resolved (which we know they'll only do the dumb act on it), I tell him my royalties will cover it easily. Which it will. I can pay for it on-line, but I can just imagine what sort of headaches that will cause. I just don't like doing that. The mail service in my part of the world works just fine and I still can write out a freaking check, put it in an envelope and slap a stamp on it. If you lose the Internet for some reason, and need to pay you're out of luck!

So, that's been my week, thus far. I've made gluten-free pancakes for my husband this morning (Bisquick has this and you can find it in your grocer's health food area). I've got strawberries to clean, and will be doing that eventually. I have not had a chance to work on the fifth book in weeks. I've simply been too busy. I don't know how people find time to tweet and do facebook for hours every day. I just can't. I have to do other things--cleaning the house is one thing I never have time for, and yet I do it in increments on certain days (bathroom, one day, dusting another, vacuuming another), and I do my yoga in the morning and try and get in a walk as well, if I have the time. Other things may include the afghan I'm making for a lady friend who's cancer has come back, and I wanted to make this for a Christmas give for her before we are down for 2 freaking weeks in December (without pay, by the way). I've had other ideas for crafts this winter and want to work on them. In fact, I've worked on some wood carving, too. Interesting art, I must say. My creative side has emerged again, over this past year, and it would seem my desire to do these things doesn't give me time to work on writing, or blogging or anything else. So, if you are reading this, you know what I'm doing, and why I'm not around much. I hope you understand.

Saturday, October 31, 2015


Yes, my time of year. I'm putting up a short post today. Right now we are playing our videos of horror movies. They'll play all day long. Later on we'll have root beer floats, and pizza for dinner. Just a way of celebrating. 

Didn't get any creepy cookies for Halloween, but here are a few to make you drool on my facebook page

And here's a link to some yummy cookies over on flicker

And if you want to take the test to see what literary monster you most resemble, go to Grammarly. It might be a shocking revelation!

Here are some photos to enjoy from my collection of Halloween, plus comics.

A great place to take a nap, if you're a cat
Decorating is easy if you have a... coffin just lying around.


What a sweetie pie... just don't get close to her. She bites!

You definitely need one of these on Halloween.

Well, my husband needs to be gluten-free, so, why not witches?

Svengoolie was the host of all those old horror flicks I watched as a teen. 
He still hosts on a local station every Saturday.

Man, I didn't think it would take the yard man that long to dig up the septic tank... hmm, must have been pretty toxic, huh?

Whatever you serve this Halloween, eat well, and whatever you do, have fun!