Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Package and Some Cards


The goodies I received

I have posted a really quick video of what is in this package.  You can watch the video here.

I have no idea who the person is that sent these things.  Her card indicates she was going to send a tag quite some time back but only did so recently.

I love the tag she made, you will see it in the video.  I don’t even know what her YouTube name is so I will have to send her a card to thank her for the generosity she bestowed upon me.

I’ve been working on something for you girls and it is taking forever to get done.  Coat after coat of Mod Podge and I’m even using glitter 🙂  When they are done I’ll show you what you are getting before I send them on.

I’ve made four cards today.  I will be doing a step by step video of the cutting sequence of these cards.  This  is two 12×12 pieces of card stock and two 8-1/2 x 11 pieces of card stock.


After they've been cut

Since Thanksgiving is in a few weeks I thought I’d better get to making an attempt to do something.

In the photo, top center is 12 x 12 Old Olive textured card stock.  Far left is Chocolate Chip 12 x 12 textured card stock, the center is Pumpkin Pie 8-1/2 x 11, and the right is Barely Banana 8-1/2 x 11 card stock.

The stamp sets that are to the right, along with the 12 x 12 textured card stocks are no longer available.  I’m such a good Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator.

Oh well, at least I might give anyone interested some ideas what to do with their stash of papers and stamps.

The cards

I kind of got in a rut with these cards and they are pretty similar throughout.  Not much imagination in them.

I’ll show them to you one by one in a minute.

I guess I was going for an assortment of the same theme just varied techniques.

There is some heat embossing, texture embossing, stamping, and even some use of my homemade Glimmer Mists.

I’m all for using what you have and not running out to buy more of something.  I did buy some stands from Hobby Lobby to hold the cards upright for viewing.

Stamping and clear embossing

The rubber stamps I used are from last years Holiday Collection.  Most of them are no longer available – Good Job Bobette.

I’ve clear heat embossed the turkey on the Old Olive paper.  Chocolate Chip ink was used on the right panel along with a stamp set that IS available.  Falling Leaves is the name of that set.  The sentiment in the bottom left panel is from the Falling Leaves set.

The orange ribbon is Pumpkin Pie 1/8 inch taffeta and is available to purchase.

The mainstay supplies, like Chocolate Chip ink used on the edges of the papers and the images on the top right panel.  Basic Black ink for the sentiment and dimensionals for popping the sentiment out from the card.

Texture embossing

Cajun Crazy "Glimmer Mist"

The images on this card are from the Falling Leaves stamp set.

I’ve made my “Glimmer Mist” from the Cajun Crazy ink and Perfect Pearls.  I’ve used it on the Whisper White piece on the bottom left after I had stamped it.

The texture embossing folder is available, as is the little buckle thing on the ribbon.  That is from the Hodge Podge Hardware set.

Texture and heat embossing

This one I made an attempt at making it more masculine with not much in the way of foofy stuff.

The Give Thanks stamp is not available.  After I stamped that image, I pressed it in a VersaMark pad directly then added clear embossing powder and heat set it.

The bottom left is a texture embossing folder with Polka Dots.

The ribbon along the width, I cut a small hole in the folded edge of the card and threaded the ribbon through and tied it in a knot.  The ribbon top to bottom is attached to the inside back of the card front and covered with a piece of card stock.

No, not an eye

At the bottom left panel of the card is a piece of Hodge Podge Hardware that I used to make that lone acorn image not look so lonely.  It looks like an eye looking at you now.

The acorn stamp is from the Falling Leaves set.

The turkey is not available.  I’ve used a scallop circle punch and some finagling with placement to get that opening right.  The turkey is stamped and embossed in Silver on a scrap piece of the Barely Banana card stock and secured behind the Old Olive.  Tricky but it looks pretty good.

So…that is my card making for today.  Tuesday I’ll do the cutting, video of the cutting, and have the directions posted on my other blog if anyone is interested in how to cut the paper for these cards.

Hope you all had a great weekend and got rested for the new work and school week.  Looks like you will need a jacket next week.



What To Do In Baltimore

The USS Torsk (SS-423) is docked at the Baltim...

Image via Wikipedia

Joe and I have been to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on several occasions.  Each time we have taken the “history” tours and walked around the USS Constellation, the submarine – USS Torsk, rode the water taxi, tramped the grounds of Fort McHenry, and helped the City celebrate Defender’s Day.

Our first visit there, several years ago, we took a tour of the USS Constellation which was nearly finished in the restoration work.  We met the man that was in charge of the restoration work done on the ship and talked with him about the process he and his crew went through to do the work the “old” way without power tools and screws or nails.  We met a woman that actually made the ropes the old way.  That was very interesting.  At the time, she was creating lengths of rope that would be stuffed down between the floor boards of the upper deck then sealed with tree sap and some other kind of black substance that acted like tar to “caulk” the boards.

While on the “Canon Deck” of the ship there was a man dressed in the sailor’s uniform of long ago.  He was asking for volunteers for a canon firing demonstration.  I, of course, volunteered Joe for the assignment.  Somewhere I have video of that demonstration.  I’ll have to dig it out and go through it.

Did you know…..

Bags of sand were a mainstay on ships of that era?  The sand was poured out on the floor of the canon deck when there was going to be a fight.  Several inches of sand was poured all over.  Like many, I thought it was because of the possibility of the ship catching fire when the canons went off.  Not so.

The sand was used for traction.  I don’t remember how many canons lined each side of the ship.  There were, most definitely, more than the one that was being used for the demonstration.

The very first volley of canon fire and the concussive blasts that came from the canon caused all the sailors ears to bleed.  The second volley the sailors were deafened  because their ear drums had burst from the horrendous noise.  There would be several men around each canon.  Two to pull the canon back in place at the port window, by means of thick rope, after firing off a round.  The man at the back of the canon that had lit the fuse would have to jump out of the way lest he get run over by the forceful blow back that would send the canon hurtling backward away from the port window.  If he didn’t get out of the way in time an arm or a leg would get amputated.

For the next firing, the canon barrel would be tilted inward toward the center of the ship, loaded with gun powder and other stuff then the canon ball would be tamped in and seated.  The barrel would then be turned back to the port window, pulled forward by the two men and fired once again.  There were times when the barrel would be so hot and have embers from the previous firing still down in there the addition of fresh gun powder and a ball would cause the canon to fire within the ship.

Water buckets were on hand in case there was a fire that broke loose around one or more of the canons.  Blood, sweat, and water would make the floor slippery, even with all the sand laid down.  If someone had been run over by the canon on its bounding backward force, the sailors would have time only to move the body out of their way so as not to step on gore and body fluids or trip over the downed sailor.

There would be some sailors that would have burns on their heads and shoulders from the ignited gunpowder.  They would have had water doused on them to quell the fire and expected to remain at their posts and continue to help load and fire the canons.

Can you imagine the smell?!  Sulfur from the gunpowder, burned or singed hair and skin, the metallic smell of blood and the rising odor of bowel and bladder elimination from the dead and dying.  Hollywood conveniently leaves out such details in their swashbuckling action movies.

Another time we went through the USS Torsk.  The submarine.  By five minutes I was looking for the top side and wanting OUT.  Narrow walk ways, cramped spaces, and a low ceiling caused my claustrophobia to work overtime.  I don’t remember much of that tour except forcing myself to not shove people out of the way and run them down in my attempt to get “top side”.  I won’t be doing that tour any time soon again.

Our last trip to Baltimore we toured Fort McHenry.  You have to ride a Water Taxi to get there.  That was nerve wracking for me.  Out on open water with the possibility of a shark sighting at any moment.  By the time we got to Fort McHenry my hands were numb and red from hanging onto the pipe railing so tightly.  That damn Joe still laughs at me and relishes the idea of getting me back on the water taxi and doing it all again.  Notice he is not “Honey Bunny”!!!!!

It was Defender’s Day when we went to Fort McHenry.  There were a lot of people in period clothing everywhere.  There was a woman under a tree with a huge cast iron kettle (like a small cauldron), over an open fire, dipping lengths of string into a liquid and pulling it back out.  After several minutes watching her process I had to ask what she was doing.  The kettle was filled with melted animal fat.  She was making candles.  The string would soak up the melted fat, cool in the air as she brought it out.   She would be doing the dunking thing most of the day to create candles.

This is the kind of history I like to learn.  Actually seeing how people lived, what they wore, how they stored food, made the things they used everyday.  Instead of reading about it in stuffy books that put me to sleep.  As you can surmise, I did not get an “A” in any of my history classes when I went to school.

Wandering around Fort McHenry there were men dressed in wool uniforms of the military.  It was a warm day and they had to have been hot in them.  Very colorful these uniforms are.  Red  and white coats, some wore a bright green coat with white pants or leggings.

Francis Scott Key was at this fort when a battle was pitched to defend it from raiding forces.  The “Star Spangled Banner” was written at Fort McHenry.  This place is rich in history and the volunteers and re-creationists bring that time alive.  It is well worth the trip…..even having to ride the dreaded water taxi there and back.

Okay, I’d better get off this subject or I’ll be calling to figure out a way to catch up with Joe and Les in Baltimore and get back out on the road.


A new flat surface

Data entry in my paperwork is the stage I’m in now.

I’ve had to drag out a folding table to have a place to hold a month’s worth of work to go through.  I’m in the process of going back through January and making sure I have not forgotten anything when I finished my work at the beginning of this year.

Turns out I only worked on 2009 and had not even touched January of 2010 when I was at home before I had to go back out in May.  Seems like a long time ago that I was last home, while it really was just a few short months ago.


Receipts, receipts, receipts

Each and every load has its own envelope.  Every purchase made during that load is placed in the envelope.  When the trip is finished then all the corresponding inspection sheets and other documents are stored away in there for me to go through and file away.

Since it has been a while since I last did my data entry into QuickBooks I am having a bit of trouble remembering the sequence I went through in getting all of this done.  Slowly it is coming back to me.  Kind of like riding a bicycle.  I will have a few spills and some wobbling before it clicks back in.  Once it does and I get a rhythm going then it will be easier.

The problem I will be faced with then will be the “zone” and losing track of time.  It is not uncommon for me to begin the day at 7:30 in the morning and work at this until midnight or later.  Stopping only for bathroom visits and talking with Joe on the phone.  I get kind of cranky when he interrupts me frequently during this time.  Eating is something I forgo also.  The coffee maker is my only friend when I get in the “zone”.  Have to stop those bad habits and make sure I eat this time round.


Clear space, but not for long

I got my desk area cleaned off.  That is a must when I do the data entry part.  Stuff falling off the desk, going in the trash I have next to me, or rolling around and getting on the keyboard and in my way.

Before I’m half way finished with my paperwork I’ll have sticky notes plastered all over my computer face with reminders of what I need to order online from Quill, notes to myself about incomplete load envelopes of which there will be a few.  I’ll have questions for the accounting people at Coldiron or Dependable on some of these past loads.  A grocery list when I run out of coffee filters and coffee.  I’ll leave the list at home and find myself at the store in a fog trying to remember what I went there for in the first place.

So far with my Monday, Wednesday, and Friday days for paperwork is going well.  I’m having to deal with the feeling of not getting anything accomplished on the other days of the week when I’m off running errands or playing in my craft room.  Old habits are a bit hard to break and I am struggling with trying to have a balance in this work and play.

Today, I have a few errands to run.  Bank and Hobby Lobby for more spritzer bottles.  I’ve figured out a way to make the “Glimmer Mist” stuff with Stampin’ Up! ink refills and Perfect Pearls that seem to be working.  At least the spray nozzles are working and have not seized up on me with the Perfect Pearls.

I received a package in the mail from someone I don’t know.  I’ll have to do a post about that tomorrow and show you the goodies I received.  How she got my address is beyond me but I do need to dedicate a post to her and thank her properly for the gift she bestowed upon me.

Okay, I’ve got to get away from here and get out of my pj’s.  Everyone have a great weekend and get your batteries recharged.  Weather permitting get out and walk through the leaves littering the ground.

10:30 p.m. And All Is Well In Fargo

Way up north in Pembina, North Dakota cell phone coverage is spotty, at best.  When I talked with Joe yesterday morning at 8:00 a.m. he was so riled and worked up about the events unfolding his frustration level was getting higher as we spoke.

Around 4:30 p.m. I called Joe to see how things were going and went directly to his voice mail.  Same with his Coldiron phone.  I got a bit worried since I had not heard from him all day.  Tamping down the worry before it turned into panic I told myself he will call when he can.  He did call at 6:12 p.m. and I heard about every other word then lost him.  So, panic averted because I did get in contact with him.

Joe and Les had a very long and cold day yesterday.  Windy, cold temperatures, but no snow.  Joe called me from a FedEx Kinko’s in Fargo, North Dakota at 10:30 p.m. to assure me that all was well and they had the Dock Receipts in hand and were in the process of making five copies of each of them for the requirements of the Baltimore Port.

There is enough anxiety over getting these trucks moved it has become a “Keystone Cops” comedy of errors that is not very funny.

In yesterday’s post I said there were two drivers on their way to Baltimore already.  In truth, that is not the case.  So here is a run down of what took place in Pembina.

  1. Someone was in Pembina to meet Joe and Les to tell them which trucks they were taking.  There was someone at the truck stop representing Coldiron and being a “traffic controller” of sorts.
  2. The two Two-Way drivers referred to as having already been there and gone…had in fact never shown up.  They committed themselves to the loads, said they were on the way, then later called and said they were not going to take the loads.
  3. The confusion around this fact was the terminology used.  Joe was told the drivers “Left on the load”.  Pressure was being poured on the drivers that did show up because of the two that will not be showing up.
  4. Nine of the 30 trucks still remain in Canada and there is no one that can legally go into Canada and bring the trucks out.  There is some other stuff going on with one of the guys that was doing the work of getting the trucks out of Canada and into Pembina.  He’s been banned from going back in.  The other person(s) going in and out of Canada have been sent on to other things.
  5. The trucks are not new, they are used Volvos.  *groan*  Similar to the ones Joe and I took out of Atlanta, Georgia and going to Compton, California on that “Trip from Hell”.  Here’s hoping they don’t experience any problems with the air dryer on these.
  6. The cold temperatures in Pembina, not freezing yet, had it’s own set of problems.  The trucks did not want to stay running.  Joe and Les had to stay with each truck until it quit sputtering and dying before they could begin their work.  That ate up over three hours and the bulk of the morning.
  7. Once the trucks were moved and positioned for Joe and Les to do the work of getting hooked up, the winds and cold were affecting their fingers making it hard to do their jobs.  Having to stop frequently and get in the running trucks to warm feeling back into aching fingers ate up more time.
  8. Both Joe and Les have some heavy duty winter gloves they were working with.  According to Joe the wind was driving the cold right through the gloves.
  9. By 4:30 p.m. other drivers began showing up, some more will be arriving later today.
  10. 6:00 p.m. Joe and Les were hooked up and waiting for someone to show up and air up low tires on the trucks.
  11. 7:30 p.m. the Dock Receipts arrived, one for each truck, along with some kind of strange document indicating the trucks were legally out of Canada and ready for transport.  The usual documents are copies of Titles belonging to each truck with the necessary paperwork that indicate transfer of ownership.
  12. 8:00 p.m. Joe and Les left Pembina and headed for Fargo.  129 miles away is food (neither of them had eaten anything since leaving the hotel that morning), a Kinko’s to make the full compliment of copies required by the port officials in Baltimore, and a much desired warm room and bed.

After having had some food, gotten warm, fingers moving freely once again, Joe called me from the Kinko’s and related his tale of the days events.  His telling of it jumped around in the time frame so much that I nearly lost track of how his day went.  He was so frustrated I let him vent and get it all out.

Once he was finished venting and calmed down, my poor Joe, realized he has nothing to do with this mess except get these four trucks in his care delivered on Monday.  The rest of the craziness is for someone else to deal with.

Joe told me that he and Les had planned on getting to Baltimore on Sunday morning, parking the trucks at a nearby truck stop then being tourists.  He was so bummed these plans were now dashed because of the long and grueling day they had.

Joe was feeling pretty bad about Les not getting to be on board a historic Clipper Ship, walking through a World War II submarine, spending time in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, or tramping the grounds of Fort McHenry.  The more he talked of letting Les down the more determined he became in making it happen.

As it stands right now, Les and Joe will be tourists on Tuesday.  They will be going through the hoops at the port on Monday.  When they have made their delivery and seen the backs of those trucks they are going to a hotel and turning the work world off the remainder of the day.  Tuesday they will get up early and do the tourist thing.

Joe has even gone so far as to make me jealous.  Absolutely green with envy.  He plans on going to Charm City Cakes in Baltimore (we’ve been there and I have photos of the outside of the building).  Joe said he is going to go inside the bakery.  I told him if he makes it through, which I highly doubt, he will HAVE to get me something from Mary Alice.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Duff Goldman – owner of Charm City Cakes – but I’ve been an office manager before (in a different lifetime 20+ years ago) and I appreciate the role she plays in keeping Duff busy with cakes to make and sell.

I guess it is time for me to get off this blog and get cracking at my bookkeeping paperwork.  It won’t get done if I don’t get after it.

Joe & Les Up North

Map of North Dakota highlighting Pembina

Image via Wikipedia

Things don’t sound too promising for Joe and Les right now.  From all accounts, thus far, they are in for some fun.  NOT!!!

One of Coldiron’s satellite offices in Joplin, Missouri has sent Joe and Les up to Pembina, North Dakota to get trucks that are coming from Canada and being dropped off at a truck stop.  These trucks will eventually be taken to a port in Baltimore, Maryland.

Let’s see…..

  1. There are 30 trucks making their way from somewhere in Canada to Pembina, North Dakota.  Some have made the trip and have been picked up by other Coldiron Drivers.
  2. Joe and Les have a truck stop name and a quasi address for the pick up.
  3. They DON’T have VIN numbers to know which trucks they are to get.  Guess they will just take whatever is there and tell the Joplin office what they are taking.
  4. The 10 day pick up and delivery window is fast closing.  Because the yahoo in Joplin took on the job without having drivers to pick up and deliver the trucks coming in from a radius of less than 500 miles this job won’t be completed in a timely  manner.
  5. Joe is getting some heat right now and it is not setting well with him.
  6. There are no dock receipts for these trucks.  They will not be able to deliver them to any port – ANYWHERE – without dock receipts.
  7. Joe doesn’t know which Port in Baltimore these trucks are bound for.
  8. It has snowed in areas of North Dakota and he has a “newby” driver in Les to keep watch over.
  9. The wind is blowing in fairly strong gusts which will not make getting these trucks hooked up an easy feat.
  10. I’m not there with Joe and he finds it more stressful when he is out doing this job alone.  How soon he forgets about my short temper and my inability to cope with fools.  Anyone that is working overtime to earn “Brownie Points” from the powers that be and putting other people in jeopardy because they want to show they are “Can Do” people are fools in my opinion.
  11. Now there are people in the main office involved in this fiasco and they are not getting the information Joe needs to complete his job.

I know my Joe.  He will get to the pick up site and wrangle the trucks he and Les will be taking to Baltimore.  While hooking up the four trucks, Joe will be calling many people at various offices until he finally gets the information and documents he needs for this job.  Joe will be a squeaky wheel until he finally gets the results he is after.  The people he will be dealing with, by the end of the day, will be doing what they should have been doing in the first place and have some not so kind things to say about my Joe.  You go get em’ Honey Bunny!!!

Gloves off!!!  The lunatic in the Joplin satellite office had been forewarned of taking on this job.  He had been told to pass on it because the logistics of getting drivers up to Pembina from far flung places, most far in excess of 500 miles away, will delay the prompt delivery of these trucks.  Not having the proper documentation for delivery of these trucks is pure idiocy.  There have already been two drivers that have gone up and picked up four trucks and are on their way to Baltimore, but they don’t have the proper documentation for delivery.

The Port in Baltimore has rules that must be followed.  You don’t follow the rules, you don’t get to deliver.  They don’t care if you are held over for several days if you don’t have the proper documentation and they are not going to go out of their way to help.  You come prepared or you leave.  They have an extremely busy Port and they are not babysitters.  They will tell you that, too.

There are some Ports that require the proper documents be sent by FedEx before the trucks are even picked up.  That way when the driver shows up the Port people have all the papers they need.  Not the Port of Baltimore.  You bring all the necessary papers for them.  I’ve had a run in or two with these people and I can tell you it is not fun. Plus, if the ship these trucks are to be on is set to leave before you get proper documentation they will not hold the ship for you.  It will then be up to Coldiron to find some place to store the trucks until another ship is available to put these trucks on.  The Balitmore people will MAKE the driver get the trucks off their property.  They don’t care how the driver does it either.

I’ll hear from Joe through out the day.  He will, more than likely, have me call someone and have the documents faxed to me here then I will fax them to him when they get to a hotel tonight.  It will all work itself out and get fixed by the time Joe and Les deliver on Monday.

From what I understand, these are brand new trucks and not used trucks.  That will be a good thing for the two of them.  Heaters that work (maybe), no trash left inside to roll around and get in the way (maybe), and AM/FM radios that work (maybe).  There is no telling what kinds of fun the guys will have.  I can’t say anything about the Canadian manufacturers of new trucks.  The Quality Control of the US and Mexico manufacturing facilities is handled by the driver.  The trucks break down frequently.  Engines have blown out, transmissions have failed, electrical systems have shorted out.  All this and more in brand new trucks.

I’ll let you know how Joe and Les fare in this endeavor.  Should prove to be interesting to say the least.  When this trip is over and done with there might be one more Coldiron office that will be contacted for work when “Hell freezes over”.  The Knoxville office is one on that list.  Fools in that office too.

The Paper Shuffle


Ready to begin

Flat surfaces….the more the better.  I put a lubrication sheet through my shredder because I know it is going to get a workout.  Can’t have it fail or lock up before I’m done.

When I first begin it is to get the mail done piece by piece.  With my handy envelope opener I take each thing one at a time.  All the requests from AARP, Mutual of Omaha, and Hartford Insurance places that want us to sign up for their Whole or Term Life Insurance policies get opened.  The junk inside goes through the shredder while the outside and return envelope go in the trash.  Some of those inserts are quite thick and I have to take them apart so they don’t bog down my shredder.  Next goes all the notices from the loan shark agencies that want to give me $500 to $1000 with no credit check.  Shredder fodder.


Mail sorted

My poor shredder was beginning to smell a bit hot by the time I finished with that big IKEA bag.

I’ve had to dump the shredder can three times.  Once the shredder mechanism was threatening to fall off, I let the can get too full before I emptied it.

The political campaigns are in full swing now so I had quite a few of those advertisements to put through the shredder.

I don’t like throwing away, in the regular trash, anything that has our address on it.  Even if it is address to “Occupant” or “Resident” or “Our Friends At….”  The catalogs from office supply places I get, the page with our name and address get torn off and shredded while the catalog goes in the trash can.


Business documents

A couple of the Driveaway companies we work with use address labels on the outside of their envelopes.  Once I take out the settlement sheets I have to run the envelope through the shredder.  One of the Driveaway companies use the window envelope so I just toss it after it is empty.

All of our bank statements come in window envelopes so I just toss those, along with the bits of junk they include with the statements.

I read an email I got from someone saying they put the insert junk in the return envelope and send the company back their junk.  That makes the company pay twice for their junk.  No such luck on this end.  All the envelopes were window type and that would entail me writing their address to fit in the window to send their junk back.  No time for that.


Trash can

Shredder detritis

I think my trash can is going to topple over from the junk mail, newspapers, and envelopes I’ve tossed.

I’ve nearly filled another kitchen sized trash bag with the shredded junk.  There is a paper recycler near where I live.  Should I load up all this paper junk in my car and take it to the recycling place or just take all this crap out to my dumpster?  I vote for the dumpster.

Your wrath at my contributing to the landfill problem is duly noted.  Just think of the nice fire all this paper would make on a cold day if I could burn it down to ash instead of letting it sit in a landfill for years and years and years.  Pick your battles EPA weenies.

My Friend....Dymo Labeler

I love this machine!!!!  The Dymo LabelWriter 400 Turbo.

I used to buy the file folder labels from our local office supply store and hand write on them.  When I found that this machine will make file folder labels in a snap I bought one.

It is thermal, so I suppose in about 10 years I won’t be able to read what is on the label anyway.  But, with some luck, I’ll make myself shred the documents of the mid to late 90’s.  Or I’ll actually take them to a shredder facility and let them do it for me.

This Dymo Label machine is so handy.  I have not figured out how to do the postage stamp stuff with it so I depend on the Post Office to sell me stamps.  I have more trash after I’ve pasted the labels to the file folders, but the satisfaction of actually seeing work in progress and getting things in order is so good.

Monthly Folders

Okay….some of the piles are contained.

Bank statements, credit card statements, receipts of all ilk, settlement sheets, vehicle insurance documents, medical bills, light bills, cell and telephone bills, vehicle repair bills and other stuff is now roughly put in the appropriate month folder.

When I begin the data entry part of this mess then I only have one folder to mess with at a time.  The settlement sheets will find a home of their own in a labeled folder, as will the various bank statements and credit card statements.  The monthly folder will have little in it expect household documents and a 9″x6″ envelope for all the loose receipts.

I know….handle a piece of paper once and be done with it.  It is my system and I do it my way.  This is just the round up stage anyway.  That is what I accomplished on Monday.  Began at 8:30 in the morning and finished at 3:30 in the afternoon.  Pretty good days work.  I did not stop to cozy up in my recliner with a book, nor did I veg out in front of the television.

My craft room

Yesterday was another story all together.  I had lots of ideas and intentions of getting in my room to begin a new round of card making.

As soon as I walked in the door and saw the mess I had left the last time I was home and did a video I lost all heart.  I have a mess to clean up before I can do any work in there.

I took a picture of this mess and promptly walked out the door and headed for Hobby Lobby instead.  After the encounter with the man at the store (my previous post) and home from my errands I did not go straight to my craft room and clean it up.

Instead, I turned the television on and watched it listlessly from 1:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.  Recorded episodes of “Wipe-Out” were the mainstay of my television viewing.  I love that show.  Watching the contestants being bounced and boinged off padded surfaces and into the water while they try to get across the obstacle course in the best time is fun.  Listening to the squeals and screams makes me laugh.  There are some men that scream every bit as good as the girls do and I laugh out loud.  Some of the attire worn by the contestants is mind boggling.  Capes, hats, sweat pants, shorts, and T-Shirts all get muddy and soaking wet.

I always wonder how many bruises each contestant leaves with.  How many of them have sore necks and backs from the falls they are subjected to.  I’ve watched and grimaced when a contestant lands on their face on a padded obstacle, their feet smack them in the back of the head from the momentum of the fall.  Man that has got to hurt.  Then the odd angles of their necks when they encounter one of the padded things in their falls.  How they are able to get back up and walk after some of the falls they take is such a testament to the human body and what it can withstand.

When I ran out of Wipe-Out episodes I went on to Ace of Cakes.  I love Duff Goldman and his crew of cake people.  I have tried to watch Cake Boss but get so aggravated at the antics of his (in my opinion) selfish sister and her whining and manipulating.

Finishing the evenings viewing I went on to watch the episodes of “Medium“.  Joe called just before last week’s episode ended.  He gave me a recap of the days events.  Poor Les is really getting stressed out.  Joe took him through some of the two lane, windy, twisty, roads he’s fond of dragging me down.  The trucks they picked up in Oklahoma City were delivered yesterday and they had to deadhead to Kansas City, Missouri to get another set of trucks going to Pacific Junction, Iowa.  Joe and Les were so ready to call an end to the day and flop in bed.  Joe nearly fell asleep on the phone with me.  I had to tell him to hang up and go to bed.  He mumbled something incoherent and finally hung up.

Today, I was visited by my neighbor’s cute daughter.  She just turned five a couple months ago.  She came over with the cutest set of butterfly wings she strapped on.  They are pink with sparkly rhinestones and she looks adorable in them.  She loves my cuckoo clock and will stand in front of it – for a brief minute – before she runs off to the kitchen or around my foyer/kitchen island a few times.  She was in the kitchen when the bird came out.  I thought she was going to fling herself on the floor in her flight from the kitchen into the living room to watch and hear the cuckoo.  She is off on an adventure with some Girl Scout Brownies today.  They are going to a nearby duck pond.  She has bread to feed the ducks and her wings so the ducks will know she is one of them.  I miss my kids!!!!!!!!

Trip envelopes

After writing my post of earlier this morning I got down to work on my paper shuffle.  Getting the trip envelopes in date order and creating labels for them.  Some of the envelopes had information missing from the front label so I had to go digging around to find the paper with the information necessary.

Inside each envelope is the driver copy of the inspection sheet with the load number, VIN number of each truck, and all the receipts for that particular load.

When I get to the point of data entry and empty the contents of each of these envelopes I will find receipts from last year that Joe has dug out of his day book or briefcase and stuffed them in the envelope.  Happens all the time.  I love that man, even when he makes extra work for me.

Dymo labeler

This big roll of labels is for the next step in my paper shuffle exercise.  Each envelope will go in a file folder with the proper label attached to it.

In my data entry fields of QuickBooks there will be a “memo” with the load number in that field.  Each receipt will have that corresponding load number documented.  That way we will – eventually – know if we took a loss on the load or if we made money.

As I get to the settlement sheets, now residing in the monthly file folders, I will create another set of labels and folders for these sheets.  In that folder, with the settlement sheets, a document of  the expenditures that coincide with the settlement sheets will show the financial figures.

I suppose there is probably a way to do this task that has not so many steps involved.  But I want a thorough record and I don’t see any other way of doing this without all these steps.

I don’t have the ambition to do anymore today.  I think I’ll go take a nap.

I Met A Man

At Hobby Lobby and Joe knows about it…I’ve told him.

After creating a bit of space on my desk I paid bills yesterday morning before I could go out and do some shopping.  I had a list for Hobby Lobby and Sam’s Club.  Spritzer bottles at Hobby Lobby to try and make some “Glimmer Mists” with my Stampin’ Up! ink refills that I had such a difficult time with doing when I got the bottles from Michaels some weeks back and I needed fabric softener in a giant sized bottle, from Sam’s Club, instead of the little ones from the grocery store.

When I entered Hobby Lobby I saw a man in a motorized wheel chair at the check out counter.  Resting atop his feet and against his knees were two artist canvases.  A really large one that had to be every bit of three feet long by two feet wide, then a smaller one of more than half the dimension of the larger.

I heard him tell the cashier he had paint at his side and ask if she would help him get it on the counter.  There were several people standing behind him in line waiting their turn.  No one moved.  Course, this all happened in a matter of maybe 15 seconds but no one budged.

Getting fully in the store I went to him and asked if I could help.  Seeing him there I knew he had use of his left hand and arm only.  I heard the ventilator puffing away and thought it was the automatic door opening and closing behind me.  He accepted my offer of help.  I put his canvases on the counter and he indicated lower down to the left of him was a pouch with the tubes of paint he needed moved to the counter also.  That done, I left to go about finding the spritzer bottles, his “thank you” behind me as I left.

I was so focused on what I was there for that I did not even consider how he was going to get his purchases out of the store.

Wandering the aisles of Hobby Lobby in the oil paint section to find the spritzer bottles I was after, I saw there were just a few bottles left.  I took one and hunted down a store employee to ask if they had a case of them in the back somewhere.  After my experience with the bottles most recently I wanted to have some back up bottles in case my Glimmer Mist experiments went haywire yet again.  Clogged and stuck spray top.  That was a real bummer.  I had been told another shipment would be in this Friday and to check back then.  I took six of the 11 bottles on the shelf.  There might be someone else that needed a bottle or two and I didn’t need to take them all.

Off to the other aisles in search of something that I can make as gifts for four special people in my life.  The same four that leave comments on this blog and have supported me from long ago when I began doing YouTube videos and being companions to my foolishness and mayhem over the last several months while I’ve been out on the road.

I suppose I spent a good half hour in my search.  The man at the counter was long forgotten.  I took my items to the check out counter and waited my turn in line.  I have a very Nosey Parker habit of looking at what other people have in their carts or shopping baskets gripped in their hands.  I look to see what kind of things they feel they can’t live without.

One woman held a couple smaller artist canvases and made me think of a YouTube video I saw where a crafter had made a sort of scrapbook layout of her children with lots of flowers and bling for her Mother-In-Law to hang on the wall and see her grandchildren.  Thinking about that crafter’s ingenious way of blending the two arts together has intrigued me since I first saw the video.  Who knows, the woman in line behind me probably  has a store of paints at home and just needed canvases.

Another woman had about 20 things I don’t know the name of.  They sit atop a shelf or on a table and are used to prop photo frames or some other decorative item upright.  Briefly I thought about leaving the line and searching for some of those to put the cards I make stand up better when I take pictures of them for my blog.

The line moved and then it was my turn at the register.  While I waited for my items to be scanned my mind went to my next stop.  Sam’s Club and fabric softener.  Our membership was due for renewal and I was trying to remember where I had put the reminder notice and have it ready at Sam’s.

As I went through the first set of doors out of Hobby Lobby I saw the man in the wheel chair waiting in the area between the two sets of doors.  Kind of like a foyer area.  Hobby Lobby has it festooned with furniture and some Christmas stuff enticing shoppers to have a look around – impulse items.

He thanked me again for helping  him.  His canvases were once again on the tops of his feet and resting against his knees.  The tubes of paint were hung from the rear hand holds of his chair suspended in a plastic bag.  I asked if he needed to call someone to come and get him.  In his left hand he held a cell phone and brought it up to show me.  He had already made  his call.  Now he was waiting for the mini bus to come and get him.

We have bus service where I live, and I have seen the mini buses come and go on the streets where I live.  There was a time when I was totally dependent on CART – or Cleveland Area Rapid Transit – to get me around to the grocery store and back home before I got my car.

Just as he laid his cell phone back in his lap, it rang.  I excused myself and moved away to leave.  I wanted to talk to this man.  Yes, I’m totally a Nosey Parker.  I had a bunch of questions pinging around in my head and was not afraid to ask them.  Thinking better of it, I headed for the door and off to do the rest of my errands.  Something made me stop.  A feeling that I should not leave.  Almost a physical barrier between me and the outside.

I was sort of rooted to the spot where I stood, trying my hardest not to listen to his phone conversation.  This man had been called by the CART people to tell him he would have to wait another hour before he was going to be picked up.  What ensued was a trip up the “food chain” of superiors.  This man was not about to be put off by anyone and he was going to find out why he had to wait another hour.

He did not curse, he did not raise his voice, he did not argue with the people on the other end of the conversation.  He respectfully said he had scheduled one hour for each of his shopping forays and was not happy with the delay.  I really wanted to go outside and get away from his troubles but I could not move.

The doors to Hobby Lobby were opening and closing as people entered and left.  I had many opportunities to walk right out and go about my business but I could not seem to move.  There was some kind of compelling force keeping me just at the edge of the doors.  After a while I just gave up and decided that I had the whole day with no pressing things that needed my immediate attention.  I would just stay and wait.

I learned this man has Multiple Sclerosis and has only  his left hand and arm that work.  He told of the times he had been physically hurt by the bus drivers in their haste to get him loaded and unloaded.  He told of one bus driver that has seen him on the street corner and just drove past him a few times.  When that driver did stop to get him, on other occasions,  the driver was surly and complained about her job continuously.

He went on to tell that he does not complain about the physical pains he suffers some times it is the wait time he is subjected to when he calls and schedules appointments.

By this time I’m really wondering why I am there.  Why have I not just left?  There is nothing I can do for this man.  I am incapable of putting him in my car and taking him home, or where ever his next shopping trip is.  I don’t know how the ventilator works and how to disconnect him from it to ride in my car.  There is no way I could get his wheelchair in my car.  What am I doing?  Why can’t I leave?

Finally the man is told a bus will be arriving in 20 minutes and he ends his conversation.  Now what do I do?  After all this time standing like a lunatic at the doorway?

In for a penny, in for a pound.  Might as well find out why I had to stay now that I can move.  I just hate it when this kind of thing happens to me, and it happens frequently.

I went over to him and apologized for eavesdropping on his conversation.  I told him I’d wait until the bus came for him.  That way I could go out and make sure the bus stopped for him if he could not readily be seen.  I’m feeling like a big dunderhead.

Over the next 20 minutes I learned that this man was a Marine.  He had served our country during the Vietnam War.  He has always been a painter of some sort.  Beginning with watercolor in school then working up to Tempra Paint later.  He had dabbled in oils later.  Some of his paintings had sold years ago.

Before the MS he had a thriving business in advertising, print and video.  He made television commercials, magazine ads, and other kinds of print advertising.  As the MS took over his body and confined him to the wheelchair his customers began dwindling because they could not see being represented by a “wheelchair”.  What the heck is up with that?!  His mind is still sharp and he can still communicate verbally.  Someone without the strictures he has can do the work his hands can no longer do.

I  had to ask how he got the paint tubes open with just the one hand?  Duh…he uses his teeth.  I had to laugh at that.  I’ve done that before.  Usually get some of the tubes contents in my mouth.  I told him and he laughed also.  He told me of one time when he opened a black tube of paint and had a darkened tongue and teeth for a while.  He told me of a mishap with a tube of gold paint that fell, unnoticed by him, to the floor.  He moved his wheelchair and it caught the tube of paint and shot it backwards across the room, careening in the open space and ricocheting off an aquarium then skidding over a row of tables before it came to rest on the floor.  Splotches of gold paint gave testament to the path it traveled.

I learned that this man, like many others that are wheelchair bound, have a past life that is like others and a current life that is totally dependent on others.  The amazing thing to me is that he is not grumpy and feels sorry for himself.  He continues his art using his left hand and his teeth to create.  He speaks to people and does not hide in the dark with his affliction.  His body has quit working for him but his mind has not given up.

Was this the lesson I was meant to learn by being held fast to the spot I stood in while he was on the phone?  An admonishment to me that just because someone is in a wheelchair does not mean they are invisible?

The bus arrived, I went out and motioned the driver to stop.  The man made his way out the door and I left him being loaded in the mini bus.  He thanked me again for spending time with him.

Long after I had my errands done, and home once again to contemplate my next foray into crafting, my encounter with the man has stuck in my head.  When Joe called later in the evening to tell of his events of the day I had to tell him about the man I met.  Joe asked me what his name was.  I have no idea, I did not ask him.  I know that he spends a lot of time at the Veteran’s Center.  I have no idea where that is, though.

So…now what do I do?  I’ve got bookkeeping to do, crafts to make, try to get my Stampin’ Up! business going, and other things.  Do I go on a hunt for the Veteran’s Center and find the man?  Do I launch a campaign to get the CART system more workable for the disabled?  What was the purpose of my being stuck in front of exit doors at Hobby Lobby and not able to leave?  Was it just the brief moments of human interaction?

I sorely wished that these things that draw me and compel me to do things had instructions to follow.

Only In The US

Oh My GAWD!!!  I  had to read the email from my Daughter-In-Law.  Why, oh why did I have to read it?????!!!!!

I not only read it but I had to look at the pictures!!  This is every bit as bad as driving past a really bad car accident, you can’t stop yourself from looking.

I shop at Wal-Mart.  Sometimes I feel embarrassed to go into the store with a bit of grease or dirt on my clothes.  I’m not going to be embarrassed ever again after seeing what other people wear to shop at Wal-Mart.

Lynn, you might rethink every conception you have about the people of the US.

I looked at the first set of pictures at this site….People of Wal-Mart (poWM)

I just had to click on the button for “Photos” and select “Random”.  My only reason for doing so is that I have been possessed!!  After scrolling down and looking at the photos displayed on the first page I just had to click the “Next” button.  It was somewhere after the fifth “Next” button push that Joe called and saved me from further damaging my brain.  I swear, my brain is in knots right now.  I tell you KNOTS!  I don’t think I can fully function today after seeing these photos.

I’m not even going back to bed after viewing those photos of real people that go to Wal-Mart and shop.  I’ll have worse nightmares than I ever had after watching 15 minutes of “Nightmare On Elm Street” with Freddy Kruger!!!!!!!!