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Am I Half Dead or Am I Doin' fine?
Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christmas Survey
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?  Both! Egg Nog says Christmas to me though, where Hot Chocolate is all winter long.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?   He fills the Stockings only, gifts beneath the tree are from friends & family.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?  Colored lights, Grew up with white & it is boring.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?   Yes!

5. When do you put your decorations up?   The Weekend after Christmas.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?  Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Brown sugar.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Christmas morning with my whole family together between the stockings & the tree we'd have breakfast with homemade eggnog & fresh bread or coffee cake & all spend time together & talk. (Last year Christmas eve I was awake half the night remembering all kinds of Christmas memories, I've never had that happen before, just been flooded with rememberances of things past)

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?   I was about 8 & I read everything, voraciously, my Grandmother who lived with us brought home Womans Day & Family Circle magazines all the time & one of them had a story about a boy finding out about Santa & I caught on at that point.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?   My kids do.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?  Lots of old novelty ornaments, (hallmark type & handmade- my mother gives one each year to remind me & others of my brother & father both dead for 15+ years- last year's was a chewbacca action figure because my brother collected star wars stuff) glass balls, new & antique (which I try to collect) strings of popcorn & cranberries, strips of tinsel not the garland kind.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?   Working at a job where I can get fired for over 7 absences in a year I dread snow like the plauge. I like to see it falling in the few weeks before Christmas I admit, it really puts the Christmas season in place for me. After Christmas though, YUCK!

12. Can you ice skate?  Yep.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?  Probably the year my ex & I got together & he gave me an emerald ring- it didn't fit quite right but I wore it with my finger turning purple all through the holiday weekend until he could get it sized.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?   Being with my Kids & family.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?   Croquemboushe.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?  Just being together.

17. What tops your tree?  A star with white lights in it. (I know, I said I like color, but the star just needs to be white.)

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?   Giving.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?   Snow at Christmas by Greg Lake (of Emerson, Lake & Palmer) you know, the one that goes: 'they said there'd be snow at Christmas, they said there'd be peace on earth' ?  (as for real, traditional Christmas songs it would be Angels we Have Heard on High)

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or yummy? Yummy but only once or twice a year. not a huge peppermint fan.

21. Favorite Christmas Movies? National Lampoons Christmas, Reckless (Not Exactly a Christmas movie but it deals with it!) Merry Christmas Charlie Brown, Scrooged.

Posted by Becky at 5:06 PM EST
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
When Toys Collide
Topic: General Diatribes

 I took this Picture on Saturday just because the two toys were on my dressing table & were a funny combination (not really with a 7 year old boy & a 10 year old girl around but still- together it was amusing) I sent it to this blog through my cell phone & it never showed up, I had this great idea to do a bunch of picture/posts for a pictorial day in my life - it was a pretty cool day, we went to Roanoke & the weather was beautiful!- but none of them ever showed up here either! Although my phone's delivery messages say they were recieved, the address is correct, what it says here in the set up on the blog is what my phone says it's sending the pictures to & if I send it to my email it works just fine- that's how I got this picture on here, I did this all through my vacation this year & it worked just fine! Now it won't work! I only get 50 picture messages a month so I'm not about to resend them all! Very frustrating! 



Posted by Becky at 2:37 PM EST
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
A Diatribe (you don't have to read this, it's for me not anyone else)
Now Playing: Walking on Broken Glass by Annie Lennox
Topic: General Diatribes

    I'm here because I don't belive many people look here. My Mother & a few other judgemental people don't have this blog address & it's more private but it's still here so that I can put out how I feel, I'm feeling pretty miserable, anyone who reads my regular blog knows my work situation is becoming more & more untennable, I am getting physically & emotionally drained working there, when I started with this boss back last October I thought it would be great, he's an easy going type of guy, low key & casual, he lets a lot of things slide, for instance our attendance policy is 5 days out & you get a verbal, 1 more day & you get a written warning, 1 more day after that & you get terminated, I've had 8-10 days this year alone where I couldn't get there because of weather, or was sick, or a kid was sick, I got my verbal in september, he brushes them off, or finds a way to get it labeled something else so it doesn't count as an absence. Which is a good thing because if he played by the rules I'd be out of work now. I have a solid knowledge base in what I do but there's not a lot of call for people to do this outside of my industry, there's also a contract we're required to sign which states we will not work in the dbs industry for a certain amount of time after we're through with our job there (I think it's 6 months but it might be a year) So a lot of that information would be pretty useless to me in other venues, yes, I've gained a lot of customer service experience but most of that is negated by the fact that I see customers mostly as idiots who don't even have the sense to follow simple directions in the owners manual, sign up for 18 month commitments with out even realizing they're doing so & can't figure out that the red button that says tv is to turn the tv off & on. I have poor tone on my calls & my voice & throat are constantly stressed by talking for 40+ hours a week so my tone is not neccesarily going to get better. It's likely to get worse, this is one of the reasons I like the school term, when it's cold & my voice is the most stressed I can be absolutley silent from the time I wake up in the morning until 3pm when the kids get home if I want to, for 2 days of my week (of course it means I don't call my grandmother or mother, but that's not always a bad thing)

   Now don't get me wrong, I know I never could have done all I have in the nearly 6 years since (p)Rick left me if it wasn't for my job there, they pay more than anyone else around here unless you're a diesel mechanic or a cop or you want to work in a factory (& I do NOT want to work in a factory, Been there, done that- fallen asleep standing up from sheer boredom)  Working there has enabled me to not break down & cry anytime someone raises their voice at me or gets angry with me (something which has made it much eaiser to argue with (p)Rick over the phone & in person) It has made me smarter, better able to articulate what I say & how I tell people to do things & given me an unending store of stories about crazy, stupid or truly scary people. It has also facinated me in that I can make a good educated guess at what state people are calling from by their phone area code, I am good with telling where people are from by their accents now & can pronounce many odd street & town names & know all 50 of the postal abreviations for states & can tell you which state it is without hesitation (the more seasoned customers I talk to, who have had equipment sent to them or techs sent to their house - & have heard other reps mangle addresses- appreciate that I can read back their address with no hesitation) But most of those things are more about my own mind, I like being able to do those last few things because it keeps my brain sharper & entertains me during calls to some extent (we're not supposed to read, write or even look at the tvs while we're talking to customers- everyone does though) That's the biggest problem for me, boredom, it used to not be so boring- there were more challenges. Now out of 55 or so calls in a day I always have 3 or 4 that aren't boring in a pleasant way (as in a challenge to figure out what's going on & how to stop it) & about the same amount in an unpleasant way. (meaning really pissed off customers, or bad billing screw ups) However, that's a lot of calls to take where you could do it in your sleep & to some extent are doing it by rote. The job, as I said pays well, I started at $8.50 5+ yeas ago & have increased by more than a dollar a year since then- to change jobs now would almost certainly mean a financial hardship for me & I'm right to the wire with what I make now- I should be doing overtime, at least the 4 hours which were mandatory (we're off that for the moment but with the threat that it will come back as soon as the calls start coming in heavily again- this is always a slow time of year for us) No one is going to hire me for what I make per hour to do much of anything that I saw people hiring for in the paper yesterday (& there wasn't much there either) I'm traveling 27 miles each way now, most of the jobs which might come close would mean going to Roanoke daily & that would nearly double my commute- even for the same money it wouldn't be worth it. I could take a small cut in pay if I could stay closer to home but there's no jobs here in this county which will pay me anything close to what I make now.

  In thinking about it though, I wouldn't neccesairly want to go back to being a stay at home mom, (unless I had tons of money & could go out shopping & get home improvement projects to do while at home- I can't even afford an extra gallon of paint right now)  That was boring too, in a different way, I was so limited by money & the lack of it to what I could do & couldn't do I was miserable & of course the fact that mr working dad would stay out & drink a couple nights a week & was aparently chasing women & girls like mad didn't help, especially since I couldn't get him to keep an eye on the kids long enough for me to take a shower, let alone long enough to go do anything on my own. I did like being able to read or watch tv as much as I wanted & I was definitley a lot more motivated to get the house cleaned up, If I didn't (p)Rick would bitch endlessly, 'what was I doing with all of my time, how come I couldn't do a simple thing like keep the house clean, was I stupid? He worked all day & didn't need to come home to a messy house' personaly I feel the same way now but I don't have a housewife to do it & Lois is only motivated by her own personal needs & wants John is coming for an impromtu visit this weekend so chances are good my house will look pretty good this weekend & then back to the pit of hell. I can bribe her but the things I have to use to bribe her with are not really great things & I'd prefer not to do so. Which leaves me with a dirty house most of the time.

  I am taking the day before Halloween off next week, giving me a 3 day weekend for which I am profoundly grateful, I'm really torn about the whole days off thing, I've always loved going to Mass for vacations, last year I couldn't afford to do so & instead took a lot of 4 or 5 day off spreads, timed with my regular days off I can get a lot of those in a year & after having my vacation this year with 16 days off in a row combined with driving to MA & all over New England I think the 4 & 5 days off way was easier, I did have extra days off this year, (due to our fulfilling a challenge to get more customers & because I had saved a couple of days for Christmas & didn't need them because we were swapped off, meaning we worked on one of our regular days off in exchange for not working on Christmas day- I hope that happens again this year)  so instead of 12 paid days off I had 15 & used a total of 10 for my vacation & the rest interspersed throughout the year but it's not exactly the same, as spreading them out more evenly, especially since the Vacation did more to wear me out than relax me, I loved seeing everyone but all that driving is begining to feel more like work than fun to me. (I NEVER thought I'd say that! Man, I am getting so old) Anyway, I'm looking forward to 3 days off in a row for halloween, I'm also scheduled to have my birthday off & am still saving 1 day off to use for Christmas if we don't get swapped off

(we might not, just because we had it off last year) To get back to my original complaint, I'm just feeling really unfulfilled right now, the job sucks, the kids are so caught up in their own stuff- some of that is tv which I hate but Cam would rather watch tv than do anything else, Val's always willing to do stuff with me but so much of the time she's off in her own little world & Lois is totaly gone to me, she's always on the phone with John or her friends or we're fighting about computer use or my not doing what she wants me to or her not doing what I want her to. a peaceful hour is a rarity between us right now. (though I will admit it has gotten a little better now that we're a house with 4 people in it) Nothing is really thrilling me, I'm mostly just

escaping into books & reading stuff like other peoples blogs online, even doing things like figuring out what bills I can pay each paycheck is almost too overwhelming right now & I've always been facinated by manipulating my available funds in the most lucrative way. Part of the problem is there isn't enough funds in general right now! But I tried to fix that the other day & got a loan & even figuring out which bills to pay off completley is too much to work on right now! I'm not exactly depressed but I'm not feeling very cheery right now. Oh well, maybe putting it all out there will help a little.



Posted by Becky at 3:45 PM EDT
Friday, September 22, 2006
Sweet 16 or devil spawn?
Well, Anyone who has to deal with a 16 year old knows the answer to my question in the title- shes demon spawn! example? I had this blog up & she started reading- now there are reasons I didnt include her in my diatribes last night I didn't have any pictures I liked of her on the cameraphone, I was afraid she'd be mad about it & she always gets mad if I do! So here we are looking over my blog & after scrolling through a few entries I gET: 'jeeze, Mom don't you care about me at all? you don't even write about me on your stupid blog!' & like a ghost, right in my ear I hear my mother saying with disgust as she walked away from the teenage me: 'damned if I do, damned if I don't I can't win with you. I give up' ok, so I apologize to my mother! To her credit Lois is getting remarkably mature lately- she was supposed to go to the football game tonight & her ride canceled at the last minute & she accepted that with good grace & no tears which was a nice, but rare,thing to see!

remote Posted by Becky at 10:50 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 22, 2006 10:58 PM EDT
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Cameron- sweetie pie or monkey in boy skin?

So I walk into Cams room yesterday right after he got home from school & hes standing on the back of his bed as I walk in he somersalts down the length of the bed hooks his feet over the bottom of the bed & lands on the floor at the foot of the bed.After nearly fainting & having a bunch of alternate scenarios pass through my head - including one where he takes a tumble to the right & somersalts right through the window- glass & all! I ask him 'why did you do that? you could get hurt?' to which he replies -in the same tone I use with elderly people on the phone at my work who think we can see them through the satellite box- 'Don't worry mom I know what I'm doing!' so I made him clean his room. I helped- at one point we had the toy box pulled out into the room & I asked him to go get a bag for trash {why does he keep the gummy snack wrappers?} & instead of walking around the toy box he leapt over it, caught his foot & knocked the whole thing over!At least I hadn't cleaned it o!
ut yet!

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remote Posted by Becky at 11:03 PM EDT
Valerie - light of my life- scourge of my evening!

BehoLD: The Queen of procrastination! This child began her homework before I arrived home from work at 845 & now as its rapidly heading for 10 pm shes balancing shovels on her palm {plastic shovel} & going out to check on the cat because she thought she heard it. Theres still homework to be done & a bath to be taken! I'm not happy about it. Yelling, screaming & appealing to her common sense are not working tonight.This is no odd night its like this every night. Tonight shes been sent to the dining room to do her homework so I can watch the news before I go to bed & we are talking about less than 20 minutes here.On the nights when I work all day & then have to get up the next morning & go back to work the next day {only 2 days in a week I admit} I go to bed as early as possible!- Val is always loving, sweet, headstrong & impatient.Shes always feeling like she is getting the short end of the stick- not the oldest & not the baby- always wanting to keep the peace.My difficult mid!
dle child!

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remote Posted by Becky at 10:30 PM EDT
Monday, September 18, 2006

You never think, when you're out running around that the day will fly so fast! how can 24 + hours have passed already? I'll always take a bad day at home or out & about over a good day at work- Yesterday- in spite of not having much of any money was a pretty good day- The kids & I went to C'burg & directly to Target, this was the first time we'd been there since they put out the Halloween stuff so we had a lot of fun checking it all out & I got a plastic tub in orange & black to store my halloween decorations in. {thank goodness for the target card!} After that we drove to a different Walmart than we usually use because there was a Virginia Tech game in town & I try to avoid that mess at all costs. If I had had more money we would have gone to Roanoke!I was broke enough that we went home to eat dinner instead & the kids played around Lois disappeared as usual & I did laundry & went online & man do I wish I was back there & not here at work-!

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remote Posted by Becky at 9:48 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, November 14, 2006 2:48 PM EST
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Topic: General Diatribes
You never think, when you're out running around that the day will fly so fast! how can 24 + hours have passed already? I'll always take a bad day at home or out & about over a good day at work- Yesterday- in spite of not having much of any money was a pretty good day- The kids & I went to C'burg & directly to Target, this was the first time we'd been there since they put out the Halloween stuff so we had a lot of fun checking it all out & I got a plastic tub in orange & black to store my halloween decorations in. {thank goodness for the target card!} After that we drove to a different Walmart than we usually use because there was a Virginia Tech game in town & I try to avoid that mess at all costs. If I had had more money we would have gone to Roanoke!I was broke enough that we went home to eat dinner instead & the kids played around Lois disappeared as usual & I did laundry & went online & man do I wish I was back there & not here at work-! Thank you for using easyedgeSM Picture Messaging by U.S. Cellular. See for info.

remote Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 18, 2006 11:56 PM EDT
Topic: General Diatribes
So here I am at work this is a severely messed up day! normally I work 9 to 8 & my breaks are around 1130- 230 to 330 & 545- today I came to work knowing I had signed up for 2 hours of overtime tonight. I was not exactly thrilled about that but I am supposed to do 4 hours of overtime a week & last week I didnt sign up in time & so I didnt do overtime! {I'm not complaining I don't want to do the overtime anyway- but I can get in trouble for not doing that 4 hours minimum! Even if theres no OT available when I'm not already here} So I knew my break schedule would suck I just had no idea it would suck so bad!my first break was normal but my lunch was at 1 until 2, my next break is at 4 pm & I have a third break at 6 now I am not complaining about the third break I am happy about that but at 6 pm?? when I work until 10 pm!?! Thats 4 hours without a break! & I have a bladder the size of a grape! Just annother indication that we are seen as so many cattle by the corporation!

remote Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 18, 2006 11:21 PM EDT
Saturday, August 19, 2006
What Am I Thinking?
Now Playing: The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkel
Topic: Family Business

I'm thinking that on my 'real' blog I'm at that 100 post point, the next one I do will be # 100. & that's why I'm doing this here, I don't like pressure to perform, I duck stuff like that, of course, I could just ignore the number, it doesn't really show up in the blog itself.

I'm thinking that cat is getting out of control- She's always been crazy but lately has been seeming to calm down. All that has changed tonight, she's racing around the house jumping between pieces of furniture & miaowing like mad, I'd say she was in heat but she's been fixed, do they still act weird like in heat if they don't have heat?

I'm thinking if Cam doesn't quiet down & stop playing with dinosaurs in bed I'm going to have to shut down the computer so I can turn off the light in here & get him to fall asleep that way.

I'm thinking I may not be able to go on vacation like we did this year next year. Unless things change a lot in regards to gas prices & costs in general.

Which brings me to thinking about how in the last few years while the news has been getting worse & I've been hearing from my Mother, Grandmother, Ex & others how bad things are my own personal finances have been on the upswing & I've done really well just by working lot.         & how now I hate my job SO much because I've been doing it day in day out for way too long. But because I hate my job I've been calling in sick a lot & good attendance is one of the 5 things you have to have in order to try to get promoted from taking calls all the time to doing other things there. (like listening to calls & being in charge over the peons who take calls!) 

I'm thinking about last night when the kids got an hour & a half in Chrissie's bf's apartment complex pool. which was all the time that was left by the time we arrived after dinner & a trip to Target to get Lois' school supplies (the highschool doesn't tell you what they need until after school starts) It was a lot of fun for them, they don't get pool time too much, just the various rivers, not that the river is a bad thing, they love it & I do to, it's a lot more secluded than the pool situation & I'm not embarassed to go swimming there like I would have been at the pool with other people around.

I'm thinking I was going to watch the 11 oclock news & it's starting in 6 minutes. Now I'm thinking what a great invention dvr is, I'm not a sales person at work & I hate having things crammed down my throat by sales people so I rarely sell because of that but I can sell the hell out of dvr boxes, I know whereof I speak!

I want to watch the 11 oclock news because I didn't watch the 6 oclock due to a tv show I wanted to dvr which was on at 6, I don't do that very often (the news is all important) But it's my day off so I don't feel like I really need to hear too much more about that crazy guy who may or may not have killed that poor little girl in Boulder CO. The weather & anything local going on should take care of it for me tonight!

I'm thinking that Lois might be having an argument with the BF, that would be unusual, they're both so simpicato that I'm reminded of that famous saying (I don't know who said it) but it goes that if 2 people in a relationship agree on everything one of them is unneccesary!

I'm thinking Val will probably be down in a few more minutes modeling more clothes, she's got a bunch of handmedowns lately & is trying stuff on constantly, she came down about a half an hour ago & requested I do something about the legs of her jeans, she said they said at school as an addition to the dress code that your jeans legs have to reach your feet but can't bag down below that. She's got a lot of jeans which are way too long because the family member we get them from is very tall & skinny where Val is just sorta skinny & not particularly tall

I'm thinking the hammock was probably one of the best inventions ever, I spent about 2 hours out there reading & talking with Val & then Lois when she got home & it was a lovely time, very restful looking at the house, the garden & the yard, all of which need attention & all of which I was able to ignore without feeling too guilty.

I'm thinking Chrissie's got a tough row to hoe when it comes to that dog out there. She barks at me through the window when I cough at night! & also barks at everything & anything that moves outside, I've seen her bark at bees & also try to eat them! 

I'm thinking the phrase 'tough row to hoe' could be applied to my entire garden right now. All that's really left is the Watermelons & Tomatoes. The Beans are picked clean, the Peas are all gone, there's a few stunted Cucumbers which may or may not reach edible proportions. The Summer Squash & Zuchini are also looking few & far between, there's a few there but as to wether they'll get big enough to bother with or not anyone can guess. Next year I'll do better, (that's what I said last year too- it's just not interesting to weed once the plants are going along on their own.  We had no luck for the second year with the pumpkins. That seems so odd to me because the first year in VA with the ex we planted pumpkins & got a little one & I haven't done anything different, we get lots of flowers but no pumpkins. at least the squash type veggies & the watermelons are not rotting on the vine like last year!

I'm thinking I want to get long layers cut into my hair but because the last haircut I had was so awful (3 years ago) I'm afraid to trust anyone with my hair!

 I'm thinking dvr or not I've gotta get on with the news because I don't want to stay up too late because I don't want to be tired all day tommorow!



Posted by Becky at 11:24 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, August 19, 2006 11:25 PM EDT

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