A Blue State of Mind

"The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams." Oprah

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Location: The Western U.S, United States

I spent 48 years caring about what people thought of me. I'm not spending the rest of my life caring about that anymore!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Loose Change

When I was a little girl coins (change) fascinated me. My father used to collect all types of coins-silver dollars, .50 cent pieces, Buffalo nickels and pennies with wheat symbols on the back. Although not a collector in the true sense of the word, Daddy would still put away certain coins for as long as I can remember. When he died there was (and still is) a small safe that contains very old coins.

I've never been a collector of anything except Martha Grimes and Agatha Christie mysteries but I would save my change for my nieces and nephews who, after kidnapping the ice cream man, would run into the house desperately needing money for treats from the ice cream truck. As the kids grew up and away, I've continued saving my change, cashing it in when the pewter pig that I keep it in becomes too heavy.

I usually roll the coins while watching mindless t.v. or listening to the old iPod. The rolled coins I'd keep in a Ziploc container until that became too heavy and I'd haul it all in to either be deposited in to my account or cashed. I've been doing this for so long I was shocked, surprised then angry when my credit union announced that they no longer accept rolled coins!

Say what?!

Now I can understand them not wanting rolled coins if they exceed a certain amount (or weight), like that guy a few years back who had like $10k in pennies. I don't have $10k in pennies. I don't even have 10k pennies. I only have about $150 bucks and you will no longer accept it?

Okay, I turn around and march over to my bank who has it posted all over their lobby that they now charge a 5% fee to accept rolled coins!
Are you serious?

What am I supposed to do w/all this change, all these coins sitting in my bedroom not making any money? Am I supposed to use it to buy things? So a thought comes in to my head: why don't I just use these coins to buy gift cards or traveler's cheques? Hee-Hee.

"No, you can't Ma'am" the guy wearing a woman's engagement ring and too much lip gloss sings to me. "We can no longer accept rolled coins to buy anything, but you can take your coins to one of the Coinstar locations listed here and use their machine to cash in your coins."

So defeated, I lug those coins back in the car and come home. I think I'm gonna start a coin collection.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Just Some Rambling Going On In My Head

Here's a picture of the birthday girl (in pink) on Easter Sunday. My godmother is in the white.

Nothing in particular to write about today, just some odds and ends going on in my head. I should add a disclaimer that the thoughts and views of the this blog do not necessarily represent the views of Blogger.com. I got that message this morning when logging on. Don't know why, maybe some lawsuits going on somewhere?

First off, it's Mommy's birthday! The Triplets came down from Vegas to help celebrate and we (me, Momma, Godfrey, Wooka and the Triplets) went to Momma's favourite steakhouse "The Stockyards" for good food, great service and good time. After dinner we all retired back to the house to watch Tyler Perry's lastest play "What's Done in the Dark". Surprisingly we all watched the full play w/nary an interruption. something that's never happened in our house before.

The economy is forcing me to become a Walmart shopper because food prices at Safeway and Fry's, my favourite grocery stores, are so crazy expensive. Couple this with paying $3.23 for a gallon of gas that I have to cut costs and right now Walmart seems the only feasible solution. Last week I even looked at the coupons that come in the local newspaper to see who has the best sales.

My sister's a big fan of shopping at the .99 cent and Dollar stores. I've usually shopped at these places when I need paper plates and forks and things but she's found savings on everyday foodstuffs like bread and milk so I may incorporate these places in to my shopping outings. These plans all sound good now when the temperature's 83 degrees. Y'all know I'm not doing all this running around when it gets 118 degrees outside!

Well, time to go see what everyone else is doing today.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Have You Kissed Your Employees Lately?

Today I spent most of my day working on my employees' performance reviews. I have about fifteen to write but I have a plan-I try to complete at least two per day to make sure they're all done by the deadline. So far it's always worked however I had so much other life to take care of I couldn't keep my two per day goal so I thought I'd better power up the old lappie and get down to the nitty gritty. Wow, does ANYONE say "nitty gritty" anymore?

Normally working on reviews isn't that bad because my people have completed them, I just have to go through and add my own comments. Occasionally I get the review from the person who thinks they're all that and two bags of Frito's lime and salt chips and it's my job to remind him/her of all the days they were late; leaving w/o completing their portion of the project; completely ignoring my instructions; adding fuel to the rumour/hate mill or just being an all around pain in the rear.

I have a slight bit of OCD, I think most of you regulars know this. When I do my reviews they're always in alphabetical order. I can never skip around, it has to be alphabetical. The only reason I bring this up is because completing reviews for the employees I like (yes, I don't like some of my people) is always easier because there's so much I remember or know that they did to help me during the year. Those not as high up on my "I like you" meter are the ones I have to just force myself to say something original and heartfelt even though these people know I would pay them to leave the Company. If I could just do the reviews of my "good people" the review time could be cut in half but because it has to be alphabetical, I just have to muddle through.

And because I know that these reviews will be viewed by potential bosses when they're applying for jobs, I don't want to just skewer these people's reputations or completely dismiss their accomplishments, but then if I don't address it I'm just passing off bad behaviour to the next manager and that's not fair either to my reputation or to the person who hires the employee.

I remember my first awful review. My boss at that time was courteous enough to prepare me for it beforehand so that I wouldn't pass out or beat her down like the clown she was. On the day it was administered she had brought in her peer and they had tissue for me but I put on a brave front. Signed it, made about a page and a half of notes of why I felt it was unfair and left for the day, using my sick time.

This bad experience helped me be more focused and humane during these poor reviews but I hope that I've set expectations all along so that my people won't be surprised when they see the review.

I was over at Fermi's and she was telling us that she did her taxes today. I should have done my taxes too. I only use the 1040EZ so it takes all of eight minutes to complete. I'll try to do them tomorrow because I have a bet w/my mother that I'll have finished my taxes before 4/15 at 11:30pm, my normal time. I've just got to beat her.

Happy week everyone!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Spring Is Here!

Ah Springtime in the desert!

If there's anyplace more beautiful I haven't found it. Every thing's "more" in Phoenix during our brief Spring, usually between March 1st and April 30th, after that it all goes to hell.

In Spring we have beautiful green lawns, flowers and cacti are blooming, our mountain preserves are covered with a soft mossy grass that tempts a quiet stroll and long conversations. Coupled with the rich smell of freshly mowed lawns and blooming citrus trees, the air around Phoenix is usually filled with the aromas of hundreds of charcoal and gas grills burning everything from chicken to barbecued ribs to grilled fish. If it can be cooked on a grill, Phoenicians are grilling it.

I love our springtime sunsets. It seems to me the sun's rays take on more vibrancy during this time. The purples are purpler, the oranges orangery. My office window faces westward so I'm blessed to see an outstanding display of colour each night. Yeah, I know that all those colours are comprised of gas fumes and other pollutants but give me a break, I'm waxing poetic here:-)

We had a lot of rain here in February which produced acres and acres of green weeds, or as my mother calls them "landscaping profits". Although the weeds have now become a pain and unsightly mess, they were very useful this Easter when hiding Easter eggs. I'm telling you, some of these weeds were almost 3 feet high! I still don't know how many eggs are still out there waiting to be found. I'm sure the lawn guys will find them later.

So, I think I'm back for awhile. Life's problems and troubles seem to again be calm enough for me to blog. What seemed like insurmountable odds a few weeks ago are manageable if I just keep my focus.

Now I'm off to see what everyone in Blogland has been doing while I was gone.

Thanks everyone (and Dave) for coming to see about me:-)