Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Shift in the Wind

I suppose it was bound to happen eventually, but to be honest, I've been in no rush. To be perfectly truthful, I put it in God's hands. To be blunt, I really didn't want to think about it. What am I talking about? Returning to the workforce.

When I lost my job last April, I was blindsided. I thought I was going in for my annual review, and I walked out with one less job after ten years of service. And not to toot my own horn, but I was dang good at my job. So much for loyalty. I went through all of the stages of grief - denial, anger, etc. - and finally, acceptance. It was finally after about four months of sort of being lost that I had a routine worked out and then, with a little encouragement from two individuals in particular, a plan. That is where The Crafty Insomniac was born. And I LOVE what I do! It's been my therapy and my salvation. If it was up to me, it would be all I'd do for the rest of my life!

Once school started back up, I've upheld the promise I made to my husband to resume my job hunt in earnest. The reality is that there are changes coming up in our home and with Mr. Sunshine looking at retirement from his state job, we're not sure exactly how the future will play out. Of course, he will continue to work in another field, but change is change and it will be good to have a constant. That's where this new job comes in.

I'll be working during school hours, which is what I've been holding out for and what's taken me so long to find a job in the first place. When we had Miss Sassypants, I dropped down to part-time so we could avoid daycare; then once she started school I became involved in activities like Girl Scouts with her, so I need to be home evenings. Plus, Hubby has always worked second shift, so I need to be home when the bus gets here. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a job with those hours... Especially one that doesn't pay minimum wage??

So I'll be working in a home healthcare business; where they sell and fit such durable medical equipment as CPAP machines, breast prostheses, power chairs, diabetic shoes, hospital beds and the like. I'll mainly be doing billing. I interviewed on Wednesday, and I was there for an hour... I met everyone there and they seem great. The boss made it a point to say that she doesn't "do" drama, which I LOVE!

So as I turn this page, I do so nervously... I don't like change, but this time I'll *try* to embrace it! (Wish me luck in my new cubicle!)

And no worries... The Crafty Insomniac isn't going ANYWHERE!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I'm a Survivor!!

With all of my bad humor, sickness and general grumpiness, I'm on the other side to say that yes, I survived.
The first weekend of Girl Scout Cookie Booths.

We started Saturday, mid-morning with an impromptu/non-scheduled booth at Michaels Arts & Crafts.  After I clearly overdid it with the hauling cases with my bronchitis, I took it easy for the beginning.  My co-leader came and loaded up the cookies and Miss Sassypants and started out.  By the time I made my way there, we had two girls, both of us leaders and a pretty good start on our cookie sales.  It was cold out, but we were in the sun.  With a few hitches, breaks and snacks to keep it all going, we made it from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. before packing it in.  Sass and I headed home to take in some dinner with Daddy, then we were back out to another booth at Lowe's for two more hours.  At least this one was out of the wind!

Saturday was another day.  We started at a very light, very slow booth at a store called Party Time.  It was two hours, three girls, but the great part was that it was indoors and warm!  So what if they only sold 21 boxes between the three of them??

After we got home, Sassy and I got comfortable and I hunkered down to count down all of the money and separate all of the cookie counts for the girls so I could enter them into the system.  Suddenly, I get a call from my co-leader that the troop who was at Sam's Club was leaving early and offered us their spot.  Well, Sam's is a prime selling location that you really can't turn down, so we packed back up, bundled back up and were back out the door.  We may have frozen our rear ends off, but Sass sold 85 boxes of cookies, all on her own, in the span of less than two hours!

Yeah.  It was fourteen degrees and windy as all heck!

We took Monday off.  We really needed it!  We spent a little bit of the afternoon after Daddy left for work out in the garage with the space heater, sorting the rest of Sass's pre-orders out, bagging them up, separating them by delivery location and then boxing and weighing the orders that need to be mailed.  That was the extent of cookies for Presidents' Day.

Today was back to school, and after school we had a booth at the mall.  Sassy had her Religious Ed class, so right after I dropped her off I headed there to help with that; then I picked her up from class and she finished off that booth with her sister Girl Scouts.  

Let me just say...  all of the loot - cookies, money box, etc. - are still in my vehicle, safe in the garage.  I can't face them tonight!  

At least I have a day off from booths until Thursday after school...  Shoot me.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A VERY Exciting Announcement!

This deal has been in the works for literally months, and I have Scott Durbin to thank for all of it!

It all started back in October, not too long after I started The Crafty Insomniac.  My friend Kiki and her family were going to Detroit to see the Imagination Movers in concert, to use tickets that she had won in a contest using some super-awesome earrings that she makes...  we call them "gearrings."  Well, Kiki and her Mini are my and Miss Sassypants's concert buddies.  We've been to dozens of Movers shows together, and we were super-bummed to be missing this one.  We decided to make a batch of our homemade Chex Mix to send along with them as a gift, as we know they tire of sweet treats.  Then we decorated the container...

After the goodies were delivered, Scott was quite impressed with the little paper dolls.  We had e-mailed back and forth and he gave me a lot of encouragement regarding my business.

Fast-forward to November, when we went to the opening of A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.  The Movers were playing sets all day, and I had made each of the guys a paper-doll version of themselves for Sassy to give to them as a gift.  They were a huge hit!

The very next Monday, I got an e-mail from Jessi Sanborn, the office manager (for lack of a better title) for the Movers.  She was singing the praises of these little dolls and asked if I'd be interested in selling them on their website.  Well, is the Pope Catholic???

Since that time we've been conversing back and forth, and today she sent me a link to show that my sets were now available for sale on the Movers website!  This is so exciting!!

Check it out here:

It is so strange and exciting to see my products on a website like this for sale!

I wish that I could give Jessi a huge hug to thank her for such an opportunity... She is so awesome for making this happen! I also need to thank Kiki, who has been my support throughout this process - she has talked me down from the ledge so many times and kept me as sane as I get. I will definitely be taking her up on her offer for slave labor, very soon!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Well, Shoot!

I can't believe it...  Miss Brown was right...  I DO have the bronchitis!!!  I can't freaking believe it.  I've never had it before.  All of these 29 (cough, cough) years and JEEZ!

After yesterday's cookie debacle  I decided it was time to break down and go see a professional.  My doctor only works in her office in the afternoons, as she's at the hospital in the mornings, so I opted for Urgent Care down the street from me.  They are great there, though!  So I'm now on a Z-pack, steroids and a cough medicine with codeine at night.  All drugged up, I dare say!

So what happened yesterday?

My troop co-leader and I went and picked up our cookies at our scheduled time, and it went quite smoothly up until the last moment.  She pushed on the back gate of her minivan to make sure that it was closed tightly and we heard the doors lock.  Her keys were on the front seat.  CRAP!  Guess what...  so was her phone!  So we got her squared away eventually; she used my phone and got ahold of her insurance company to access roadside assistance to get the van unlocked, and while we were waiting we helped other troops load up their cookies.  Once we got everything back to my house, we unloaded both her van and my Jeep, organized all of the cookies by flavor, then sorted all of our girls' cookies.  Times cookies moved:  Twice.  Then that evening, parents came over a two-hour period to pick up their orders, so I was outside in the cold for that.  By the time 7:00 came, I was wiped out beyond imagination.  That never happens to me!  As I lay on the couch with Miss Sassypants at the other end, too exhausted to even put her to bed, that's when I realized that I needed to break down and seek out medical attention.  Not only that, but my niece had her baby last night and I'd never be able to go see Baby G in this shape!

Must...  Get...  Better!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

T Minus...

It's almost time...  time for me to go and pick up the cookies for my Girl Scout troop.

Time for me to give up the next five weeks of my life to Juliette Low.
She seemed like a nice enough lady...

In a little over two hours, my garage will be filled with 203 cases...  yes, cases...  of Thin Mints, Trefoils, Samoas, Tagalongs and the like.  I'll be sorting, freezing and cursing.  Not necessarily in that order.

By the way, 203 cases is equal to 2,436 boxes of cookies.  So if you're in the market, you know where to go...  Just sayin'.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Ain't Nobody Got Time 4 That!!

Sweet Brown said it, and she meant it.  And let me tell you...  she was right!  I couldn't even get me a cold pop!

I didn't get the Bronchitis, but what I did get was knocked out for the count!  An entire weekend of SICK.

Maybe we should back up for a second here.  See, it all started last Monday morning.  I woke up and got Miss Sassypants up for school, and she came into the bathroom complaining of a headache and a dry throat.  Well, she's just not a complainer, and as it turned out, she had a fever.  She was out of school for two days, then had cold symptoms for another two.

Fast Forward to Friday evening.  We had a pretty bad snow storm, and while we were still at my parents', my cough (which I'd had since Christmas, but had been dormant lately) started acting up again.  Once we got home and settled in, the power went out.  Sass and I settled in on the couch with our candles, flashlights and lanterns, and while she fell asleep by 8:30, I felt myself getting congested.  Nice, I thought.  Mommy has always taught you to share, but this is ridiculous!  When Mr. Sunshine/Daddy got home from work around 11:00 that night, he noticed that I was starting to sound sick as well.  I was in denial, though...  Moms don't have time for sickness!

Luckily, Saturday morning swimming lessons had been cancelled due to the weather, because this mama wasn't moving too fast at all.  Hack, sneeze, blow...  good times!  Cough medicine doesn't work on me at all (which sucks!!), but there is one miracle drug that does, so I went to the medicine cabinet for it:
Mucinex Fast-Max is my salvation!  I opened the bottle and poured it into the cup...  WHAT????  Only a half a dose was left!!  Great!  So what happens?  Does Husband offer to go to the store to get his wife the only thing that will make her feel halfway human?  Of course not!  But he does offer to pay for it.  Shucks, hun...  you're the best!  So I haul my sick rear end into the shower, where I have a discussion with this virus, giving it no more than two days until it was evicted from this house for good, and then I make myself minimally presentable for the thankfully short drive to Target to purchase my miracle drug.  After that, the rest of the day is a blur.  I do remember Sass fixing me a bed on the couch and sleeping on the other end that night to "take care" of me, but that's about it.

Sunday I don't spend much time off the sick bed/couch, which is by this time equipped with a bedside tray stocked with Kleenex Plus Lotion, bottled water, Sprees, my iPhone charger and the TV remote.  I slept on and off for most of the day, making it most difficult to fall asleep at night.  And let me say, when you are all caught up on your DVR shows, you find the most interesting things on the TV late at night!  After watching Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau in "Hello, Dolly!" I flipped around to find Elvis Presley playing a singing doctor to Mary Tyler Moore's nun in a 1969 movie called "Change of Habit."  That was...  odd.  I'm surprised I didn't have weird dreams about that one.

One good thing that came out of all this was that after I managed to cook dinner for my family last night, I decided to sit down and attempt to learn how to use my new Cricut machine.  I'd had the same Cricut Create for nearly four years, and this new Expression 2 is a whole new game!  First, let me say that attempting to do this while I still had a splitting headache was not, in hindsight, the best of ideas, but I persevered and cranked out a few cute seasonal projects!

Well here it is, Monday again, and there is no rest for the wicked.  Back to our regular weekday schedule we go, and I'll admit, it was a rough start for me.  I made it through, though!  We got ready, got Sassy to the bus stop in plenty of time, and I even managed to come back in the house and clean up the breakfast dishes and take chicken out of the freezer to thaw for fajitas.  Then...  then I needed to rest.  Guess I'm not Superwoman after all.  (But we'll keep that between us, if you don't mind...)  I lay back down for a bit, and for some reason I literally popped back up at exactly 8:40 and felt so much better!  I took all of the blankets and bedding from the couch and threw it in the washer, put all of the cushions back where they belonged, and was back at my desk doing the work I love.  Let's keep our fingers crossed that the recovery is complete ASAP!  After all, in less than 48 hours, the cookie madness begins for real.  I'll have a garage filled with Girl Scout cookies and my time will not be my own for the next six weeks.  Ain't nobody got time for that!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

He's My Guilty Pleasure!

On the Road Again...
Just can't wait to get on the road again!

Oh, yes.  My secret is out.  Willie, you are my guilty pleasure.  Those braids.  That guitar.  That headband.  That voice!  The weed...  not so much.
It's all Gram's fault...

(He's been known to moonlight, too...)

And since I can't embed a video in here for some reason, click on this link:  Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Mid-Night Medical Anomaly

Tuesday night was like any typical evening at the CI household.  Mr. Sunshine was off from work, so after we got Miss Sassypants into bed, we treated ourselves to a snack of chips and dip while we watched the tube.  Later on we retired, and right before I got into bed, I noticed that one side of my tongue was a little bit swollen.  Strange, I thought, and I mentioned it to Mr. S. in passing.  No biggie...  I figured that I must have gotten a little nick from a chip or something.

Cut to 2:30 a.m.  I woke up and realized that my tongue was pretty darn swollen!  I was slightly freaked, but it was only in my mouth and my breathing wasn't compromised, so I wasn't panicked.  I got up, got some ice and went to the couch and to Google.  As we know, the Internet can be our biggest enemy when it comes to medical information, but I needed to see if I could find out anything...  any information that could help me!  I read about allergic reactions, swollen salivary glands and all kinds of lovely things.  So I went to the linen closet in search of Benadryl, or any medicine that contained diphenhydramine.  Unbelievably, out of all of the drugs that we have, nothing!  So at 3:00 in the morning,  I changed into sweatpants, kissed my baby girl, and woke my husband to tell him, "By tug id swollen - I'b goin' to Wal Mart to get sobe Bemadryl."  I got into my vehicle and hauled my cookies to the 24-hour Wal Mart Supercenter to see how that part of the world lives.  That was interesting!  Anyway, I got my Benadryl and a box of fudgesicles (because popsicles just didn't seem like much fun at that point, and I needed something cold for my tongue), and paid at the one checkout lane that's open at 3:30 a.m.  I took the pills in the parking lot, drove home in the thick fog, and settled back on the couch for a while before drifting off to sleep.  

When I woke back up at 6:45 to get Sass ready for school, the swelling had gone down slightly, but not by much.  At least I could talk without sounding like I had a mouth full of sh__!  After I got her off, I took another dose and by about 10:30 the swelling was down, but I could tell that my salivary glands underneath my tongue were still swollen.  By Wednesday evening, everything was 100% back to normal.

The only thing that I can figure is a really, really long shot...  could I be allergic to my Vivera retainers?  After I finished my Invisalign treatment, I was prescribed these retainers, which you wear every night, pretty much forever.  A few times in the past several months I've woken up in the mornings with a dry and swollen soft palette.  once I even went to Urgent Care because of it because it led to a sore throat and laryngitis.   I've been wearing them 24/7 for quite a few days in the past week to correct the shifting in my teeth I'd been feeling (which is now fixed).  I still wear them nightly as directed, but still...