A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Friday, December 14, 2007

I love my car, I love my car...

Really, I do love my car. It's a 2003 Ford Explorer. The small one without the fancy gadgets. I've had it to Kansas and back three times (with my mom, stopping at quilt shops along the way) and back and forth to Eden a half dozen times more. In it I feel safe and comfortable.

Until recently.

I seem to have a short in my alarm system and the car "chirps" for no reason at random times. Today I stopped at Smart & Final for some Christmas shopping. As I was checking out the store door slid open and I could hear a car honking away. I looked over and realized in horror that it was MY car making all that racket. The clerk said it had been doing that for a long time. DH knows about as little about cars as I do, but my next-door neighbors are much more knowledgeable and came over to check things out. They tinkered a while, then undid the battery cables for a couple of minutes to see if the system would reset. So far it's been quiet for about a half hour and I'm hoping that holds until tomorrow when we may be able to take it to our mechanic. Of course, this happened during the exact week that DH's car is in the garage (seven days and counting) getting its transmission rebuilt. DH and I are sharing my car, so it can't be laid up right now.

Anyway, I was really looking forward all day to coming home and catching up here. A little later than I'd hoped but here I am. Not that there's a whole lot to tell.

It's wintertime at Disneyland and I've been becoming reacquainted with the Santa Ana Fwy enjoying the holiday decor. They've done something new with the castle called "Wintertime Enchantment". They turn on all of these lights (85,000 LED lights) in three "acts" and with each act it "snows" at Disneyland. Yes, it's movie snow (otherwise known as shaving cream) and is rather odd in that it "falls" in small, predefined areas (under the blowers), but deprived California children think it's really wonderful (and hundreds of mid-westerners escaping the cold to come to sunny SoCA think the locals are insane.) I went one Sunday with two colleagues, the next Wednesday for Walt Disney's birthday (by myself as my sister has started a new job and couldn't justify taking the day off) and then day before yesterday I took my parents.

We got to be part of "The Year of a Million Dreams"! Mom and Dad LOVE Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. We were on our way into the theater when we were stopped by a very sweet castmember named Katrina. "Are you going to see the show?" she asked. "Oh, yes, we're big fans!" we replied. She smiled and looked at my mom in her wheelchair, asking, "Are you able to get out of your chair?" After Mom replied that yes, she could transfer out, Katrina asked if Mom could handle a few "steps". Thinking Katrina was asking if Mom could walk a few steps, Mom said yes. "Then let me show you to your table," Katrina invited. Now this was new, as the Golden Horseshoe Theater is strictly seat and serve yourself. Little did we know...

Katrina led us to "Walt's Box". This is the box that Walt Disney used whenever he wanted to watch the Golden Horseshoe Revue. We got to watch the show from this box and didn't have to wait in the long food line for a snack.

This is my hot fudge sundae which is a kind of a hidden Mickey. Check out the cookie ears.

We all never get tired of the Hillbillies, but this was a whole different perspective on the show.

My folks liked it that I was so excited to be sitting in Walt's box, but they didn't like being "on stage" nor did they like this perspective on the show so we came back after a little shopping for a second show. Fantastic music and hysteria. Can't beat it.

After dinner we headed back to It's a Small World to enjoy the holiday overlay. The music is an arrangement that blends that "famous" tune with "Jingle Bells" and "Deck the Halls". The decorations are amazing. More amazing are the new LED lights on the exterior. The holiday lighting has always been spectacular but now they are simply amazing!

In other news, I'm having a really hard time getting my act together for Christmas. This will be the first year in many (over a quarter of a century. There, doesn't that sound like a long time?) that there are no children living here. So far my tree is up but that's about it. I've done some shopping but am not even close to being done (I think I've bought more for myself than for the others this year). DH will be gone all morning tomorrow so I'm hoping to get some decorating (and cleaning) done as well as get his big gift put together. I don't know if he pops in here or not but I'm not taking a chance. I'll post a picture of his gift after Christmas (forget it, honey, if you're checking in.)

We're still waiting on the fences. Good thing we have lovely neighbors and that neither household has small children or dogs.

DS2 quit the post office. I think the final straw was when he tried to get a Saturday off so that he could be a groomsman in the wedding of a lifelong friend. DS2 had been asked to walk the mother of the groom down the aisle. His supervisor told him that if he wanted the day off he would have to get his shift covered (mind you, he's a SUB himself!) He got the shift covered so his A__H___ supervisor scheduled him for a second shift, then made him get someone to cover that. DS2 got that one covered and the supervisor scheduled him for a THIRD shift, then made him get it covered before he finally got the day off. Sort of. The supervisor still made him come in to case routes from 6:00 to 8:00 am on the morning of the wedding. DS2 had a year to learn first-hand what is meant by "going postal." It was the year from hell and he quit as of this week. He's been rehired at the local "best" pizza place where he worked before he went away to college for two years. When he worked there before he made about $100 a night between hourly pay and tips and he knows they will give him regular, predictable hours. Most importantly the local owners always treated their employees with integrity, something that was, sadly, lacking in our post office once the postmaster (who hired DS2) was transferred to "help out" another branch.

DS1 seems to be settling into a better routine at his school. A couple of his emotionally disturbed students were sent to another school which brought him down to "only" 19 fourth and fifth graders in a 250 square foot classroom with a floor that slopes ten degrees. They hired a supervisor so that the teachers can take a potty break and short lunch break every day (he had been working 7:30 am to 4:30 pm with only ten minutes to run to the restroom because there was nobody else to watch his students for recess and lunch.)

DH is having the time of his life between his emancipated foster youth volunteering, Big Brothers (his "little" is a 17-year-old high school junior who DH will be helping get ready for graduation and college) and his American Sign Language classes in addition to being elected President for a second term on the Community College District Board of Trustees. Now, if I could just convince this retired "house husband" (his words) to cook on a regular basis...

I have not taken a stitch in over a week. I did manage to finish up the last two years' Christmas scrapbook pages so that I can leave the albums out for the holiday. Looks like nobody is getting my little kitten this year as I've run out of time. So what else is new? Sigh.

I've been reading Getting Things Done by David Allen (who, it turns out, lives very close to me in the nearby town of Ojai.) It's actually interesting enough to keep me awake at night. However, I'm a long way from implementing any of his ideas (although I did set up an inbox at school with notebook paper nearby to add items.) I think that will help me keep on top of things there if I can manage to remember to do the weekly review. Things aren't looking too good right now, though. The big task I needed to accomplish this weekend was to write up the observation report for the new teacher I'm mentoring and I left all my notes in my classroom. Sitting right next to the new inbox.

And for the last half hour the horn on my car has been chirping.

It may be a long night if it kicks into panic mode again.


1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Your DS is probably better off away from the Post Office. My husband worked for them three different times. The last time was in San Francisco. He made special arrangements before he was hired to get vacation time shortly after he started because we had nonrefundable airline tickets. His immediate supervisor made his life HELL for the year he stayed because she was so mad that he got vacation when he wanted and not when she said so. The employees there cannot be fired, so the supervisors are cruel and vindictive knowing they are stuck in their jobs for the rest of their lives.

Stick with Getting Things Done. I'm not entirely with the system yet either, but I'm getting there. It has already helped me a LOT with several projects. I just need to make it a habit.