The Bagger Chronicles; Part I

It seems the last two months have been a whirlwind of activities. I haven’t had much time to stamp, and I have missed it quite a bit.  I’ve thought about it every day.    The whirlwind  started with our first time trip to Cancun, Mexico the week before Thanksgiving.  Remind me never to take a vacation immediately before a major holiday again.  We returned home the Monday just before Thanksgiving.  I was fortunate in that I didn’t have to prepare Thanksgiving dinner as we were invited to a friend’s home for the event.

Shortly thereafter, Christmas preparations began with decorating, baking, and shopping.  It seems we always make such a fuss for such a short amount of time.  But, Christmas was excellent this year.  We  were lucky to have all four of our collective children home for the holiday.  Only one, my daughter, lives out-of-town and she was able to be here.  She doesn’t live that far out-of-town; she’s only a two-hour drive away in Ft. Collins, Colorado.  I was able to spend four entire days with her, as her boss allowed her to work from home one of the days, so she worked from my home.    Unfortunately, she had to return to work early the Friday after Christmas, so she had to leave here by 2:00 p.m. on Christmas day in order to miss the snow storm that was due to arrive.  As it was, she hit snow just 5 miles north of Denver and had to spend the last hour of her trip driving in it.

Something else was thrown into the mix to make life a little extra hectic around the holiday.  I started a new part-time job as a bagger at one of the local military commissaries the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  For those of you that don’t know, a commissary is a grocery store on a military installation. Only active duty or retired military personnel and their dependents are allowed to shop in it.  Government employees work in them as cashiers, butchers, etc.  Only active duty or retired military and their dependents can be baggers.  Baggers work for tips only.  My husband put his name on the waiting list to be a bagger about a year ago.  He thought it would be a good thing to do to keep himself busy since he retired from his civilian job.  It has been 10 years since he retired from the Air Force.  He started bagging in September. After his first day of work, he came home with $60.00.  I said, “Hey, how hard can it be?  It isn’t rocket science.  Put my name on the list.  I want $60.00 a day for bagging groceries too!”  So¸ he put my name on the list.  I didn’t expect to be called for about a year.  But, the phone call came the week before we went to Cancun.

It is low stress, and those bags and buggies don’t talk back like kids (or parents and principals) do.  LOL!  How hard is it to bag groceries?

You would think it is simply putting groceries into a bag, but did you know there are thirteen rules on the How to Bag Groceries hand out presented to me at New Bagger Orientation! In addition, there are 34 items on the Line Procedures and Bagging Rules to Promote Equality for all Baggers handout.  (Recently revised on September 19, 2014, so I know it is current).  Moreover, I had to sign a Commissary Bagger Independent Contractor Agreement and the Defense Commissary Agency’s Bagger Standard Operating Procedures before I could start working.  So is it NOT rocket science?

Some of the baggers I am working with have spent years perfecting their craft.  Some have bagged for 10…No…20 years!  I am not exaggerating.  It is out of the bag now!  Commissary bagging has been the life work of many.  Imagine…20 years bagging groceries!

That is all I am going to write about this for now.  Some of my experiences as a Commissary Bagger would, according to my children, make an excellent Will Ferrell movie.  You will just have to wait until next time before you learn any more about my bagging adventures.   I am sure you are waiting with bated breath.

I got the inspiration for my card from December’s My Paper Pumpkin.  It’s a Valentine Card that uses a few new things that you will be able to order when the new Occasions Catalog goes live next month.  It is a pop up shaker card.  I think that’s what you would call it.  The stamp set I used is in the Annual Catalog and it is called Groovy Love.   I used the new Confetti Heart Border Punch and new Stacked with Love Designer Series Paper Stack that will be available in the Occasions Catalog on January 6th.  It looks as if I punched some confetti hearts out of white paper, but I didn’t.  You are just seeing the backs of some of the ones I cut using the Red Glimmer Paper.   Hope you like my creation and you enjoyed your visit today.

2015 Valentine

Until next time…

Happy Stamping!

Josie2

No Story

Like the weather outside this week, my brain has been in a deep freeze.  No matter how hard I try, I can’t think of a story for you this week.  Well…I thought of a few, but the motivation to write them is not there.  It is frozen.

Our temperature for the last three days has been in the single digits.  Thursday’s temp of 4 degrees broke the 1916 record of 10.  So it has been cold, to say the least.  Today is set to be a little warmer.

An old friend from work stopped by last evening quite unexpectedly.  He dropped off the first five chapters of a book he has been working on and asked me to read it for him and to offer my suggestions for improvement.  So far, after reading the forward, I can’t find anything that needs fixed.  I think it is funny that he would ask me for suggestions since I always considered him better at writing than I am.  But hey,  I feel honored that he asked so I will do my best.

Here’s my card today.  I participated in a shoe box swap a few weeks ago, and one of the other demonstrators there used the stamp set Partridge & Pears and I fell in love with it.  The gold embossing and water coloring was inspired by her; Charlotte.  Hope you like it.

Partridge & Pears - 1

Just a word about the button I used on this card.  I embossed it with gold embossing powder as well as the design of the stamp set.  Just press it into the versa mark pad, add embossing powder, and heat.  You can change the look of a button just like that!

Hope you enjoyed your visit.  Until next time…

Happy Stamping!

Josie2

My Father was a Forger

As my husband and I were finishing dinner the other evening, he asked me to read the bill for him. The restaurant, dimly lit, made it difficult for him to see it.  I sighed, pulled my glasses out of my purse, and looked at it.

“It’s $45.00,” I said. This wasn’t bad as far as I was concerned since we each had had two beverages and shared an appetizer along with an entre apiece.

My husband opened his wallet, removed his credit card and handed both the bill and the card to the server as she walked by.

When the server returned with his credit card and the check, my husband again asked me if I would write in the tip amount and total. I complied and in the process asked rather sarcastically,

“Would you like me to sign it for you too? I could, you know. I know how to sign your name exactly as you do.  Nobody would ever know.  I just have to make the ‘G’ look like an ‘L’ and write Lary …. I know your ATM pin number too, you know.  If I wanted, I could clean you out.”

I like to tease my husband about this kind of stuff, because he once was married to a woman who did just that while he was on active duty and deployed overseas. When we married 14 years ago, we were sure to keep a few financial things separate.  However, as time has gone on, we have mixed more and more of our assets together.  I know it is mean to tease him, but sometimes he is so “tease-able” about this issue that I have to admit I get a little passive aggressive pleasure out of watching him squirm.  Not a great quality of mine, I know.

“No, that’s okay,” was his response. “Besides, you can’t make the ‘C’ for our last name like I do.”

“Do you really think that?” I asked him. “I’ll just write your signature onto this piece of scrap paper and we will compare the two.”

Upon comparison, the two were similar, but my duplication of his signature in no way looked just like his. You could definitely tell which was counterfeit.

“I have told you the story about my dad being a forger, haven’t I?” I asked him.

I had, but I will retell it for you.

Both of my parents were born in the late 1920’s to early 1930’s. They both came of age and married each other in the early 1950’s, so you could say they were the typical 1950’s and 1960’s couple.  My dad went to work every day, came home, and in the summer time worked in the garden.  My mother stayed home with us kids most of the time.  There was a brief period when my sister and I were very young that Mom worked at the soda counter in a local drug store. That didn’t last very long. It was just to help make ends meet while my father was laid off from his job at the steel mill in Youngstown, Ohio.  He soon found a job again with the water company, and my mom quit hers.  My mother especially, they both believed certain things were a “man or woman’s” role.  Earning a living was a “man’s” job, and staying home and running the house was the “woman’s.” My mom eventually did go to work when both my sister and I were in high school, but she made sure her friends and family knew it was because she WANTED to go to work and not because she HAD to.  She was always sure to let my father know that he was the MAN of the house.  She strived to never do or say anything to make him feel otherwise.

My father did nothing other than going to work every day, and working in his garden when weather permitted. The routine, mundane household chores were up to my mother.  Dad’s philosophy was, “Why should I have to do that stuff when I got three women living in this house?”  The three women were first my mother, and then eventually my older sister and me.  My sister and I were also his reasoning for never getting my mother a dishwasher until we were both grown and out of the house.  He believe he and my mother had brought two perfectly good ones into the world.

That was my father and by the values of those times, he was a good one. He went to work every day, handed his paycheck over to his wife, and let her manage everything relating to home and children and finances the way she thought best.  He could do that because my mother could be trusted, and she was good with money.  My father loved us. He would do anything for us.  We knew that then; we know that now.  He proved it daily.

My mother was of the opinion that a woman should make her man feel like a man as much as possible. Mother did everything for Dad. From ironing his boxer shorts to pressing his hankies, she did it all. To prove even further that my father was the MAN of the house, the KING of his castle, the HEAD of his household, everything was always in my father’s name even though everything was in joint ownership with my mother.  The car title was in dad’s name only, but it was their car.  The telephone and utility bills were in my dad’s name only, but Mom always made sure she paid them on time. Their personal checking account…that was different…it was in both their names.

I mentioned earlier that my father went to work, and on paydays, he handed his check over to my mother. But, he didn’t sign it.  He didn’t need to.   I told you Mother did EVERYTHING for Dad.  Whenever she deposited his paycheck to their personal checking, she always signed it for him… with his name, not hers.  Whenever she wrote a personal check against their jointly owned checking account, she always signed his name, not hers.  You know, you gotta make a man feel like a man!  (I say with a bit of sarcasm.)

Mom always kept some cash stashed away in a drawer for day-to-day expenses. My father knew this, so when he needed or wanted money, he went to the stash and took what he wanted.  After all, he had earned it.  There were no questions from my mother, no arguments.  As long as there was money to pay the bills, take care of the family, and save a little, Mom never said much.

One time my mother wrote a check for me to pay my college tuition, and she signed my father’s name.

“Mom, you can’t do that! Why don’t you sign your own name?  Aren’t you on the account?”

“Of course, I’m on the account. But I sign your dad’s name,” she admitted.

“Mom, that’s illegal!” I exclaimed.

“Tell your father to have me arrested,” she chuckled. “Let me tell you something,” she schooled me.  “If I wanted to, I could have cleaned your father out financially years ago, and he knows it. If your father ever went to the bank and signed his own name, they would arrest HIM for forging his signature.”

WHA….????????

God bless my mother and father! My father was the KING of his castle.  My mother?  She was NOT his minion!  They were married for over 50 years.  Maybe the rest of us could learn something from all of this.

Today I am sharing a card that I made using some of my favorite Christmas colors; blue and silver.

Christmas Bauble-2

I love the way this turned out!  Some things you need to know about when making this card. I used silver embossing powder on the doily. I had to versa mark quite a bit of the doily in order to get all of the lacy edge covered.  You might even have to versa mark and add embossing powder several times to get it completely covered. I’ve seen this done before, but never tried it myself.  Another thing you need to know is I embossed the stamped image of the ornament in silver powder as well.  I did the center and the holly leaves and berries twice, cut and punched each out,  and attached them using  dimensionals to add depth.

Hope you enjoyed your visit today.  Until next time…

Happy Stamping!

Josie2

Christmas Bauble-1

 

Mother’s & Daughters

What is it about some mothers and daughters that cause their relationship with each other to be so notorious at times? I have often wondered if as mothers we see the qualities we dislike most in ourselves in our daughters and we try to fix them.  I know my relationship with my mother was sometimes difficult, especially when I was an adolescent and again when I was a single mother.  The same holds true for my relationship with my daughter who will soon celebrate her 30th birthday. She and I get along pretty well now, but there have been times in the past when things were not so stellar.  Like me, she can sometimes be headstrong and determined to do things her way.  (Is that really a bad thing?)

I have done a little reading (enough to make me dangerous) about mother and daughter relationships and this is what I learned. According to an article I read, the three biggest things mothers and daughters usually argue about are hair, clothes, and weight.  All three things relate to physical appearance.

When I look back at the times my mother and I really went head to head, they usually but not always, centered on one of those three things. She either didn’t like the way I was wearing or the color of my hair, a dress I was wearing made me look a little “frumpy”, and well, “You’ll lose the weight when you are ready.”

“All I ever really wanted was for you to approve of me, Mom!” That was the conclusion I finally came to and when I decided I was adult enough to stop looking for mother’s approval, our relationship improved a thousand times.  She could make comments about my looks until hell froze over, and I did not care. When I stopped reacting to what she had to say, we stopped arguing.

In hindsight, looking back at my relationship with my daughter and two of the times we butted heads, they both relate to physical appearance.

When my daughter entered high school, I made an appointment for her at the Clinique counter in a local department store for a makeover. She wasn’t allowed to wear make up until her first year. She attended a parochial school until she graduated high school, and makeup was expressly against dress code until then.  I thought it would be best if someone other than her mother gave her a few makeup tips.  Kids usually listen to the advice of others over their parents at that age anyway.  The consensus among kids that age is their parents don’t know anything. I know mine didn’t!  The only grew smarter as I grew older. I thought I was being very progressive and insightful by doing this.  This would surely solve the problem of her wearing too much make up as most girls her age have a tendency to do.  It would also save a lot of confrontation between the two of us over the very subject.

In reality, all it really did was set me back about $150.00 when I purchased the cosmetics the salesperson recommended. Did she follow the makeup tips that were suggested?  Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!  Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

I can’t remember the number of mornings my beautiful daughter would come down the stairs to the breakfast table OVER made up. Sometimes the eyeliner was so onerous and dark I thought a raccoon was coming to breakfast. Or, the foundation so carroty in color and thick, I could see a line along her jawbone where the foundation ended and her natural complexion started.   Sometimes the eye shadow was so blue or green that her younger brother would whisper to me, “Jenn looks gross!”   Something funky was always going on with her makeup.  To me, my daughter was beautiful (and she still is).  She didn’t need all of that stuff.  I continually tried  telling her this.  It was when she got to be my age she would need a little extra help.  I also tried telling her that boys didn’t like to be with girls that wore too much make up.  What did I know anyway?

One morning on the way to school, Jenn made the mistake of asking what I thought of her makeup. The second mistake occurred that morning when I told her exactly.

“It’s too much, Jenn. It looks a little slutty.”

“Ahhhhhhhhhhh!” she screamed. “I can’t believe you just called your own daughter a slut!”

“I did no such thing,” I said. “I said your make up looks slutty.  There is a difference!  Besides, if you don’t really want to know what I think, don’t ask because I will never lie to you!”

As she continued to vehemently screech  her dissatisfaction with my response, I gently asked her, “Are you pms’ing, Jenn?”

“No, I am not!” she  bawled.  I knew immediately that she in fact was.

After that, she never asked again about her makeup, and I never offered my opinion.

Around the beginning of her junior year in high school, my daughter told me,

“You know what Mom? My English teacher told me the foundation I have been wearing is a little too dark for me. She recommended I try another one that is more the color of my complexion.  She said…”

I smiled to myself, and thought, “What have I been saying? Thank you, Miss English teacher.  I love you!”  LOL!

Here is my card today.  I felt a little autumn-ish, so I worked on a Thanksgiving card for today.  This is what I cam up with.  Hope you like it.  I LOVE these colors together.

For All Things - 3

I always look forward to your comments whether they are about what I’ve written or created, so feel free.  Until next time…

Happy Stamping!

Josie2