Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Have you ever done something simply out of kindness for someone and then realized later the unexpected benefit to yourself that it brought?

A lot of you readers of my blog already know about the nasty ice storm that swept across Iowa this past weekend. I heard at one point, because of the 250 miles of downed powerlines, there were as many as 120,000 homes without power starting Saturday afternoon. As I write this, according to our local utility web site, there are still roughly 30,000 without power almost 5 days later.

Monday evening, during my evening shift at Starbucks, a regular customer came through the drive thru to get her daily 3 Venti Cinnamon Dolce Lattes on her way to her night shift at a local factory here in Cedar Rapids. I noticed that she wasn't driving her usual vehicle. I asked her where her car was, which started an entire conversation about the awful few days she's been having because of the ice storm. Her car was at home frozen to the ground because of all the ice that had accumulated on and around where it was parked. She had also been without power, heat and water since Saturday. The whole small town where she lives, just outside of Cedar Rapids, was without power and people were being advised to leave their homes and go to community shelters because storm # 2 is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday evening, likely delaying power restoration for at least several more days.
Well, that would be a viable option for her and her husband if it weren't for their 11 dogs at home. She is a warm, caring person with a serious soft spot in her heart for animals. She's never been able to turn away a stray and she loves them all as if they were her children. So, they have been struggling at home with no heat and power for days because they have to take care of their dogs and finding a place to go with 11 dogs in tow would be impossible.
After she got her drinks and left, I felt so bad for her. I wanted to help somehow, but what could I do?

I was scheduled for a Tuesday evening shift as well this week. A few hours into the evening, I had an idea. I told Christina, our store manager about our favorite customer's unfortunate situation and asked if we could at least give her her drinks for free tonight just to show her we do care about her and are thinking of her. Christina agreed and together we decided we could do a little better than that. We bagged up several breakfast pastries for her to take home and even filled a small bag full of dog treats to take home to her "children". At around 9:15 pm, as usual, she arrived. We exchanged hello's throught the speaker and I told her we'd have her usual for her at the window. When she reached the drive thru window, I handed her the bag full of pastries and showed her the doggy treats and told her that her $14.00 worth of drinks were on the house tonight. I explained how glad we were to see her every night and that we all wanted to do something for her, as little as it may be, to let her know we were thinking of her. Then, completely by surprise to me, her eyes welled up with tears. We had truly touched her with that simple, seemingly insignificant gesture. We had really lifted her spirit and made a small difference in her week.

The benefit to her was obvious, but the benefit to me...? It made me feel great for the rest of the evening. It actually put ME in a better mood and made me realize that my 14 hour work day that day was nothing compared to what she had been and still is going through at home.

I love my Starbucks job!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I've been disfigured...

It was a perfectly innocent outing to get my haircut and an eyebrow waxing. Who knew I'd come home looking like I'd been in a fight?

I like to get my eyebrows waxed about every other time I get a haircut. It cleans them up and makes me feel a little bit better about myself. (believe me, every little bit helps) I've had it done too many times to count and never have I been harmed in the process.

I walked into the Cost Cutters a few blocks from the house (first mistake, I know) and asked for a haircut and to have the eyebrows done. "Sure, it'll just be a minute". So, I stood for a bit and waited while she finished with the guy ahead of me. We had just started getting the beggining of the terrible ice storm that blanketed most of Iowa this weekend. Because of the weather, they were going to close early and I just happened to be the lucky last customer of the day, as I witnessed them turn away two more people who walked in just behind me.

I got my hair cut and she did a nice job. I was please with it. Little did I know she was a ruthless killer with the hot wax and paper! I know they were probably in a hurry to get done and home before the nasty ice storm hit full force, but c'mon, this was rediculous. It hurt a little, but it always does. I thought nothing of the bit of burning sensation as I walked out and to my car. The left eye hurt a little more but I just figured there was maybe more there to remove...until I got home. I went to the bathroom to shower as I always do after a haircut because I hate that scratchy feeling of little hairs around my collar the rest of the day after a haircut. When I looked in the mirror I saw WHY it still hurt. I couldn't believe what I saw! She had ripped a layer of skin right off my eyelid! That BITCH!

I tried to go back today to complain and get my money back at least for the waxing, but they were closed. I WILL be going back tomorrow to have a few words with whom ever is there. I hope either that woman who did this or a manager is there.

Anyone know how long it's gonna take for THIS to heal??

Saturday, February 17, 2007


It's been a discussion for a few months now. We've been out shopping together a few times trying to find one that we can both agree upon. He's been determined to get one and I think he SHOULD have one if he wants it THAT badly. But WHY???

For me, they have always brought to mind the depressing livingrooms of the elderly who have long since given up on any ideas of tastful decorating in place of comfort while eating dinner watching "The Price Is Right" because "I just love that Bob Barker." Followed by "Wheel of Fortune" and a nap.

Can anyone name a style that recliners actually GO with? Early American? No. Contemporary? No. Traditional? No. Modern? No way! Eclectic? Not in my book. I've never claimed to be a fantastic decorator, but I do enjoy trying my best to make my home look good and I think I have an eye for knowing what looks good. I've just never been a big fan of giant, overstuffed, button-tufted, polyester crushed velvet recliners. Why do the manufacturers think THAT'S what recliner buyers want? I suppose because so many people buy them. But just go to the recliner section of any furniture store...that's what you get to choose from. Just plain ugly. Oh, and if you want to add features don't forget the option of adding cup holders, and the special compartments for your remote controls so you rarely have to leave your chair. God, I can just HEAR people getting fatter.

To those of you who have recliners in your homes, please don't be offended. I'm merely offering up my personal opinion of having one in my home. I've seen them in other people's homes and really don't mind them there. I just don't know what to do with one in my home.

So, about a week ago I came home from work to a giant box sitting in the entry just inside the front door. I knew this was a bad sign. My fears were realized when I read the side of the box. I couldn't imagine what hideous, enourmous creature would emerge from that box. My fears were compounded when I asked why it was still in the box and Andrew's reply was, "oh, the second box didn't come today." Oh my God, you mean there's MORE to it?? I had to go lie down.

Just in case you're wondering, the picture above is NOT the recliner that came out of that box. I just searched the internet for a picture of a really ugly one to help make my point for this post. The chair that did finally end up in one piece after the second part arrived the next day, is actually not that bad. It's a smaller sized one that sports rather clean lines for a recliner. Still probably not one that I would have chosen, but it isn't as bad as I tried to imagine. After some re-arranging of the livingroom and familyroom and the deletion of an old chair, we now have a recliner in our livingroom. I have to admit, it's not all that bad and if Andrew is happy that he now has a comfy place to sit quietly and read, I am happy for him. Actually I'm glad he just went ahead and bought it. That eliminated the need for me to have to endure actually shopping for one and being present when one was purchased.
I'm not sure my heart could have taken that much stress.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Introducing the book

Friday, February 09, 2007


The nurse was shocked to see how high my temerature was. (Not sure why she insisted that I remove my shirt.)

It all started on Wednesday at work. By mid-afternoon I started feeling like crap. The sinus infections, flu and colds are making their way around work like the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz. I managed to make till 5:oopm when I could go home and veg out for the evening. Thursday morning came and I actually felt better and by mid-morning and after my 20 oz. mug of Starbucks I was actually feeling fine. Whew, I dodged another outbreak of illness at work.
Well, when my alarm clock went off at 6 am this morning I knew it was back. I woke up with a pounding head, I could actually hear myself breathing, my chest hurt and my whole body ached. This was going to be my first missed day of work in 2007. Damn, I couldn't have just waited till at least May for that?!

So, I made the dreaded call into work that I always feel so guilty about whenever I have to do it. I'm not sure why, I have plenty of paid time off that I am allowed to take whenever I choose but it's just the whole "calling in sick" thing that I hate because it's so often mis-used by so many people who just don't feel like working that day. We all know them and we all work with a few of them.

My day was pretty much spent drinking tea because it seemed to help clear my sinuses, (and tea just seems like the thing to drink when you're sick) and laying on the sofa with the TiVo remote nestled in my right hand. (it just fits so perfectly) There were several programs that had been recorded over the past several days that I hadn't had a chance to catch up on lately, like American Idol, Wife Swap and Oprah. I admit, I don't watch much TV, but what I do watch is truly worthless. So, I caught up on my horribly bad singing auditions, white trash families at their best, and another day of Oprah saving the world, one little misfortunate black child at a time, all the while drifting in and out of consciousness.

Andrew got home around 4:30 and by that time I was feeling a little better. (at least I was showered and actually sitting upright) I went to pick up the kids at 5:30 and when I got home and started dinner I began feeling slightly human again.

Tomorrow will be nice. Andrew and I both have the day off and the kids will be here. A chance to sleep in and then go to Robin's basketball game at 11:00am.

Hopefully this was just a 24 hour thing. We'll see what tomorrow morning brings...

Friday, February 02, 2007


Love is blind...

...especially when the one you love keeps using all that pepper spray!