Monday, June 27, 2016

Life Last Week #2016-24

Last week flew by in a blur and the weekend quickly followed that pattern.  Work continues to be awesome - busy, busy, busy with new challenges - I love it!  I suppose last week whizzed by even faster since I was in training all day Tuesday and then had to go to another training session on Wednesday.  Wednesday's was supposed to be two hours but since I had completed part of the training already, they said I could skip the first hour and come down at 9:00am.  I didn't think I really needed to attend but my Mentor said I really needed to be there.  What was that all about?

My "you really need to be there" appearance at the training turned out to be for recognition as Employee of the Quarter for our Code with a lovely cash bonus! I was floored - the training ran over; it was all a bit rushed at the end so when our Department Head made the announcement, I walked to the front, she handed me the certificate folder, shook my hand, and then it was "ok, we have to go now, the next group needs this conference room". When I got back to my office, I read the write-up that was in the folder and noticed that there was a piece of paper behind it - what a shocker that was! Employees of the Quarter usually get a voucher to spend at the company store for logo items and things like that but no, this was real Benjamins! I couldn't help smiling all day every time I thought about it.

Last week heralded the beginning of summer and that means polished toes!  Saturday morning found me in the massage chair at the salon with my feet in a tub of bubbly, scented water.  Ah, bliss!  I headed home after that to meet the car detailing guy who was giving Vic's truck another check-up after the mildew/mold issue.  All is well on that front so he used the appointment time to give it a quick wash and vacuum and a nice shiny wax.

Sophia pulled into the driveway about 5:30pm.  She had an overnight pass so we picked up some dinner, and watched some Netflix while we both worked on our planners and chit-chatted about how things are going with camp staff training.  Up early on Sunday - back to camp for Sophia and I had to make a run to Costco to pick up some dip for the afternoon Navy Wives craft event.  We had a lot of fun; I decided to modify the flag craft so I'll post a picture when I'm done.

And that is the end of another weekend.  No doubt it will be another quick week at work and there are a few things on the calendar for the evenings - Navy Wives board meeting on Tuesday, manicure and the first day of Christmas in July on Friday, and then a massage on Saturday morning.  Oh, my goodness, I cannot wait for that appointment!

I hope you all have a great week.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

June Rudolph Day

What better day to announce the 2016 Christmas in July themes from over at the Magical Holiday Home Forums than Rudolph Day?  There will be lots of idea-sharing and Pinterest-posting and blog-writing coming up in July.  Please join us if you can bear to think about Christmas in July - we certainly can!

Week One (July 1-9)
Holiday foods, traditional foods in your family/from your culture or country of origin, gingerbread, cookies, menus, fancy drink recipes, table d├ęcor and kitchen decorating...anything and everything to do with food and how to prepare it and serve it.

Week Two (July 10-16)
Gifts (homemade, age appropriate), gift lists, gift exchanges, stocking stuffers, wrapping styles, gifts from the heart (charitable giving, blessing bags/kits, Angel Trees, Operation Shoebox). 

Week Three (July 17-23)
Trees, lighting, indoor/outdoor ideas, nativities, personal style, ornaments (homemade, purchased, hand-me-downs, vintage finds, collectibles), Winter Wonderland, Snowmen, Christmas cottages/villages/trains, penguins.

Week Four (July 24-31)
Christmas movies, music, theater, books, church and school events, special activities and events in your area, games, holiday books, Christmas travel, Christmas markets, parties and party themes, Advent calendars, Elf on the Shelf, Christmas countdowns.

Today's activities will be watching a Christmas movie (Elf is the suggested movie but it's not on Netflix which is my only viewing option right now so I decided to check out Christmas Town) and making a decision on my Christmas planner - stick with the 8 1/2 x 11 binder I've been using or switch to the new A5 Carpe Diem planner that arrived in the mail.

No Christmasy treats since it's back on the Whole 30 I go but if I feel like shopping, JoAnn's is in the spirit already (spotted this last week)!

Have a great Rudolph Day!

Monday, June 20, 2016

It's Coming!!!

I loved this graphic so much last year that I'm recycling it for this year.  Christmas in July 2016 is just around the corner.  Themes are in development over at the Magical Holiday Home Forums so stay tuned.  OK, non-Christmas in July lovers, quit groaning!

Life Last Week #2016-23

I'm behind as usual so bear with me.  My new job is fabulous but incredibly busy - there are people in and out of our office all day, all bearing things for me to read or reformat or process before they can go on to the next step.  I'm not complaining, I love the pace but I'm pretty tired when I get home and that just doesn't leave a whole lot of time for anything else.  What I need is an organization intervention!  I've always considered myself an organized person but I'm spending a lot of productive time being un-productive (ie. watching Netflix) and that has to change.

Apart from my Netflix addiction, I've been keeping busy with chores, errands, and grocery shopping or picking up a quick takeaway so the Whole 30 has flown out the window.  There's been a battle royal among the Navy Wives which was unpleasant but I think it's over now which is good because I hate any kind of conflict.

I've also been spending a lot of time on my favorite royalty sites because it's been an amazing week - the church service for the Queen's 90th birthday, followed by her official birthday celebration - Trooping the Colour - then the Patron's Lunch and on to the Garter Ceremony which leads right into Ascot.  Oh my goodness, the hats, the clothes, the jewels - fabulous!  I'll try and get a post up at some point with a few of my favorites.

Sophia was here off and on before she headed to camp for the summer leaving MudLynn with me so an evening constitutional after dinner is part of every day now.  So far we've only been rained on once.

I'm also spending a lot of time thinking about Christmas in July.  Our Admin, Ginger, on the Magical Holiday Home Forums has a lot of demands on her time this year so she won't be heading up the planning.  I'm hoping that someone else will step up to organize some themes so that we can get rolling on July 1.  I've also joined (I, no, no, Pamela, no more!) a new Facebook group for Christmas Planner Addicts so I'm working my way through some amazing posts about Christmas planners.  I've always used a three-ring notebook but I'm going with a smaller one this year, just haven't decided which one.

Have a great week, everyone, and I'll try to get at least a little something up each day.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #45

I've been woefully remiss in keeping you all up to speed with the goings-on of the upper crust - time just slips away from me these days.  We missed the Chelsea Flower Show (24-28 May) and the Epsom Derby (3-4 June) but this weekend should make up for all that as it's a bumper celebration.  Saturday is Trooping the Colour, the official celebration of The Queen's birthday (held in June when the weather is nicer, one hopes!) and Sunday brings us the Patron's Lunch.

Over 1400 parading soldiers, 200 horses, and 400 musicians will come together in a great display of military precision, horsemanship, and fanfare to mark The Queen's official birthday. The streets are lined with crowds waving flags as the parade moves from Buckingham Palace and down The Mall to Horse Guard's Parade, alongside members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages.  The display closes with an RAF fly-past, watched by members of the Royal Family from the Buckingham Palace balcony.  How I would love to be there!

On Sunday June 12th 2016, The Mall in St James’s Park will be transformed for its largest ever street party to celebrate The Queen’s patronage of over 600 charities and organisations on the occasion of her 90th birthday.  For all the details, check out the Patron's Lunch website here and if your invitation got lost in the mail, I hope you were able to pick up your "at home celebration" hamper before they were all snapped up!  Although not as plush as the hampers at the actual event, Marks & Spencer created a basket full of picnic food made with British ingredients, including a crown-topped pork pie, apple juice and a selection of sandwiches.

If not, may I suggest a loaf of Pepperidge Farm Very Thin bread and a cucumber sliced very thinly, crusts cut off, of course!

Happy Birthday, Your Majesty!  I hope it's a fabulous weekend and I can't wait for next week - the Garter Service and the gem in the Summer Season calendar - Royal Ascot.

Monday, June 6, 2016

LIfe Last Week #2016-22

I survived!  Week One at my new job was great.  Most of the work is similar to what I have been doing and the tasks that are unfamiliar don't seem like they will be too challenging.  My new boss is really nice as are my co-workers - I was there two days and they gifted me with a lovely name sign for my desk - it helps that the graphics people fall under our area!  I thought the week would tick along nicely, some time with the lady I am replacing to turn over and then off I would go.  That plan came to a screeching halt when I was asked to go back to my old office on Thursday and Friday morning to spend some more time with my replacement.  I won't go into all the gory details - let's just say that her Inbox (electronic and on the corner of her desk) were overflowing, staff had not been paid properly, and when I reminded her that instructions for all of the tasks are in a binder, alphabetized by subject, she said, "I think I should look at that."  Ya think? was on the tip of my tongue but I refrained from expressing the sentiment.  Instead I tried to undo as much of the damage that had been caused and set her a specific set of tasks to complete before my return on the second day.  Unfortunately, Friday came and the tasks were not done so we spent all of our time together working on them.  When it was time for me to leave, our Mentor/Leader summoned me to her office for a debrief and decided that she would have to spend time over there to see the situation for herself.  We'll see what this week brings.  My former boss informed me that if my new position doesn't work out, he wants me right back where I was!

I should explain the situation.  Administrative Officer A left her job to take a permanent position elsewhere so Secretary B (the lady I am replacing) took a 120 day temporary promotion to fill her spot. I, in turn, took Secretary B's spot also on a 120 day temporary promotion.  At the end of the 120 days, if Secretary B likes her new job, a vacancy announcement will be posted for both positions and we can both apply, along with anyone else who is interested.  That's the way it works in the government.  You can't just move people around without making a position available to everyone so they use the 120 day temporary promotion process to keep the positions filled.

So, three things can happen:  If Secretary B likes her new position, she can apply for it and if she's successful, she will stay there in which case my new position will be posted to be filled and I can apply for it and if I am the successful candidate, I will stay where I am.  However, if she doesn't like her new job, she can come back to the old one (the one I'm in) and I'll be back where I came from or if she does like her new job and stays there but I am unsuccessful my application for the position I'm in, I'll be back where I came from as well.  Are you thoroughly confused because I am!

I would really like the new position but, if I'm not successful, I'll be back with my former co-workers and I love them and the job I was doing so I'm really in a win-win situation all around.  I will have had 120 days' experience at the upper level position so if something comes up again, I'll have a few more skills for my resume.

The week just flew by and the weekend was upon us (well, me).  I had been looking forward to Saturday for the entire week and my massage appointment was everything I hoped it would be - sheer heaven!  I told Sophia that I need to give something up so that I can go on a regular basis.  She asked what I would give up and I said perhaps food, then I would be skinny and relaxed!  Yesterday I spent a delightful couple of hours with my Planner Buddy, Liz.  If you haven't heard of Erin Condren Planners, Google and check them out.

That was about it for my week.  I'm looking forward to the coming week and I hope that my replacement picks up the pace and has the gumption to ask questions and to explore the instruction binder and the many files that are available to her as resources.

It's Sophia's last week at school with finals and term papers due.  I hope that she gets through it all without too much stress.  I know she is excited for the coming summer at horse camp.

Have a great week, everyone, I really hope I can get my blogging back to where I would like it to be - daily through the week at least.

And last but not least, a shout-out to my new follower, EJagno from Cajun Celebrations.  Her Circle of Life post really touched me.  I gave up my job fourteen years ago to take care of my elderly parents when they came to live with us in Illinois.  Although it only lasted for five months as they decided they really wanted to go back to England to live, my Mum died shortly after they returned so that was five months that I was blessed to have them with us.  We had a lot of laughs and a few tears during that time and the memories are priceless.