Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sign of the Times?

We have Senior Citizen day on Tuesdays at the store. Over 60, get 10% off. Tuesdays are almost always good. Throw in a holiday and you have a busy day. Put a holiday on Thursday and you have two good days....normally. We had a good Tuesday. But not great. The day's total was only $90 better than last year. If you adjust for the higher cost of everything it wasn't better. And yesterday? Unless they really got busy after I left at 5, we aren't going to be anywhere close to last year's totals. We ran out of some of the basics--some things they didn't order enough, some because our warehouse shorted us--and some things we just couldn't get for some strange reason. But I'm sure that hurt us alot. We are the only store in town, and I believe that if our customers had to run to the next town over, they were just going to pick up everything while they were there. Quite frankly, that's what I would do. The day before Thanksgiving is usually one of our best days of the year. I won't know the actual numbers until tomorrow, but I'm betting we are down a quarter of what we did last year. It worries me.
P.S. I guess they did stay very busy and the day's totals weren't bad at all. Who could have figured?!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Roller Coaster Week

It's been quite the week. Not bad, mind you, just up and down. Work was okay, except we got extremely busy Tuesday afternoon and everyone had already left, leaving me and Jean to cope with lines of customers. My son broke his arm in PE on Wednesday. He really thought he had just fallen on it wrong, but by the time I got home from work it was hurting pretty bad. We sat in the Emergency Room all evening. It's just a buckle fracture and should heal fast and he should have the cast off before Christmas. I took a "vacation day" on Thursday, did some follow up stuff from the night before, went to coffee with my friend Tina and went shopping and out to dinner with my Mom. Made for a decent day. Today, hopefully, I'm going to take advantage of the sunshine and put out some Christmas lights. And my daughter should be home Thursday for the weekend, so I'm looking towards a good week ahead. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Experiment, Part 2

Well, the experiment failed! He basically attacked the tree and the ornaments. He didn't actually climb the tree, but as we pulled ornaments from the lower limbs and placed them higher, he was stretching his little body as far as it would go. Next step would have been climbing! So we took them down and then did some research. One site said cats don't like the smell of orange so I took one of his little paper balls that he loves so much and put orange flavoring on it. He won't have anything to do with it! Today while we are shopping I'm going to try and find some orange oil (like for candles) and we are going to lace some pine cones with it and hang it on the lowest branches. Fingers crossed, again!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


We always put up our Christmas tree(s) the weekend after Thanksgiving. I think it has been our tradition since our first Christmas 21 years ago. We've always had at least one pet around, sometimes several. And some of them noticed the Christmas decorations, but never really bothered them. However, we still rarely put bows on the presents because Kitty would pull them off and try to eat them! (And she has been gone for more than 10 years!) So we decided last weekend to go ahead and put up a tree with just one short string of lights and a string of beads to see if Rosco was going to be the tree-climbing type of kitten. He has been having fun batting things around, but (fingers crossed!) he hasn't tried to climb it yet! I still think my antique ornaments may stay in the box this year!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Defining Moments

My daughter came home from college last weekend so she could vote. I've always believed it was important to be part of the process--to me it is part of being American. I know I get that from my folks. Dad always said if you don't vote you don't have the right to complain. I've always taken that to heart and been vocal about it! And apparently at least one of my kids was listening to me! I admit right now that I've never been as emotionally vested in any other election. I don't even have the words to express how I feel. I think for the last few weeks I've been holding my breath waiting for it to be over. I was so afraid the vote would go the other way. Everyone at work was so sure that Obama would win, but I was afraid they were getting too cocky--that maybe that certainty was going to jinx it! I don't know if Obama can actually do anything he promised, but just the fact that he got elected shows me there is hope for the American people. I guess living in this town where world views can be rather narrow wears on me. I would have loved to have put up an Obama sign in my yard or worn a button to work, but I have to deal with "customer relations" and most of the town voted the other way. I don't do political arguments (just like I don't do religious arguments). I just hope that they realize what a historic thing just happened.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Favorite Places

One of our very favorite places is the St. Louis Zoo. We went several times when I was a child, the whole extended family--aunts, uncles and cousins. We would always take a picnic with cold fried chicken and potato salad and the sweat bees would buzz around our sodas. My husband and I spend part of our honeymoon in St. Louis and the Zoo was our first stop. Somehow, when the kids were still babies, we started a tradition of taking them to the Zoo. It's not quite an hour and a half drive, especially if we go on Sunday. The Zoo is free, but parking is a bit expensive and most of the "extras" (the train, the children's zoo) have an extra charge. I began to purchase a family membership and we have generally made the trip 2 or 3 times a year. It's hard to find an activity that parents can share with teenagers (especially teenage boys!) but this one works for all of us. It's been our tradition, our "place". So the fact that my daughter is going to school in Indianapolis now, meaning the total opposite direction, has affected my decision to renew our membership. I figure if we have a free day, instead of heading west we will probably head east. Except, I'm noticing we are all suffering withdrawal! Especially my 16 year old son! I admit, I'm really surprised about that. I knew he enjoyed it, I guess I just didn't realize how much. I realize I'm blessed with kids that actually like to spend time with their parents. Hallelujah!