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Showing posts from June, 2009

Thank an elementary teacher

On Friday, I finished a most exhausting and challenging week, having just completed teaching Vacation Bible School to 14 five-year olds. I can honestly say this past week was more difficult than any week I had had at my job this calendar year. Of course, most of my work weeks were not that busy this year, hence my layoff.

For this five-day stint, I had to come up with creative ways to teach the Bible lessons. Unfortunately, due to budget constraints, the church purchased only the teacher and student workbooks (which I received only a week and a half ahead of time), not any of the extras that were referenced throughout the workbooks. And on top of that, besides construction paper, markers, and the like, there were no additional crafty things at my disposal.

So I had to improvise. Fortunately, I had some supplies at home. Brian spray painted a box gold (why we had gold paint, I do not know) for the ark of the covenant. I gathered some stones for the students for the same story. I also cut…

This and that

I don't have a lot to say on any one thing, so I thought I would share some random things on my mind. Here goes.

That was quite a storm the Burgh and surrounding areas saw last night. Our garage was starting to flood (we have no basement). Kind of scary. But at the same time, there is something cool about a storm. Hopefully there were no injuries to anyone.More people at the company where I worked got laid off this week. Well, furlough was the technical term. On the one hand, I guess the company wants those people more than I, which is bothersome. On the other hand, those same people might not see a dime of severance since they can always be called back. My guess is not everyone will get called back.I am nearly over my Penguins euphoria. I did not go the parade; I just thought it would be too much with Jordan to have to stand there for hours. It was cool to watch it on TV. Glad that Steelers training camp starts in about a month, though!Having Father's Day come right after the …

How sweet it is

If someone would have told me back in February, when I was relishing the Steelers second Super Bowl victory in three years (and sixth overall), that the Pens would be hoisting the Cup in June, I would have said that person is overly, unrealistically optimistic. And I would have been wrong.

Wow. This victory feels better than the Steelers Super Bowl win just over four months ago. Partly because the Steelers had won a Super Bowl just three years before that and it has been 17 years since the Pens hoisted the Cup. Partly because all the statistics pointed to a Detroit win. And partly because I was just not sure the Pens could win in Detroit.

But, as I stated recently, I expect life to be fair. And I also believe in karma a little and that sometimes you get what you deserve. So I reasoned that the Pens, who had to suffer through the Red Wings hoisting the Cup on their ice, just might get to do the same in Detroit. I also am big on numbers. Twenty-five years ago this week, Mario was drafted …

But that's NOT what I said

I was mentioned in a Pens article in today's P-G, on page A2. Unfortunately, not everything attributed to me in that article is accurate.

Two days ago, I saw on the P-G site that the paper was looking for people to talk about their Game 7 plans and how other plans may have changed as a result of the game. I emailed the writer to tell her that my church festival was going on, and that in addition to volunteering Saturday, I also offered to help on Friday if needed. This was before I knew there would be a Game 7. Now that I knew there was a Game 7, there was no way I was going to work the festival that additional night.

The P-G writer and I chatted on the phone, and she asked if I broke the news to my church that I was not going to help out Friday. I told her I had committed to Saturday only, and that I might not even get called to help Friday, but if I did, the answer would be no.

However, the article reads: "She'd planned to volunteer at the annual festival at St. Maurice Ca…

I still expect life to be fair

Right now I am thinking about the utter smackdown the Red Wings put on my beloved Pens last night, and how just a few days ago I was actually trying to reason with God about the Pens winning the Stanley Cup. I know you are not supposed to pray for a sports victory. Sure, you can pray for whatever you want, but, really, should any of us bother God with a request for a sports victory? Considering that in Catholic grade school my teacher scolded me for praying that I would do well on a test for which I did not study, sports should probably be pretty far down the list.

Yet I have managed to do pretty close to that several times now. Here is how it went with the Steelers: I asked God to let the team play the best game they have ever played. I was not asking for them to become super heroes or play at a level they never have, just that they give it their all that day. I figured if that happened, the Steelers would win the Super Bowl.

After the Pens won convincingly on Thursday, I tried a simil…

Is good customer service dead (or nearly so)?

Nowadays, it seems as if it is nearly impossible to find good customer service. I wanted to share some recent experiences. Hopefully you have had better luck than I, at least in the automotive area.

Jiffy Lube
Jiffy Lube is overpriced, but years ago I decided my time was more important than saving something like $10 by going elsewhere. I knew I could take my car in on my Wednesday off, and be out of there in about 15 to 20 minutes. Except in April, I was there about 45 minutes, which is ridiculous for JL during the week. So I filled out a comment card with scathing reviews, answering things like I was very unlikely to come back, that I was highly unsatisfied with the wait time, that the services were overpriced. Almost two months later, even though I included both a phone number and email, no one at JL bothered to contact me. Bye-bye, Jiffy Lube.

Giant Eagle
Last month, and I called GE to see if a $99 gazebo on display was in stock. The woman said yes, so I told her I would be right dow…

Looking for a sign

I have now been out of work for almost three months (about 10 days shy of). I would have thought by now I would have figured out what my next move is. But, considering I have pondered what I am "meant to do" for probably 15 or more years now (perhaps my whole life), I don't know why I am surprised I am still clueless today.

It is weird how as things change in your life, so do you. What I mean is, right now my biggest priority is my child. I am determined to find a job that will allow me to spend the most amount of time possible with her. So that means a job with odd hours (like a 10 to 7 shift that my friend works or working on the weekends) is completely unappealing to me. Once Jordan starts school, I really want to be with her when she gets home from school, so we can work on homework together. And because I am so afraid that I won't find something like this, I have been unable to bring myself to apply for a job. Sigh.

Most people don't just walk into jobs with f…