Thursday, April 26, 2012

How a "Trip" Down the Aisle Nearly Lands Me a Job (PT 1)

My daughters birthday party is coming up this weekend, and with all the mishaps that life has handed us this past week it's been a difficult road to partyville. $800 down the crapper...literally. We had a big septic tank issue this week that drained our party budget. On the verge of having to move the party to another weekend, a miracle happened. All our family and friends came to the rescue. The party has lost some of the uber nifty frills that were originally scheduled, and has now become more of a potluck than a hosted bbq. But we have wonderful friends and family who have gone above and beyond to make sure this party still happens, and we are ever grateful.

Well tonight my mother and I went off to our local Wal-Mart in search of random party supplies, when a fortunate accident occurred. We were in the produce section when my mother called my attention to something behind me. As I took a step to turn around, my foot went from under me. Used to the feeling of my body flailing out of control, I quickly grabbed onto my cart to keep myself from landing all the way down on the floor. As soon as I grabbed the cart, with my body still in motion, I instantly felt pain in my wrist and a pull in my back. Once I was back on both feet and standing in a fully upright position I looked down and saw that I had slipped on a squished grape. I instantly started laughing. I couldn't believe that I ACTUALLY slipped on misplaced product and ACTUALLY hurt myself in a store. It's hard for me to believe that these sort of things actually happen honestly, but I guess if they did, it would most certainly happen to me. If you knew me, this would make sense. I am normally covered in bruises or scratches sustained from dangerous activities like...walking.

I take a look around and my mom is staring at me, mouth agape, wondering what the hell just happened. Behind my mother is another lady with a shopping cart. A witness. A very helpful witness as it would turn out, as she was an off duty Wal-Mart employee. The look on her face said that what she just saw was some serious shit that could go very wrong for the store if they didn't handle it properly. She helped me flag down a manager and had me explain to him what happened. She verified everything and even juiced up my story a bit. "She twisted her knee!"

Within minutes there was a swarm of Wal-Mart employees buzzing around with orange hazard cones, taking pictures of the "scene" and handing me paperwork to fill out. I was still trying very hard to stifle my laughter at the cliche of the situation. I kept hearing Ezal from FRIDAY in my head. "OH my neck! My back! My neck AND my back! Oh I want $150,000. But we can settle out of court right now for twenty bucks."

As I was filling out paperwork one of the night time managers was there talking to me. I can't remember now what he said that prompted me to solicit myself, but I suddenly found myself saying "Are you guys hiring right now?" He said  "They are hiring desperately for evening shifts right now."

"Oh? Okay. Well, for what positions?"
"Unloading the trucks."
"Okay, well how do you do that?"
"Well the trucks come in and they take the pallets off and then put everything on the shelves. That's all."
"Okay, I'm hired. What do I do now?"

I'm not sure at which point I turned into Erin Brockovich and hired myself, but he didn't seem to mind. He actually was very helpful and told me to go online and what to fill out and what things to click and then said that I could call the store and follow up with him sometime in the next 2 days. I'm not actually sure if at that point he meant about my injuries or about a job. But I'll take it the way I want to and call about a job.

It would be a big change going from an 8-5/M-F office job to a night shift Wal-Mart shelf stocker, but lately my whole life has been about change. So maybe this will just be the next step in me finding the footing of my new life. I have been asking God lately to just show me where he wants me to be. I was very worried at first that maybe I wasn't taking enough of an active roll. But then I stopped one day as I was digging a trench and thought, "Maybe, this is where God wants me to be right now. Being undistracted and open to helping my parents whenever they need me and with whatever they might need help with. Today, God just wants me to dig this trench. So that's what I'll do." The next day as it turned out, God wanted me to paint the house. I am getting better at doing what "they say" we should all do, take it one day at a time. Today, I suppose God wanted me to slip on a grape. We'll see if tomorrow he wants me to work nights at Wal-Mart.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Who's An Idiot? Me Am.

While painting the house the other day, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. As I have done before (see this blog entry) I forgot that I am overweight and out of shape. After all, it's only been 5 years. Most of my life I have been extremely active and at least modestly fit. Well, I got it into my head that while I was painting the house all Miygi style, I would add in squats. I felt that simply holding a paint gun was not enough of a work out to meet the challenge I had overcome with digging a trench a few days before (see this blog entry). Just because I am currently unemployed and can't afford a gym membership is no reason to not get some healthy exercise in.

I don't know how many squats I did, but it was about 40 too many. The following day, I could not sit down without a major sound effect. "Aaaaaaaaaaaah!" or "Hiiiiiiiiihole!"

Monday, April 23, 2012

My House Is Having a Case of the Mondays

One of the many projects we've got on our "honey do" around the house has been to slap a new coat of paint on the outside. Inside the house, my room and my daughters room have already been freshly painted in a matter suiting our individual personalities. My daughters room is pink with glitter all over the walls. My room is an aqua blue...also with glitter on the walls.

Yesterday my dad and I got to work on the outside. Considering that we started late in the day, we got a good amount done. The whole front of the house plus the trim in the front of the house. Trouble began right as my dad was finishing the last square foot of paint. He was high up on the ladder when suddenly he lost his balance and it started to shake. I ran over to him and helped him down. Once on the ground, the ladder shifted itself again until it moved over and touched some previously unnoticed live wire. A huge white ball of fire and sparks erupted before us. We scattered. I was screaming obscenities while mindlessly swatting about my head and flailing my arms everywhere.

After the flames settled, we decided to finish up for the night and get an early start in the morning so that we might be able to finish the next day.


This morning as we finished up breakfast and walked outside to get started, we were met by the meter reader. I told him about what had happened the night before and he said we needed to call the electric company immediately. Mom made the call as dad and I set up the paint. When the guy from the electric company came out, he took one look at the wire and said "Oh yeah. I gotta shut this off. I can't leave it like this. Your house could burn down. You'll have to call an electrician out here to come set up some new wire and replace the meter. Whenever he's finished doing whatever it is he's gonna do, just call us and we'll come back out to turn your power back on." Considering that we had been using a paint gun to get our job done, this was disappointing news. Now I didn't hear all of the conversations between the electrician and the electric company, so I can't describe what took place very well. But 9 hours and about $$$$ later, the power was back on.

During the day we had a visit from my great aunt and uncle. They came over to lend some help, and a ride on mower, to get the grass cut. Since we had no power, we cooked outside for the first time on the bbq pit. Fajitas and Mexican rice. I was very glad they were here today. I love them dearly and I always enjoy their company. That was at least a bright spot in the day.

Tomorrow my dad and I will tackle the house again. This Saturday we are hosting a birthday party for my daughter. We're expecting about ninety million people to attend. So we would love to get the house paint finished before then. As the day was nearing an end and everything was back to normal I got a bit of news. The septic tank is full.
Friggin' Monday.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wilderness Woman??

We've been in Texas about 2 weeks now. It's been slow going. Up until now I've been mostly in the house with the women folk, occasionally venturing outside to help my dad with this or that, make a burn pile of leaves and old wood, I even braved raking some leaves once. Don't laugh, I've lived in the suburbs for 25 years or so. This week I don't know what's got into me, but I've taken on more outdoorsy projects. Things that I would normally think more than twice about doing. See, we live in the woods now. And I know Texas is full of trees, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about "the woods". Trees on all sides of the house and a lake literally in the backyard. My first few days here, the bottoms of both my legs were full of bug bites. Unidentified bug bites. I never saw it happen nor did I feel the impact. These stealthy suckers even got inside my shoes and bit me on the top of my feet. I have never liked bugs. I avoid them at all costs unless I've got something good in my hand to swack at them with. They're gross. They're freaky. I'm a girly girl. At least I was...

This week something came over me. I saw my dad outside talking about clearing some smallish trees out of the way and cutting down some branches. I walked right outside, grabbed the saw out of his hand and walked myself right into the bushels of trees to start hacking. I didn't seem to care that I was probably going to be covered in creepy little critters in a matter of seconds. My dad did most of the work on the first back of trees, but when he climbed up to cut down some low hanging branches I was right under him yanking on them to pull them to the ground as he sawed. When the hit the ground they were my territory. I chopped them down to small bits and hauled them over to the burn pile and lit it up like the fourth of July. Then today, I helped my dad dig a 40-50 foot trench to bury a wire in. The wire than runs from the Directv dish to our house. There were tree roots everywhere that we had to navigate. Bugs. Worms. Buried bricks! Some parts of what we were digging up was clay. And then, my favorite part. My dad was off distracted, and I was up against a whole lot of root that needed to get gone. So, left unsupervised,  I picked up the ax and got to swinging. I think it's the first time I've ever seriously swung and ax in my life. (And no one was there to witness it!!) My first swings were sloppy, but then my body just sort of figured out what to do and BLAM! With one clean cut I went right through my target. I saved that hunk of root to keep. A token of the beginning of my transformation out here. I felt like the Tin Man. Or like Gimli the dwarf. I felt like a warrior princess! 

Tonight I feel good. I feel sore, my fingers ache and my hands are tender. My calves are tight. I choke sometimes when I take a deep breath. Not sure if it's from smoke inhalation from the burn piles or from actually using my lungs doing real outside work for the first time. My face, well my whole body, still feels warm and kissed by the sun. I got my first Texas tan today. But it all feels good. I felt useful today. I don't know how long it's been since I've felt that. Even though I wasn't planting anything, in my head as I was digging that trench I kept hearing in the most peaceful and satisfying way, "You reap what you sow." And I guess what I was sowing was hard work and spending time away from some other frivolous activity that I might have rather been doing idly. And what I reaped was a great satisfaction in knowing that I helped someone who needed help, a tangible sense of accomplishment, even some self worth. And even though I was unwittingly standing in a red ant hill for a time and got chewed up some more, I feel frickin fabulous!