31 January 2009

A List of Crazy/Random Things I Have Done AT WORK in the Last Three Days

The bosslady has been sick and out of the office these last three days, and I turned out to be one that took on some of her duties. I was the "Education Point Person," which actually means I'm the one they all call on the walkie-talkie to ask questions of expecting me to solve all the problems.

Anyway, these things are all things I have done at work just in the last three days.
  • Figured out how to cook an egg without a stovetop, hot plate, or water boiler. Just a restaurant coffee-maker, water, and plenty of time.
  • Learned that, even when you poke a hole in them and immerse them in water, eggs explode in the microwave.
  • Observed what roach egg-sacs look like while the roach is extruding it!
  • Learned how to tell if a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach is male or female.
  • Taught the New Science Demo twice, saying the words 'booger,' 'poop,' 'pee,' and 'snot' aloud. Oh, and 'fart.'
  • Explained to an auditorium full of kids what we can learn from the color and odor of our pee.
  • Used a whoopee-cushion to model a fart sound...without breaking into laughter.
  • Listened to (and silently prayed for) my coworker whose hearing aid has gone out. Talking with her is a hoot...you have to be sure to have her attention and speak up.
  • Learned more about how to love and care for said coworker.
  • Washed a washing-machine-full of dirty mopheads. Also, transferred them to the drier. AND put them away where they belong.
  • Went up (and down) 794 steps (literally...I'm one of 'those people' that counts steps and I know how many steps are in each stairwell and how many times I've gone up and down them in just these three days). With an average of 14 steps per building story, this comes out to 56 stories, one way.
  • Given 'moral support' to the Head Bosslady while she transferred two tarantulas from their enclosures to travel carriers.
  • Caught a cricket with my bare hands to put into one of the tarantula-travel-carriers for the tarantula's lunch. (The bedding stank of cricket poo, and I said yet another sentence I never thought I'd say: "Boy, this cricket crap sure does smell!")
  • Learned more about two exhibits and how to fix them when they go awry.
I don't care how good you might be at your retail/sales job, you just won't have days this varied. Honestly, who else can say they had adventures like these at their job...in such a short period of time? I love working here. It's great!

23 January 2009


I'm turning into a weird Sock Person. I am becoming more and more particular about my socks. Two facts: I don't like to wear socks at work (just Crocs, thank you; name-brand socks to be exact!) AND my feet get cold fast, and I have to put socks back on ASAP. I'm learning to have socks on hand as often as possible.

14 January 2009


I didn't start thinking about the number of hairs on my head when I was faced with this hurt again this afternoon. It was this morning: I was picking up extra hours by helping with the Museum Shop's yearly inventory.

If you don't know how big a deal inventory is, let me tell you. Every item that's saleable has to be accounted for every year. It has to do with taxes, but it also has to do with reconciling what the paperwork says a store owns and what the store actually owns. So people have to physically count every single item in a store.

This is a big deal for big big big stores like Target and the other Big Box Store I worked at...they hire companies to come in and do the inventory for them, and all those workers have scanners and computers and systems of their own. It's harder for smaller stores, where the work has to be done the slow way. One by one, piece by piece, totals written down on paper and then later entered into a computer.

Anyway, I was helping count all the items in the store, and it's pretty tedious work. It's ok, because there are experienced people helping prepare and guide us as we do it, but the tedium is still there. It takes a lot of work to account for every single item in that store! We didn't even count fixtures, or display items. Just the saleable merchandise.

You know Who already knows each of the hairs on my head, all the stars in the sky, each grain of sand on all the beaches...every molecule and atom everywhere in creation? Of course. God--Jesus Christ, the Creator, the King of Kings--He knows. And He doesn't have to work hard to keep track of it all (like we do in retail stores). He just knows. He knows all the time, and with all of Himself, and remains perfectly at peace.

Losing Everything

Talk of the Nation has guests that were talking about losing everything. Now, I've never been in a situation where I've lost all my worldly possessions (like so many of the Katrina victims)...or all my health (to some disease or accident)...or all my loved ones (to some sort of terrible tragedy)...or all my money (like those Bernie Madaff victims)...or my way of life (again, like so many of the Katrina victims)...or my homeland (like my own grandparents, who became refugees and immigrants after World War II)...or all of the above (like Job). But, being someone who lives in a sinful world, I have been the victim of loss.

How does one deal with loss? How do I deal with loss? I have a situation in particular that keeps cropping up...every time I think I've figured out how to deal with this, it comes back. Every time I think I've forgiven the people involved, the hurt and anger comes back. It's a sense of vulnerability, of hurt, of shame, of anger, of rage and revenge.

Here's one thing I do know: the solution is not to 'check out.' Whether to lose myself in my work, in my family, in my sense of loss and hurt; or to tell myself that pain is an illusion; or to convince myself that the source of pain is an illusion...none of these is a good solution.

And here's another thing I know, and that I'm learning more and more in my day-to-day life: there is healing and safety in the true Word of the Lord. "Solution" means "it's ok, it's all gone, it's all over, forget it," and wounds like this cannot be "ok'd" away. What I want (and what I need) is healing--to acknowledge that damage has been done and that the hurt can be, in fact, healed.
  • Nehemiah, in the midst of his labor for the City of Jerusalem, prayed to the Lord and asked him to remember his persecutors.
  • Paul, in the midst of his lesson about how creation groans for the sons of God to be revealed, reminded us Christians that all things do (actually do!) work together for our good, if we belong to the Lord Jesus.
  • Hagar, the slave of Sarah who was used for her master's and mistress's gain, and who was rejected along with her son--God came to her and reminded her that He is The God Who Sees.
  • And the Psalmist, though his life so often sucked, praised the Lord that all the hairs on his head were counted. All the hairs on my head are counted, too. The Lord knows mundane details like that--how much more he knows this situation, too!

10 January 2009

Perks of Working at a Children's Museum

Today I was filling out some interdepartmental forms, and I couldn't find a pen in my pockets. All I had with me were crayon stumps.

So I filled out the forms (they are just casual documents, not real forms!) in crayon.

AND I will be taken seriously.

05 January 2009

Merry Christmas (Christmas Travels, Part 2)

So, we woke on Christmas morning and unloaded out stockings. Each stocking has the traditional orange, in-shell peanuts, and candy, as well as something special for each person.

We had breakfast together...traditional scrambled eggs, bacon, monkey bread, and whatnot...then did dishes and THEN began the gift opening.

They were opened one at a time (none of this crazy all-at-once orgy of greed self-absorbed self-centeredness!), and each one was exclaimed over and appreciated.

(Wow, writing about this is really boring. Believe me, it was a nice day, not boring at all.)

Our niece, who is 16 months old, was very cute in the midst of all this. She understood the concept of tearing paper off, but may not have understood that the paper was the prelude, not the game itself. Her Favorite Uncle (my youngest brother-in-law) spent lots of time with her helping her unwrap and enjoy gifts! He is so kind and gentle with her, it's no wonder he's Her Favorite Uncle.

We had Christmas Dinner (Ham and stuff) later that evening...about 8pm...and inbetween gift-opening and dinner several things happened: Niece had her nap, movies were watched, books were perused, phone calls were made (just two...the daughters-in-law to each respective set of parents).

All in all, a nice, relaxing, family-focused, traditional and new-tradition-building day. I loved it.

04 January 2009

Westward Ho! (Christmas Travels, Part 1)

First in this series of posts about our Christmas 2008, the trip itself.

View Larger Map

Here's our westward route. Due to the weather in Mt. Vernon, IL and thereabouts (70% chance of evening wintry mix on the 23rd! yikes), we opted for the southern route. It took us about 5.5 hours on the first evening to drive across one state. Yes, Memphis is very far away.

The second day, as we set out across Arkansas, we ran into some rain. It was very rainy, and windy. In fact, as we crossed the Mississippi River, I wan't able to enjoy it because (1) it was so rainy you couldn't even see the water as you crossed it which was just creepy enough to be unsettling and (2) it was so windy I had this terrible surreal fear of being blown off the bridge and into the cold, churning Mississippi below.

So that was our welcome to Arkansas. Thankfully, the rain cleared out in about 30 minutes. Crossing the rest of Arkansas was...long. 5 hours! I drove across most of Arkansas, through all of Oklahoma, and into southern Kansas to Wichita, while Ian read to me or slept.

We got gas in Wichita, and were going to get some fast food, but we forgot that it was Christmas Eve and all the restaurants closed early, so we ate gas station food.* This time, our On the Road Christmas Eve Dinner was fresh, plump, tasty hot dogs (Husband had corn dogs...I held the tray of ketchup for him so he could hold the corn dog, dip it in ketchup, and drive all at the same time), chips, and cokes.

The rest of the trip was uneventful (thankfully so!) till we arrived in Quinter at about 10 pm. Our homecoming was picturesque: the rest of the family had gathered in the living room and were singing Christmas carols while my father-in-law was accompanying with guitar. What a delightful memory!


*Two years ago on Christmas Eve, we were driving from Colorado to Western Kansas and ate gas station food at 10pm in a tiny town on I-70 in Eastern Colorado. (If you've never driven I-70 in Eastern Colorado, let me tell you: it's barren.) We had the last two glumly revolving hot dogs in the gas station and were grateful! We were hungry, and they were food.

Return to Tennessee

Well, I've worked my first day back at work and attended church our first Sunday back. We are decompressing and re-acclimating today.

Tomorrow is Husband's first day of the new semester and my day to return, exchange, and buy stuff with gift cards.

And to begin a crochet project (for Rosebud, cj's daughter). And to start thinking about more sewing projects (also for cj and her family).

I have memories to recall and relationships to ponder...and I'll be working on that here, on the ol' blog.