April 30, 2007

Springtime Chores

My posts have been slow in materializing these days due to the beautiful weather and training in my new position... Sorry all...
This past weekend was spent mowing and doing chores around the outside of the house. You ever notice how the grass doesn't grow all winter (late fall and early spring too) and then after you apply the first round of weed-n-feed it grows like a hippy's hair on Rogaine? I cut the grass less than a week ago and this is what it looked like, in my eyes, before I started mowing with our semi self propelled mower, on Saturday:

Of course, our yard is a little smaller and hillier, but you get the picture. I was a little sore after making the rounds and fighting with grass that grew six inches in less than a week...
While I tended to the greenery, Jim was blasting away the winter residue on our lengthy driveway in preparation to re-seal it. Now mind you, we went out in early January and got the pressure cleaner, the sealer and all the necessary equipment and tools to do this (the first time the weather warmed up to 70 degrees). We took turns back then and cleaned it hoping to seal it in a day or two. The weather turned sour and we never got back to sealing until now. The sun came out Sunday morning and it was decided that the day for black topping had arrived... We garbbed ourselves in our Sunday worse and headed out to spread the 30 gallons of black goo onto what seemed to be something like this:

Again, the photo maybe somewhat of an exaggeration, but I can assure you that our arms, legs and backs were feeling not too great, after we were finished.

We were invited over to our neighbor's house for dinner last night. Which was a great thing, as I had no energy to cook anything. It took Jim and I about an hour to get all the sealer off our hands legs, faces and other extremities, but it did feel good to be clean and sweet smelling again.

For those of you that want to know what the driveway and yard really look like, here are a few pictures taken this morning:

I work later tonight (training with store closing procedures) and have been asked to fill in for the manager that has been training me for the rest of the week... Indoctrination by fire??

Over and "Out" from "Springtime in Toano"...

April 22, 2007

Earth Day 2007

Just a beautiful picture of Toano, VA (and the rest of this side of our unique planet)... Over and "Out" for today!

April 20, 2007

Virginia Tech: In Memory

Ross Abdallah Alameddine
Christopher James Bishop
Brian Roy Bluhm
Ryan Christopher Clark
Austin Michelle Cloyd
Jocelyne Couture-Nowak
Kevin P. Granata
Matthew Gregory Gwaltney
Caitlin Millar Hammaren
Jeremy Michael Herbstritt
Rachael Elizabeth Hill
Emily Jane Hilscher
Jarrett Lee Lane
Matthew Joseph La Porte
Henry J. Lee
Liviu Librescu
G.V. Loganathan
Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan
Lauren Ashley McCain
Daniel Patrick O'Neil
J. Ortiz-Ortiz
Minal Hiralal Panchal
Daniel Alejandro Perez
Erin Nicole Peterson
Michael Steven Pohle, Jr.
Julia Kathleen Pryde
Mary Karen Read
Reema Joseph Samaha
Waleed Mohamed Shaalan
Leslie Geraldine Sherman
Maxine Shelly Turner
Nicole White
This list was updated April 21, 2007 @ 5:30am

April 18, 2007

From the halls of Montezuma....

Just a cool picture I found on rickster67's profile... Thanks dude!

Over and "Out" from Toano, VA

April 17, 2007

And so it begins...

Yesterday was my first day of training in my new position. It was awesome. I started the day by driving to Suffolk to sit in on the training for the managers that are manning our Hiring Clinic for the new store. I got to meet the new store manager (transferring down from one of our Chicago stores) and the Merchandise/Sales manager (coming from our store in Chesapeake). They both seem like great people and I think we will make a terrific team.
After the hour long meeting, I drove back up to Newport News and spent the day with the warehouse manager in the store I have been working in. We reviewed "Best Practices" and systems/procedures for the receiving, internal movement, and shipping of product within the store. I can see how important it is going to be for us (in the new store) to hire a competent person for this position. It will make or break the ease of my job for sure.
I will continue to train in Newport News for the balance of the week, then train with the Operations Manager in the Richmond store next week. I look forward to working with the manager up there, as I respect and admire the techniques he uses to deal with situations with customers and associates.
Not sure what happens after next week, other than recruiting and working with the new store manager, but I look forward to each day!
That's it for now folks, Over and "Out" from Toano, VA

April 8, 2007

Easter Bunny? I don't see no Easter Bunny?

Happy Easter all!!!

Over and "Out" from Toano, VA

April 7, 2007

Something new and blue

Jim was concerned about the commute for me and the age/mileage on my Sebring convertible, so to keep him happy we went shopping today, and this is what we ended up with:

My old Sebring got traded in... and this Equinox is awesome!!!

More to come, from Snowy Toano... Over and "Out"

Done Deal

I took it! The drive was about 50 minutes and Jim had no real objections... So I am officially the Operations Manager at the new Value City Furniture store #144 in Suffolk, VA (opens 6/7/07)!!!
Thanks for the input all... will keep you updated!
Over and "Out" from SNOWY Toano, VA

April 6, 2007

You think I'll take it?

I have been keeping something from everyone... I know, it's not like a lie, just an omission of information... I am a BAAAAD Blogger.....
The company I work for (Value City Furniture/American Signature) is getting ready to open a new store in Suffolk (actually on the western edge of Chesapeake). When they job posted the management positions, I applied for Merchandise/Sales Manager and for Operations Manager. Now, mind you, I am a sales person (we call them Home Furnishings Consultants) but my background is in distribution and transportation management in big ticket environments (ie: appliances, TV's and furniture specifically). After my heart attack a couple of years ago, I decided to pare down the stress in my life, actually my body forced me to through a long bout with anxiety attacks, and go back to selling. Anyway, I was interviewed about a month ago by the market manager, and then yesterday morning by the regional manager and the new store manager. After the interview (and actually even before it) I figured they weren't going to be able to meet my salary requirements, and the job required more hours, and the commute would be a half hour more than it is now and that I would probably have to say no.
Think again Tom...
My market manager approached me yesterday afternoon and told me that I was their first choice for the Operations Manager at the new store, explained the salary and bonus potential, and asked if I would like it...
I told him I would like to think about it (read: talk to my partner about it) and make the drive from my home to the new store (which I will do this morning) before I give him my answer. He said "ok" and asked if he could expect an answer tomorrow (today), which I agreed to.
So... Here's the poop... The job is 2nd in charge of the store, a base salary equal to my commission last year plus the potential of 6k in bonuses, 10 more hours a week, less flexible hours, 1 more hour (round trip) drive time, opens up endless possibilities for future growth, yadda, yadda, yadda...
You think I'll take it?
Tune in tomorrow for the answer!!
Over and "Out" for now from chilly Toano, VA

April 4, 2007

I can see your house from here!

This is my current desktop photo:

You can read so much into it, if you want... Every time I look at it and think about it I see something and think of something different... This morning it reminded me of an old joke I once heard (which I will not share unless you email me and ask for it) that can be religiously offensive to some... Oh, by the way that's me on the left and Jim on the right!!! (click here for the joke)
I have added a couple of new blogs to the ones I read every day... There are so many good writers out there in our "community". I wish I felt as comfortable with words as some of them are. One day I will add a blog roll to my page so that you can see all the great sites I visit. I signed up for blog rolling, I am just unsure how to apply it to my blog and make it look right. I haven't made many changes to the format of my site, mainly because I'm afraid I'll put something on it that can't be "undone". Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I got the lime down yesterday and planted some perennials in some of the drabber looking beds out front... This morning I got the nicest compliment on the yard and house from the delivery team from Value City Furniture, that were here to pick up part of our sectional for repairs. They both said (more than once) how nice the yard looked and what a beautiful home we had... Nice to hear after the past couple of strenuous days working in the gardens and on the lawn.
It's very overcast today, and the plan is to clean the inside... I used to own my own housekeeping service, so I can still turn that mindset on every now and then. I pretend it's not my house and I get a lot more cleaning done, in less time... It's usually when I have the homeowner hat on that I see the little chip in the paint, stop cleaning, and sand and paint the spot before I resume cleaning, if I ever get back to it... There's always something else to be done it seems, especially when I am doing something as mundane as housework...
OK, well I am off for now... I hear the toilets calling my name!
Over and "Out" from my neck of the woods here in Toano, VA

April 3, 2007

A Scare

Well, the weekend for most of you is now over and the week of "hell" for Jim and me is over as well. To sum things up in a nutshell, Jim has had some problems with nausea over the past several months and was referred to a neurologist for treatment. It was suggested he have an MRI done to check for abnormalities. The follow up visit was scheduled for next week, but the doctor called last Monday to move the appointment to yesterday, and include a lumbar puncture (spinal tap). The information Jim got was sketchy at best, but apparently they found something on the MRI that they didn't expect to find...
We went to the office yesterday for the follow up and we both asked some more pointed questions about the results, and why the doctor was suggesting the spinal tap. All I can say is WHEW... It was not at all what we were expecting... The lesion/tumor they found on his brain was nothing they were concerned about (appears all people have some abnormalities) and since the MRI pretty much was inconclusive, she wanted to do the spinal tap to rule out any other infection or problems. Our minds were going a mile a minute, we were online doing medical searches and came up with a few (of the worst case) scenarios, MS, malignant tumor, all the really bad stuff... Only to find it was really nothing... WHEW!!! The source of his nausea is still yet to be determined, but... well... WHEW!!! (I have to say one thing in Jim's defense, the Neurologist is from Brazil, and has a Portuguese accent that is sometimes hard to understand, so when he talked to her while he was at work, he picked up only parts of the explanation)...
So... I took yesterday off to accompany him to and to try to put things into perspective, after the visit he was told to relax the rest of the day and drink lots of fluids, and I went out and mowed, trimmed, and weeded the yard. It was a beautiful 80+ degree afternoon and after the fertilizer was applied two weeks ago, the lawn had grown 5-6 inches since the first cutting... I was exhausted by the time I finished. Usually Jim and I knock it out in a couple hours when working together, but this was four hours of strenuous labor... It looks beautiful though, I am going to The Homo Depot today to pick up some lime pellets to spread to try to neutralize some of our more acidic soil where the grass is not coming in as strong...
Today and tomorrow are honey do days, between finishing up the yard and cleaning the house. We didn't get a lot accomplished this past weekend around the house, so I will be making up for it.
That's it for now, from beautiful Toano, VA... Over and "Out"!!!