Friday, February 28, 2020

Still slacking, LMBO

I have to laugh. Things have been kind of crazy-weird around here lately, and the shop's kind of taken a bit of a back seat to everything I want and need to do. I'm getting back on track slowly, but it's a bit difficult to focus. I started losing mine a few weeks ago due to various things going on, but I'm getting back on track a little at a time, and that's a good thing.

So some of the nice things ongoing...

Work decided to start incentivizing our work. Another department has been getting incentives/bonuses for cutting weight and yield for years. Our plant boss finally decided to try it with us. Instead of telling us how important we are and how appreciated we are, only to yell at us for screwing something up, they decided to start giving us extra money if we meet certain goals. They weren't expecting it to work right off the bat. We hit the lowest level goal in the first week they did it, last week. So now they owe the department more money on our paychecks, haha. It's a three-tier bonus thing, so the better we do, the more extra money they give us.

The shop's becoming so much fun. I've got the baby quilts and table runners in there, my handmade jewelry which I'm selling at clearance prices to get it out of the shop and into customer's hands, my candles which I absolutely LOVE doing, my knit dishcloth patterns, and Print On Demand for everything else. Everything else being drinkware of all kinds (mugs, camp mugs, magic mugs, black mugs, water bottles, tumblers, wine tumblers, beer steins, latte mugs, fancy coffee mugs, etc), Christmas ornaments, engraved and printed jewelry (including CUFFLINKS!), and pet products (bowls, bandanas, ID tags, beds, placemats, blankets, shirts). So there's going to be a LOT in there. I grant, the majority will probably eventually be pet products, because I can slap just about any pattern or design on those and have it look cute, but the rest are pet parent stuff and breed-specific stuff, going in the shop slowly but surely.

But for those interested in the knit patterns, as I do them, I'll post a link to their Etsy listing here and you can shop them there. They are only $1 each, and some will come in bundles that are more expensive but around half the cost of the patterns individually. For example, the numbers 0-9 will probably be a set for around $5, the alphabet will probably be a set around $10, and similar. In the meantime, here's the few I have up already.

I hope you enjoy them! They are so much fun to whip up into dishcloths or afghan squares, and so quick to make, too! When I have time, I can knit up 2 or 3 in a night of TV binging on Netflix. Speaking of which, it's time for a little relaxation before bed. Peace out, yo!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

I'm slacking....

My only excuse is I'm busy with the shop and life in general, and keep forgetting.

Updates on various things.

HE had his January and February probation appointments, which were disappointing to him, to say the least. That he's barely looking for work at all is disappointing to me, but not good for him, as if he does not have a decent job by the 24th of this month, it's back to jail for him for a while. As he doesn't really try at all until he gets to the last coupe of weeks before appointments, is it any wonder he gets nowhere, along with the felonies he has? I love the man, but ... there's a part of me that hopes he ends up back in jail, and a part of me that hopes he gets a job and stays out. Depending on mood, his or mine, determines which way I lean.

Bandit was sick a couple weekends ago. Started out that Thursday with her just plain looking at her food bowl and sticking her nose to it, then backing off with a look that I can only describe as a human toddler going, "Just the smell makes me sick." She spent a few days drinking what water she could, and doing a lot of puking, but no eating. I tried to get with a vet, but none take payment plans but one, and that one, the person in charge of payments wasn't in until the next day. At that point, it was Monday, and she hadn't eaten anything solid for going on day 5. She was back to drinking lots of water by then, but still not eating, so I made up a horrible-smelling slurry of meat baby food (chicken), plain yogurt, baby oatmeal cereal, one raw egg, and chicken broth, all mixed together, then force fed her with an oral syringe for horses. One syringe full at a time, wait an hour to see if she kept it down, and then more. I had to call out on work that Monday because I'd been up for nearly 40 hours solid at that point. Natch, HE was no help with it. Bandit finally was sleeping some and drinking normally, plus keeping the protein/meat slurry down well, so I napped when she did. It took her a full week to start eating anything again, but within a couple days after that, this past weekend, she was back to normal.

Bouncing around, eating, drinking, puppy face washes when I get home from work, playing tug rope, chewing her bones, etc. The etc. including trying to hog the whole bed for herself. I did a lot of research at first and was worried it was about a zillion different things, but I was finally able to speak directly with the payments vet and they told me the slurry was a good idea to get liquids, semi solids, and high protein down her to get her gut working again. Bringing her in would just stress her out and she seemed past the worst of it, so likely it was just a horrible case of puppy gastroenteritis...stomach flu in common parlance. But she is well again and back to normal.

Work is about normal, just they installed some new machinery this past weekend to "help" us do our jobs better, but it is complicating things and people are getting sore hands a lot. Nobody is happy about it, but what can we do? Not a darn thing.

Only bad thing of late is my Mom. She texted me early this morning to tell me she'd been in the hospital since Saturday night. She called 911 to come get her because she didn't feel well and the emergency room diagnosed her with low potassium (which she's had before, oh joy), and a previously undiagnosed UTI which had spread to her stomach and blood. So, she's septic, and they're pouring mountains of antibiotics into her through IVs. Problem is, my daughter stays with her and is not there as she is out of town with friends closer to her job. So the animals have not been fed or watered for days that I know of, unless Brat got a ride home and took care of them. Mom doesn't know and it bothers her. So I have been working on making arrangements for her as best I can from four states away.

It broke my heart though, when Mom said, "You need to come home." Problem is, there's no job there, no place for me to stay (Brat has made Moms house a disaster zone, I think from what Mom has said over the last few years), and nobody and nothing there for me anymore but Mom. The economy isn't too good yet, and I just can't pack up and bail to go home with my responsibilities here and the furkids. When I moved down, I didn't have furkids to worry about. The only cats we had were Mom's one and Brat's two. I literally just packed everything I could into the car and hit the road. No can do that now. Plus I'm pretty sure my car wouldn't last the trip.

So my and my bestie here have hatched a plan. I need to get things organized financially to do it, seriously organized, I mean. I'll be looking for a 4-bedroom, 2 bath house with a back door near to the second bathroom and nearest two bedrooms. One of those bedrooms will stay a bedroom, the other will become a kitchenette and sitting area for Mom, and the hallway will get a door that locks on her side so she can have independence of a sort and privacy, yet still can just open a door and walk into my side to say hi or visit if she wants or needs anything.

She swears she is fine (this is about the fourth or fifth time she's been in hospital in about as many years, yeah right, she's fine) and she is NOT moving. She can't take care of the house herself anymore, and if my suspicions are correct, it's a disaster of Brat's making anyhow. She has trouble mowing the tiny yard and shoveling her short driveway, and Brat is literally no help at all if it's avoidable. She is 27 and still "at home," so in the next few years with luck and hard work, she'll have a choice of homeless or lose the freakin' zoo she was told not to accumulate to begin with and find someplace she can afford to live in. Mom's house will be sold, Mom will be moved down here (besting and her hubby have already said they'd go with to help move her and her things down here). Mom will have me and instant extra family that will love her in my bestie's family, and if something happens to her, there are two good hospitals nearby and a three good nursing homes if need be. My bestie works at one, and it's pretty decent. The residents there seem happy anyhow.

Plus being as close as I am to Branson, it means Mom and I could do shopping days to make her happy, even if all we do is get lunch somewhere and window shop like crazy. The hard part is going to be convincing her to pack up and move down, as she has been convinced for four decades that she was going to die at home, like my great-grandma did. I'm not so sure about that at this point. Mom needs help and the best way to help her is get her out of Michigan with it's horrible winters. I will always love my home state, but even I recognize the flaws there and how hard it is on an older person alone to stay there.

Granted, Mom's brother and one of her sisters are nearish to her, but they don't get together often and so nobody actually checks on Mom at all. I've wanted for a while to have her living with me, and it looks like once this mess with HIM is done with on the 24th, I'll be able to start doing something about getting it set up to where I can get Mom down here to live and be a bit more comfy, especially during the winter.

For now, I'm off to bed. I may be second shift, but my "morning" wake up call of 2PM still comes pretty darned early for me!

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Been a bit!

I haven't written in a few weeks, I know. Between holidays and work being super-crazy and just a lot going on, it's been a bit insane.

The furkids are doing great. Bandit is hysterical. She loves stuffy and squeaky toys but destroys the heck out of them in no time flat, and then the house is a disaster with freaking stuffing all over the place for days. So this past week, I got her a smoked shin bone from Wally World. I don't normally like shopping there, but they carry her brand of pet food and she was out. I forgot to order some online in time, oops. She loved the thing, and when Stars and Bouncer just wanted a sniff, Bandit was quite protective of it. GRRRR. They backed off.

Of course, she antagonizes them daily, not a lot but trying to play. They lay on their backs and swat her. She knows to keep away when toe razors come out and smack her poor nose. Everybody but me is sleeping right now. It's kind of funny that they are all snoozing and here I am, pushing my way through a crap ton of stuff to do for the shop. I'm not making a ton of progress, but every inch helps.

Do please visit the PTR page and click all the links. Each click gets me a tiny bit of money to help keep things rolling around here. Most of it goes to help promote the business, so anything helps with that. Hey, free advertising, I'm all for it.

Merch By Amazon turned me down. I'll have to revisit that later and try again. I'm pretty sure I can get approved for just general selling and go from there. May have to do that and eventually go for a pro account so I can sell POD stuff from my various suppliers. One of them actually integrates with Amazon as long as you have a pro account, so that is a possibility for the future as well.

HE is still being an idiot. Can't find a job to save his butt, and gee, I wonder why? When you won't put down work history in an online app because it's too hard to copy and paste, and you put your spouse down as your only personal reference and note that it's your spouse, you aren't going to get phone calls about interviews unless someone is really, really desperate.

Business is starting to pick up a bit. I'm separating the Etsy stuff between candles, handmade jewelry and digital products on the Etsy side, and the pet lovers gifts and pet products into the Pattern side of things. The pattern site, being my own domain, is the part I'm promoting as much as I can even as I separate stuff. I'm letting Etsy do it's own thing on promoting my stuff on that side. I've actually sold a few digital things, too! A couple of graphics and a dishcloth pattern that is sort of popular - 2 sales and 3 people have it in their carts. So that's going okay to start. It will get better the more I get listed.

People at work think I'm nuts to work my business in addition to my job, but for me, it's a matter of getting the heck out of there before it kills me inside completely.

With that said, time for a nap. I'm beat to heck, I've got a new neighbor next door who's a bit bossy. He thinks he is going to tell me what I'm going to let him do in my place, he better think again. He wants to bomb all the apartments at his expense for bugs, which is fine. Except that a - my place can't be bombed because of my pets which he's all "OH, I'll just move them out for the day." and b - I'm highly sensitive to that crap and can't be around it. So, dude, 1 - no you are NOT trespassing on my place to bomb it, 2 - my pets are not getting moved out so you can invade my privacy and 3 - I'm ALLERGIC to that crap, so unless you're going to pay all my bills for a month while I recuperate in the hospital, I don't freaking think so. He's got an attitude that doesn't want to quit. I understand where he's coming from, but he is NOT going to run roughshod over me.

Q runs him to work every day because the guy doesn't have a car right now and he's my bestie's BF. The guy griped today in front of me that Q never lets him drive when they're together. I said that's because it's my car and me and Q are the only ones authorized to drive it. "Oh, I wouldn't hurt it or anything, I just want to do the driving." I literally said, "Not happening. It's my f**king car, b***h."
Boy has a LOT  to learn about not running roughshod over me, because it ain't happening.

Other than that, it's getting towards time for a bit of a nap. I feel the need for a bit more sleep.