For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Moving On, and see what else has been going on.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

That time of year again

Although in some places a lot of kids have already started school, today was the first day of school locally. It was also the day of our annual Not Back to School Picnic. A whole bunch of us gathered together at one of the local parks. There were a lot of wee ones at the play structure while the older ones played in the trees, kicked some balls around, and so on. Youngest and I both brought our crochet. I'm pausing with the sweater I'm making to whip up a pair of slippers for my husband, using chunky yarn and a large hook. Youngest asked me to show her how to make slippers, and is making a pair for her dad, too. I don't follow a pattern with these at all. A number of years ago, my Italian pen pal sent me a gift that included some exquisite cutwork embroidery and a pair of crocheted slippers, made by her mother. When I learned to crochet, I studied those slippers to figure out how to make another pair, as they do wear out rather quickly. I adjust them to fit whoever I'm making them for, so no two pairs are ever quite the same, which makes explaining how to make them a bit of a challenge! *L*

Elder daughter isn't wanting to go to the park days anymore. She'd rather stay home and work on her studies and other projects. Today was a chance to spend time with a friend who's going to school now - a very different school that allows the students to be very self-directed. If we were to send our girls to school, a place like this is exactly what I'd like. I don't want to know how much the parents are paying to send her there, though... :-P

Just for fun, Eldest dressed up for the day, including a purple wig styled in a short bob. Although she's had the wig for a while, this is the first time I've actually seen her wearing it. I thought it looked really great. She got creative with the make-up, too, and the entire ensemble was really quite nice.

There's a young girl among the group that, quite some time ago, decided my daughter was a witch. Or a vampire. Or a witchy vampire. *L* Today, she sat for a long while, staring intently at Eldest while munching on a muffin. When she finished eating and had to walk past my daughter to leave the picnic shelter, she suddenly stopped and said, "you're a purple haired witch!!" and dashed away.

Eldest finds her really funny.

I'm trying something a bit different this year. With the girls getting older, I feel a bit more focus is needed in certain areas. I've made up a chart with two columns for each of the girls. One is for "must cover" areas - things we (Dh and I) feel the girls need to work on. Just as an example, I included "time management" for Youngest, as she tends to sort of forget about time completely, and ends up not accomplishing things because of it. The other column is "want to cover." For here, I've asked the girls to brainstorm and just write in whatever they feel they'd like to do this year. Eldest wrote in that she'd like to recreate the delicious, buttery flavour of waffles in beverage form. That's going to be a challenge. LOL

Once we've got the feedback, we'll talk about what's been written in, decide on what we want to work on, how and when, and prioritize things a bit. After that, it'll be a sort of guide for the year. We'll see how this works out.

In the mean time, I've gone and found myself another job. The one I was hired for in the spring is still there, except I've only had one shift all summer. I haven't left them, but it looks like I will end up doing so. I'm going to be working as a cashier again, this time in a huge, warehouse style grocery store that's a fair bit farther from us. I could take the train there, but since I'd be leaving after 11pm every shift, I will be driving. Taking the train, as well as the walks to and from the stations, isn't very safe that time of night. The pay is less than the other job, but I'll have my 4 nights a week. In the other place, I can't even get through to anyone at the office to sign up for shifts - or even find out if there *are* any on days I'm available. It's a bit of a shame, really. I do enjoy working there, and the pay is pretty darn good. A higher pay doesn't mean much when there's no shifts. I'm going to wait and see before I officially hand in my vest, though. This new place, though, has quite a lot of benefits that will more than make up for the difference in pay, once my probationary period is over.

Tonight was my first day in training. It went well. At this point, there's not much different from any other grocery store, so there isn't much that's new for me. I've got two more training shifts this week, then another 3 training shifts next week. On the last day, we'll actually be working till for the 4 hours, while supervised by the trainer.

I was a bit surprised at how old their Point of Sale equipment is. This is a HUGE, successful national chain. You'd think they could spring for new POS system once in a while. These tills look like they haven't been upgraded since the 80's. The only new stuff they've got are the debit machines and passcard scanners, and those are external attachments.

The training group is very small. Only 4 people. I think that's a good idea. The last grocery store I worked at, the training group I was part of was somewhere around 10 people. It gets a bit confusing that way. Escpecially when we had to all crowd around a single till to learn how to use it.

So we'll see how this works out. I'm a bit trepidatious about it. The place is always insanely busy, and they're really short staffed with cashiers. Sometimes, I'll look at the huge line ups and wonder, just *why* did I apply here? Then I remember that really, there's only one customer - the one in front of me. I just need to focus on my one customer, and that's the part I really enjoy.

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