Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Cupboards Are Bare

Just a quick note to anyone who has visited either of my sites lately – yes, I’m out of everything.

I know.

I’m making, curing, wrapping, whatever I can. I swear it will be back soon, whatever it is.

What's wrong with this picture? No, it's not the dog desperately trying to get in before the rain. Oh, I know - sixteen flat-rate boxes of boxes and only one box of essential oil.

And a confidential message to the lady who called today to make sure she had a custom wholesale order ready to go in a week or two – HA HA HA HA HA!

Actually, I guess I should be grateful that you didn’t call on Christmas Day. Or as I intend to call it, National Nappie Time.

To my family, who I know for a fact haunts this blog in case I say something bad about them, I really did mail your presents. They’re going to be late, of course, and they have weird soap combos because I was out of everything, so when you start to run low I’ll restock you in the middle of the year.

Mom, I know you wanted the other kind of lip balm, so I’m going to make a batch and mail it to you in the next week or so.

Try to remember who your favorite child is.

Just one day off with a cup of strong coffee and I’ll have my whole spring line planned out.

Just wait.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Light Up Your Life

I know, I keep posting about being busy and tired. But life isn’t all work and no play, even though it seems that way some times. I get to do fun stuff now and again, too. Here’s what I did that was fun last week: went to my neighborhood boat parade.

This doesn’t sound that funny unless you know that I live a good eight miles inland and the only water is in the gutter from the guy up the street washing his car. Still, we’re fairly close to the ocean and to some inland lakes and rivers, so people have boats – and they have a boat parade, with big pickup trucks and powerboats on trailers.


I’ve asked a few neighbors who’ve lived here a while, and here’s how it started. Five or six years ago, a couple of guys were sitting in the driveway at one of their houses, finishing off a case of beer, and one of them said “We oughtta have a boat parade. I gotta boat.” Then they piled into his fishing boat, and got a third buddy to drive the truck pulling them around the neighborhood while they hung on and yelled “Merry Christmas” and drank beer.

The following year, it was two or three boats. Then it was six boats, and they added lights and generators and PA systems and nobody was drunk because they planned for a week to get the lights just right. It’s the holiday season EXACTLY the way Tim the Tool Man would have done it.

Anyway, it keeps on growing. We have an odd little pocket of residential streets, on the edge of town, and none of them are through streets – you only get off the freeway here if you live here. No stores, or shortcuts to other freeways, or anything like that. Just a bunch of houses. So there aren’t any permits or official driving plans.

If you want to enter, you show up at the grammar school with your truck and your trailer and your boat and your passengers and your lights. First guy to arrive gets to lead. Some people have big boats that carry 20 people, and they throw candy and yell and wave. Some are more modest – like the El Camino this year, pulling a JetSki and a guy in a Santa suit.

I think we had 42 boats this year. There was also a marching band, and collections for Toys for Tots. It was a pretty big deal. The dog went with us to watch, so I lost count; he couldn’t decide whether it was fantastic or horrifying or just a big twinkly monster to bark at. He spent most of his time hiding behind my legs and poking his head out to bark.

I know these pictures are hard to make out, but it’s kind of rough to photograph a moving boat covered in Christmas lights with a canine assistant. You’ll have to just trust me, it’s a boat parade.

I hope your holidays have been just as entertaining so far!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm too tired to post

There are two shopping days left before the USPS deadline for mailing priority items, for Christmas delivery.

I have giant bags under my eyes. I look kinda like a bassett hound, to be honest. Two more nights of more packaging than sleeping, one last post office run, and then I should have a couple of days off for sleeping. Well, except for the day job and the last minute local orders.

I’ll be back to random complaints in a couple of days, promise!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sweet Revenge

You know what the best kind of revenge is? It's the kind that's self inflicted. Yesterday, after writing about the dog, I had the following conversation at work.

(ringing phone)
Me: Hello, this is Jackie.

Woman: Hi, this is Chirpy from Big Company That Provides Obscure Legal Services. We here at BigCo have noticed that you've recently moved your account for the XYZ Corporation from BigCo to our competitor, OtherCo, and we'd like to know if there's a reason for the change - maybe something we can improve on.

Me: Hi, Chirpy. I moved all our accounts from BigCo to OtherCo because your billing system is terrible, and I was constantly getting past due notices for services I'd cancelled, and I even got collection threats for accounts that weren't ours. So I moved all my accounts.

Chirpy: Well, I don't see any collection actions for XYZ Corporation.

Me: It doesn't matter. See, I have nothing to do with XYZ Corporation, and my name and phone number shouldn't be linked to their account. So that problem I described? You're doing it RIGHT NOW.

Chirpy: You don't recognize XYZ?

Me: No. I have hundreds of corporations to manage, but XYZ is NOT ours.

Chirpy: Sorry, I'll make a note in the file. I apologize.

Me: No problem. *click*


Five minutes pass. The phone rings.

Me: Hi, this is Jackie.

Chirpy: Hi there, I'm calling from BigCo about the ABC Corporation, and we noticed that you recently moved ....

Me: (Interrupting) Hi, Chirpy, it's me again.

Chirpy: (sadly) Oh.

Me: Guess what?

Chirpy: ABC Corporation isn't yours?

Me: Right. You're doing it again.

Chirpy: Um. Could you tell me which corporations ARE yours?

Me: Nope. See, I told BigCo over and over in writing which ones are mine, and they didn't listen. So I moved them. So it really isn't your problem any more. It's all cleared up.

Chirpy: Oh.

Me: Am I on the list for any other corporations?

Chirpy: (reading list under her breath) You're listed for the next seven, eight, nine.... *pause* Would you excuse me? I have some research to do.

Me: Yeah, it sounds like you do. Best of luck. Oh, and if you could put my number on your "do not call" list, that would be GREAT. Thanks!

I may never stop laughing.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Going Walkabout

So I’ve been reading my prior posts, and it looks like I should have called my blog “A Million Little Things That Piss Me Off”. So, perhaps I’ll talk about the dog again, because he never makes me mad. Well, ALMOST never. Well, not so much mad as … cranky.

I have a very high standard of what it means to be a dog owner. You have this creature who utterly depends on you to provide a decent life, and to meet his needs. I knew about that when I was out looking for a dog to adopt, when I was selected by my current four-legged companion. (It was very clearly his choice, not ours.)

We asked a lot of questions to make sure we were compatible and could provide a good home. One thing about our house is that we do not have a yard – we live in a condo, with a small rear patio, largely covered in concrete. We told the dog rescue lady that we should have a relatively inactive dog. I’m pretty sure we used the phrase “couch potato”, because we wanted him to fit in.

She assured us that Bander was indeed a couch potato, and that we were a perfect fit. He needed a home so badly and had already started bonding with us that I’m sure she would have said anything to make it work. I think she also said he pooped Krugerrands, which turned out to be another lie.

Anyway, the things that were true were these:

1. He’s a great dog.

2. He was in desperate need of a home.

3. His house training is perfect.

As it turns out, he regards the patio as a room with no roof, so it’s a little bit too perfect. Here’s another piece of truth – couch potato is a relative term. He does sleep a lot, but he needs the rest because this dog seriously needs to be walked for MILES every day. The schedule looks something like this:

(click for a big pic)

8:30 – dog insists on walk. Husband declines.

8:32 – Husband gives in.

Lather, rinse, repeat; all day.

The schedule includes a long afternoon walk – by “long” I mean a couple of hours. When I come home at night, I walk the dog and give my husband time to inspect his blisters. After dark, we take him together around the block. The final walk of the night is generally around 11pm.

I’ve considered hiring a dog walker, but I can’t imagine what it would cost to have somebody here all damn day. Luxury for us is renting a cabin up in the mountains, that has a large fenced yard, and letting the dog run in and out all day while we lie on the couch and complain. Maybe January or so we’ll do that. Until then, I think I’ll probably solve it by... ...Whoops, gotta go. The dog wants a walk.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I’m Naturally Crabby

I spend a fair amount of time frequenting internet forums. Some are related to specific crafts, some are general interest, some are tied to selling venues. All are interesting.


I saw someone say this, not so long ago:

Well, holy hell. I had no idea that safety was directly tied to this person’s reading comprehension.

Of course, you can’t SAY “You’re an idiot, and you’re not about to follow your own advice. I know you can’t pronounce theobrama cacao and I bet you still eat chocolate.” That would start a big war and everyone would pounce on you for being mean to the person who is standing up for “natural” things.

Uh-huh. Natural, simple ingredients, with short, easy-to-pronounce names. Like “mold” and “germ” and “crap”. All short and sweet. Natural also includes death cap mushrooms, arsenic, and cobra fangs.

People who espouse this sort of crap also tend to claim they are using things like “eggnog essential oil” or “ocean rain essential oil”. I wish I was making that up, but I swear to you I’ve seen it with my own horrified eyes.

Bath and body products are not something to mess with if you are not at least willing to acquire a little scientific knowledge. If you can’t do math, won’t read up on chemistry, don’t like science, and failed organic chemistry, perhaps personal care formulation is not for you.

Is it just my natural cranky tendencies, or are these people overlooking the obvious? If you don’t like heat and can’t figure out fire, don’t blow glass. If you think electricity is caused by little demons running along the wires, don’t choose a career in electronics repair.

And if you can’t pronounce big scary words, don’t proudly announce it in a public forum.

blogger templates | Make Money Online