Sunday, January 24, 2016

Book Review: A Scone to Die For

I mentioned the author H.Y. Hanna during my reading challenge last year because I read several of her books.  I also used to follow her blog about her Great Dane Honey.  You can visit her website here (link).  I'll be including this in my book challenge for this year, but I wanted to do a separate post about it too.

I have loved all of her books, but this one was definitely my favorite!  Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down.  The setting for the story was very interesting and I enjoyed learning more about Oxford.  The information was well written and didn't bog down the story at all.  Some books get so caught up in sharing the history that you are completely pulled out of the story, but that was not a problem at all in this one.

The mystery was great.  Although I had some suspicions on who the killer was, I didn't guess it before the end of the story.  The ending was perfect.  If you like mysteries you should definitely read this book.  When I finished it I told my mom how great it was and I must have been really convincing because she bought the book.  I'll let you know what she thinks of it when she finishes it (she's finishing a series she's already reading right now, so it might be a while).  She loves mysteries too so I know she'll love this one as much as I did.

You can check out the Kindle edition on Amazon here (link) and it's only 99 cents right now!  It's also available on Kindle Unlimited.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Introducing Our Newest Member (and Snow!)

First off, we got snow!!  It's about three or four inches and it's soooo pretty!  :D  These are cell phone pictures, so they aren't the best, but you can see how pretty it is.

Our driveway.

Our little creek thing where the water flows through our yard in the winter.

So pretty.  I love the morning light shining on the snow.

Some geese flying overhead.

 Jackal loves the snow!  He was so excited!  :D

Now introducing the newest member of the family.  He's actually been here a couple of months, I just haven't gotten pictures of him because I've been so busy.  One of our customers at my old job told me she had a cat that was dropped off at her house and she couldn't keep him, so I offered to take him.  His name is Orange Jello, but they say it together like it's one word.  I've been calling him Michael OrangeJello lol!!

He hates the snow, but he is the sweetest, most cuddly cat ever and he's my favorite color!

I can't reach you!!!  Can't walk in the snow!!

While Jackal and I were out playing in the snow...

 He dives right in snout first.  :D

 To my surprise OrangeJello came out in the snow!  He's very motivated to stay as close to me as possible hehe.


 ...or as hubby said, manly nose bumps hehe.

 I walked in the snow... now PET me!

 The new job is still going great.  I stay so busy the day flies by!  I love it!

Monday, January 18, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge

This is just a quick note to let you know that my mom and I have decided to do a 2016 Reading Challenge since we had so much fun with the one last year (link here).  This time we aren't that crazy about the categories they came up with, so we're going to do a different one.  We are going to read a book for each letter of the alphabet, starting with titles, but if that goes quickly we will also do authors (by last name probably).  I will keep track of them on the blog.  You'll be able to read all of the posts here (link).

Hopefully this will make finding books easier.  I got so frustrated last year trying to find books for some of the categories.  I'm still going to try to branch out of my favorite genres and read stuff I normally wouldn't, but it will be much easier to find books for free this way (still broke lol).  I'll do an update post at the end of each month just like last time with a picture, link and my opinion of the book.  Wish us luck!

P.S.  The job is still going great!  I'll update soon on some stuff I've been wanting to tell you guys.  :D

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Life Update

I've been meaning to give everyone an update on how things are going, but the whole thing with the horses getting sick kind of delayed this post.  If you don't follow my other blog and haven't seen it here is the first post (click here), the second post (click here) and then today's update (click here).

So I have some exciting news.... I have a new job!!  For those who don't know (might be everyone because I'm not sure I've mentioned it before)... I was working at a feed store and I HATED it!  The job was fine (and heck a discount at a feed store was awesome), but my boss was dreadful.  She is what people are talking about when they say someone has a toxic personality.  She was always complaining (especially the "woe is me" and the "doomsdayer" crap), constantly criticizing me for everything I did or said or thought or believed, talked crap about other people behind their backs (including her own family), etc.  You get the point.  She's the kind of person who isn't happy if everyone around her isn't as miserable as she is.

When I started working there it was only part time and I was able to put up with her crap, but when she got sick over the winter and cracked a rib from coughing I had to start working full time because she couldn't lift the feed.  So I was working ten hours a day with no lunch break (had to eat whenever I had the chance between customers and taking care of her three year old granddaughter).  It eventually got to where she was sitting on her computer all day while I was the one doing all of the cleaning, stocking, pricing, checking, loading, unloading trucks, entertaining the toddler, feeding her, putting her down for her nap, potty training her, washing dishes, weed-eating, sorting recycling, answering the phone, everything!   I don't mind hard work, but being criticized for everything I did even when I was doing it exactly like she said really pisses me off.  She constantly contradicted herself as well, just so she could disagree with me.  So it was never the same rules each day.  You never knew what would set her off yelling and ranting.  It was awful.  I'm a highly sensitive, empathetic person and it really brings me down to be around that kind of person all day.

There were also incidents with rats dying in the walls and ceiling and then having maggots hatch out of the rats and rain down from the ceiling, but I won't go into details on that.  It gives you an idea how nasty the place was though.  I can't believe she keeps a toddler there.  I swear she doesn't believe in cleaning (total packrat) and hates bleach (I got yelled at when I tried to clean with a clorox wipe).  I was also being paid as independent contract labor so she wasn't taking taxes out on my checks either.  That made for a crappy wake up call at tax time when I realized what was going on.  Oh and she was cold all the time so in the summer she kept the temperature inside at 85F to 90F and in the winter she kept it 80F to 85F.  So I would load feed outside and sweat, then come inside and it would be impossible to cool off (it was very humid inside in the summer because the air wasn't running constantly) even in the winter!

Anyway I didn't mean to go into that much detail, but when I get started ranting about that place it's hard to stop.  I worked there for a year and four months.  Back in August I found out that her husband was retiring, but I didn't know when and I didn't know if they would fire me when he did.  They didn't tell me about his plans to retire.  I found out by accident.  That's another thing they did was never tell me anything even when it was about me.  So I started applying at the local grocery store because everyone there is always so nice and helpful and it's clean and it would be less hours for better pay (I was getting minimum wage at the feed store).

I had to apply every thirty days because that was as long as the applications were active.  In December I finally got a call!!  I had an interview, but I was so cold (because I was used to how hot she kept it at the feed store) that I was trying to not let my teeth chatter and I was sure I came off really tense.  I couldn't answer a few of the questions (he asked stuff I'd never been asked before) because I drew a blank and I totally stuttered on other questions.

I figured I'd failed and would never hear from them again.  To my complete surprise a week later I got another call asking me to come in for a survey.  It was one of those things where they ask the same questions a million times in different ways, basically a written lie detector test.  It's just trying to find out if you would steal or do drugs.  I aced it easily because I've done those before.

I was hopeful after that because not many places will call you twice if they don't want to hire you.  So much time went by however that I had completely given up hope again when he called me and asked if I wanted the job!!  I was actually at the feed store when he called, but I played it off well and accepted.  He told me to turn in my two weeks notice (that's one thing I had insisted on in the interview and I think it scored me some points) and we would figure out a time to schedule orientation.

I was terrified to turn in my two week's notice because I had no idea how she would react.  I was also kind of sad because I knew I would miss the toddler.  You get attached to a kid you spend ten hours a day with almost every day.  I was also worried how she would handle me leaving because I know she was attached to me.  She saw me more than she saw her own mother!!  I finally told my boss I was giving my two week's notice and she just stared at me and said, "We hate to see you go, but it's you're decision."  After that she was so cold and distant (which was kind of nice because it meant less complaining and harping on me).

That was the LONGEST two weeks of my life!!!!!!!!!!!!  Everything I hated about the job basically happened during that two weeks.  We had so many trucks to unload!  Some of them were two tons and I had to move every single fifty pound bag of feed (some of them twice)!  That's another reason I started looking for a new job is because my back was hurting all the time.  I couldn't even sweep my floors at home or carry out my trash without my back hurting so bad I had to lay down for a little while until it relaxed.  My back is one reason I haven't been riding my horse at all.  Anyway my last day there was December 31st.  The very next day is when Rocky got sick.... read the post I linked at the beginning of this post... going through those two weeks and then the horses getting sick was brutal!

I was kind of glad my last two weeks worked out the way it did, because I don't miss the place at all.  They made me so miserable those last two weeks that I was just happy to escape.  I'm so glad to be done with them!  I was worried she wouldn't sell to me anymore (which would mean driving forty minutes to buy feed because I live in a dinky little town with only one feed store that sells Nutrena) or that she would talk crap about me, but she's so broke she is still letting me buy feed there and I've seen some of our regular customers around town who were perfectly nice to me.  :)

I had training at the new job last week and I LOVE it so far!!!!  All of the employees and the customers are so nice.  My coworkers just randomly tell me I'm doing a great job and tell me that I'm going to love working there because it's a great place to work.  I am just eating  up all of the positive attitudes!!  I've also gotten a lot of compliments because I had the register figured out on the first day and I'm one of the fastest checkers there.  They also didn't have to train me on a lot of stuff like the cigarette selling protocols because I still know all of that from the three years at the convenience store where I worked as an assistant manager before we moved.  My first day there was the best first day on the job that I've ever had.  :D

Another perk is that I am making more per hour and I'm working less hours (which is what I wanted), so I actually get to see daylight and I'm able to keep up with housework better.  That also means I'll hopefully get to start blogging and riding my horse more!

So that is pretty much it.  I have one more thing to share, but it has to wait for another post.  Sorry for the wall of text on this post!  I hope you guys are doing well and hopefully I'll be able to start reading blogs more.  :D

P.S.  I almost forgot to mention my orientation at the new job was on Monday, while Rocky was still at the emergency clinic!  I was so exhausted and stressed out, but I'm so glad I at least knew what was wrong with him at that point and knew that he was going to be okay because I would have been a wreck otherwise.