Saturday, January 26, 2008

Jobs I've Had

I decided to expand on the last post and reminisce about all of the jobs I have had in my life. There have not been a lot compared to others, but considering that I have not worked full time since 1983, there are.

I have always wanted to do "fun" stuff and some of the jobs I have had started out as helping a friend with something.

I couldn't wait to work because I wanted my own money. I started when I was 15.

*Seven Seas (used to be next to 6 Flags) - Worked on an ice cream cart all summer. I made $1.90 an hour and usually worked 40 hours a week in my ruffled pink uniform dress.

*Randol Mill Pharmacy - Clerk. I worked for a few months. I quit when I had to work on a Friday night and had to miss a football game.

*Watson's Department Store - Wrapped gifts during the Christmas season.

*Great Southwest/Arlington Community Hospital - Worked in Medical Records for 9 years

*Oak Knoll Designs - My families Interior Decorating Business. I sold wallpaper and blinds and drapes

*Covered paper mache eggs for a friend. She painted them and sold them to a boutique in Dallas

*Painted T-Shirts -This was a big job. I mass produced these for a girl that would send them to someone else that would sew 2 shirts together with a ruffle and sell them for $150. That was a lot back in the early 90's. My kitchen was covered with T-shirts and paint.

*Lume Nails - New from California, this was a gel that you painted on your nails and then put them under a special light. They looked like sculptured nails. I signed up to "sell" so my friends and family could get the supplies at cost.

*Units - We bought clothes from the warehouse in Dallas and sold them to everyone we knew. They were mix and match pieces for women and kids. Every couple of weeks, they would have a new fabric or design and they were cheap. I had a new outfit every day.

*Pumpkin Rolls - I had a neighborhood friend who "invented" the first pumpkin rolls back in the 80's and sold them at craft fairs. She now has her own bakery in Dallas and has been featured in Neiman's. I helped her one season and made 200 in 3 days. My kitchen was covered in powdered sugar.

*Beauty Control - Have "sold" it for several years. With 4 girls in the family, I don't have to sell it to anyone but us to keep my minimum order. This gets it for us at cost.

*Cookies in Bloom - My friend opened a cookie store and I worked a couple of days a week to help her decorate cookies.

*Mystery Shopper - Worked for a couple of months Mystery Shopping at Kroger

*Beanie Babies - Bought and sold over the internet for fun. Made pretty good money. Had a blast hunting them down. Stood in many lines and went out one morning at 3:00 a.m. just to get some new ones that were being put out at 6:00 a.m.

*Stocked Cigarettes at K-Mart - Applied for a part time "merchandising" job in the paper. Worked about 5 hours a week and after I got the job, found out I was going to be stocking cigarettes and cigars.

*Legal Assistant- Worked for a friend that is an attorney that was leaving his downtown firm and starting on his own. Great job. I worked for 4 years. I came in when I wanted, worked as long as I wanted and took off when I wanted. He was desperate for help so he was happy to have me whenever I could work.

*President of "3 of Hearts" Fan Club - My friends daughter was given a recording contract with RCA. RCA went all out promoting them (spent $1 million on promotions along with Gillette and Walmart), but they dropped them when their album was a bust. They needed help with the "fan club". Lots of work, but lots of fun. Got to go around to radio station, go to Nashville for "Fan Fair", and go to the CMA Awards show. Went back stage and met several country music stars including Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

*Party Planner - Put on company Christmas party for friend who is president of her company.

*Gymboree - Worked a couple of days a month to get the 40% discount. Realized I spent way more on clothes just because I was getting a good deal.

*Wade Funeral Home - Answered the phone and helped with paper work a few times for my friends that own a funeral home.

*Private Investigator - My last "job" that lasted for 3 weeks.

*"Anything and Everything He Wants Me To Do" - I almost forgot this one. Pops has had a consulting business for 15 years. I do all invoices, paperwork etc. for him. This week I spent 2 full days typing and running back and forth to Office Depot and FedEx Kinko's preparing notebooks for a job he is working on. If I didn't work, he wouldn't get paid because paperwork and travel reservations are not his strength.

This is it. I don't plan on ever doing anything else . . . . unless something fun comes along that I just can't pass up.

Friday, January 25, 2008

My Detective Skills

Thanks for all of your fun comments. GiGi and Brea mentioned "the purse" incident, so since I don't have much to write about these days, I will put the details on here about my detective skills and how I have passed them on.

Back on a Friday in April, Jennifer was getting ready to bring the girls over here when she realized that she couldn't find her cell phone in the car. She had a bad habit of leaving her purse in her car, but she always kept the garage door close,d so it wasn't a problem. She realized that the night before, Lamar had gone to the store and not closed the garage door from about 8:30 - 10:00 p.m. They live in a cul de sac close to the police department, so normally you wouldn't think anything about it.

As she looked around for her cell phone, she realized that some of the contents of her purse were on the seat, but her purse was missing. She told me when she got over here with the girls, and I told her to check her bank account online. Sure enough, starting at 9:30 p.m., someone had started using her credit card. There was a $150+ charge to a gas station close to her house and $200 to Albertson's.

She called the police, but we knew this would be a low priority situation, so we needed to take matters into our own hands. She was very smart and got her phone records. You always hope that a "dumb" criminal will be the one to steal your stuff and sure enough, she got lucky. The "dumb" criminal used her cell phone to call his friends. When she found out where her card had been used, she went to the gas station and Albertson's. She talked to the manager who had waited on the criminal and the gas station pulled up video of the sale. (He was even dumb enough to used his "gas station member card" to get credit for the sale.)

Let me stop a little bit to tell you about my day. Pops and I were leaving for Florida the next morning on an early flight. I had not packed or gone to the store to buy the essentials for traveling, which of course always includes some new clothes. To make matters a little more complicated, it was 3:30 in the afternoon and I had to be at a graduation reception at Pop's office and then go to graduation and a late dinner with the graduation speaker. When was I going to get my shopping and packing done????? Pops had some important paperwork that had to be submitted by that evening and I was in the middle of working on that also.

But duty calls. I got Jennifer's phone information and started calling numbers. Low and behold, the first person I called that answered was the perfect link to the entire case. She was in class and couldn't talk (but she did manage to answer her phone which I found humorous) and after much convincing, she told me that her mother knew about everything and I could talk to her and she gave me her address.

I googled the address and quickly made my way over to talk to Mom. I had Jennifer follow me in case someone shot me because it was a really bad neighborhood. Mom worked in the office of the apartment complex. I went in and nicely talked to her and convinced her that she didn't want "those kind of people" (dumb criminals) talking to her daughter. She was very nice and I gave her my phone number, figuring she would never call me back.

The next night, while I was in Florida, I got a call on my cellphone from Mom telling me that she had checked around, and gave me the criminals name and told me she had talked to his mom and his mom found all the stuff he had bought in a bag with the cell phone. By Sunday, with the help of the police (my Bedford police friend and his brother that works for the department that was working on Jennifer's case) the criminal was in the Tarrant County jail.

Funny how things work out, but her purse was found on the side of the road in Bedford by my Bedford police friend, and at that time, he didn't even know who it belonged to. She ended up getting everything back except some gift cards she had in her wallet.

We don't know what happened to the criminal. With my super sleuth techniques, we did keep up with his stay at the Tarrant County hotel, where he stayed for over 2 months. I am guessing that he didn't have bond money. He was charged with burglary of a habitation.

I ended up skipping the reception and graduation so I could finish my detective work and go to the mall, but made it for the dinner. When duty calls, you just have to get your priorities straight!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Day #3 In The Bathtub

The kitchen is still "closed". Today is day #3. The girls have had fun eating in the bathtub. You don't realize how messy they are until you start washing away the crumbs. Maybe Friday we will be able to eat in the kitchen again.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Lolly Is Getting Creative!

I have people working in my kitchen this week, so it is off limits. That would not be a problem for me at all (since I haven't cooked in months), but with the girls, it gets a little crazy. I am a Nazi when it comes to them staying in the kitchen to eat and drink.

I need to be home all day so that I can give my approval for the work, so where in the world are the girls going to eat? I can't expect them to go all day without food or drink.

I started thinking this morning that we could go to McDonald's and get Happy Meals, but where would they eat them. It's too cold to sit on the patio. I think came up with a brilliant solution . They can eat them in my bathtub. I told Landrie that she would get to have a campout in my bathroom and pretend that the tub is her tent. She liked that idea and I love it because any crumbs can be washed down the drain.

It was a good thing they ate in the bathtub because there were lots of crumbs and Karsyn spilled her drink.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Boys Make Passes at Girls That Wear Glasses

Now that I am "older", I need glass for everything I do. I have them in my purse, several pairs in my night stand, the bathroom, and in every drawer in the house. Landrie and Karsyn love to take my glasses and wear them around. I don't know how they can see with them, but they manage to walk around with them, usually looking over the top.
When Janelle was about 5, she wanted glasses so bad. We found some red ones at Claire's that were "fake". She wore them everywhere. She especially love it when people would comment on how cute they were. She still loves to be told how cute she is!
When I was Christmas shopping last month, I walked by Claire's and wondered if they still had glasses. Low and behold, I found 2 pairs. They are just the right size. Karyn still likes mine better, but I think she can see better with her own.

New Restaurant - Mi Chula's

A new Mexican restaurant has opened in Southlake. Since Mexican is our favorite, it didn't take us long to get there. We always make the mistake of trying a restaurant too soon before they get the kinks worked out, but we just can't wait.

Mi Chula's is located on 1709 in the same shopping center as Central Market. It has the same concept and Pei Wei, you order and they bring it to your table.

I'm not going to rush back over there, but it wasn't bad and is worth another try. The food is very fresh and all made in house. The hot sauce and chips were good. I had the LuLu, which was a cheese enchilada, tamale and taco. The rice and beans were very good. I tried the fajita meat which was good along with the spicy BBQ ribs that were great.

The service was a little slow, but that is expected for a new restaurant. Give it a try, I don't think you will be disappointed.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Flip Flop Disaster

Whenever we travel, Pops complains because we need an extra suitcase for my shoes. (I still remember a card he gave me one time that said, "I love you so much I would give you the world, but then you would have to buy a pair of shoes to go with it."

I decided to be conservative when we went to Fredricksburg and only take 2 pairs. Black flip flops and black heels. (Last time we went to Vegas for 3 nights, I counted 11 pairs, you have to match every outfit you are wearing and MIGHT wear.)

As we were walking down the streets of Fredricksburg on a beautiful sunny day, my $2.99 New York and Co. favorite flip flops broke. I definitely got my moneys worth out of those, but what is a girl to do in December when flip flops are not readily available. I knew I was in trouble.

I carried the broken shoe so that people would not notice and think I was just trashy going barefoot through town. In despair, I noticed a store a few doors down that had shoes.

They actually had a pretty good selection of flip flops, but nothing plain and black. There were some $48 Reefs that were black, but they had a 2 inch thick sole that I would look ridiculous in. I did see some shoes that I kind of liked, but they were $125.

I contemplated back and forth, do I buy the $48 shoes to wear long enough to get back home or do I go crazy and spend $125 on a pair of flip flops? After much deliberation, I decided the money would be better spent on something I would wear. I have been wearing them almost every day since, even to the point of getting a blister on the top of my foot.

I bet that Pops will not make fun of my extra suitcase of shoes anymore. It is much more cost efficient!

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Pizza War

It has been a long time since I have posted about a restaurant. Yes, I have eaten and if you could see me, you would know I have not gone without any nutrition.

Christmas is a very stressful time for me with the decorations, gift buying and wrapping. I make myself crazy getting all 8 immediate family members even (I went as crazy as to have spreadsheets this year). I also buy for 24 extended family members. Christmas is fun, but it is a beating.

For the past couple of months, I have been working on gutting out the kitchen. I can usually pick stuff very quickly, but I have had a hard time. It took me about a month to pick the floor and I have been to the granite company 6 times in the last week. I am so afraid of making a mistake. All this to say, the floor guys came the morning of December 26th to jackhammer up my old floor. I took down all my Christmas decorations starting at 6:00 a.m. and have been cleaning dust since then and still have more to go.

We always go out of town for a few days after Christmas to de-stress, so this year we chose a Bed and Breakfast in Fredricksburg.

All that said and done, we have been to two new pizza restaurants. By the end of this month, there will be 3 new high end pizza places in the Southlake/Grapevine area and we are going to check them all out.

Saturday night, we went to Coal Vines Pizza and Wine Bar in Southlake. We got there around 6:45 and had to wait about 45 minutes. We quickly realized the emphasis was on Wine Bar and not Pizza. We finally sat down on the patio with the butane heaters. The only problem, out heater just ran out of butane. It was 42 degrees and very cold. The Caesar salad was good, but he pizza was not. Cardboard with a little cheese. All of the employees from the hostess to the waiter could not have been nicer, but the food was not that great. I am sure they will succeed because it will make it with the Wine Bar. We had our first and last trip.

Last night, we went to the new Fireside Pies in Grapevine. They opened on Wednesday. I knew they were opening, but it was not obvious from the outside. The outside lights were not yet working and there is no sign yet, so it wasn't crowded like its sister restaurant in Dallas.

The cheese salad is still one of my favorites. It has a roasted red pepper ranch dressing on lettuce mixed with 4 different kinds of cheese. Very good and very big. 3 of us didn't finish it. We had a pizza with two kinds of sausage and Jimmy's meatballs. Good. But the best part. . . the signature blackberry cheesecake. I know it is January 3rd and I should still be eating healthy, but I just couldn't resist and I am glad I didn't. This is a bold statement, but this is the BEST cheesecake I have ever had anywhere. This is my 3rd time to have it and I have thought that each time. It has a very thin ribbon of blackberry sauce running through the center and on the outside, but the cheesecake itself it just perfect. The perfect sweetness, density, crust (vanilla wafer). It is great. If you don't try anything else, you need to try the cheesecake.

Campania Pizza opens in Southlake in a couple of weeks and we will have to give it a try.