Jacksonville Adventure

October 11, 2009

Today I’m at work, and it’s been very quiet (a fact that we will pay for tomorrow), but last weekend I went on a road trip to Jacksonville.  I had been planning to renew my lay speaking certification by taking the required 10 hour class that was offered in Crawfordville about a month ago, but it conflicted with my work schedule.  Most of the classes are offered on two consecutive Saturdays, which does not work with the way my work works :).  So they were offering one more class this year in Jacksonville on Friday night and Saturday all day.  I could go to that and only have to take a few hours off from work instead of a whole day.  They had a spot left in the advanced “You Can Lead Worship Class.”

I left work at 3 on Friday to get there in time for the 6:30 start time.  And I was able to spent my down time that day planning what I could do with my extra time while I was there.   I even considered getting the hotel room for 2 nights so that I could visit the young adult ministry at one of the Big Churches and go to the Fort Caroline National Memorial, but my cheapness won out and I decided that would have to wait until next time.

But here’s what I did get to do.

1.  I went to the class.  It was mediocre to bad, I am sad to say.  And I guess that’s mainly because I did not learn very much.  The content level was only slightly higher than confirmation class.  And the tone was so pessimistic, whining about how no one wants to got to worship service and no one ever listens to what the pastor says.  And things like spending at least a half hour talking about acrostics that have to do with prayer (PUSH= Pray until something happens…groan.)  On the positive side I am encouraged by the number of people seeking leadership development, and how course there are the people in general who are just the best part of the operation: the leaders and the participants, kind and generous and with great stories and testimonies.

2. I decided to skip the provided lunch so that I could go to “Cozy Tea.”  Which was a bit pricey and caused me to be late back to class, but was totally worth it. Best Scone EVER!!!


3. After class I went to the bank, because they have Compasses in Jacksonville so I was able to make a night deposit. Then I went to the Cupcakery. Read the rest of this entry »


May 6, 2009

What is more annoying than Super Walmart?  Mini Walmart… all the inconvenience with half the selection.

You’d think that I’d learn my lesson, but I managed to overdraft my checking account for the second time in a month.  It makes me mad at myself because I prided myself on being in tight control over my finacial life (maybe one of the only areas really.)  The problem is that the job I have now literally pulled me back onto the finacial cliff.  I did not have enough money to pay my November rent.  But it also marked the first time in 3 years that I was back to living on a paycheck basis.  I lived two years being paid in big chunks and then I lived off the savings of the big chunks.  And about 3 years ago I stopped using my checking account.  I’d pay my bills out of the chunk, I’d make purchases on my credit card, then pay it off in full at the end of the month from the chunk.  While I was working I alway had the big chunk and it was plenty and more.  In fact I managed to save about a third of what I made that got me through the year.  But as that chunk started running out I started to carry a balance on my credit card.  Which I don’t like at all.  So now that I’m working again and living literally paycheck to paycheck (which are luckily enough) my chunk mentality is still getting me in trouble.  My expenses have gone up at least as much as my salary from the last time I was on the tight biweekly pay. Stupid grocery costs plus internet plus about $1000 more per year in rent.  So that control  I need it back.  But some things are hard to learn and when you make money mistakes you literally pay.

The Robo-calls end today

November 4, 2008

And thanks for that.  There’s been entirely to much money spent on this campaign, local and presidential.  I heard that the candidates will have spent 10 dollars per vote.  More than double the amount of money was raised than in the last election.  I also heard that the Obama-murcial was done because the campaign could not spend all it’s money. So much waste.  How about feeding a hungry child with that 25 dollars next time.  This is getting ridiculous.

I used to be a Haute Head

October 28, 2008

The booth next to mine at the craft fair was selling tie dye tee shirts.  The guy running the booth is also the owner of a hair salon in town.  He had his mom and a couple of his hair dressers to help him. So I got to talk a about the hair business.  Some one asked him about his prices and he said they were reasonable, not “200 dollars for highlights like Haute Heads.”  He said they people that work there “go to the gym and eat right and look a certain way and they think that gives them the right to overcharge people. But most people just want a good hair cut.”  And he made the point that they have people there with barely any experience that are charging more than his stylist with 20 years experience do.

I went to Haute Heads about three time a few years ago.  I started going there because the outside of the building was cute, and I continued to go there because it was cute on the inside.  It has jewel toned walls with gold scroll work and mirrors with fancy frames.  The sitting room has these big purple poofy chairs.  And they sell beaded jewelry that’s a lot like the kind I make.  It’s great.  It reminds me of the set of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella… my kind of place.  But I quit going mainly because of the cost.  It was about double the cost of a mall hair cut.  And I didn’t like the fact that the girl kept saying that may hair was mousey brown and that I needed to dye it like chestnut brown.  But I like being a blonde, dark blonde, but blonde none the less.

Anyway I was more taken in by the beautiful decor rather than the beautiful people.  But it gave me a different perspective.  I would rather just get a good hair cut.  And you know what really impressed me?  All of the customers who came down to the craft fair just to support their friend.  I think that’s priceless.

My weekend at the church

October 26, 2008

I spent more time at church this weekend than I did at home or at least that’s what it feels like.  On Friday and Saturday I was pedaling my wares at the craft fair.  I did about as much business as I did last year.  But besides just the bracelets I sold one scarf, the tutu I made, and one of the ribbon necklaces, and two pairs of the watermelon earrings.  I decided I was going to reduce my prices from last year hoping to be more attractive so I did, by about 33 percent on everything that I had there last year.  But I think that the plan did not work.  I guess there’s like this tipping point where you are willing to buy something just because it’s a good deal, but beyond that if your price is reasonable people just decide if they want it or not. I have this magnet that I got which is cute but that I got mainly because it was a dollar fifty. But I also got this wall hanging for my mom that was no deal for sure but it was so perfect that I could not let it go.

This morning was Laity Sunday again so I got to help lead worship again this year.  I was much less nervous.  And I also got to do the children’s sermon.  That was too much fun; I loved it. I had a couple of laugh lines even.  And the preschool choir sang so we had a bunch of takers.  I think next time I am going to pay more attention to my tone of voice because I found myself talking in that “I’m talking to a kid voice.”  I also think that I needed to engage with the kids a little more.  I was a little over eager about getting the word out that I neglected to look and see if I was getting a reaction and that the kids were understanding.  But over all good and practice makes perfect, right?  Luckily I remembered to do all my parts this year.  And I got lots of compliments on the prayer that I wrote.  So I thought I’d give you all an excerpt.

“…and we also give thanks on this special Sunday for the ministry of the laity.  Those who respond to God’s call on all Christians’ lives, who choose to take time to offer God’s love in action through teaching and speaking and singing and witnessing and serving. Today we ask you to renew us all, to give us a clearer vision of the ways we can give sacrificially.  Help us to leave what is comfortable to meet you challenge.  Let us be the voice of peace in a warring world.  Let us be the ones who are generous even in difficulty.  Let us be a welcoming face to the stranger.  We ask this all in true sincerity and with the confidence of children of the Lord of the universe. Our God who created all things from the tiniest bacteria to the greatest mountain.  Who continues to do great works even in our own lives and will still be comforting and protecting our great-great-great grandchildren….”

My favorite story… apparently one of our medical doctors appreciated the fact that bacteria got a shout out in church.  Happy to oblige.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Featuring reality TV losers (country singers not withstanding) and did you see this slogan? It’s like they know my inner shame. “Erin loves sappiness, reality shows, and cheap things. Do we have the commercial for her?”

Gee thanks

October 3, 2008

As if I would order this, Pizza Hut was kind enough to send me a coupon.  The regular price for pasta, $12.99.

Small Victories

October 2, 2008

So I sent my complaint letter to Tallahassee Utilities.  I sent it certified mail because that’s what the complaint letter experts tell you to do (oh I miss the Bryant Park Project.)  Something about really meaning business, you know?  I addressed it to “Customer Service Manager.”

Well yesterday I got a call from the front desk woman who I talked to when I was in the last time.  She was very apologetic and said that it was a busy time, that she can’t believe that she did not tell me about the charges, that it didn’t matter if I had good credit or not that everyone would get that charge.  Then she asked me if there was anything that she could do.  Wait is that a trick question?  I said that if she couldn’t remove the charge then not really.  Then she asked if I wanted her to speak with her supervisor and see what could be done.  Wait is that a trick question?  I said yes I would like that.

Then she called me back later and left a message saying she’d taken care of it and the charge had been removed from my bill.  Woohoo.  I wrote her a little thank you note.

So then I was watching the local news and heard the announcement that Tallhassee Utilities is raising rates eight percent across the board.  Um I guess they’ll be getting my 56 dollars after all.

Do you remember the time not too long ago, when the price of gas at the pump was not a weekly news story?