Mindy Memories

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Feeling better today

Slept most of yesterday during the day and feel much better today. When I get those headaches that's really all I can do. I've learned the hard way that if I try to function the thing stays around much longer than if I just give in and rest.

Can I say how sick I am of hearing about Terry Schiavo? I feel horrible for her, but I think her family's war has absolutely nothing to do with her anymore. My opinion is unpopular, but I actually side with the husband. He's not saint, but I have yet to see any proof of all this "abuse" and such that supposedly put her in the hospital to begin with. As far as I can see he's made sure she's had the best care possible. I don't blame the parents for wanting what they think is best for her, but I feel they have all lost sight of the main issue. I'm also very upset that Congress had a special meeting and that Buch made this big entrance to Washington to sign that bill. Since when does this happen for ONE person? In the meantime there are many, many problems and other people suffering in this country. I just can't be convinced that this whole thing hasn't been a dream for some politicians to show off. Maybe I'm cynical, but that's how I see it. I don't the husband would have held on this long if he truly didn't believe in what she wanted. The truth is, nobody really knows. None of us know what Terry is really experiencing, what she really wants. We don't know the true motives of anybody, but people act like the DO know because they read such-and-such on Terry's website, or heard such-and-such from one news source. This thing is a mess and you'll hear totally different stories from everybody. Personally, I don't trust anyone's personal website on this kind of stuff. That's like taking an autobiography as the Gospel truth. Of COURSE it's going to be biased.

So, now I'm considered heartless, cruel, etc. because I "want Terry to die a horrible death." No, I really don't. I want what she would want, and as far as I can tell the authority legally lies with the husband. I've seen reports from doctors that say Terry's brain is so far gone that she really won't feel anything and that they are giving her morphine to be sure. Well, I hope that's true. I can tell you one thing -- this has made me and many Americans get our asses in gear to get living wills.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Monday ick

Well, I called out today. I was in and out all night with a migraine and although it's a little better now I've taken medication and don't trust myself to drive. I'm sure it's a combination of me stressing, the rain and the stench last night from the people across the hall burning something really bad last night. Not their fault -- if their oven is like mine you have to really keep an eye on it and they just moved in and probably didn't realize. Not like I've never burned anything before. So, I decided to spend the day at home sleeping for the most part.

I did finish my little cat yesterday, though. It was nice to start and finish something in two weekends. I will scan it into my album and blog tomorrow.

I'm going over my March goals, which were my February goals that I didn't accomplish because I felt poorly, to see where I stand. I don't tend to get upset if I don't completely stick to these monthly goals, but they do help me organize myself because there are certain projects I do want to finish this year.

So, here's the recap of my March stitching goals:

March Goals
Finish L&L freebie - 10 hours -- none so far
Finish Christmas Jewel and Crystal Chandelier - 5 hours -- none so far
Ornament - 5 hours -- none so far
Guardian Angel - 10 hours -- none so far
Rose Arbour - 10 hours -- 30+ hours, finished
Christmas Flourishes - 10 hours -- none so far
Dracolair purple dragon - 10 hours -- none so far

So, although I haven't strictly kept to my goals, I DID put a lot of time into Rose Arbour and finished her, which is part of my yearly goal. I also snuck in that extra little project I just finished to reward myself for finishing Rose Arbour. I think I'm doing OK, and there are still a few days left in the month and I'll see what can get accomplished in that time.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Medical questions on a stitching board

I guess this is one of my pet peeves. Asking minor questions about everyday aches and pains is one thing. Yesterday however I was floored by a person who was asking if she should call her doctor because her 4-year-old had been having headaches, 102-103 fever and now having nosebleeds that are hard to stop. She hadn't called the doctor because her vehicles aren't working and the doctor is an hour away. Gah! Well, I'm no parent but I know damn well that a kid with those symptoms needs to get their ass to a doctor somehow, or at least a doctor should be called for advice. Why the hell would you post about it on a stitching board? Of course, everybody was pretty much saying the same thing as I just did so she called, and that's the last I saw of it. I figure even if I have to call an ambulance and pay a lot of money after the fact it's better than my theoretical kid dying or having brain damage or something.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Saw "The Ring 2"

It was pretty decent, if you liked the first one. I liked the first one a lot, as did Tim. We went out for brunch at Perkins and I bought a strawberry Belgian waffle topped with whipped cream. Yummy! Haven't had a Belgian waffle in years so I figure I may as well go for the gusto :)

Then we saw an early afternoon showing of the movie. It's PG-13, although the original was R, so there were a lot of teens in there. They were good, it's just funny because girls that age are very jumpy and screamy. Some people don't like that, but I find it sometimes adds to the movie. When we saw What Lies Beneath there was a teen sitting next to Tim and at one point she jumped and grabbed his arm without thinking. He wasn't expecting it so he was startled, too. She felt a bit sheepish but he told her not to worry. It's not like she did it on purpose.

Just read that Congress is stepping in on this Terry Schiavo thing. I don't know if I like that. I hate what's happening to her, but this sets a dangerous precedent IMHO. The government is already in our business way too much, and now this? I just don't like it. Part of me which something would happen to her so that she would die quickly and painlessly and put all this at rest. I'm sure that sounds heartless, but I can't imagine what she's going through, nor what her family is going through. I wish there were some way that she could communicate what she would want, but that's not going to happen any time soon. I just feel awful for her and her family.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Finally have my scan of Rose Arbour!

It's been such a long time since I've posted any stitching pictures. That was mainly because I kept saying to myself I didn't want to post until she was finished. Well, she's finished, although a bit wrinkled:

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I don't know how many hours I put in as I haven't counted them up from my notes yet. I know I put in 55 hours in the last month -- yes, I've been stitching nothing but her for a while now but when I get so close to the end I just want to keep going. In reality, I wasn't as close to the end as I thought when I made that decision LOL! That bottom part of the dress takes long then it looks, and those little flowers slowed me down. Well worth it, though. Tim is all excited and says he'll pay for me to frame it so it can go on the wall next to Rose of Sharon.


Rose Arbour is done!

Well, I actually finished Rose Arbour Monday night but haven't had a second at work to scan it. The scanner is now attached to a central computer because so many use it, so I have to find a time at lunch or before/after work to use it when nobody else is. Plus one of the ladies is having problems with her computer and has been there a lot. I can't exactly ask somebody who is working to move so I can scan in my cross stitch LOL! I hope to scan her sometime today, as tomorrow I'm going to one of the district offices to train them to use some lead generation tools.

I'm a bit nervous about tomorrow, but I think it will be good. I'm giving a group presentation and will then work one-on-one with the agents to go over their books of buisness and give them marketing ideas for what they like to sell, prospecting, selling to the clients they already have, etc. I have set up a meeting with my main boss on Good Friday to go over my marketing stuff and, if I don't lose my nerve, will discuss my salary. Let's just say I'm WAY underpaid. I'm not sure what will come of it, and expect to be told it's not in the budget for the year and I'll have to wait until 2006. I hate to say it, but if that's the case I will be forced to look for another place to work because I will be more and more irritated about how much potential I have and how much I'm trying to do and for so little. I like the people and the place, but I've done the "Oh, I like where I work so I will work two jobs to scratch out a living instead of getting a better-paying job" thing before and I'm NOT doing it again! Working a second job for a few months may be necessary for me at the moment (not that I've found one yet) but I'm not going to get caught up in it for years again. Nope, not doing it, not when I have much more potential and experience than I did last time and am able to do better.

See, I'm getting all irritated about it and I haven't even asked yet LOL! I just need to calm down and not worry about it until then. It's not fair for me to ASSume the worst when I haven't given him a chance, right?


Have to say I'm pretty bummed that we will be drilling more in Alaska. No, I don't like relying on the MidEast for oil, but we keep thinking short-term and aren't thinking long-term. We really need to start thinking about what we will do when the world's oil runs out. Doing something about it then will be a bit too late.


Back to stitching news: I decided to add in a little project that isn't in my goals. Of course, my goals for Feb and March are screwed up already so it doesn't matter LOL! I didn't originally intend to finish Rose Arbour, just work 10 hours and go to the next one. However, I just got in the mood to finish her and worked 55 hours instead of 10 and finished her. As a reward, I'm now working on a simple little pattern that uses all overdyed floss. It's a cute little cat from Bent Creek called "EduCATed." I got it at CATS in Hershey and thought it was just adorable! I'm not usually into this style of stitching but I love this one! I'm using some floss I already have so some of the colors are a bit different, mainly the cat is darker in mine than on the chart. He's stitching up pretty well and I hope to finish him by the end of the weekend. Of course, I'll be working some overtime at home on Saturday so I won't have as much stitching time as usual. I still think I'll finish him, though. Here's what the chart picture looks like:

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Work is going to be even busier for a while

Well, the meetings over the last few days went well and people were very appreciative of my organizing them. Many kept telling me I did a great job and that they hope I'm getting paid what I'm worth. I kept saying "Tell Harris. Tell Harris." LOL! I think some of them actually will.

So, yesterday my cross-selling campaign started and will end on April 29. The woman that was here from the home office showed many people an overview and samples of what can be done with the Lead Generation Center tools, and showed me a lot of stuff I didn't know we could do. We can even go in and see an agent's book of business and sort it in a way so we know how many have Term insurance who do not have Whole Life insurance so that the agent can talk to them about converting before the Term expires. Lotsa cool stuff like that.

Therefore, I'm setting up all sorts of one-on-one conversations with people in the office to show them how they can use this software. It can be used for prospecting and for handling one's own clients. There's so much one can do that it's a bit overwhelming to people, so I'm going to make them have a plan before I talk to them so we can be specific to what they need, as well as having a bit of an overview.

Of course, many of our agents are in detached offices. I was thinking of setting up teleconferences, but instead I think I'll plan to go to their offices a few days a month or something. I think it's fairer, since some are far away and in the end it's probably easier for me to go there than for them to come one by one to my office. When I mean far away I don't mean "far away" really, just in the tri-state area. To me, when it comes to driving for work, "far away" is over an hour :)

So, I'm excited and a little scared, but I believe when I have met this challenge I will be rewarded. All this training will help people in the cross-selling campaign and will help me decide if I should do it again in the future and do a smaller version of it for the new agents on a quarterly basis to help them get to their goals so they can get their bonuses and such.

In the end, I figure that if I help the agents achieve their goals, I therefore help the agency as a whole reach its goals, and I will benefit. I hope I'm right.

I set up a cross-selling campaign after seeing some statistics I did not like -- out of over 2 million people who hold a policy with my parent company, less than 10% hold more than one product. These include life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, annuities and investments. We are really stressing financial planning in my firm so that people have a better idea of what they need for their goals and such, so I think this is definitely an area in which we need improvement. Some agents would rather sell and do fine just as sales people, but much of the newer crop are really getting on board with the whole planning idea.

Anyway, enough about work.

Didn't get in any stitching last night, either. Tried to for about 10 minutes by my brain and eyes were just tired after the hours I put in the last two days at work, so I put it away and went to bed. I have so little left to do, but it's always more than I think.

As for the weight loss, I'm stalling. I need to buy groceries after I get paid but I have to sit down and make up a cheap list that is also healthy because we are going to be very short on money for a while. I don't want to just buy cheap food because that tends to not be healthy, so I need to find a medium. I haven't been to the pool for a week because most of last week I wasn't driving and I was busy all day Monday and Tuesday. Today would normally be my pool day but I'm laying low a bit. I will go on Friday and get back on the horse. I can tell that I need it, not only to lose weight, but also because I do notice my energy is down a bit. I can't blame all of that on the last few days because my energy was down over the weekend, too. I'm positive the exercise is really helping me in that department.

Monday, March 07, 2005

So close, yet so far...

I'm so close to finishing Rose Arbour I can feel it! I just have a little white and blue area to finish stitching on the bottom of her dress, than the backstitching between the dress and bottom of the arbour, then adding the beads. I put in a lot of time this weekend but didn't quite make it. I won't be able to scan the thing until at least Wednesday, so I don't have a picture yet. I hope that by then I'll be done, but we'll see. It may be a few more days as today and tomorrow at work are going to be crazy, but in a good way. My hope is that if the meetings today and tomorrow turn into people using me and the lead generation tools available to them, that their sales will go up enough for me to get a promotion and a raise. Heck, I don't really care about the promotion right now -- just gimme that raise! I'm trying not to ASSume, but I am certainly hopeful.

So, that's about it for now. The woman who I invited here from the home office wrote wonderful things about me to our general agent, which he then forwarded on to me. So, I know he's hearing good things. Hope it helps :)

Friday, March 04, 2005

Hi there, been a while

It's been some time since I came here. Lots going on, just haven't been in the mood to blog I guess.

Bad news first: My car was in the shop from Monday morning until this morning. It had a bad oil leak and they had to take half the car apart to get to the part of the engine to fix it. Also got my inspection done. So, in the end it cost me $1068. Yikes! Luckily, they let me put half down and pay the rest over the next two months. Between this and some other things going on I think I'm going to get a second job for a while. It sucks -- been there before -- but it WILL be temporary until I get caught up.

Good news: I'm almost done with Rose Arbour. I'm done with the actual arbour and only need to finish up the bottom part of the dress, then do the small amount of backstitching and add the beads. I'll scan her in next week when I'm finished. I'm so thrilled! She'll eventually be framed in the same manner as Rose Arbour and hang next to her on the wall. I'll actually have a set finished!

Things are going well at work. I'm hearing good things about my work and the General Agent really likes what I'm doing and that I'm taking the initiative to start contests and such. I'm bringing in a marketing person from the home office next week and set up a time for her at the firm meeting as well as small group meetings with people during the two days she's here. I plan on talking to the boss in a month or two about getting a raise, and what I can do to earn that raise (although frankly I should already be making more than I am for what I'm doing). If I can get back up to where I was before the layoff, or better, that second job will be very temporary. I hate the idea of working two jobs again, but I won't allow it to last long. I'll be done with car payments in 6 months, and that will free up a decent amount of money. I need to start an emergency savings fund and a car fund so when the time comes I have some money as well as an old car for a down payment. That won't be for a while.

Tim started his job this week. He's not thrilled with it and is still looking, but at least it got him out of the hell hole he was in. He's not making any more money here after the wage tax is taken out, but the people are better.