Sunday, November 23, 2014

Looking for Gift Ideas?

It's that time of year in which people are desperately trying to find gifts for people again... thought I'd help my (five remaining) readers out and plug a friend at the same time!

Horse Creek Soap is a company created, run, and entirely staffed by a gal I know here locally. She raises milk goats, then makes soaps and lotions out of their milk.

The website is a bit scanty (I'll have to bug her about updating it the next time I see her, she's got probably a dozen more types of soap plus the lotions she's recently put out) but a few of the really good ones are there. I personally love the Berry Vanilla scent, it makes my shower smell like a juicy pastry. For those of you who aren't into smelling like food there are less flavorful scents, or an un-scented, un-colored soap called Just Soap.

Of the ones not listed, Farmmom is in love with the Avocado Sea Clay soap, and I adore Face The Day, which is an awesome refreshing facial soap. She also has a ton of seasonal scents available right now, which I can't remember all of, but I'm sure she'll be happy to send you a list if you ask. (Again, I'll be poking at her about updating the site, as well.)

Some of you might be thinking that five bucks is a lot for a bar of soap... don't worry, I did too at first. But, not only is it that much better for your skin than commercial soaps (And I really do think that it is...) but it also lasts longer. I have a shower full of her soaps because I like the way they smell, and after a couple of weeks I realized that while the half-finished bar of Dove that I had stopped using was slowly melting into oblivion without being touched, the goat milk soaps weren't even noticeably shrinking other than when I actually used them.

If you're still hesitant, ask her about her sample deals. I know when she visits craft shows she offers the sample bars (which are about the size of those ridiculous "guest soaps" but last longer by at least an order of magnitude) for $.50 a pop, or five for a dollar. She's started doing that since she last updated the store so I'm not certain if it would make sense when shipping, but I'm reasonably certain she'd be willing to cut you a deal for several samples, which would make great stocking stuffers. I will note here that she does work a full time job that involves 12 hour shifts, if you're going to call her I recommend you do it Wednesday through Friday to have the best chance of being able to visit with her about her stuff.

Long and short of it, any of her stuff would make wonderful stocking stuffers or build a gift basket for your favorite bath goddess... they'll thank you for it, I promise.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ah, So

At my workplace (which, if you'll recall I don't talk about much... because I enjoy my job for the most part and would prefer to keep it) we've had some issues with turnover and available hours this year. As in, I didn't have enough available hours, thanks to being part time and hemmed in by the restrictive definition of "part time" by Obama Care.

(Small digression... the Affordable Care Act? Screwed me. Before the redefinition of part time I could have worked 36 hours and been able to afford to pay my own damn healthcare costs, like I had. Sure I made choices about going to the doctor based on what I could afford but ACA didn't help me afford the visits I would have chosen not to make, it just made it impossible for me to afford ANY healthcare instead. I sure as hell couldn't afford insurance.)

Anyway. There have been struggles to cover absolutely essential duties and keep me on the right side of that 28 hour part time line, since I was the most available, or only, part timer on hand. I smarted off around budget time that they should ask for a full time floater position, that way we could maybe avoid ulcers for the head scheduler and the Office Dragon. (I love our Office Dragon. She herds cats every week and manages to make things work somehow on limited budgets and with people in the office who take that fact for granted a LOT. Office Dragon is not a put down, in her case... it's an acknowledgement of the fact that I never, EVER want to make her mad at me.)

Well apparently they decided it was a good idea and made the proposal in the budget for next year. Everyone hoped, but no one was holding their breath. Then the people in charge of the budget realized that, lacking sufficient part time hours available to cover it, they were going to have to pay out a lot of vacation and comp days this year. And a full timer with the attendant benefit package was actually cheaper.

I of course didn't hear about any of this, I just showed up when I got the "We know you must hate us by now but could you possibly cover...?" calls and went on, fairly secure in the knowledge that I was going to continue as I was for the foreseeable future.

Then I went in to work the other night, on one of the oh god oh god can you cover shifts, and got pranked with the news that not only was the full time floater position approved, but that they were offering it to me (not necessarily a given,) and that it was approved to start as of December 1. They made it out as bad news and started telling me that it wasn't anything personal, but the part time budget got cut, and we really love you but we have to follow the budget... my internal panic did kick in a bit, and my mind was racing to try and figure out how I was going to make it work with less hours. Then the one pranking me got a big grin and offered me the full time position. Apparently there was a far more elaborate plan but other events made it impossible. Probably good, I might have had to kick the one who was going to prank me with it.

So, I'll continue doing what I have been doing, only more so, and be able to work forty hours instead of 28. I've been promised that I'll be worked like a rented mule (my response was "like you don't already?") and also that great effort will be made to keep from bouncing me back and forth from days to nights and back too often. I can handle it on the part time schedule because I generally have most of a week in which to recover after I've been flip flopped three times in a week... not so much on a full time schedule. It's a bit of a mystery at the moment how exactly it's going to fall out. Basically I'll cover all of the day off requests that come in, unless it will bounce me off of the sleep dep wall too hard. Filling in around that will be new duties and using my butt to keep chairs warm so that the butt that would otherwise be there can work on other things, uninterrupted.

So, starting next month I become the rented mule of the office, which I'm ok with, and I get full time, which I'm ecstatic about. Benefits will kick in, and it'll be nice to have insurance, but I doubt I'll use it any more often than I did before.

It is nice, though, to work in a job where you can honestly say you want to spend more time there with the people you work with. It's also nice to work in a job where they care enough to want to pull a prank on you with the good news. (The big boss decreed the pranking. The functional boss planned it. The subordinate boss ended up carrying it out. Yeah, I have a lot of bosses... but they all actually work together so it works way more smoothly than you would expect... and all of them defer to the Office Dragon when she decrees something.)

Not sure what it's going to mean for the blog, honestly. It's more time at a job that I can't blog about, even when it's funny. But, there is the possibility that it'll be a slightly more settled schedule for me which would open up more opportunities to be doing other things that might be blogworthy. I'm not counting on it because I know how it can be, but if anyone can pull off some kind of order out of the chaos it'll be the gal that does the scheduling.

Blogorado 2014

(All lateness on this post is my fault... Farmmom asked me to look over it, add links, and post it and I completely spaced it. Apologies all around!)

Well Blogorado is over for another year.  All the folks are home and clean-up is done.
Once again our tribe came together for conversations, laughs, food and shooty goodness.  Thank you all for coming and making our Columbus Day Weekend so memorable.
It has been an incredibly busy year for us and more so the last couple months and I wanted to thank all the attendees for the kindness and consideration on things not done!
Planning and prep work were out the window but I think things worked out pretty well anyway.
A HUGE thanks goes to aepilotjim and pediem for donating the beef for the weekend!  That was just incredible! (And we went through almost the whole half beef) This crew is a cooks dream.... you all know how to compliment the cook!
Thanks to Old NFO for herding cats, I really don't know how you do it.  I think without you the breakfast would last until dinnertime.
Thank you to Desi, Holly, Beth, and Christina for being my kitchen bitches, Sci-fi for cleaning the shop up and to all the guys who helped with firewood, trash, ect. ect. I love having minions!!!!
Thank you Hal for bringing all the full auto toys to play with, everyone had a ball with them.

I know I'm missing so many folks that helped in a variety of ways but the brain hasn't caught up with me yet.  Next year I am going to make sure I have a day or two off work AFTER Blogorado just to catch my breath.

Love you all,
Farmmom, Farmdad, and Farmgirl