Sunday, December 29, 2019

Saturday, December 28, 2019, MN

Leading up to Christmas, I finished shopping, mostly for ingredients for last minute gifts and baking/food treats for Christmas.  The weather here has been in the mid 30s as far up to upper 40s and is forecast to be mild through the holidays.

At Ben and Jill’s house Christmas Eve, we had enchiladas for dinner and then we played the Right/Left Night Before Christmas pass the gift game. The girls were very focused on the story and the gift (Rubik’s Cube) ended up in the hands of Lois. We then proceeded to have our family gift exchange - more like a present frenzy with the kids. Norah and Camille got Amazon Fire notebooks and Charlotte’s biggy was a Fitbit. They also got clothes, books, and games. I got the gift that I always look forward to - a photo book of the girls and a nice, framed photo of Ben and the girls.

Charlotte shared her room and bed with me, as Granny and Papa were in the guest room. I woke up Christmas morning with her arm around me and a “Merry Christmas Grandma Rose”, followed by a discussion of how Santa might be able to bring toys under adverse conditions. Like no snow, no chimney, how can he deliver to ALL children in the world on one night. We came up with endless possibilities. Norah and Camille slept in and finally, Charlotte couldn’t wait any longer, so she went to their rooms and announced that the stockings were full and there were lot of presents under the tree. Those gifts were all toys and most of them had lots of small components - Legos, play sets with accessories.

Ben made omelets for breakfast and we hung out and played with all of the new toys. The girls were so busy that us adults even had opportunities for great conversation.  Lois and Dennis contributed the main course for dinner - beef tenderloin steaks, I made Garlic Rosemary Baked Potatoes, and we had green beans for a side dish. Dessert was my Cranberry Cake with Hot Butter Sauce. I wasn’t sure how the Gluten Free version would turn out but it tasted the same as the wheat flour version but the texture was a bit grainy. I would say it was a big success.

After dinner, the grandparents packed up and headed home.  We managed to get a few group photos before heading out.

This morning, I had to go to my CVS orientation at their regional office in Mendota Heights.  During the early morning hours we had freezing rain and the roads were treacherous. When I walked .frisco, I got to the sidewalk and couldn’t walk without slipping - everything was coated with ice. I went back to the apartment and got my Yaktrax (a gift that I gave to Ben and Jill and myself), put them on my shoes, and was able to walk. What a great investment!

I headed out, thinking that the roads would be salted and it was very slow going and I saw cars in the ditch just a short distance from home. I continued, taking it slow and easy. I got to the Mendota Bridge and the entire bridge was filled with cars at a standstill. I waited about 15 minutes and then took a nearby exit to attempt another route, heading east along the Mississippi River, then crossing and going south on Hwy 13. As I approached Mendota, there were many cars crashed and spun out at the base of a small hill. I was able to get through with my car in 4WD and the lowest gear, crawling at about 5 mph. When I got to the next small hill, the same was true with cars that attempted to go up the hill only this time, there were many cars involved.  Again, I was able to inch my way to a road that would get me to where I was going.  At one point, I sat there contemplated what my next step was and I watched a woman in a Honda come slipping down the hill (too fast, I’m sure) and her car slid, spun, and smacked right into another car.

The orientation went well and I got my training schedule. Lots of computer modules and some on the job training sessions - a total of 240 hours of training to be completed over the next 90 days. Hmmmm! Am I up to this? I’m going to give it my best and see. It seems like a very good company that values their employees, gives recognition (money and gift cards) for great customer service, and certainly makes an investment in training their staff.  Again, I heard good things about the store that I will work at and my manager, Peter.