Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bruce Christmas Everyone!

That is the Bessey version of Merry Christmas! You all know the story, so I won't repeat it. But anyway, I do wish everyone a Merry Christmas and may they enjoy this wonderful holiday with those they love. Christmas celebrating will be one day late for us this year. Alicia and Rob will be in on 12/26 at 11:30AM --- God willing and the weather holds everywhere so they can fly safely. They will be here until New Years Day, so we are going to have a great time, just "chilaxin'" as Alicia and Rob say. Lots of time just being together. Yeaaaa!

Tonight Heath is coming over, I am making meatloaf. Tomorrow I will do a Ham for the three of us. Friday it's going to be steaks on the grill. The weather forecast says it's going to be 61 degrees. Hopefully that is correct. Otherwise, Bruce is going to get pretty cold doing those steaks! Saturday is soup and brisket sandwiches at Bryan & Vics. Sunday my brother Steve and his family are coming down from Abilene. A big pot of Red Beans and Rice with cornbreat are the plan for that day. Monday night we are having Mama Lu over for lasagna. Tuesday we are going out to Bella Luna for dinner. We love that place. If you have never been, make a trip. It is wonderful. I can personally speak for the Pomatini's. Wednesday we are going to have Shrimp Spinach Salad. New Year's Day is going to be Fried Turkey.
It sounds like a lot of cooking, but really it will be fine. I am going to be off while everyone is home, so it will be fun.

I have to wrap a few things and then we are really ready for Santa.

I wish you all the happiest holiday you can have. And if that doesn't work --- try a Pomatini or two --- it will blur the edges just enough that you won't care!

Love you all!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Decorated --- Not So Much!

Well, this year Christmas has NOT "thrown up" up at the Bessey residence. I was very, very restrained in my holiday decorations this year. It's hard to do that, but easy too, knowing that I got it done, in a day, and that taking it down will go fairly easily too. However, when I look at all the boxes, bins and totes of things I did NOT put out this year, it hurts my heart, just a little, thinking of all my little treasures that are locked away this year. It's hard, but I am adjusting.

Of course, even though it basically went up in a day, the fine tuning of things has taken a couple extra days. Of course, one strand on my mantle gardland lights went out. Could I find another small strand to replace that one, nooooo. So I trip to Walmart and find a 300 light strand. Get it home, plug it in, the first 50 lights don't light up! Arrggghhhh! I made it work but boy is that frustrating.

I updated my Christmas tree skirt this year. When we first got married, probably the second year we were married, I did a cream muslin embroidered tree skirt. It has really neat detailing on it, I think. However, the edging was tinsely gold metallic stuff, which I never liked. But finally this year, I bought some cool fringe that really looks nice on the skirt. It updated it quite nicely. And only cost $7.00. Yea! I wish I knew how to add photos in here so you all could see. Maybe someone will enlighten me please!

We pretty much have Christmas done for the kids, just have to actually go get them bought and wrapped. I am going to have Bruce go with me just to actually see the crowds and know from his own eyes why I hate Christmas shopping. Because of course if I said it was really a madhouse, would he believe ME!!

Work is going well. Christmas hours are in effect and they have not been bad. This is not bad, not bad at all! Even better, a two week paycheck at still under 40 hours a week --- almost $1000!!!! That will allow me to get you all something "real" nice! Click Click! (Hint: Name that movie!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Things ---

Well life is hitting a new pattern in my house. Only to change at the drop of a day. But I am rolling along with it fairly well, I think. Again everyone knows my mantra for this year. It is what it is!

I have settled into a schedule somewhat at work. It is going well. I think I will like it just fine. And you know what, it's a job. Right now that is the important thing. It was amazing getting my first paycheck. I made as much work 46 hours at my new job as I did working 70 hours, yes count them 70 hours at SBG. Simply amazing. So needless to say, I think I can make this adjustment quite easily! Yes sir!

Bruce and I are still trying to complete the downstairs bedroom/closet project. The bedroom is done, the closet is still in stages. Clearing out, patching walls, removing shelving and painting have all been completed. We have even actually agreed with very little outside intervention on how to layout the new closet system. I don't think I will tempt fate yet and go to Lowe's together to get it just yet. You all do remember, we have had 2 serious meltdowns in Lowes and they have banned us from shopping together. My plan is to get the shelving next week, so then it should be fairly simple. But again remember, we are dealing with Mr. Perfection here!

Bruce is playing golf - can you believe - this weather. Brrrrr! I just finished up a Christmas project for Alicia. Snapfish had a special for Oprah viewers. A free 20-page photo book. I did one for her from last Christmas. Her first Christmas "home" with Rob and Elijah. I think it turned out really well. I am anxious to see the book "live". I don't know how much I will get into that kind of scrapbooking. I found it very limiting. Not so many paper choices. The photo layouts did not allow manipulation of the photos, so it was a bit of a struggle. But I got a 32-page book for $20, including tax and shipping. So great deal for hopefully a really awesome keepsake.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Coincidence and Irony

I was watching the CBS Evening News last night and on came a story about small towns and how businesses have been affected by this current economy. The reporter was in a small town in upper Indiana. It was a local "mom & pop" restaurant. During the interview the reporter asked the owner when he noticed things turning bad for his business. The owner replied, it started with $4 a gallon gas and then with the financial Wall Street/banking fiasco it was really a very noticeable drop in his business. He indicated that he had not yet told his employees the magnitude but was going to be having that conversation with them shortly. It was one of the worst conversations he said he was ever going to have. The next image on the screen was in the restaurant, with all the employees seated at several tables and the owner telling them that in 1 month they would be out of jobs. Naturally, this was very upsetting to many of them, who were already struggling economically.

What brings this to mind, the irony of how this scenario compares to a similar situation that affected me not so long ago. Not that I want to rehash old meat, but let's compare for a moment:

1. Small independent business owner closing business - plans and provides time to get all the employees of the company together to discuss as a group what this decision means for everyone.

2. Provides them with some small amount of notice - 30 days - to begin to find other employment.

3. Communicates with them in a compassionate and heartfelt manner that he realizes how difficult this is for all of them.

Why do these things strike a cord?

Because, when faced with this same situation, Bob McCreary who is the poster adult for Bi-Polar Disorder could do none of these things when this same scenario faced his business. I don't know all the reasons why all of the Scrapbook Garden East store employees were not brought together to advise us of the news of the store closing but they weren't. For those of us who were present, Bob read from a script. Yes, you heard me right. A piece of paper of talking points if you will. And Kathy, the supposed person who began this business had absolutely nothing to say to any of us. She kept her head lowered practically the entire time. Oh, except when one of the employees indicated they wanted to buy something, and Kathy told her she would have to buy it at the West location at another time.

Then we are told our jobs have ended immediately. No notice whatsoever. And yet, now as time goes on, I have heard that Bob and his dad (who apparently has some ownership in Scrapbook Garden) had been searching for other locations for some time prior to the employee announcement. But apparently every location had many of the same issues that the current location had.

And finally the lack of compassion expressed to the employees affected. Again, I know, why should this surprise me? After 3 years of dealing with Mr. Roller Coaster I should know better. What gets me is from the day one at Scrapbook Garden we were told it really is like a family and very close knit. I guess that applies only to the West side store since they have been there since the beginning and they have "traditions" that don't include the East store ----- and everything! In fact, I have heard that the West Store employees knew of the East store demise before any of the East store employees did.

I have to say I do not miss dealing with Bob and his BPD mood swings on a daily basis. That has been a total joy to not have to get the barometric temperature before even saying "Good Morning", never knowing if you are going to be given a glare, a very gruff, mumbled morning or be greeted in a personable manner.

I have moved on with my life and I believe I am going in a good direction. Some things leave a very definite impression on one's life.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Well, the home renovation project is DONE! Well, not completely, the room itself is done, the closet still has to be overhauled, but at least it is presentable. And was presentable on time, which is the bigger accomplishment. I have to say, Bruce and I did a good job.

The job search project is also DONE! Since I am sure there are stalkers out there, I will not post where I am employed.

I had a GREAT weekend spent with true friends. Ladies it was a blast! It was so good to see "MY MITCHELL!". Lots of laughing happened, along with a few accidents of sorts! Those in the know will be laughing now! Watch out for exploding Eclairs! Bite your tongue while speaking, Elmer Fudd! Definitely something that will be a regular event.

Spent time Saturday hooking up with Michelle and family again shopping at Scrap- Funattic. It was nice to see previous customers of the Weed Garden while there. It was really nice to be so welcomed by Steff and Debbi.

After NOT saying good-bye to Michelle and family, promises of a road-trip in the offing, Sarah and I headed to Penneys for more retail therapy. Got some great deals while there! Then we had a wonderful lunch together at Chili's. Next time I am heading Sarah's way to find her great places to eat!

Saturday night Bruce and I went to a Halloween Party at Wade & Peggy's.(Red Trip Chief Fan Club Guy). Had a blast as always! I went as myself-unemployed *&#*)@!

Sunday didn't accomplish much more than warming the couch, but still a great day of rest and a perfect easy ending to a wonderful weekend.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Productive Weekend

Well, sorry I didn't get an update on here this morning, but I have been pretty productive and proud of myself.

The room is painted and the mess cleaned up. I made a trip to Lowe's for crown moulding waited to be put up as soon as Mr. Bruce hits the door this evening. Ha Ha!

I got laundry done while watching paint dry! Had a wonderful conversation with my #1 Daughter. Went to QT, got a free pop from my #1 Son. Went for a quick walk with my #1 Dog. I know, I know, next will be doing something for my #1 Husband --- but NOT TODAY!!! Well, maybe, if he puts up at least some of the crown moulding, and only if he doesn't critique or criticize my painting. Could HE be so lucky -- time will tell.

Anyway, I am overdue for a long soak with tons of bubbles and a good book. I am off to float away.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bruce has left the building!

Well, I sent him packin'. Yes, I did. You don't believe me I am sure. But's its true. He was out of this house this morning at 7 AM. Gave him one bag packed and sent him on his way.! So, now that he is gone, I am going to do something I cannot do when he was here. PAINT. Yes, believe it or not, I am going to paint today. The downstairs bedroom is FINALLY ready to paint. And I am going to do it all by myself. I know, it doesn't seem possible, but I am going to make this happen. I am up to the task (name that tune!!). So just a quick note to everyone, please don't call me or you may cause a mishap. I am not going to try to run for the phone while on the ladder, nor should I try to paint while holding my phone. I could just see the questions, How did the phone get in the paint bucket?

Anyway, I am really excited to have this room nearing completion. This is definitely a step in the right direction.

Oh, by the way, in case any of you are concerned about Bruce (hey thanks for taking my side, friends!) he is on his way to Kansas City for the weekend. Guys Trip. Can everyone say YEA!!!!!

I will let you know how the day goes tomorrow. Same time, same place, BATMAN!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Patience, Please!

I sit here listening to the rain drizzling down and wonder at all the ills of the world. But for my little corner of this world my biggest issue at the moment is our still unrepaired downstairs bedroom. You all know the one! Anyway, tonight Bruce and I are going to begin tackling once again this elephant in the room. You all would be proud of me! Yesterday, we were discussing moving forward on this project and Bruce told me he had painted a small place on the ceiling with spray paint. He thought it looked okay, but would I go get a different color (ivory) in a flat finish. He used white in a gloss finish and didn't like it so much. So, chanting my mantra "Rise Above, Rise Above" I said sure I could do that while I was out and about. So I get a can of Ivory Flat Finish Spray paint. When he got home we did another test area. It was waaaaay to yellow, so we agreed, (amazing, I know) that a white in a flat finish would work okay.

So I am about to head out to Wally World and exchange the paint. Tonight the plan is to sand down all the walls from ceiling to floor. Yes, I said all the walls. Why, because silly me painted them with a semi-gloss paint that last time. And according to Mr. Bruce the flat finish paint will not stick to the wall because of the semi-gloss paint. Hmmm, not that I know anything, but on several of the HGTV shows I know I have seen them paint over paint before and it looked fine to me. But again what do I know. Now mind you, my gorgeous son-in-law, you know the one, Mr. Painting Perfection --- he was consulted and said this was not necessary, but gee what does he know, he just paints for a living. I think I will call Sherwin Williams to verify this process, just on principal.

Anyway, after sanding we will be spray painting from cans the entire popcorn ceiling. So again, please everyone, pray for patience for me tonight. If you hear a loud boom coming from the south, you will know things did not go so well.

Once again the mantra for all is ----- "Rise Above, Rise Above!'

Sunday, October 12, 2008

KC Recap!

Well, Linda and I are back safe and sound from Kansas City CK Convention. Albeit decidedly poorer! We did exhibit some restraint and did NOT hit EVERY scrapbooking store within a 50 mile radius. However, there were 2, count them, 2 trips to Archivers in the 2 day trip.

For a recap itinerary -- we hit Archiver's in Overland Park first. Did some serious damage there on behalf of Get Scrappy. I shopped a little for myself, but kept it in check. I was waiting for the big bonanza at the convention.

Then we went to JoAnn's. It is simply AMAZING to me the difference in that JoAnn's versus ours. No comparison at all. Their scrapbooking section is AWESOME. They had clear stamps that we loved at 30% off! Needless to say we hooked up with some good stuff. I have to confess I cannot and will not give away too many details, because then you would all get a head start on stuff for Get Scrappy. Not fair!!

After that we were pretty much wiped out, but did have a good dinner at Joe's Crab Shack.
Then we went to our hotel, gathered all our accumulated purchases and perused and shuffled and sorted our stuff forever. It was awesome!!

Friday we headed a little further north for the Convention Center, following a quick trip to Quik Trip for the requisite coffee and Diet Coke. We did one of the smartest things ever when we got there. Finally, after all these years of attending the conventions we are getting the hang of it. We purchased a large box for $10 at the Stroller Rental Booth. Into that box we would periodically put our purchases so we didn't have to schlep out to the North 40 to the car several times or dislocate a shoulder carrying everything in totes. Man was that awesome. Probably the best $10 we spent while there!

Our strategy when we hit the floor was to go to separate sides of the booths, casually peruse --- NO BUYING ALLOWED --- and meet in the middle with an idea of the booths we could pass on or spend some quality time in. This worked amazingly well. There were several times when I almost got sidetracked, but I stayed true to the goal.

After Linda and I met up, we began the challenge. The best bang for our Get Scrappy $$$, what do we, individually REALLY, REALLY need, and most importantly for this trip, garner support through donations for Get Scrappy. As we "worked" each booth or aisle , and told the story of Get Scrappy and it's success we passed out several flyers to interested scrapbookers. Many of the vendors gave us products for our silent auction. We got business cards from many others for future contact. One of the vendors that was particularly gracious was the Spellbinders/Nestabilities vendor. That's all I will say for now! Once again, God's hand walked with us throughout this event. I got chills from the amazing grace exhibited by so many while we were there!

One thing I did NOT want to happen was to let our weekend at this convention lose its purpose. The purpose being Get Scrappy. I did not to spend the weekend bitching to everyone who could hear about what went on with SBG. This weekend was about something positive, GET SCRAPPY. Not a bitchfest for Scrapbook Garden. So, I did what we on the East side tried to do when people got to us. Rise Above! Rise Above. Of course I ran into several people I knew who shopped at SBG. Of course, there were questions, which I answered honestly. They just couldn't believe things went down they way they did. This weekend was planned LONG before the end at the Garden. And the memories associated with Get Scrappy will NOT be bound up in the Garden.

Tomorrow and Tuesday, Linda and I will be getting together to wade through the piles of stuff, some old, some new, some donated, some purchased, all to determine what is for what and organize in some kind of fashion.

Again, the mantra, Rise Above, Rise Above. I'm trying Lord, but you're makin' it difficult! (Name than one folks!!) This should not be difficult!----

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Shopping Anyone?!!!

Well, it's time! It's Time!! The air is crisp, the breeze is from the north and the days are growing shorter. Time is getter short too. It creeps up on us so quickly. Tomorrow, Linda and I leave for Kansas City for the first BIG, HUGE (hopefully) buying trip for GET SCRAPPY 4. Can you believe it! FOUR! Simply amazing, the power of wonderful women on a mission.

We have plans to hit Archivers, The Cheesecake Factory, JoAnn's, a few local scrapbook stores, and of course the CK Convention Vendor Faire! So much to buy, so little time.

And gee, wouldn't it be a shame if I failed to enlighten everyone we meet while in each of these stores about the demise of the "WEED GARDEN". How unfortunate! So much to say, so little time!! That really brings a smile to my face!

Wish us success on our travels and buying!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

We have a Winner!

Okay everyone!

Toni won! She could finish the quote and name the movie. Surprise!Toni I'll buy your coffee Saturday!
Hey Everyone! I was reading the Eagle this morning, and look at the article I found.

Scrapping one store
The scrapbooking business is still going strong, but it's not in the boom years it once was.
That's why Scrapbook Garden owners Bob and Kathy McCreary decided to close one of their two Wichita stores.
Their store at Eastgate Plaza on East Kellogg closed Thursday. Their store at Maple Ridge Centre at Maple and Ridge will remain open.
What prompted the decision now is the east-side Scrapbook Garden was going to have to move because Eastgate management wanted the space.
"They had a clause that they could move us in the event that they had a larger tenant," Bob McCreary says.
It looks like that new tenant may be a beauty-related business. More on that soon.
McCreary says while the popularity of scrapbooking comes and goes, the boom days of when it first became a favorite pastime are gone.
When he first opened, McCreary says, scrapbooking "was a very new craft and was expanding very rapidly."
Now, he says, "there's been a lot of consolidating in our industry."
McCreary says it made sense to combine his business into one strong, viable store, and he thinks customers don't mind.
"They understand the predicament that we've been in," McCreary says.
"We feel there is certainly enough loyal customers in Wichita to support our one store."

My personal comments about this newspaper article ---

Once again, it appears as though "some people" are out of touch with reality!

The statement : ..... he thinks customers don't mind.

Don't mind what -- that you don't respect them enough to say thank you for the years of patronage they have given the East store. The first and most important thing that was drummed into everyone who was employed at SBG was "Customer Service". How is what they did providing Great Customer Service. These same customers who have been fighting changing traffic patterns due to construction for more than a year, come to the store on Friday morning only to find white paper over the windows. They call the store and get a recording.

What surprises me --- ( I know, I know) is once again the fear of personal contact. It's just amazing to me the panic that seems to be associated with CARING about someone. It is just so foreign to "some people".

The statement: They understand the predicament that we've been in.

This is so funny coming from someone that told all of us to "not mention the construction. We don't want to draw attention to it." Yea, once again, let's bury our head in the sand and act like it's not there. Thereby avoiding any personal contact or, oh my, communication!!!

And yes, the customers do understand the predicament. But there is a right way and a wrong way to handle predicaments. Once again, some people "chose poorly! " (Name that movie! ) Winner gets a prize!

The statement: --- enough loyal customers in Wichita to support one store.

Key word here that gets me is loyal. LOYAL - insert personal definition here. For those of us who were LOYAL to Scrapbook Garden for years, this is how we are treated. All I can do is shake my head. Loyal --- wrong on sooooo many levels.

I can tell you one thing, I will be loyal. Loyal to myself in knowing that I was a good manager and a good representative of Scrapbook Garden for my 3 years there. Knowing that I, repeat, I was loyal to providing good customer service to the customers that chose to shop there.
Loyal to the friendships made in the 3 years at SBG. Bob and Kathy may have taken away my job, but they will NEVER take away the friendships I have gained while working there.

Again, the reason my blog name is what it is ----SCRAPPERS UNITE!!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

I finally caved!

Well I am sure everyone is surprised. I did it! I created my very own blog. Are you happy now Michelle!

I think this is going to be a great thing. I hope everyone enjoys my rantings and ravings. It will be pretentious --- and Daddy always says----

Name that tune. I dare ya!