Another Birthday….They Keep Coming…Faster

Yesterday was my Birthday. It is the day I catch up with Rich and we are the same age. lol….. In December he will become older than me again. lol. Its a good way to look at it. Now I’ve never been one to celebrate my birthday much. Its just a sign the clock is ticking. It seems to be ticking faster all the time. But today ended up a Very special day. Rich asked me, do you want to go out to eat or just grill out. I had to work at the theater in the afternoon, so I said “Lets just grill”. Ok, so he was going to go to the store and find something good. Around 12:30 I left for Cinemark 10.

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Some of the crew, hard at work

That’s when things started happening. It was a just a different day of good things……lol… First I stopped at Stripes. Its a gas Station like Casey’s back home. 1 on every other corner. I always get a Slushy and put it my insulated cup. I’m their a number of times a week. I filled my Mango slushy and went to the register. The girl that is always their said. “Just take it, you come all the time”.….Really!!!!!….I was so surprised ….I said “Thank You, Its my birthday”. Her face lite up with surprise, and she wished me a Happy Birthday. So off to the theater. As I walked in, my co-workers started to wish me a Happy Birthday. How Nice of them I thought. One of the Stephanie, actually came in and waited till I was free of customers and wished me a Happy Birthday. Steph, I wish I had more time to talk with you, but those customers kept coming, but “THANK YOU”. Awhile later something else strange but enjoyable happened. I was selling tickets and heard music. I looked in the street and seen a car stop in front of the theater. The guy turned up his music and got out of the car. He was dancing around the car. Everyone was laughing. It was such a funny sight to see. He was dancing waving his arms and then waved back at us, got in the car, and drove away. ….. Hilarious.…The ticket line was full of Happy People….. Later as the afternoon went, another special moment. I had 2 older lady’s in line. She got out all her money and she was 75 cents short. She was explaining how she had collected all her change. I started to count what she had, and Another lady spoke up……She said “I’ll pay for your tickets, put your money away”. She gave me her Credit card and paid for the 2 ladies. They were so grateful to her. So many kind people. What a great day it was turning out to be. My shift was over at 5:30. Around 10 to 5, several of the girls came in….I was shocked.

I was given a bouquet of flowers and a HUGE cake with a balloon.

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They said to come up to the breakroom after my shift, to cut the cake. The rest of the crew was going to sing Happy Birthday...…Wow….I surely didn’t expect that. When my shift was over, I went up stairs. They left Melissa in Box Office, and one person in Concession, the rest came upstairs.

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They all sang Happy Birthday. Then we cut the cake, ate cookies, and laughed some more.

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On the wall was a bulletin board. Their was notes that I had never read before. This was so nice. I had never really paid attention to the board before. It had other birthday notifications and notes on it. It is a Great way to recognize people for special days or things.

I opened my card, and everyone had signed it with a Special message. How thoughtful.

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Finally time to go….I stopped to get a few more pictures as I left. Here’s Dora and Correa at the Podium.

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Then I stopped at the Box Office. Of course I had to get Melissa. She usually comes in for the night shift and relieves me. Finally I got home around 6:15. It turned out we were going out to eat with friends. So by 6:40 we were on the road to Longhorn Cattle Co.

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So much food. Rich had a rack of ribs and I had a loaded Baked Potato with Brisket. Of course we had left overs. After we were back home, I got a call from the Grand kids. They all wished me Happy Birthday. So the end of a Birthday Day……It was a Great Day..

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So Thank You to All, Everyone at Cinemark and all of you on FB really made it a memorable day…….It will be a Birthday I will always Remember…..

Happy “68th” Birthday to Me

lol…Now you all know my age…

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First Day of School / Emp. of The Month….

So here it is already, August 16th and the first day of school for the grandkids….I can’t believe they are starting so soon.  The summer is flying by.  When I was a kid in Toluca, we didn’t start until just before Labor Day Toluca had one celebration a year.  It was the Labor Day Celebration Carnival rides, games, yummy food, and of course the Parade.  Now that was the ultimate time of the year.  The suspense and excitement would build all summer.  We all couldn’t wait for it to come.  But it always seemed like school started on Wed. or Thur.   You would see the trucks come in all week bringing the rides and foods. The carnival started on Friday and lasted till Monday.  They set it up down town on the streets.    I hated that we had to go to school several days, and the teachers even gave us homework….How could they be so mean to us…..lol….All weekend it was an exciting time.   The town was full of people, the rides were running and kids screaming in delight.  We walked up and down the carnival midway and looked at all the games and the food.  I would have to spend my money wisely, because my mom only gave me so much.  When it was gone, it was gone.  The food was Awesome, Corn Dogs, Lemonade Shake Ups, and Cotton Candy.  Then we had the Parade on Monday.  Floats representing all of Toluca and surrounding areas, business and church’s,  and of course always the politicians riding in fancy new convertibles…..Just waving their hands at everyone….Everyone couldn’t wait for the Marching Bands from through out the area.  In high school, I was in FHA.  We always made a float.  We earned points for doing things so we could go on a trip at the end of the school year.  We used chicken wire to mold our design on a hayrack.  Then we were supplied with tissue paper to stuff in the holes.  They don’t do it that way anymore.  Finally the parade would be over, the carnival would shut down early cause they had to pack up and have the streets open by Tuesday morning.  I lived about a block from town, and that whole nite you could hear them hammering and noises of tearing down.  Tue. morning was school.  Downtown was bustling with the usual traffic again.  Sometimes the streets still needed to be swept, sometimes it was done.  Some of the rides might be parked somewhere all packed up in their trucks, but most were gone.  Everything was back in order…..Another year was gone………..Then, time to get back to serious school time….yuck…

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The grandkids are growing fast.  This year Cassidy is in 8th grade.  She is living with her dad going to school in Spring Valley.  The 3 little ones are all in Putnam County Primary.  Miley is in 3rd grade, and Austin is in 1st.  They are Tina and Eds kids.  They live in Granville where the Primary School is.  It contains Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.  FB_IMG_1502996214751Here is Carly.  She is in Kindergarten this year.  Her first year of all day school.  Carly and Cassidy are Tammy’s kids.  Tammy lives in McNabb.  She is a RN so she must have been working and Tina took all 3 kids to school the first day.

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This is Carlys 2nd day.  She has curly wild hair.  It is hard to control unless in a ponytail or pigtail.   She is a cutie pie.

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And of course we must have the bus pictures.  I believe the driver is good friend Kathy.  She has been driving for so many years.  Maybe even when the kids were in school.  She loves her job and her kids.  The perfect person you want for a bus driver.  Her sister Mary Jane drives also and has for many years.  Now that Kathy’s husband retired from Cat., he drives also…….It really takes special people to do this job. This is what Tammy was doing before she became a nurse.  She loved her job and all her bus driving friends.  Rich also drove part time for many years…..They asked me,  …..NO WAY….  no patience.

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The other day, I found out some news.  I was voted Employee of the Month…..Wow…now that’s another first in my life.  I was so surprised.  I received a $50 gift card and my name on a plaque.  I want to THANK THE AWESOME MANAGERS, for voting for me.  They are a GREAT BUNCH.  This is sure a morale booster.  

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I am probably the oldest employee here.  Since school will be starting soon, the Box Office will close outside during the week.  Tickets will be sold at the Concession Counter.  I only work Box Office.  So I decided to add more hours during the week, I would try UsherNow how hard can that be!!!  …..Cleaning out the theaters after each show….Stand at Podium, Greet, take tickets and direct them to the right theater.  So Ok.

Last Saturday was training …..2-10….8 hrs…..  IT WAS AWFUL…..Now keep in mind, we are Cinemark 10…..So each show is shown 3 to 4 times a day…..so 10 theaters x 4 showings?????  40 cleanings……On my shift it would be 31 of those…..”PEOPLE ARE PIGS”….They leave their popcorn bags and buckets.  Its spilled all over the floor.  Soda cups everywhere.  Candy wrappers…..3 D glasses and wrappers.  They sneak in Soda in bottles, and candy.  They go get booster seats and leave them in the theater when they leave.  First you go through and pick up big items.  Then with the dust pan and broom you sweep up all the rows.  You only have 5 to 10 minutes and sometimes not even that.  Other theaters are leaving out.  People sit in their seats till the last credits are run.  Everything is timed.  You only have so much time and everything starts over.  It has to be ready for seating for the next show.  The bathrooms have to be checked every hour.  That means clean sink area.  Check and fill soaps, toilet paper in each stall.  Flush if needed and sweep up the floor of all the toilet paper that everyone drops…..”Do they do that at Home?????”…..I bet not.  Next it is also your responsibility to keep the lobby clean.  The popcorn buckets are filled to the max and you can watch them spill as they walk….Its like a trail….Keep the lobby swept and use the push vac on the carpet in the hallways…..It constantly has popcorn spilled on it.  Now about 3 hours in to your shift, your big garbage bins are filled.  So what ever theater is empty, go out the back exit door and empty your garbage.  Just hope its a close theater to the dumpster…..It sure wasn’t last Saturday….The farthest one possible….lol….Now do you still have free time????  Oh yes, so now take your big garbage cans to behind the Concession stand.  Their is a sink area to clean the cans.  Put on your gloves….Put disinfectant soap and water in the barrels….bend down into them and scrub with a sponge with a scratch pad on one side.  The girl who was showing me was down on her hands and knees with her body inside…..OMG…I Tried….Rinse….scrub again and Dry them…….

Now if your closing usher, these are your duties….Go upstairs to the offices and break room.  Take out garbage, vacuum the break room, sweep the stairs….It has a stairs, landing and another set of stairs….Then get the mop and bucket and mop all the stairway……Ohhhhh, I was so sore and stiff.  My knees were shaking and feet down to my toes hurt.  I was suppose to do this myself on Monday.  It was going to be really slow but still….That is a lot of activity.  I went home and told Rich….I can’t do this…I’m to old.…lol…I fully was going to go ahead and work Monday, but I got up Sunday and decided….NO WAY….I Don’t Have Too…So I talked to the GM and he totally understood.  I had to go in and find someone to replace me…..No Problem…On the bottom of my paper for reasoning to not do my shift, I wrote……”TOO OLD”…..They laughed….I Now have a new respect for Ushers.  You kids have so much energy and you work circles around me….But I will say,….in all of this, these kids are so nice.  They do great training and they are very kind.  They knew I was tired, so 2 of the kids let me stand at the Podium for the last part of the evening.   They make it all look so EASY….

received_10155225523583594Its, Not For Me….To Late to Take My Award Away….Back to the Box Office for me on Weekends……

Back In Harlingen For a Month…

Wow, hard to believe we’ve been back for over a month already.  Back to the everyday life.  So what is that…..

Rich is working on the rental trailers.  When people move out, their is always repairs or updates to be done.  He just finished replacing a floor and drawer area in the bottom of a closet that had rotted.  Now he is working in another that had a water leak in the kitchen.  New plywood and flooring, and also the counter top was so bad, that he is now building a new counter top.  He bought a sheet of laminate from Home Depot and had to cut around it and then glue both sides and glue it down.  It is a process but a huge money savings process on a counter that is an odd size.  In this picture, he had just cut it to size.  He will then take it off, glue the bottom of the laminate, and the top of the base of the counter.  He will then put the dowel rods on top of the base on the glue surface as in the picture.   Then he will lay the glued laminate down on top the dowels. Then starting on one end of the counter, he will take out the dowels one at a time, pressing down the laminate to the counter making sure their are no air bubbles.  Then he will cut a strip and do the edge the same way.  After dry he will use a router on the edge to cut it to a smooth finished edge.

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I am back at the theater, Cinemark 10.  I only work the outside box office.  During the school months the Box Office is only used on weekends.  Otherwise the tickets are sold at the Concession Stand.  I have been getting an average of 20 hrs a week give or take a few.  But the business has lessened during the week because school is beginning soon.  Starting next week during the week the tickets will again be sold at the Concession Stand.  Now I will only be getting weekend hrs.  But that ok, it is still something.  My week days will again be free.  It has been interesting in this job.  I have again met many nice customers.  I enjoy the joking that can be in 30 seconds of contact as you sell a ticket.  Some people are so spontaneous.  But then their are others.  I have been chewed out in Spanish on the Phone.   Box Office is also the switch board per say of the theater.  I answered one day and the man spoke in Spanish.  I said, “Sir I’m sorry I don’t speak Spanish”.  Now usually they change to English at this point.  Did this Guy????…..No….His voice raised and he again ranted in Spanish.  I again repeated  ”I don’t speak Spanish”  I would get a Spanish speaking person on the line.  Well, his voice raised HIGHER and LOUDER…..I can only imagine what he was saying.  So I got a manager and guess what…..He Hung Up…..lol  Oh Well…..        Another lady called one day.  Now keep in mind we have 10 theaters playing 10 or more movies.  She asked me what movies we were playing, what times, and what time did each end.  Now each movie also plays an average of 4 times a day…..Do I have time for that with customers at the window????  Nope…..Tried to be nice, but she was rather abrupt and finally hung up….Everything is online you know….About a half hour later she called again and asked about 1 specific movie.   So much easier to answer that.   Another time nobody was at the window and a customer called.  As I was answering her question, a lady and her husband came to the window and started to order their tickets.  I held up my finger saying, 1 minute please.  She stormed through the theater doors.  I was done with the call and she came out.  I apologized to her and said I was taking to a customer…..She said rather blatantly and rudely,…..”Well, I Am A Customer Too”…..He husband muttered something to her and she said, “Well never mind, Just give me my tickets“.  But most people are very nice.  I have a couple who come at least once a week.  He usually brings several pages of jokes to read.  Also a very odd old man who wears a big straw hat.  He has turned out to be the most pleasant man to talk too.  So many people come regularly because of our prices.  You see we are a discount or second run theater.  Therefore our prices are cheap.  Week ends are the most expensive….$2.79 a ticket.  Tue and Thur….$2.17 a ticket.  Monday….Groups of 3 or more $1.30….Seniors….$1.68……Wed. Discount day for all …. $1.41 for all……Most people are happy about the prices.  But you have no idea, how many people complain….”What, I thought you were the Dollar Theater” …….Go to the big citys…Check their prices…lol20170726_125930

Temperature has been running around 100 degrees.  My Box Office has A/C of course.  The other day it started raining, and it came down in sheets….It was beautiful…The temperature fell.  My windows were fogging up and it became hard to see.  I realized finally, I was getting really cold….Now that’s a new concept…Cold….I went and checked my thermostat and it was set at 61 degrees….Wow…No wonder, so I set it back at 70.  All in all it has been another experience to add to my list. It’s the first time I’ve ever handled a register.  It’s touch screen.  Once you learn it, it’s really easy.  All the employees are really nice.  Of course their mostly kids.  Some will be going off to college soon and some back to high school.

While we were in Illinois, Richs’ shed was delivered.  He needed a shed to put in his tools.  So he ordered a shed from Sam’s Club.

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So this was a shed that came in 3 million pieces, with pages of directions and pictures….OMG….so that mess is suppose to make a shed,……and it was so hot….So you work in the morning for awhile and then at nite.  I almost passed out one day, well I felt like it….lol….Finally a week later with several other guys helping he got it done.20170707_150420

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He now has a place for his tools.  We have a washer and dryer inside.  He built 2 work benches, so now he is set.20170616_194014

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Ive finally been spending time at the Pool.  The pool is around 88 degrees.  So so nice.  This is the view as you lay on your back sunning in the pool.  The gorgeous Palm Trees..…They just blow in the wind.  It still doesn’t seem possible that this is my life now.  I can do this everyday if I choose too.  I still think of the people at Advantage where I worked.  They are doing the same ole drag day in and day out…..Their is hope out their….Just takes time……My message again is “SAVE YOUR MONEY….PUT IT IN THE 401K”….After a nice dip in the pool and floating on a noodle,  lol, now time for the Spa/Hot Tub.  Ohhhh just feel those jets pound on the sore muscles.  This is the Life.      Last week we went to South Padre Island.20170716_145340

We drove to Access 6, which is free parking and entrance.  Rich had our chairs and walked up the ramp and down to the beautiful sand beach.  We found our spots in front of the Life Guard.  It was a beautiful day.  Even though it was near 100 in town, it was a wonderful cool and breezy temperature at the beach.

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This was the gorgeous view down the beach towards all the hotels and Beach Clubs.  Many people were out but it wasn’t crowded.  The water was so nice.  Wasn’t cold at all.  You could just step right in.  I walked out till it was up past my waist.  The power of the waves felt so good as they pulled you back to shore and then back out.  When it got to be hard to stand, I decided to go back and sit and just enjoy the sun. 20170728_151000

So many Sea Gulls were their.  They were watching all the picnickers and waiting for free handouts.  Sometimes they just congregated in groups and faced the Gulf and just stood their.  They were fun to watch.  We just sat their and listened to the pounding of the waves….coming in….going out…over and over.  The sounds of the Sea Gulls, and the kids and family’s on the beach.  Laughing and Playing.  Finally time to leave.

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Behind us the Beach Patrol had stopped and was visiting with the Lady Life Guard.  Now we were hungry.

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So we headed to everyone’s favorite…..Louie’s Backyard.  Well lets say one of everyone’s favorites.  Their are so many all the way up and down the beach on both sides of the island.  Louie’s is on the Bayside.  They offer fine dinning, cocktails and entertainment every nite of the week.  They offer an All-You-Can-Eat Seafood and Prime Rib Buffet in the Dinning Room, drinks and snacks on the patios by the Bay or an abbreviated Menu in the Sports Bar.  That was were we went.  They had home made Potato chips on the bar, and the Special of the nite was Barbequed Ribs.  Ohhhh Yes….That’s what we got….They were fall off the bone good, with lots of gooey sweet barbeque sauce….Yummm…..So, the end of another day….We could have stayed for entertainment on the outside patio deck on the bay but,  we were SO FULL….Time to go home.  So Ill close with a picture of a beautiful Plumeria that is growing in our Memorial Garden.

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It as started from another plant in the park.  All you do is cut off the stalk in a long piece and it will root.  Some many have been started.  This Plumeria was planted last Nov. So it hasn’t even been there a year yet.  We have a wonderful gardener in the park that has started it from a cutting and tends to it regularly.  Roberta is such a talented lady. 

She can make anything grow.