Since 2010 I have lived in Rosemount, MN, a suburb of 21,000 people in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. Rosemount was settled in the 1800s by Irish settlers who had gotten off the train there, and the city still retains its ethnic identity. The high school team is called the Irish and the annual hometown festival is called Leprechaun Days.
We go to the festival every year. It is held in late July in lieu of Fourth of July festivities. It features a parade (this year my niece and sister marched with the Girl Scouts), music, fair in Central Park (we went last night and it was fun), and fireworks, which we saw from my sister’s house last night. There are many other activities for adults, teens, and children; for more on the festival, see http://www.rosemountevents.com
I love the food days at work. Yesterday we had an indoor picnic and dined on baked and fried chicken, potato salad, watermelon, baked beans with hamburger, rolls, and assorted desserts including brownies, pie, and eclairs. It was a potluck; I brought brownies as my side dish.
Today we celebrated our team lead’s birthday and we had cupcakes and cookies. We celebrated Thanksgiving just before the holiday with turkey and all the trimmings. We also had a Christmas party.
We have food once a month or so. There is a Wah-Hoo committee which puts a lot of these events on. I have been invited to help with the next event and would like to do that.
Next week my guest blog post, now titled “Lessons From Amazon”, is scheduled to appear in the Loyalty Scheme Blog which is published by the Institute of Customer Loyalty in the UK. So now my work has gone international. I received the news in an email Tuesday morning. I’m thrilled and my family and co-workers are happy for me. I plan to bring brownies to work to celebrate, and our team lead asked me to send our team a link to the blog. I am already planning a second guest blog post to be submitted in August.
I’m still reeling from the massacre at the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado early yesterday morning. Twelve people were killed and 59 injured, including children. To me, going to the movies is commonplace and fun, and I don’t worry about my safety–until now. I first heard about the shooting when I got up yesterday morning–I had taken the day off to work on a guest blog post (more about that later) and I was surfing the Net before I went upstairs to have breakfast. I posted a question on LinkedIn about the massacre and 26 people have responded so far.
In between working on my guest blog post and going to a therapist appointment, I watched CNN’s coverage. It was sad to hear about the victims, especially the young aspiring sports writer who escaped a mall shooting in Toronto last month only to be killed in this one, and a young man who died on his 27th birthday.
I was talking about the shooting with my Befriender from church, Michelle, this morning at Wendy’s. We had gotten together as we usually do, several times a month, to have a Coke and talk. I had lunch as well. A Befriender is a lay minister who develops a caring relationship with a person in emotional and spiritual need–some churches call this person a Stephen Minister. Michelle and I have been meeting since November, when I contacted the church for help in my grief over Frodo.
As I mentioned, I have been writing a guest blog post this week for the Loyalty Scheme Blog out of London, England (http://www.iamloyal.co.uk/blog) published by the Institute of Customer Loyalty. I was invited to do so by James Carter, of the Institute, who asked a question on LinkedIn about customer behavior which I answered. The blog comes out on a daily basis and the Guest Blogger Program starts this Monday. I told the administrator of the blog that I would get my entry in by the 30th, if not sooner, but I plan to get it in by this Monday in case there is need for revision. The thesis of my blog entry is that customers can be loyal to an online website and I’m using Amazon (http://www.amazon.com) as an example. I’ll let you know what happens.
My church, Community of Hope, is having a July sermon series called “A Day With Jesus At The Lake.” Today’s sermon was about Jesus calming the storm (Matthew 8). It must have been some storm to scare the fishermen/disciples in the group. Jesus was sleeping but they woke Him up and he rebuked the wind and the waves. Jason Lovold, our executive pastor, said Jesus can calm the storms in our lives too. I have found that to be true. I had some serious storms last year, with the passing of Frodo and Grandma, but this year seems to be more smooth sailing for me.
We also had teens and college students sharing about their mission trips to Mexico and a U.S. Indian reservation. They talked about the conditions under which they ministered, what they did with the people, and how God became more real to them. One girl was from my women’s ministry and I ate with her and her mom at a retreat this spring. I didn’t know she was going to Mexico. She talked about the lack of privacy, the poor hygiene conditions, the heat, and the guns the policemen had who were stationed nearby.
Today is National ice Cream Day and after a nap I went for ice cream at Dairy Queen with my parents (I suggested the trip). My mom and I had Blizzards (she had a Snickers and I had a Chocolate Xtreme) and my dad had a caramel shake. The ice cream was very good.
I may be guest blogging on the Loyalty Scheme Blog which comes out of the UK, but still plan to keep this blog up as much as I can. I wrote a query email to the two in charge of the blog, pitching an idea I had and also asking some questions. The blog is about customer service and I plan to blog about my experiences and loyalty to Amazon and Lands’ End. It starts July 23rd and will be indexed on Facebook and Twitter. I hope it works out that I guest blog for them as I really want to do it.
I took the day off from 3M today. I had a dentist (cleaning) appointment at 2 and I slept in and did some laundry this morning before it got too hot. I try to take 1 to 2 days off work each month, when I can manage it, in addition to holidays, as mental health/chore/errand days. It works well for me. When I don’t work, I don’t get paid, but I can afford to take a day off now and then. My next day off is July 23, when I have a therapist appointment and will catch up on writing and chores around the house.
We had some record hot days this week, hitting over 100 two days (July 4 and 6). The normal high is 84. I’m keeping cool by drinking plenty of water and wearing polo shirts everywhere (to work with slacks, everywhere else with shorts).
We had a great church service this morning. I’m glad we can wear shorts to Community of Hope as it was 81 when I got out of church at 10:00 am. I’m enjoying that church more and more as I see women from the women’s ministry whom I know, and hear good teaching. Today we heard from Jason Miller, our teaching pastor, who preached from Mark 1:14-20, when Jesus calls the first disciples from their fishing boats on the Sea of Galilee. Jason told us that not everyone today is called to leave their jobs as the disciples did, but we are called to follow Jesus and put down our own nets. He challenged us to listen to Christ to see what He is calling us to do.
Tomorrow I am taking off as I have chores to do, and a cleaning at the dentist’s, but it’s back to work on Tuesday. On the 25th I will celebrate one year at 3M.
So far it’s a lazy Fourth. I have the day off, and I am doing laundry. I made 2 ice tea. I slept in until 8:30. Today my mom and I are going to see “Brave” and my parents and I will have a ribs dinner tonight. I decided not to go to church tonight as it is very hot (it’s supposed to be 102 today).
Last night my sister invited me to go out with them to Buffalo Wild Wings to eat dinner and play trivia. Our team, MRJJ (named for Jen, her husband John, and their kids Matt and Rachel) won the round with 24, 400 points and we placed 316th in the US. We rock!
Today I’m seeing how far I’ve come economically in the past year. This time last year I was getting ready for a job interview on the 5th of July, which I didn’t get (it was for a temporary job). This year I’ve been at my contract job at 3M almost a year (I started July 25, 2011) and it’s expected to last at least one more year. I am grateful.
Have a great 4th of July everyone!