Friday, May 28, 2010

Sleepless nights = no bueno

It's 4:28 a.m. and I have to start getting for work in exactly 32 minutes. I worked until 10 and got home 15 minutes later. Got tired and attempted to lay down for bed. And yeah, as you can see that was completely unsuccessful.

This week so far has been kind of crazy. I started back at my new (old/original) store on Monday and I have sooooooo much work to do. I have to admit that I'm a little bit overwhelmed. I knew it was a little messy and I needed to do a basic overhaul of the department but I had no idea it was in such bad shape. We're short handed management wise, so for now I'm stuck closing more than I normally do. That makes it kind of hard to really get anything done. Plus, I have to get used to working in a high volume store again. Much busier than I remember it to be!

Closing all the time has also of course put Mac and I on opposite schedules. He closes when I have an early shift and I close when he's off or has an early shift. Go figure! So we haven't been able to spend any time together this week at all.

But overall, I am kind of excited about my new "project". I can't wait to see the finished product even though it's going to be a sloooooooooooooow process. Lots of broken things that I'm not really sure how to fix. (Lucky for me that my dad is an electrician and knows how to do a lot of plumbing! Comes in handy when having to fix a huge 3,100+ gallon fish system!)

I'll probably be M.I.A. for the next month working so hard. I have pretty much been worn out every single day I have left work this week. (And yet, I'm still awake?) I'm so looking forward to my two days off in a row and a 4 day work week next week. Though, I have a ton of stuff I could be doing at work!

Wish me luck at keeping sane these next few weeks! :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Today ends a chapter of my life. Another begins on Monday. ;)

Monday, May 17, 2010

I heart my job.

I've worked for PetSmart for going on 9 years now. (Who knew a part-time job in high school would turn out to be my career?) But I loooooooooooooove my job. I wanted to share a few videos to show you the fun parts I get to have almost every single day when I'm at work.

Enjoy.

Chinchilla dust bath.





Baby Guinea Pigs and their mommy. (Note: This was a mommy that came to us preggers, we don't promote this!)





Two Sun Conures we had that were pretty much in love. The one inside the cage, we are pretty sure is a girl and the one outside was a boy. Watch how the female acts!





This is the same female Sun Conure doing her daily dance every time someone comes up to pay her some attention. Too cute!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

The aftermath.

This summer has been off to a crazy start. The torrential rain that flooded nearly the entire state of Tennessee. We have even MORE rain yesterday and the day before and I have heard it was several inches again in some areas.

A week ago, my friend Larissa and I went and volunteered through Hands on Nashville to do some flood clean up in the area of Bellevue. We weren't sure what to expect but knew that it was going to be both physically and mentally hard for us to do. The 40 minute drive turned into over an hour from Spring Hill due to most of the roads I knew to get to Bellevue were closed from the damage from the flooding. We finally arrived at the meeting point with Cross Point Church and waited to be sent to our clean up site. I was pretty nervous because I have never volunteered for something like this before.

We were grouped together with 6 other people and headed to our clean up site at around 10:30 a.m. I immediately noticed how the roads were covered in caked dry mud as we were sitting at the light to get onto I-40. A car was sitting at a gas station covered in dried mud. And the trees were caked with it almost to the top. The was how high the water got that trapped over 7,000 people in the area. Unbelievable.

When we first got to the neighborhood, the first several streets were totally untouched by the dangerous flood waters. But the rest of the neighborhood got hit so hard and were damaged beyond belief. The entire street looked like this with piles and piles of their damaged belongs outside in the front lawn.



This was 5 days after the rain stopped. Most of these houses were still underwater 2 to 3 days before we were here. People were still being rescued by boat and most of this area, if not all, did not have power or cell phone service. The smell of mold was getting worse because the temperature outside had been at least 85 degrees for most of the week. But people had already been making incredible progress gutting their houses and cleaning up and beginning to move on.

There is a creek and a walking trail that runs behind this neighborhood which unfortunately was the cause to most of the flooding. The first house we went to was two stories, so luckily they didn't lose as much as most people but they still lost a lot. We talked to one of the neighbors and she described to us just how fast the water rose. She said that the rain started out slowly and didn't seem like anything out of the ordinary until she saw the water rising through the fence in her backyard. She said it slowly began to creep up to the back of her house and in a matter of 30 minutes the lower level of her house began flooding. :(

The first house we went to had already been gutted.



The family that lived here had a little boy that was probably around 7 years old that was right there with us tearing out dry wall and pulling nails. He was so upbeat about fixing up his house for his parents. It was heartbreaking and very uplifting at the same time to see a child so willing and moving on even after he lost his bike and other toys that had been damaged.

Larissa and I then were taken to another part of the neighborhood with the church volunteer and the job we were given was not one we expected to get. We had to go door to door to about 30 houses with forms to help organize more of the clean up efforts for the rest of the weekend. The majority of these houses didn't even have front doors or windows, so we basically had to walk in each house to introduce ourselves to total strangers that had lost everything they owned. Most of the houses on these streets had only been one level and the water had risen to about 5 to 6 feet inside.

I figured that since we deal with strangers everyday at work that it was probably best that Larissa and I were the ones doing this out of our clean up team. People cried and thanked us so much for asking and it was hard to keep it together. Seeing people's positive spirits even though they lost everything....I really can't even describe in enough words how it made me feel.

Our last project of the day was even harder. We had to sort through various books, pictures, documents, letters, etc. and lay them out to dry in the sun. Most were going to be able to be salvaged but we had to be very careful not to tear anything. This lady had boxes and boxes of scrapbook supplies that had to be thrown out because there was no way to save them. The only belongings that remained were a dresser, dishes, a kitchen table and chairs, and a TV cabinet. Her house was only one story and she lost pretty much everything she owned. But fortunately, a lot of her personal momentos we were able to save for her.

She came over to me to ask how her pictures looked and hugged me and thanked me for being so delicate with her personal items. She started to cry and told me how much she just wanted her house back. She has two children in elementary school and most of their toys and clothes were completely washed away in the flood waters. It was so incredibly hard to have to go through someone's personal belongings like this.



Every house basically looked like this. Even in all of the devastation and chaos, it was emotionally draining to see all of these images in person instead of on TV and the Internet. But it was even more amazing to talk to these people and have them thank you so much for just coming out to help even if we weren't helping them directly. We were helping someone in their community and it meant something to every single person there. I am glad we were given the chance to have a part in helping to clean up our wonderfully amazing state. And I hope to be able to do much, much more when I'm not working.

And the phrase everyone's saying shouldn't be "We Are Nashville". It should be "We Are TENNESSEE!"

<3

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happiness is.....

being able to laugh all the time. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tennessee Flood - May 2010

The last several days have just been so hard for me to wrap my head around. The flooding in Tennessee is so horrific and I break down in tears every time I see footage of the damage. Several counties are still considered dangerous flood zones because the water has not gone down enough. I feel very, very, very thankful to be alive and to have all of my family, pets, friends, and belongings safe from the flood. It literally breaks my heart into pieces to know about all of the people that have lost everything and have lost family members, friends, and pets.

With the world of social networking, it's been a great way for all of us to keep each other informed and connected to what has happened to our home. I am proud to be from a state where everyone has come together so quickly to do what they can to help. People risking their lives in the flood waters to save other people. Unbelievable.

But for now, the recovery has begun. Still many without power and water but everyone is pitching in to help. I volunteered today at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle TN to sort through food that will be put together for flood victims. It was a lot of work but it really was awesome to see a group of 40 something strangers get together and work together so quickly to go through pallets and pallets and pallets of food.

Friday is going to be a lot harder for me. My friend and co-worker, Larissa, and I are going to Bellevue, TN to help with flood debris cleanup. It was one of the hardest hit areas and from what I have already seen on TV, the residents really need the help sorting through their belongings. It's going to be a lot of hard work but I am glad that I can help in any way I can.

I love my state.

(Picture from tennessean.com)