My Version of a Valentine

As some of you may or may not know, I have gone back to work. A REAL job. I had been looking unofficially for a little while. My previous job with PPS had ended so suddenly because there was not enough work to go around, and I was told to just pack up and leave one day, with no warning, they just didn’t need me any more. Since that happened, I decided that the only way I would give my time and energy to someone other than my family,would be someone or something I truly believed in. In early January an opportunity popped up. A friend of mine had a tiny flower shop up the street and got an amazing chance to move to the Main Street of our town into a prime location. She literally bought the business and moved overnight. While she had never needed an employee before, now she did. She contacted me. I was thrilled. It was a perfect fit.

I started the 2nd week in January. I knew nothing about flowers. But Boss Lady was willing to teach me. I was so ready to learn. I was in an environment with someone who trusted me from the start. She didn’t treat me like an idiot. Boss Lady showed me how to wrap flowers and do pricing schematics. I learned so much my first week. Joking she warned about Valentines Day. Her family comes in and out to help with things. Her husband helps with computer hook ups and her mother helps set ups flowers, her uncle does delivery. They all joked about Valentines Day. I was flat out warned it was intense but nothing could describe it. I was told that it would be long hours. “No problem” I said. I called in the calvary. Aka- Nana. She came down to help with the kids after school for me.

Then Valentines WEEK hit. Oh did I mention the massive snow storm we got the weekend before that delayed all of our roses??? There was a 36+ hour driving ban in MA so the trucks could not get to us. When they finally could drive the snow piles were so high on the corner that they were impossible to see around making driving so dangerous. But Oh My Goodness did Goalie and I have fun!! Punk and Bear were with their Dad that weekend ūüė¶

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Oh I’m sorry did you need milk the day before a storm?IMG_2010Kirby Ponders Snow

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Our Neighbor built a cave, note the light.IMG_2089 IMG_2094

We were not even all the way to the ground in these photos!!!

So when Valentines hit I really learned what work was. Let me say before anyone has something mean or snarky to say. I did this 100% of my own choice. At any point I could have cried “uncle” and gone home with no punishment. I chose to stay, I chose to help. I LOVED every moment of it.

I have never been so busy in my life. Every time I went to sit down (which was always a bad idea), or have a bite of lunch/dinner graciously provided by my employer or a member of her family, the phone rang or a customer came in. It was wonderful. I truly expected to see a lot of guys begrudgingly buying roses for their wife because they had to. But I only saw 1 or 2 of those out of thousands. What I did see and hear were men with stories of how much they love their wife/girlfriend and how they wanted to make her happy. Many knew exactly what she liked whether it be roses or not. Some wanted to pick out mixed flowers to show extra effort of doing something¬†themselves. It wasn’t always about them just spending the most amount of money to show her they loved her the most. Some of the sweetest stories came from the guys who didn’t have that much but were trying to be creative in other ways.

So in 4 days I worked 57 hours. I didn’t even come CLOSE to what Boss Lady worked. She was amazing. Their jokes, were true. I have never worked harder. Breaks didn’t exist for any of us. I could have taken one, any of us could, but it would put so much stress on the others. Even going to the bathroom was a risk! lol. But the days sped by. Before I knew it, it was 11pm and I hit the wall. I would be home and collapse into bed and get up at 7am the next day, drop the kids at school and head straight to work for 8:30. ¬†I stripped thorns from roses, wrapped flowers, cleaned buckets, swept floors, took orders, blew up balloons, organized the cooler, and with any luck made some people happy. I truly love my job. Every day I come in to beautiful flowers fresh from the market. Max, Boss Lady’s¬†Pitt-bull¬†hangs out with us in the shop, and our customers are generally the nicest people going. (you always get a few nut jobs no matter where you are… but they make the job interesting!) I can’t wait to do it again next year!!!

So take a moment and think, before you complain about the cost of flowers on Valentines Day. I never knew before this year, how much work went into it. Months of planing, and one seriously intense week of work. Roses don’t just get pulled out of a box and plopped into some water. Every flower was inspected, stripped of the bottom thorns, then cut on the bottom and had packing petals taken off. And that is just the start of the flower’s journey.

I am so lucky to love what I do. I still get to bake, I also get to learn a new craft and have a new creative outlet. I am just so grateful for this opportunity. And now for your viewing pleasure… some of the beautiful things I get to work with on a daily basis!

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Gerbera Daisy
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I love the colors of the roses she brings in.
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Some of our Valentine Colored Roses

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We had 5,000 RED roses for Valentines Day

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Max Stops to smell the flowersIMG_2204

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Max is ready for the doors to open!

Finding the Happy in a Rough Time.

I am sorry I have not posted in FOREVER. Sometimes, life gets away from us. Recently I had some difficult decisions to help make that involved the health and care of a very close family member to me. Decisions that HAD to be made but that no one ever wants to make. That was so all consuming. Not only of my time, but of my energy and emotions. Many years ago, I learned that these things come up, and the best thing I could do was work thru them and “find my happy” along the way. So here are the HAPPY things that¬†occurred¬†in the storm of the past few weeks.

Punk and Bear started school!!! Wow 2nd and 4th grade!! How did that happen?

 

Happy #2- I became an AllRecipes All Star! I get to try out new recipes and review new products that are provided to me! I am so awesome I even get to use a disclaimer… So.. here is my first review for you all!! Disclaimer included!

Disclaimer- I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews on Legalized Frostitution. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Cathy. This blog was written in support of Al Fresco and their Chicken Sausages.

I made stuffed mushrooms the other night. I had never really worked with cleaning out big mushrooms before. All I had ever done was chop up little white mushrooms. So I went with the recipe¬†Stuffed Portabellas¬†on Allrecipes.com. I checked the fabulous Youtube to find out how to clean those slimy suckers. Not the easiest thing ever, but not difficult. I was happy to find out that all you needed was a spoon. I was grossed out to find that the underside of a portabella, those funny line things, those are called GILLS… Gross! I wish I had taken photos of the process, but I didn’t. I was distracted with the emotional stuff. But it was WICKED easy and not hard to clean up. And they were super tasty. I loved the sausages from Al Fresco. There was not an over powering taste from the seasoning inside the sausage. One thing I generally hate about sausages of any sort is that they can have a strong taste of Fennel. I did not get this from the Al Fresco sausages. So, that being said here is a final photo of dinner… fresh out of the oven. It was SUPER good. Even Goalie who is not a fan of the texture of mushrooms loved it. The only suggestion he had (and I agreed) was to dry them better before starting the recipe. ¬†Photo time!

Happy #3. This one has been my saving grace, the bright light (other than Punk and Bear). I’m getting married!!!! Goalie proposed a while ago while we were in Costa Rica. It was amazing. Now after 2 years, I am actively planning the wedding. I am making calls and getting going! Even just 10 min of this can make me smile. I know, odd. It was a goal of ours to truly enjoy our engagement and planning process. I am looking forward to some of the DIY. Maybe I’ll even share some of it with you!!

Ok.. I showed you my happy… What is yours?