Monday, January 31, 2011

Newest Member

This past Monday I was sworn in as the newest member of the Norton Rotary Club! No, it has nothing to do with the rotary phone! Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, or internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self. I was honored to receive the invitation and I see it as a great way to meet new people and help the community. We have a soup supper we are sponsoring this Friday night at the high school basketball game. Money made will go towards scholarships for a 2 high school students.

In other community news Devin and I have signed up to be Volunteer EMT's!!! Our classes begin next week. We will have class every Tues. and Thurs. and one Saturday a month. We will finish in June. I don't know all the details yet, but being a volunteer we will have to be on-call 20 hours per month. I'm excited to learn another avenue of healthcare, and I'm glad Devin and I will be learning something new together.

We are making progress on the house. I finally have my kitchen back!! No more doing dishes in the bath tub. We are really happy with how it turned out. We painted the ceilings in all but 3 rooms. We will finish the painting when Devin returns from his ski trip and then on to flooring!! It's starting to look like a home again.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Picture Update

I finally got back to Olathe so I was able to upload some pictures of what's been going on. This was at my open house with the EMT's who came to do wellness checks. To the far left is my technician, Karen, and the far right is my cashier, Melissa. They are both great help.
My parents and sister surprised me with these pretty flowers and balloon. They received many compliments!
We've made some progress on the house. We finally got to a point where Tim could go home and rest and be with his family. All the walls and ceilings are finished with texture. Here you can see the difference from before and after.
And he's very talented on his stilts!!
One of the biggest changes has been the entry way:
They removed all the paneling, raised the ceilings and re-wired everything.
The area is now tall and open which will make a nice entrance into the house.
Another area which took a lot of time is the bathroom. Here is the before. Notice the sweet cow toilet -paper holder the previous tenants so graciously left!!

They gutted EVERYTHING!!!! We had to go without water for a couple days and it was miserable.
The men admiring the newly installed tub. I tried to talk them in to keeping the big pink one, but instead it's in the front yard. Devin says he's going to make a red-neck hot tub out of it by propping it up and putting our turkey fryer underneath it
They moved some walls, raised the ceiling, made storage, and replaced the vanity and mirror. There's still a little more to do, but here's where it's at now.
The next (and last) big project will be the kitchen. I can't wait! I've been without a sink or cupboards for weeks now! The guys have done a great job and they are exhausted! They are taking a much needed break for the holiday.
Each year Pamida has a Giving Tree which helps provide children with gifts their family cannot afford. The tree is covered with ornaments with the child's gender, age, and request and the customers choose one to buy for. The items are purchased and Pamida wraps them up and delivers them to the homes. Karen and I volunteered this past Tuesday night. Here's Santa loading our slay!

It was a great feeling helping out the community this way and making sure many had a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

November News

The days, weeks, and months continue to fly by. I can't believe the New Year will be here in just a few weeks. Norton has been full of camo and orange with all the hunters in town. They have come from all over and have brought a lot of business to Pamida and Norton. Devin has a deer tag and has been out twice a day. He hopes to snag one by this weekend. I enjoyed the craft fair on opening weekend. I was surprised by all the nice things they had. I found myself some jewelry and a wall decoration. I did have to chuckle at a few things, though.......wreaths made out of camo and shot-gun shells. HAHA Can you say Redneck??

Since I began at Pamida my supervisor has been wanting me to have a open house to get to know the community and to let them know I am here. We finally set the date for November 23. The Norton Telegram put an ad in the paper announcing the event and had a short write-up and picture of myself. For the open house we invited the EMS up to do wellness checks such as: blood pressure, blood sugar, ekg's etc. They checked 50 people with 1 being severe enough to go to the hospital. We also had a drawing for prizes, free vitamins, cookies and coffee. I thought it turned out ok, although I was a little disappointed that none of the doctors, dentist, city officials, etc. did not come. It would have been nice to meet the some of the practitioners I fill scripts for.

And then the house......oh boy. Devin's friend, Tim, from Phoenix has been here since the middle of November. He's a jack of all trades and his work has been awesome. All of the rooms except the kitchen and bathroom have new walls and ceilings. He textured everything and it looks so good! They're working on the kitchen now which means I've had no sink or stove. We've had to eat out a few times, and I've done some cooking in my crock-pot and George Foreman grill in my bedroom. Yes, the bedroom. It's the only place that isn't covered with dust, insulation, or nails. My bath tub is now serving dual purpose as my kitchen sink. I never thought I would ever be doing dishes in the tub. The dogs aren't have much fun either. They have mud in their ears and they smell like dirt. Oh, and we have mice now too! It's been really annoying, but I know it's not going to last forever and it's part of the process. I'm so thankful that Tim is helping us out and was willing to be away from his family for this long. He even missed Thanksgiving. I made a big feast here for the 3 of us since we were unable to travel to our families for the day. The guys have been working so hard every day and are very tired and sore. I need to see if anyone in Norton gives massages. They sure deserve one!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Norton Happenings

Yes I know. It's been awhile. I guess I just haven't felt like sitting down and writing, but there has been quite a bit going on. Work gets better each day. I continue to learn more and become comfortable in my new role. I got my extra help hired. She's a clerk for now, but just the simple tasks like helping customers and answering the phone helps Karen and I focus on other things and get caught up on projects that have been put off for weeks. She just started last week, and is catching on so fast. I eventually want her to get her technician license so she can help us in more ways.

I had my first visitors come stay with me!!!! Well........not WITH, but in the driveway rather...... in the RV. I don't quite have the accommodations yet to fully entertain, so mom, dad, and Renee came with their own housing. I'm glad they got to come see Norton and my pharmacy. We drove around town, ate a good lunch at Destination Kitchen, made chili, and watched a the RV of course! I would like to point out, though, that my 1 lawn chair has now been up-graded to 3 additional folding chairs and a blow-up mattress! I'm really missing my dishwasher. I can't imagine washing dishes for a whole family! I think, however that I miss my washer and dryer even more. I have to be pretty strategic in what I wear since I don't know when the next laundry day will be. Devin has been doing a great job taking loads of laundry back to KC and doing it there for me, and bringing it back on his next trip.

Devin was back the week before Halloween and we wanted to check out Norton's traditional Halloween Parade! It's sponsored by the Volunteer Fire Department and it was really cute. It was fun to see all the kids (and parents) dressed up in their costumes.

The parade zig-zagged thru downtown and ended at the fire station where each participant was give a hot dog to roast in the fire pits.
My Halloween at the house was pretty uneventful. These were the only trick-or-treaters I had!!!
They look so excited, don't they?? I couldn't believe it. Not one kid!! Devin had 100s in KC and ran out of candy. I didn't feel too bad, because I talked to my neighbor today and they didn't have any either.
Probably the most exciting news it that demolition has begun on the house!! I am so ready for this place to change and to see the results when it's all done. I don't know if I mentioned that the house is an old school house. Here is the lovely establishment:

As you can see it has a very tall roof, but they lowered the ceilings for some reason. I wanted a tall entry way so that is where we started. Check out all the sweet paneling!!

Devin worked his butt off and made a huge mess, but the walls and ceiling are gone.

He also started tearing off paneling in the kitchen, laundry, and bathroom. His good friend Tim from Phoenix is a sheet-rocker and is flying in this weekend to start re-doing all the interior walls. He's planning to be here until the inside is done, so hopefully it moves along quickly. I'll try to update with pictures, but I can only load them on my KC computer, so I will do my best!
I made it back to KC for the first time this past weekend. It was so nice to stay in a nice smelling house with furniture!!!!! It was great to see some of my family and old co-workers. I'm glad I got away to take a break from work for awhile and clear my head.
This coming weekend is the much-anticipated weekend of the year!! It's a big event..........opening weekend for pheasant hunting!!!!!! The town doubles in size and hunters come from all over to hunt here. Apparently it's the pheasant capital of the US! I took Saturday off, not to go hunting, but to attend the big craft fair that happens this weekend as well. Four different buildings will be full of vendors. I thought I would have some company this weekend, but that all changed, so I will be checking things out by myself. I'm excited, though. I think it will be fun, and a big weekend for the community.
So I'm going to a party tomorrow night! My neighbor invited me to a home decorating party given by a lady she goes to church with. She thought I needed to get out of the house, meet some more people, hang out with the ladies and enjoy food and drink. Okay!!!! I think it will be a fun night out.
So that's the scoop for now!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Survived week #1

Well I've been the PIC at Pamida and living in Norton for 1 week now. Work has been busy and a little stressful. Everything moves a little slower with me there since I am still trying to learn the system. I was frustrated, but each day got a little better, and my tech tells me I'm catching on well. I know things will get better; I cant change things over night. I'm so busy with pharmacy things that I don't have time to do any of the cleaning, organizing, or even check my work email. We got the OK to hire a 3rd person, which will help tremendously, but the hardest part is finding the time to get an ad out and setting up interviews! That's my goal for this next week. The days go by fast and I'm usually exhausted when I get home. We've had to stay late, and I've even gone in an hour early some days to get a head start, so my days have been long. I'm meeting a lot of the customers and still really excited about the job. Once I get more comfortable with things it will be great. We've already gained a few more customers. I transferred 7 prescriptions yesterday from the other pharmacy downtown!!

I've been trying to get out in the community. Thursday night the Young Professionals Group was having activities downtown: silent auction, free hot chocolate, dance performances, jumping gym for the kids, etc. and most of the business were open. I went and got information on the Young Professionals Group and plan to go to their next meeting. I think that would be a great organization for me to get involved in. I introduced myself to the other pharmacist downtown since we do a lot of talking on the phone, and I strolled thru the businesses. They have a lot of cute stores.
Friday night I went to the big rival football game Norton vs. Smith Center. Norton prevailed 41-20. Go Bluejays!! Everyone was super excited.
Saturday night I went to the little theatre downtown and saw Walstreet: Money never sleeps. Good movie for those of you wanting to see it. Sounds like they get a lot of good movies there.
They also have a new Mexican Restaurant in town that I've checked out a couple times.

And then there's my poor house. I've realize now just how fortunate I was to always have a nice clean home. When deciding on a place, we wanted something pretty inexpensive and something we could fix up. We thought it would be fun to have a project and see how we could turn a place around. It's something we've never done before. We found an ad in the paper for a house with a huge lot, 3 car garage ( which is very unusual in Norton) new roof, new copper piping, and new AC/furnace. Sounds great! We went to look at it and it happened to be an old school house that they added on to. It is really tall; you would think it was 2 story, but there's only just one. Large kitchen, 3 small bedrooms., family room, and a small unfinished basement. It definitely has character and a lot of potential. It was being rented at the time to a couple guys with 2 big dogs. The carpet was in pretty bad shape, but it was livable. I didn't move much; a bed, clothes, a few kitchen items, and the $40 fridge and microwave Devin snagged at a garage sale the day before we left. When we got here, the house was in worse shape then what we remembered. It smells so bad....kind of like barnyard/dog/urine/old lady. The carpet is very soiled.....I don't even want to walk on in without shoes! We're hoping to rip up the carpet and get started on a few things when Devin comes back in a couple weeks. We're still very excited about the place and know this is just temporary. I'll have to post pictures as we go.
I finally got Internet and cable on Friday!!! I was about to go nuts!! I've spent a lot of time staring at my dogs. At least I have them to keep me company and entertained. I'll probably be making a trip to Clay Center next weekend to do laundry......or I guess I could rinse my clothes out with the hose and hang it on the clothes line. Living like this is pretty comical.......but also sad because I know there are a lot of people in this town that really do live like this. I am very thankful.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

On the road.....

I'm pooped. I didn't know traveling took so much out of you! It all began last Friday. I headed down to Hutch for the State Fair and camped in the RV with my folks. It was so hot that we spent most of the time in the AC watching football. I did manage to make a quick sweep of the grounds and found me some traeger pellets and seasonings, a garlic mincer, and a fragrance thingy; along with my kettle corn and turkey leg! We visited with some of Devin's family and then I made the 4 hour drive up to Norton. I worked in my new store Monday and Tuesday, then headed 2 hours north to North Platte, NE for a manager's meeting on Wednesday. I enjoyed the meeting. I learned a little more about Pamida and it's future and brought home ideas to use in my pharmacy. I then drove 5 hours to Clay Center and spent the night with my parents. My friend, John, from Pharmacy School manages the Patterson's Health Care Pharmacy in Abilene and was in desperate need of help on Thursday. I couldn't not help a friend or my hometown pharmacy, so I grabbed a couple nut rolls and headed to Abilene Thursday morning and worked 9 hours, then drove 3 hours back to Olathe. I could barely keep my eyes open! We were supposed to have a garage sale Friday morning. That didn't happen. We were supposed to have a garage sale today. That didn't happen either. I had no energy to get everything together. It's taking all I have to get boxes and totes put together of basic necessities to move to Norton. I'll be heading back to Norton Sunday morning to begin working full-time. I'll be glad to be in one place for awhile!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The New Gig

I will be managing Pamida Pharmacy. I've heard of Pamida, we have one in Clay Center, but I never knew they have pharmacies in some of their stores. Their focus is small town, rural communities. Here are a few things that attracted me to the position: open M-F 9:00am-6:00pm, Saturday 9am-1pm; NO holidays; NO drive-thru; less corporate control and demands....they allow the managers to run the pharmacy like independent pharmacies and provide funding; slow-paced and relaxing atmosphere; paid time off for community service; work with just a hand-full of doctors and nurses; paid for every minute I'm more donating time, etc. There will be things I will miss about Walgreens; they are the best in retail pharmacy and the computer system is top-notch, but I'm ready for the change. The Norton Pamida has a lot of potential. There hasn't been a full-time pharmacist there in about 2 years, which deters customers from coming. It's a mess and needs cleaned-up and organized. I have a lot of challenges ahead of me. I have 2 days left at Walgreens. I don't think it has really hit me yet. I work a couple days next week in Norton, travel to Nebraska for a manager's meeting, and will begin full-time on the 27th. The next few weeks will be nothing but work, work, work so we're heading to Hutch this weekend to enjoy the fair, family, and crappy food.