Friday, November 6, 2015

Under a Starry Sky

4:30 am, I have the day off, so I told hubby I would warm up the car for him. "Are you sure?" he asks. "Yeah, it's fine!" I answer as I grab my jacket. After all, I'm not working today and yesterday his throat was sore.

I walk out into the chilly night under a canopy of stars, not as many stars as the desert, but far more than in the city. I see my familiar friends...Orion, the Pleiades, Cassiopeia, and a most beautiful crescent moon with a trio of planets, Venus, Jupiter and Mars. I start the car and rush back in to grab my camera. "The moon! It's beautiful!" I tell hubby.

I take a few shots. I know they won't be great. I just don't have the camera for good moon shots.

Later, after I edit them, I am reminded of my high school science extra credit report that I did mid-winter in Los Aangeles. Amid "freezing" temperatures (I thought), I set up the telescope each night and trained it on Jupiter. I hand-drew the positions of the 4 larger moons. My teacher was impressed.

My telescope followed me to the Midwest, but it was rarely used. Summer nights were humming with mosquitoes. I detest wearing repellent. It requires a lot of spray to ward off bites. Bugs love me, mosquitoes, fleas, you name it, if they bite, they will find me. Then there is the humidity. I absolutely detest humidity. I was married 41 years to first hubby and for 41 years I heard, "You'll get used to it." But nooooo I never did, and I moved out of it as soon as I could.

Winter is another story. Midwest winters are COLD. not L.A. at night or Crescent City at night cold, but freeze your @ss off cold. that I do miss. I miss the colors. We have fall colors here, but the predominant pine forests keep the landscape mostly green. I left my telescope with my older daughter, her new hubby and his two kids. That's OK.

Changing the subject. I worked yesterday. It was crazy. A large portion of residents here receive government checks, apparently, because they all swarm into Walmart soon after the third of the month. As everyone does, items are not placed back in proper spots on the shelves and unwanted items are jettisoned off shopping carts everywhere. I had a cart full of items to return to the shelves, plus straightening up plus stocking. My department manager lamented about the mess and the fact that no one is there on Sundays since they gave me that day off.

"I'm not giving up my Sunday." I answered.

She told me she will need to talk to her manager. She even tried to make me feel guilty by telling me that she and her boyfriend work completely different shifts and never get to see each other, and that she might need to come in to work on Sunday. She is understandably stressed. Walmart always pushes Department Managers to the limit.

My hubby, having gotten home early yesterday, dropped me off at work and bought me a coffee. I took him aside and told him what my manager said. "Don't give up your Sunday!" he said. "Even if they give you bulls__t, don't do it. Quit if you want to. It's not your problem if they can't find someone to work on Sunday" he reassured me.

This month is a strange one at Walmart. Corporate HQ told the managers to cut employee hours by 1,000 hours. Everyone has their hours cut, but the same amount of work needs to be completed. The holidays are coming, and even more work must be done, by the same few people, in fewer hours. Overtime is absolutely NOT allowed. If anyone in the store works overtime then payroll goes over 100%, and that is darkly frowned upon by Corporate. Employees who repeatedly clock out late will be "coached" (scolded) . Furthermore, Walmart stock is dropping and share holders are nervous. Corporate tries to explain it by saying it's because they had to raise employee wages and because of all the shrink in US markets. Shrink is theft. Walmart...the store everyone loves to hate, but they still shop there.

Enough of that. It's 6:38 am, time for my nap. I want to get some things done today, and then take a walk with my hubby when he gets home from work. Here is a moon shot from this morning.
There was a third planet somewhere, but it's not showing up...