I’m so lucky to be able to continue working despite Covid’s impact on daily activities. Some tasks can be done at home and others in a warehouse where I’m working alone. There is some interaction with others, but it’s easy to maintain the appropriate distance and wear a mask.
The warehouse work, I may have previously mentioned, is lettering storage units. The basic job is to remove old labels from the units, clean off dried up glue, and apply vinyl numbers/letters. It’s a straightforward task made fiddly as the area being worked on is about ten feet in the air. Initially, I was working off a ladder. Up the ladder to spritz with Goo Gone and the scraping off residual glue would commence. Rats, I dropped the scraper. Down the ladder to retrieve said tool and back up. Ooopsie. There go the paper towels. Down and up again. Drag the ladder, bottles of this and that, crate of materials to the next unit and start over. By the time the end of a row was reached, all units were ready to have the vinyl applied. I make all the vinyl bits on a Cricut machine. It takes about 2.5 hours to go from uncut vinyl to this point, for about 16 units.
The numbers are input into the computer and individually sized. A few pushes of buttons later and 12″ X 12″mats of vinyl are cut. Once cut, each label is weeded out, and the label is ready to be transferred to the storage unit.
On the ground to apply transfer tape to the label. Up the ladder to apply label to unit. Scrape, scrape, scrape to be sure the vinyl has adhered to the metal surface. Gosh, there goes the scraper now. Down the ladder and back up again. Ever so carefully the transfer tape is peeled away. Pooh. Air bubbles. More scraping with my nails and the plastic piece and, voila, one unit is done.
Working off a ladder, I can complete an average 15 units in four hours if the glue isn’t particularly stubborn to remove. There are 600 units to be labeled. You do the math.
Well, in the course of the first week, a bottle of Goo Gone went tumbling down, smashed on the concrete, and leaked all over. Fortunately, not into a customer’s storage unit. Countless numbers of extra trips up or down the ladder were made to retrieve items that fell or were forgotten in the first place. I quickly learned not to handle the transfer and painter’s tapes at the same time after they adhered to one another and a new label had to be made..
Your eyeballs may be stuck up against the lids reading the steps to completing one unit, but I enjoy this type of picky work. It doesn’t strain the brain any and I can see immediate progress with each application. No one bothers me and when interactions do occur, are always of a pleasant, general nature. At the end of a few hours I’m off to the next adventure knowing no other thoughts about this assignment will linger beyond the labels that need to be made for the next day.
PLUS! I get to ride this baby now. It’s a scissor lift! It’s not speedy, by any means, but all the gear can be loaded on so no more trudging back and forth two to three times pulling out equipment when starting or ending the work day. I love power tools and anything like this! Now, each unit can be cleaned off and labeled at one go while I work from a platform. No more dropping or oooopsying!
Recipe of the Week: 12 Minute Chicken Stir-Fry
This is one of the easiest stir-fry recipes I’ve ever done. I use chicken tenders and bits, which is a timesaver. The original recipe from gimmesomeoven.com calls for just the chicken and broccoli. As you can see, I added shredded carrots. The next time, red and yellow peppers were thrown in too. Yummy.
Saute chicken, about a pound for two people is more than enough, in some olive oil. While that’s happening, throw the stir fry sauce together in a bowl: 2/3 C water, 1/3 C reduced sodium soy sauce, 3 T rice vinegar, 2 T cornstarch, 2 T honey, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 t ground ginger.
Once the chicken has browned up a bit, toss in the broccoli and any other veggies you’re having and cook another 3 minutes or so. Pour in the stir-fry sauce and cook over low heat until the sauce has thickened (takes about another minute). Stir in 1 T sesame oil at the last minute and get ready for a treat (if you don’t have any sesame oil, it’s still great)! I like to serve this over rice or quinoa. You decide!
Tip of the Week: This is for the cappuccino lovers out there. Starbucks pretty much has a lock on this market. I’ve tried them at Dunkin’ and McDonald’s. The machines used in these facilities don’t produce a product quite like that made in the traditional manner.
The Starbucks menu tells you the sizes are tall, grande, and venti. There is one more option not mentioned, and that’s the short. Ask for it and you’ll get it. The baristas know their product, even though it’s “one we don’t speak of.”
The short cappuccino, is one shot of espresso and then the milk/foam are added in. For the tall order, IT’S ALSO ONE shot of espresso. You’re paying for more milk/foam which dilutes the shot to where it tastes like cafe au lait and not really getting a larger cappuccino. Save yourself a little money (adds up over time since it’s almost a dollar difference in price) and order a short cappuccino versus the tall (or go for the gusto and shoot right up to the two shot grande). Get the added bonus of tasting the coffee creaminess of the espresso/milk/foam combo as it’s meant to be.
By the way, the grande has two shots and the venti has……….YES! Two shots of espresso. Funny how marketing works.
Onward and upwards to my nearest Starbucks for a well-earned treat!