Roller Coaster

Roller Coaster Making a LoopI’m on a roller-coaster of emotions these last few weeks and days of Autumn.  Some days I’m anxious for the ride to start, some days I’m feeling a little “loop-de-loop” queasy and other days I’ve got an adrenaline rush of excitement.

Whyhowcome?  I’ll tell ya.  First, of course, my birthday’s in October and there’s always the anticipation of birthday cards, greetings, and maybe surprises.   Honestly, I have the best birthday time of year.  When I was a kid, school had already started so there was always a birthday party (no, not at school.  School was for school.  The party was at our apartment.) I grew up in NY and the leaves had started to turn (for my birthday celebration, of course!) and the weather was turning cooler and crisper.  I knew once that happened we were on a downward plunge to “My Favorite Holiday” — Christmas!  So my birthday touched off the start of the whole holiday season.

Now I have to tell you… when I was in school, we got our report cards in mid-October — usually on or just before my birthday (it depended on the day of the week it fell on, I think).  I loved school and my report card was ALWAYS a good one, so no fears, just reinforcement that I was doing something right!  I have never been anxious about getting grades (well, with the exception of science, especially in High School and college).  All 90’s and A’s goes a long way toward a great birthday!

So, there I was, enjoying my birthday… when just 4 days later… I had a job interview!  YES, the 2nd one in 4.5 years, and I was NERVOUS.  Me!  I’m rarely nervous, but that morning I was.  One of the few people who knew in advance that I had an interview asked, “how did it go?”  I always think it goes well.  This feeling didn’t help the nerves.  What if I bombed out completely and here I am thinking I really aced it?  Well, I didn’t have to wait long because by 11:30 the next morning I had a new full-time, benefit-carrying job!  So, we’re up on top of the rails again…. but… there was a 2 week waiting period to start the new job.  Would I like it?  Who would I work with?  What was the new commute going to do to my sanity (no cracks!)?  Could I actually get up at 5:30 IN THE MORNING?  What’s that?  Yes, the coaster was plunging again!

The appointed day came:  I was prepared.  Clothing all laid out, breakfast planned, lunch made and lunchbox at the ready, car gassed up… and OFF I WENT.  Only to hit a TREMENDOUS traffic snarl and when I should have been 1/2 an hour early, I ended up arriving 15 minutes late (due, also, in part to the fact that I’d accidentally entered the incorrect street address in my GPS app, and then had to crawl across town to my ultimate destination.  So I was Up & Down at the same time.

And they were waiting for me, with coffee & baked treats, a bottle of sparkling cider, a going upcolorful plant and a bag of pumpkin spice yogurt pretzels.  What a nice welcome.  Going UP!

The first three days (Wednesday  – Friday) were without any other incidents, until it came time to leave for home on Friday.  Now, the traffic around here is a MESS on any given day at any given time, but FRIDAY afternoon is probably the worst.  I blame it on lack of highway planning when laying out communities and when building corporate parks.  The thought of “how are people going to get from home to work” was not anticipated in the planning, and now we have to do the best we can with what they’ve given us.  I am fortunate in that I have a couple of NORTH-SOUTH options, but when it comes to EAST-WEST, I’m stymied for an alternate route.  (But it’s only been 2 weeks… give me a little time to figure it out!)  It took about 2 1/2 hours to get home — a MAJOR DOWNWARD NOSEDIVE!

OH… here’s the upswing… I didn’t have to work on Saturday morning!  Job 2 has gone by the wayside.  My last day was the day before Halloween, when I wore my home-made pumpkin shirt and tutu, and then bid them a fond adieu as I drove away as a ‘former employee’.  I have to confess, I’m not unhappy about the fact that BLACK FRIDAY and I will not meet!  I loathe Black Friday and all it stands for, and until Job 2, I DID NOT LEAVE MY HOUSE on that day.  I would spend the day baking cookies, as it was meant to be!  I shall take up my spatula and continue this happy tradition again this year!

I’m still a little shaky about the morning commute — which begins in the dark and ends in accidentthe light.  I hate changing lanes on the highway in the dark.  The aforementioned traffic is compounded by people who don’t bother to use directional signals when they change lanes at will while maneuvering through traffic and going at least 65 m.p.h.  I’m never sure, when I look in my mirrors and out my windows, if the idiot in the next lane is going to decide at the exact same second to move into the lane I want to be in.  I have seen 1 “near” accident (homebound) in front of me and one van that rolled over just behind me in just 2 weeks. 

So, a week before Thanksgiving and I’m still roller-coastering up and down the hills and valleys of happiness and apprehension.  But, 🙂  MUCH more happiness!

I’ll try to post more, now that I’m not doing Job 2, but my former “near-dead computer issue” is still not resolved, and I shy away from sitting by the danged thing for long.  I know, a first world problem.

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I Feel Like Dancing….

Dancing… Dance the night away!  I feel like dancing!

My job hunting is over.  I got a full time job last week, just 5 days after my birthday.  A REAL cause for celebration!

Four and a half years is a long time to sit and wait and wonder.  Will I ever get a full time job?  Will I be able to keep my house?  My car?  Will I ever be able to take another vacation?

Here’s my advice to those who are in the same boat.  Be patient.  Be persistent.  Do what you need to do.  Cut back.  Pray.  Keep a positive outlook.

I’m hoping I did all those things well.  When it seemed like I would NEVER (and I mean NEVER) get an interview, I kept plugging away.  I searched the dozens of job sites, company sites, and emailed links to find the right job.  Not just “any” job, but one I thought I’d actually like.  At this stage, I didn’t want to be stuck in a job I’d hate going to every day.  When you’re 20-something, you can endure that for a while because there’s always time.  When you’re 60-something… not so much.  I just kept looking and applying for, the job I thought I’d enjoy.

There were certain companies I would look at repeatedly.  One of my aims was to find something relatively close to home.  I didn’t, but it was one of my goals.  I knew of several companies — including some school systems — that were within the desired driving range and kept plugging away at them looking for openings that appealed to me.  The job I got was with one of my desired companies, but NOT as close as I’d have liked.  Still and all, I believe it’s a good job and will not complain (for a few years anyway) about the drive!

About 2 years in, I thought I’d take a SECOND part-time job.  It’ll only be temporary I told myself, 2 1/2 years ago.  I never signed up for direct deposit, thinking as soon as I did, I’d get something full time and leave. It didn’t pay much (starting pay is minimum wage) but it was helping me buy groceries and gas for the car.  I did what I needed to do under the circumstances.  Sometimes, you have to take something that’ll help you ‘get by’.  Last week I told Job2 “bye bye!”

In these 4 years, the nature of things like Netflix, Smartphones and even my computer, have changed dramatically.  I miss Netflix, but it was one of the first things I dropped because, who needs to pay for entertainment when you’re not home to enjoy it?  I finally broke down and bought a reconditioned OLDer model iPhone for just 99 cents.  The data plan has been killing me, but I can’t imagine not having it now.  It’s one of the two “cut backs” I could have made and didn’t.  (The other was my cable TV.)  My poor, old computer is dying (you may recall me mentioning this once or twice before..) but I’ve been able to keep using it — more sporadically than I’d like to.  I used to hang at the computer all the time. Now I only seem to visit it when I REALLY NEED TO use it.  A new one is on my list, but I want to find what I really want.  Maybe now I’ll be able to, but cutting back meant making a list of priorities and replacing a “dying” computer was not a necessity (not like food and electricity anyway).  Maybe I should have called “cutting back” prioritizing.    Knowing the difference between NEEDS and WANTS makes a difference when the choices become food or faster internet.

PRAY.  Now not only did I do my own praying but Lawdy Miss Clawdy, I had a whole slew of people out there praying for me.  People who knew I was worth hiring.  People who knew I didn’t have another source of income.  People who loved me enough to add me to their prayer list.  To them I say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all the times you remembered me.

And finally, even when things were looking as dismal as I thought they ever would, I tried to keep a stiff upper lip… keep my chin up… keep a smile on my face.  I tried not to let others know how scared I was of possibly losing my car and my house. Sure, there were nights I cried when I wondered how I would pay my bills next month and which service would be shut off first?  (Gas?  Water?  Electric?) I desperately tried to keep this to myself and be positive when I was with others.  I think not being a “Sad Sack” was crucial to the way others perceived my situation.  Like the old song says, “Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella on a Rainy Afternoon“….

So, there ya go.  I’m starting a new job the first week of November, and I’m very excited about doing new things.  Let’s see if it makes me any more prolific! 😉

❤ you all!

 

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Doing the Wrong Thing…

What I should be doing:sunshine2

Cleaning the kitchen, changing the sheets, making a scarf, finishing a blanket, fixing a bracelet, making a rosary, writing a speech, shredding old documents, cleaning the bathroom, emptying the fridge, vacuuming…

What I’m doing:

Playing on the computer & watching The Middle.

Actually, getting ready to turn the computer off, because it’s really REALLLY hot.  (My battery is toasted and my hard drive is trying to be just like it.)

Enough of this palaver.  I’m off for a fudge pop and my jammies.  I’m wiped out.

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YELLOW DAISY DAYS

yellowdaisyOr is that Yellow Daysy Dais?  Whichever you prefer, it’s a GIANT craft boutique and show in the Atlanta area held in early September — and I’m going on Friday!  Yep.  A carload of ladies from church are strapping on some comfy shoes, stuffing some cash & credit cards in our pockets and heading out to see what kind of crafty crafts people have been up to.

What do they have?  They have belt-making, jewelry, children’s clothes, tshirt quilts, jams & jellies, A FOOD COURT, Christmas decorations, yard doohinkeys, quilty handbags, sugar scrubby things, a MAN DEN (a big pavilion with picnic-type tables and a large screen TV — a place to dump the hubby while you go on your merry way!).  They have stuff to wear, stuff to eat, stuff to display in your yard or home.  Stuff for Halloween, Christmas or every day.  Manly stuff and frilly stuff.  Stuff made out of old license plates and hubcaps and stuff made out of lace and rhinestones.  Really — pretty much anything you can imagine that can be made you can find there.

yellowdaisy2

My mom and I discovered it a few years ago and I think this is my 4th or 5th outing.  Early September in Georgia tends to be HOT, and fortunately, it’s ‘mostly’ under the trees of Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park.

Last year, a carload of us went on Friday morning.  Friday is the day I don’t have to be at work until noon.  Unfortunately, I could not “get around that” last year, and at noon, we found ourselves zooming back to my place of work to arrive by the appointed hour — 12:30.  Two of us went back the next morning to “do the other half” of the event.  We got there prior to the announced opening time and were let in to find the pathways virtually deserted and the vendors ready to sell!  This is the scenario we are counting on when we go tomorrow.

yellowdaisy3

This is what it will look like later in the day.

It iS aMaZInG the things people will craft.  You look at some of the articles and go “Wow.  I never thought of using <fill in the blank> to make a <fill in the blank>”  (For example, I never thought of using a hub cap to make a bird feeder…)

There’s live music and (some) stuff for kids to do, but this is just filler for us.  We’re there for the crafty crafts.

If you are a crafter and looking for ideas or if you don’t craft but love unique, hand-made gifts, this is the place to be for four days in September.

Gotta go stash my money and make my shopping list!  I’ll letcha know what I bought!

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I’ll Never Make any Monet

I like Art.  I’m not a big, in-your-face artsy person, but I enjoy art.  I didn’t especially care for looking at The Blue Boy when I was in grade school, or pre-Columbian art in college, but somewhere in the middle I learned about Monet, Degas, Mondrian, Seurat, O’Keeffe, Tiffany, the Hudson River School, Rockwell, Adams and others.

I’ve long wished I could be artistic.  flower2Here is an example of something travoltaI have drawn myself.  In case there’s any doubt, it’s a sunflower.  Also, my stick people are very good.  Ok, so now you see the problem.

I have a Pinterest board dedicated to “Artsy Stuffsy”.  It contains pencilsseveral different styles of “art” including watercolors, old Masters, stained glass and photography.  Oh, and Street Art.  There are some very clever examples of street art — such as this —  I love it!  Jolly Green Giant pencils!

I thrill at the magnificence of Ansel Adams’ work and am wide-eyed looking at the vibrant colored flowers of Georgia O’Keeffe.  I was fortunate to be able to see Sunday Afternoon at la Grande Jatte in person and it is E-NORMOUS!  I cannot imagine the forethought (not to mention time, although I just mentioned it!) it took to make all those tiny little colored dots to make up that huge canvas!  And to make them come out right!  I’m going to give it a try on paper… “Paint” is just not the right medium for pointillism!…or maybe not.  You’re seen my work… 

normanrThere’s something to be said for Norman Rockwell’s art — the simple, homespun stories he tells with his pictures of average American life.  Waiting for Santa, Falling in Love, Thanksgiving dinner.  Art conveys more than just a picture — it conveys feeling.

The Hudson River School caught me by surprise.  Being from the Hudson River area, naturally I was intrigued by the name.  When I found out the grand scope of the paintings in this superb style, I was “blown away”.  If you’re not familiar with them, go check out some of the images on your favorite search engine (mine is BING).  They show the grand majesty of the landscapes of our world…. not just the Hudson Valley.  They are showpieces in themselves, telling stories and showing us — not just a place on Earth — but a place in time.

fredandThere’s art and there’s ART.  Fred and Ginger… that’s art.  A lace wedding veil?  Art.  A beautifully decorated cake.  Art.  A flower among weeds.  Art.  A lone cloud drifting across a blue sky.  Yep.  Art.

Unfortunately, I can’t dance, make lace, decorate cakes, or grow flowers.  But I CAN appreciate the great work of those who can.

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And Now a Word from your Sponsor:

After our brief “daddy” interlude for the past week or so, we’ll return to regularly random posts.  I still have some good stuff up my sleeve, so grab a beverage and wait for it….

 

…in the meantime… this is one of my FAVORITE busterbrownCOMMERCIAL JINGLES OF ALL TIME!  The version I sing (I know the words & tune perfectly and have been known to sing it on the job and in the car!) has a slightly different … more “commerical” … ending.  Enjoy!

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I Wish I Had…

I wish I had a 48 hour day every day!  I need more time for sleep, that’s for certain.  Typically, I MC900354126[1]drift off around 1AM and the clock goes off around 7.  I’m never ready.  But because it’s my routine, I’m usually awake before the alarm pings, or rattles or trills, depending on which sound my iPhone is set for.  So, sleep is one of the things I’d use my extra hours for.  Blissful, uninterrupted, non-having-to-get-up sleep.

[Note:  I wrote this on Sunday, obviously!] I would also like to try to get more done around the house.  I am both a procrastinator and a slug, therefore, things don’t get done with the speed at which I assume they will.  I thought I was going to clear the kitchen counter today, then I started cooking pork and watching the bike race.  And drinking wine.  Needless to say, the kitchen counter is still a mess.  The procrastinator in me says “maybe tomorrow”.  The slug in me says, “eh.  so what?”  Doing more around the house would be another thing I’d be grateful to get done with my extra hours.  I could organize.  I’d like to organize.  I just don’t have time.  (see procrastination & slug comment)

I should be doing more exercise.  Remember the diet?  I’m still working on it, with not much progress.  Exercise might help, but the procrastinating slug says, “wait till Fall.”  Extra hours might help.

I could read more, craft more, and pray more if I had more hours.  I do those things now, but not as much as I should or as much as I’d like to.  Yes, extra hours would be nice.

My house would be cleaner, my yard would be nicer, my deck would get use.  My craft projects would come out of their hiding places and actually become things.  Pinterest would be more than just a reference site for me.

Yes, a 48 hour day would be just lovely.  Maybe in my next life…

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