Monthly Archives: September 2012

25,000 Square Feet Of Eye Candy!

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I am crazy about Halloween. I have the greatest memories of days gone by and I love how popular the old vintage decorations are. I use any excuse to look at Halloween displays and one of my favorite stops is Hobby Lobby. A crafter’s dream… and nightmare. It is impossible to get out of there without buying something.They have completely remodeled and arranged the store and it was a thing of beauty. Streamlined and bursting to the seams with ideas for all sorts of projects. I am a crafting addict. I start getting little twitches about this time, a restlessness.

The change in seasons puts my crafty brain in overdrive. I start getting the itch to create. It doesn’t matter what it is. Needlework, papier-mache, sewing, quilting, painting, card making.

My head starts to explode with ideas and I am driven to collecting supplies, like a squirrel gathering nuts. I sold boxes of crafting supplies at my garage sale. I had enough to supply my own little store. It isn’t necessary to use all of it either. It is enough for me to have the stuff sitting there waiting for me. I love to go through my patterns and ideas. It is my fix between holidays.

The anticipation is seductive.  Just “knowing” there are projects waiting for me to start them could keep me entertained for years.

After downsizing and moving to Iowa, I was really proud of myself for rooting out my unfinished projects, some of them were years old, and I finished every one of them. It was fun but the real fun was starting over and collecting new projects. I am down to just a few boxes of supplies and fabric now, but sadly they are in storage in another state and I am feeling the loss. I barely got out of Hobby Lobby yesterday with my life. The friend I was with told me I should visit the new Joann’s Fabric.  They moved into an old hardware store that went out of business here, so last night I eagerly went there after dinner. Unsuspecting.

I’m here to tell you that 25,000 square feet…YES, 25,000  of fabric, books, crafts and ideas was beyond anything I’ve ever seen!!! I wandered about dazed  in wonderment. I wanted to make myself a new purse but the overwhelming array of fabrics kept me from making a decision. I had to come home and lie down with a cool cloth over my eyes. They hurt after observing this eye candy extravaganza. I think I will have to go back in small doses.

Part of the fun of crafting is having your own space. I get why men love setting up workbenches in their garages. It’s a place to you have total control of. Where things will go, how it will look. Little nooks and crannies, straight rows, organization. It’s addicting but I am also known to spread out in complete disarray all over a flat surface. One year I had antique glitter from one end of our house to the other. My family complained it was in everything. I told them there were worse things that could happen. Wouldn’t it be fun to sneak up to an uptight, crabby person and sprinkle glitter in their hair without them knowing?  Hmmmmm.

I went to the market on my way home and was still high from the craft store. I left the grocery with an adorable African Violet for $1.99 and a tiny pot for 79 cents. A Halloween magazine begged it’s way into my bag and I left feeling like I won the lottery. It doesn’t take much to make me happy. I am learning to get my joy from looking and planning.

Anticipation is it’s own reward…

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Anticipation

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I can’t look at the word anticipation without hearing the song. It is unfortunate that I also visualize ketchup slowly moving it’s way out of the bottle as well. I have been feeling it none the less lately.

A slight tug at the edge of my senses that tells me something is simmering on the horizon, ready to bubble forth and show it’s origins.

I am not sure what it will be, but there is change coming. A shift from the routine? A higher consciousness? A change in venue?

 

Could be. I know that the road I have been travelling has been meandering to a more stationary destination. My own place.

I helped friends move into new homes last week and it started me down that path of decorating in my head, imagining color pallets for bathrooms, what kind of furniture I’d choose. I sold everything I had accumulated over the last 20 years,to move and start over. I have two cherished pieces of furniture I saved, and a couple dozen boxes of treasures but the rest is up for grabs. I have gone through so many changes that it has impacted the way I see everything, including my living space. I’m not even sure what it will be like. Maybe a little of this? A lot of that?

It’s exciting really. Color is my new best friend, what will it inspire me to do? Once you experience navy blue side burns from OTC hair-color the sky is the limit! Seriously.

I had wanted to be a room mate for a while so that I could squirrel away nuts, but we have this idea in America that everyone HAS to live alone. Don’t get me wrong. I loved living alone for the eight years I had before marriage and I look forward to it again. What’s not to like? But there is a lot to be said for sharing expenses and sharing space. Marriage demands it and you do get used to having kids invade every molecule of space, but I think we become better for it. We are more flexible, more open, less self centered and become better communicators.

Yes, there is a lot to be said for privacy, I love my room and spend a lot of time in it and I also felt euphoric when I had the whole house to just myself. But I also loved communal meals and the warmth of conversation over a good cup of coffee on Sunday with the newspaper. Sharing chores is nice and dishes are a breeze.

What I don’t like is the stigma that somehow there is something wrong with you socially or emotionally if you consider alternatives. I’ve picked this subtlety up with my friends when they say or infer “it will be good for you to be alone”. Like this is a test I have to pass first. Uh, for what? It is essential, absolutely, for young people leaving the nest, and it is never a good idea to be too dependent on others for your needs but there is a lot more to be said for living with others. In fact I would go as far to say that living alone is for whimps. Just sayin.

So what do you think about a turquoise couch?

The Books Are Falling

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Finished my last “beach” book.  About time too… all our leaves are starting to turn in northern Colorado and the evenings are getting pleasantly cool. Heather Barbieri’s novel “The Cottage at Glass Beach” was not the cozy novel I was expecting to close out my fluff reads of summer with. A woman with 2 young daughters in tow, runs from the  press surrounding her famous husband’s affair. She returns to a small island off the coast of Maine that she hasn’t visited since she was a young child, where her mother died at sea.

It’s called Burke’s island and was settled by Irish immigrants which lends some Celtic flavor to the story, especially when  a mysterious stranger gets washed up on the beach where seals abound. It was a fish stew kind of story with all sorts of odds and ends tossed in. Not very believable, and a so-so read.

It put me in the mood for some no-nonsense-non-fiction. I’ve been waiting for weeks (it was lost in the mail) for an inter library loan called “Bound With An Iron Chain” by Anthony Vaver. It tells the untold story of how the British transported 50,000 convicts to
colonial America. I also have “The Story of Charlotte’s Web” by Michael Sims which tells how E. B. White was inspired to write the children’s classic, and “To Free a Family, the Journey of Mary Walker” by Sydney Nathans about an escaped slave who spends the next seventeen years trying to recover her family. I’ll round it off with “The Lifeboat” by Charlotte Rogan. Guess I’d better get busy!

Nothing matches snuggling up under a warm blanket with a cup of hot something and a good book. Or, a stack of books. Haven’t read non-fiction in a while and I’ve begun to crave food for my undernourished brain cells.

I now have a job that will keep the wolves away (is that the “Hounds of the Baskerville’s” I hear?) as I continue my search for that dream library job. It’s out there, I just know it. I’ll have so much more time to read now that I am not designing resumes every day. That was not my thing, and I won’t miss it.

“A Christmas Carol” won’t be far behind!

What’s a Job Without a Book Club?

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Remember the first day of school? New shoes, new clothes, new underwear, couldn’t sleep? Well that was me the night before I started  my new job, sans the new clothing and underwear. I did get a  car though.  A 98 Subaru with 159k miles on the odometer was all I could afford but I am thrilled to be driving and independent again. Not having my own car for the past  6 months kind of sucked, truth be told. In fact, I’ve been giddy with excitement. Being able to jump in my car and drive anytime I want is something I took for granted. 

This would explain why I couldn’t get to sleep. This would also explain why I feel like I just drank a couple Red Bulls. Everything I’ve been putting “out there” has come back in spades and I am having a blast! One of my best friends is a guy and he spec’d out the car for me and taught me what to look for. I loved every minute with him and he was nice enough to find the car the day before I started my job. Whew!! Hopefully he’ll overlook the speed-camera ticket I got while driving his car? Love you buddy!!

The training so far has been like a giant slumber party. Twenty three women ooohing and ahhing over make-up. Bare Escentuals is such a top notch company, the stuff sells itself. They hired professional models for the first time ever in the history of the company, but they did it without seeing them! Yeah, that’s right.They actually wanted to know who these women were on the inside, so they interviewed them, and chose them based on inner qualities. These are amazing women.They are our force of beauties. How empowering is that?! I can’t remember ever having this much fun learning a new job.

I’m sure the honeymoon won’t last forever. BUT when it does, guess what? I have a book club to look forward to. Yep. You heard me… our training team is starting a book club!! I can’t go a day without talking about books, but I did have a captive audience. The next thing I know there is a phone/email list circulating to start our own book club. Books and make-up. HmmmmmLove it!

Speaking of which… I liked Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman. Interesting novel about Emma, a prima-ballerina in London, who at the end of her career, finds she has inherited an isolated sheep station in rural Australia. I liked how the author interweaves the story of the ancestor who leaves her this legacy and how she came to have it. Emma goes to sell the house and clean out it’s contents, only to be surprised by lots of circumstances. Nice read.

The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Hewe sounded like a page turner. In this novel, Sybil Allston loses her sister and mother aboard the Titanic. Add a flaky brother, a cantankerous father, and an old beau and you would think I wouldn’t be able to put it down but not so. The author writes in short static sentences that I found distracting and hard to follow and the going back and forth between all the family members was too confusing. I barely finished it and was very disappointed. Oh well, on to the next stack.

It’s the Bare Necessities

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First of all I want to tell you…I GOT A JOB!!! I haven’t had one since last March and I am SO ready. Everyone needs a purpose and getting paid for said purpose is even better. I will be working for a marketing firm, in customer service ,which I am good at. I also will be working with Bare Escentuals cosmetics which I LOVE! I love make-up in general but this is even better- because it’s my favorite make-up. I was told I get free stuff to play with too. I start next week, and I’m elated!


Getting a job is wonderful, but it is also the official start of a new life for me. I like the idea of being responsible for just me. Lots of people have shaped me but it is my season to do some self-sculpting. I am feeling excited in a way I haven’t felt for a long, long time. I lost who I was for a while, and then I volunteered to lose weight. New for me. I am usually kicking and screaming NO! You can’t make me. Then I realized…Oh, it’s for me.

I have more energy, I’m feeling more confident, blah, blah, blah. Trite but true. I have been dancing around getting older, because of my job search. We are in tough times and I have resented the fact that I had to hide my age. I like my age and I’m in good company. I  am getting used to my dyed hair. It’s taken some practice though. My friends are tired of me asking “you sure my hair doesn’t look like Wayne Newton”? I’ve never been focused this much on my appearance.

A couple weeks after seeing my “new” hair a male friend told me I looked 10 years younger with it dyed. I mentally punched myself in the arm because I’ve been driving myself crazy thinking I did it for nothing. The irony here is that dyeing my hair had nothing to do with me getting the job. Another life experience that has turned into an opportunity.

Of course as soon as I got this job, I found out another job I want is still on the table, and I was told to expect an interview next week. I’ve been gloating with the satisfaction of feeling successful. In a job search that is. When you are willing to accept what is, you open yourself to what could be around the corner. I have been practicing what IS for longer than I’d like. Success can be elusive. I have finally found comfort in my what if’s? I decided to turn them into why not’s?

Surprise!

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Thanks to Enchanted Sea Shells…Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife… I am the proud owner of my first blogger award! Who knew that writing about things close to your heart could touch someone else? I love the fact that I can reach out to awesome people I’ve never met, and they me. I mean REALLY… a tugboat captain’s wife? How amazingly cool is that?! Connecting to our great land, it’s a great thing, and good for our world don’t you think? This is SO much fun and it’s free!  And I have an Interview tomorrow! Pinch me!!!

Here is her wonderful link…http://enchantedseashells.com/ and here is seven things about me…hmmmm.

  1. I am in transition.
  2. I have two gorgeous, fearless, awesome kids who I adore, being their mom made me a better person.
  3. I have the most amazing friends!
  4. I love the beach and the ocean…I am pretty sure I was a mermaid in another life.
  5. I love growing  and creating things.
  6. Reading and talking about books is a passion of mine.
  7.  I collect heart shape beach stones

And last but not least, fifteen blogs I nominate that you can check out:

Enjoy everybody!

 

Pumpkin Land, Here I Come!

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Surprise!! I am in Iowa this weekend. My room mate, by some God-like-universe planning, is from Sioux City and was driving here for a family reunion. She asked me to ride along and my daughter lives just an hour away, so here I am in my daughter’s living room for the Labor Day weekend.
I lived in Iowa until last March, when I made the decision to move back to my hometown, in Colorado via Oregon, (but that’s another story) and live near my son. My daughter and I are very close, so our separation has seemed long.

I brought along my lap top because I have been on a roll with my job search. I designed two new resumes last week, so I have three now that cover just about everything I’ve ever tried. It was excruciating making them. I feel like I birthed a baby! I am proud however, that I have a lot more skills than I thought. In fact, I am pretty versatile, if I don’t say so myself, even if it is on paper. 

Flexible? Check. Innovative? Check. Reliable? Check. Computer skills? Check.Thinner? Check. Employed? Nope.

Still networking. But, I have learned SO much in the past five months. I am not the same person that left Iowa. I am losing the old me and gaining a whole new perspective. It’s a cliche I know.  Lose everything that is familiar, and watch it happen! I’ve faced down the biggest fears I had, and it really does change you. And I haven’t even found a job yet.

Now, I didn’t WANT it to happen this way, I’m not THAT stupid, and I certainly wouldn’t repeat it. But it happened none the less and I am glad that I have gained something from the experience. I feel a lot lighter, like something has been lifted from my shoulders. I am experiencing more joy and serenity. I like that. And I am laughing more, I am grateful for every little thing. No matter how small. For instance… 

My room mate is a long distance truck driver. She has been doing this for twenty years. I admire her because I can’t back up a compact, let alone a sixteen wheeler. In winter no less! She told me hilarious stories on the drive to Iowa that had my sides aching. I heard about “Too Tired Tammy” who likes to take long naps  (and is always late) after a sugar binge, and there was “Scary Sherry” who’s removed more than her fair share of side mirrors from cars. Truck drivers have their own culture and she has seen it all. I was let into her world and it was really nice. We owe a lot to truckers, things that we take for granted. Like pumpkins!

I went to a couple workshops in the past week and hooked up with a labor-coach from the labor department and I’m feeling energetic again. Job searches have changed dramatically in the past five years. It is astounding how much work is involved in finding a new employee. That is why employers would rather find their workers through recommendations made by people they know. It cuts a lot of corners and saves a lot of time and money. I was relieved to find out that I have an advantage, if I put myself out there, make the rounds, and shake peoples hands. A job search on your lap top can be very tedious and solitary. I don’t want to be sized up just on paper.

I applied for two positions I am excited about this week. Follow up is crucial (and a strong skill of mine), so I’m not too daunted. I’ve had some time to grow my skills, which grows your confidence . I am so grateful for the time I’ve had to do that. I’ve held myself back, done things differently this time, and it has paid off big. I couldn’t have done that if I wasn’t willing to walk through a lot of self-doubt and indecision. It is difficult to not feel pressure from well meaning friends, who’s expectations blossom from their own fears. Everyone in this situation react differently. I have learned a lot from them, and being in this situation. Say…maybe I’ll take that with me in to the next job?
I am grateful for the time I spent in Iowa, so much kindness and good friendships. I had the opportunity to stop by  Pumpkin Land today, owned by Dave and Helen. I am crazy about pumpkins and gleefully started a tradition of going there every Labor Day weekend and buying the first of many pumpkins. Today I had an unexpected pleasure when my daughter insisted we stop by, so she could get me one to take back to Fort Collins. A little bit of Iowa on my door step.

I know I am meant to be in Colorado now, I didn’t know that when I moved here. Funny, how moving can sometimes tell you where you are supposed to stop?