Friday, August 26, 2011

I am testing my mobile communication system

Monday, August 15, 2011

In a Financial Fog

I'm having trouble really understanding finance and politics, and I'm tired of not being able to argue my point of view very well.  One thought I had is that I should study the whole topic, economics and politics and tax and finance, so that I can understand it better.  I've been avoiding studying it for a few reasons.  One reason, because every time I start reading more about it, I get depressed or aggravated.  Another reason - because it's such a huge topic, and I always assume that there are more than two sides to any given story, and nothing is black and white, but everything is a hazy shade of gray.  And finally - because I'm afraid that I'm not really smart enough to understand what is going on with the whole economy, because if all of these smart people out there have so many different opinions, how can I possibly understand?

But I've decided to start trying to keep track of things I read, in order to be able to go back to them and make sense out of them.  So, in that vein, here are a few interesting thoughts/quotes/articles/points/ whatever ya wanna call them.

Warren Buffett wrote an editorial on why we should stop coddling the super rich: HERE

"...from 1980 to 2005, more than 80 percent of total increase in Americans’ income went to the top 1 percent of taxpayers...." Jill Schlesinger, from (CBS)  read more HERE

Read more:

The Pay at the Top:  from the New York Times... you can read it HERE...
The compensation research firm Equilar compiled data reflecting pay for 200 chief executives at 199 public companies that filed their annual proxies by April 1 and had revenue of at least $7 billion.
The number one guy - 

Viacom Philippe P. Dauman - 

well, he didn't get a raise in 2009, because his company had laid off about 850 people.  I'm pretty sure they weren't hired back.  So obviously, he deserved to make about 149% more in compensation from 2009 to 2010, because after all he'd missed a year, and they probably showed a pretty good bottom line that year.  So he went from $34 Million to $89.5 Million.

My goal in this exercise is NOT to only be one sided, although so far my links are one sided.  My goal is to really learn the truth.  The hard part about that is that I already have an opinion, and my opinion is so far left I'm practically a socialist or communist or something.  BUT... please... I am a VERY PATRIOTIC AMERICAN, before you get any ideas!  So, I'm planning on doing more research, including on tea party ideals and tenets.  I want to have the whole story, or as close as I can get to it.

And then, I guess, my goal is to fix it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Story of Then and Now, Chapter 1.

Once upon a time, (because that is how all good fairy tales start,)
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there was an old woman.

She wasn’t a particularly striking old woman. She was small, and a bit stout. She had thick white hair that curled up from her forehead in waves. She had cool, white, powdery skin. Her warm hazel eyes sparkled from behind silver framed bifocals.

The old woman was my Gram.

Gram wasn’t particularly noticeable to most people, I don’t suppose. I’ve been noticing myself how easily ignored you are when you get to be a woman of a certain age, and I suppose that she had found the same thing to be true. And while Gram never wanted to be the center of attention in a crowd, I know that she DID like it when people paid attention to her.

She was a little bright bird sitting in the trees in a deep shady forest. You might not notice her, at first, but when you learned to sit quietly and pay attention, she would peek out of the brush and chirp a bit, and make you feel glad deep in your heart.

I learned a lot of things from my Gram, and she helped form the person in my mind that I aspire to become. Well… it wasn’t ONLY Gram that helped form that person… it was also other people in the recipe for the “super me” I wish I was. But I guess I’ll get to that later. Right now, I’m talking about Gram.

Gram told the BEST stories. She started off with the babies, right off the bat, cooing at them and talking to them and reciting nursery rhymes. There is a nursery rhyme for every occasion; I bet you didn’t know that, did you?

When the babies got a little older – but before they could talk – she would take out her teeth at them.

Yup, that’s what I said. Gram had a lovely smile, but it was fake. She had gotten dentures at a very young age, and she was embarrassed about them. She slept with them in, and never took them out; no one EVER saw her without her teeth and told the tale… but babies, now that was different. They couldn’t tell. They would laugh, and coo, and reach for her face – but they didn’t have the words to tell anyone what they saw. Only once in a while did I catch her, when she didn’t see me looking, in the middle of her funny face no teeth act for a baby. She would have been embarrassed if she knew I’d seen her.

After a while, as a child got older, Gram told stories that were longer and more complicated. She told fairy tales with a relish, changing her voice for each of the parts. She could recite long poems from memory, thanks to her education in a one room school house in the hills. And, at times… especially times when family gathered around the kitchen table for tea and coffee after dinner… she told family stories.

The family stories were the best. They were funny and tender and slightly mature, which really kept a young child – me – enthralled. After an amazing meal – maybe a pot roast, with a thick rich brown gravy, sweet carrots and onions and potatoes sprinkled with black pepper, bread and butter, and apple sauce, and always – always – a green vegetable too! – everyone sat back and talked. It was the era right after smoking became unpopular, but it wasn’t yet looked down on like it is now. So a cigarette was lit, and coffee and tea was made for those who wanted it. My uncle Pete asked me if I wanted some ice cream to go with the gravy left over from dinner. It was dark and glossy brown and maybe could have been chocolate sauce, if it wasn’t actually beef gravy. Besides, who could eat another bite? And the conversation flowed around the table. “Remember when Momma run off the peddler with a shot gun? Hey, how ‘bout that time that Lewis came home with that poor boy from the railroad?”

And so, that is how it all started. It started with a story. Once upon a time.

But, of course, there was a before that time, and there is also an after that time. And that is the story I would like to try to tell.

Monday, July 04, 2011

I wanna find this again later

Stumble upon - my newest time wasting web site to visit - had this article that I want to go back to, so I'm putting it here so I can find it again :)
This one too - how to draw lips!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Good morning!

I just had the urge to check in and write on here this morning, and I have no idea why. If you had the sudden urge to look at this blog, maybe you are the person I'm supposed to be talking to... Maybe? Like, a fate kind of thing? ...Or, maybe not. Anyway, I haven't been here in a while. You may have noticed. You may not have noticed. And maybe I'm just writing because I need to work out some stuff in my head.

I get really "into" something for a while, but the thing that I'm "into" changes periodically. I love to write on this blog, but other things came up that became MORE of an addiction. Like sometimes, I get really addicted to a game. A few years ago, when the kids were younger, it was the video game Animal Crossing. I loved to play that game. Then, more recently, it was Pop it or Bubble shooter, Farmville, or Bejeweled blitz. I play whatever game it is obsessively for what ever reason until I suddenly get bored with it. Then I won't go back, or if I do it's only occasionally. Sometimes, I get really addicted to a web site. I think the first time I felt that way, it was a message board that I was addicted to. It was about scouting, and I posted frequently and read all the posts that went up, and that was years ago. I felt that way about my email in the beginning, too; I couldn't wait to see if someone emailed me, and when I got an email I was so excited! I felt that way about Myspace. I had a great time designing and redesigning my space, finding graphics, and making comments. I scrolled through pages of music groups. I also really loved looking at all the other people's myspaces, and how they would evolve from day to day. Some would change from minute to minute. I would click through the myspaces of everyone I knew obsessively to see what was going on. And the same thing happened with the beginning of Facebook. (Although, for some reason, I haven't felt that way about Twitter yet. BUT Maybe I'll grow into it.)

The same thing with the blog. I love this blog, just like I loved writing on The Frankie Report before it. Right now, I tend to write on the Iselin Times blog most often. You can read it if you click HERE. The Frankie Report was great because I felt like I had a real story to tell, and I wanted to tell it, and I got some great feedback. I stopped writing it when the main subject - Frankie - stopped wanting me to report on him. This blog has been great too, but in a different way; I was more self-expressive, and more free-flowing. Sometimes this blog feels too self-indulgent, though. And sometimes I just don't have anything to say that I haven't said a million times before. The days change, but the opinions remain the same. For the most part.

The Iselin Times blog has been fun because I've been trying to write for a wider audience, in a more impersonal manner. I've tried to be a bit more of a reporter - although I am the first person to admit that I don't really have reporter tendencies, because I like everything to be happy-happy, and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or intrude where I don't feel comfortable. Reporters can't really be like that. But it's been fun to watch the counts rise on the Iselin Times. Currently I have something like 1000 readers a month, and it's been rising steadily every single month. I keep wondering, how long can this last? And what can I write about... people MUST be sick of reading about the weather and seeing a photo from my window. But I guess they aren't, at least not yet. I get SOME feedback, but not a lot. I would like to get more comments, but I've been having trouble doing that. But people are definitely clicking. The most frustrating thing about THAT is that the Adsense people won't reinstate my ads, since I messed up the first time. Hmph.

So recently, one of the web sites that fed traffic to the Iselin Times lost it's editor. I don't know what's going to happen with that. I am a little worried that I'm not going to see my clicks continue to rise. Maybe i will become less fun to write. Maybe it will be more of a challenge. Time will tell.

Right now, the main concern I have is that I don't have the time for everything I want to do. I'm trying to do so much, and I have so little time. I want to write, and paint, and hike, and garden, and dance around the living room, and get the laundry done, and cook something marvelous, and have tea with my friend, and go to the city. I have such a marvelous life, to have such an embarrassment of riches of experience.

Well, don't feel bad that I don't get to write on here too often lately. I still like to blog here, when the mood strikes. Check the Iselin Times blog if you want to read my stuff more often. Or the Susyluwho blog - which hasn't hit it's stride yet ... which you can find HERE. That one's sort of a rolling list of what I've created lately. I thought it would be good to have one place with all my projects on it. But I don't update it all that often either. Maybe that will be the one I work on most, after the Iselin Times ceases to excite me. I'll have to see.

Oh yeah, one more thought! Ya know how last summer was my "summer of art and flowers"? Well, for some reason, this is my "Alice in Wonderland" summer. Unfortunately, I'm not Alice, I'm the mad Hatter. I was Alice about 25 years ago.

See ya again soon!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I took this photo this morning, and I haven't used my new tablet on it. Just plain old camera and picasa. The tablet came with Adobe photoshop, in addition to Corel, but I haven't downloaded that program yet. That's next week's project.

I've been looking at a lot of art lately and getting depressed because there are some phenomenally talented people out there, and I'm not in their league. But I do enjoy creating anyway, and taking photos.

Spring is surely here. The allergies have really started. The tree is blooming and leaves are sprouting. The lawn looks like it needs mowing already. I'm going to put out some plants pretty soon. Then, summer will be here and it will be blazing hot, before you know it. Time just keeps cycling around.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My new toy

This is the first picture I did on my brand new toy!!! I'm so excited!!! It's a tablet thingy you can draw and paint on. LOVELOVE LOVE it!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Silent and gray

It is very quiet here in my house. I hear two clocks ticking, and the hum of the refrigerator and a soft whirring sound from my lap top. I hear the clicking of my keyboard keys as I write this. Sometimes it gets a little spooky to hear so much silence. But I usually leave the music on, day and night, and that drowns it out. I know a lot of people leave the TV on a lot to drown out that silence, but TV drives me crazy. Too much fake laughter and ads.

It's getting warmer but it rains pretty often. On those sunny days, life is beautiful. I have a ton of energy and get lots of things done. But who wants to be inside on a gorgeous day? On a cloudy, rainy day, my mood is duller. I know I've written about this before, but it amazes me how much difference is made by the weather. I think about people who move to Florida - Annie, are you reading this? Are you in a good mood every day? That can't be true, can it? If it is true, then I guess we're all crazy for living anywhere else.

Today? Today is warm but not bright. And I feel comfortable but not energetic. I can look outside and see a bright spot of color in my backyard, a forsythia bush. It's a bright wild tangle of yellow and today it's the only color I can see outside from this seat on the couch. There is a reason I keep that bush, and today is the reason. I keep a wild tangled mess for 365 days so that for one day when it is gray outside and I am glum, I can see some bright color.

From this spot on the couch I can also see some chickadees trying to build a nest in a bird house that has gone beyond seeing better days... it's just plain shot. It's hanging lopsided and cracked, and the roof is practically coming off. I'm sure it's stuffed full of dirty old nesting fluff, and it can't be pleasant. But for some reason they keep coming back to it. I guess in nature, no one would clean out the hollow of the tree they would nest in? So maybe they like it this way. I'm a little worried about them, though, because it doesn't really look safe. And I can't reach it to fix it. I'll have to ask Frank.

I read an article this morning about how the Great Recession has had an effect on how people decorate their houses now. I forget exactly how they worded it, and I forget the catchy phrases that they used. But the gist of it was that people are not as into reading magazines about how they should decorate their house. They are just doing what ever they feel like doing, and there is no right or wrong. That's pretty much what that bird is doing out there. I'm pretty happy about that, because that means I finally have a chance at being in style, lol. (Not that I'm really worried about that. I never decorated my house like this for anyone else but me, and that is very true, as true as can be.)

My house is comfy and reflects my interests and my history and my personality. I don't change things much. For example, the lamps in my living room are the same lamps my mother made in ceramics about 35 years ago. It's not that I love them - although I do like them - but it's something my mother made, and it works, and why should I change it? The same as my kitchen. My mother redid the kitchen in the 70's or 80's, and it still looks great to me. Sure, I get new appliances when I need to, and when we added on our addition, we redid the floor and wall paper. But I see no reason to replace the dark wood cabinets she had put in, because they still work fine. They'll be back in style eventually.

Oh dear, this is turning out to be a very rambling post. Sorry. I don't write for ages, and then in one day I write a book.

Anyway, back to my point. I decorate my house for me, and I only barely care who else likes it. And I guess the same thing applies to cleaning it. If I know I'm going to have company, I try to clean up. Which is a good reason to have company. But if you just drop in, expect to see a mess. And at some point, when I know you pretty well, I won't even really try to clean up much.

So that's getting back to the reason for why I'm rambling on my blog. I have decided that today I'm going to work on the laundry room. That's a spot that NEVER gets clean, because company never goes up and looks in there. (Usually.) That is something I really need to straighten up, because I can't walk into the room without tripping over something. And so, obviously, I'm sitting on my couch, listening to the clocks tick, and rambling on my blog. What else would you expect me to be doing?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gotta Love a Ukulele

Click here for Rock 101.9 RXP // New on RXP: a new solo Ukulele song by Eddie Vedder! :)

Beware the Ides of March

Today is March 15th, or "the Ides" of March. In Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar (Act 1, scene 2), it is the day that a soothsayer or fortuneteller tells Caesar to beware; turns out to be the day that Caesar is assassinated.

With everything going on in the world today, it feels like a good day to beware. If I was a superstitious sort... which, of course, I am... I would be wondering what to make of all of the tragedy we've been seeing lately. Especially since I stayed up late last night, watching coverage of Japan's triple disaster: earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear threat.

I read on The Huffington Post the other day that a few Christian groups have calculated and come up with the idea that May 21 will be the day the Christ returns... Judgement day. (If you are interested in reading the story for yourself, you can go HERE. (I always thought that the second coming was supposed to be a surprise! I don't suppose He's going to be happy with them if they've ruined it!)

I believe that May 21 will be a Saturday. And I'm pretty sure my whole family will be home. So I've decided that it will be a good day to have a nice family dinner. I'm not sure what I'm going to cook yet; maybe it will be warm enough by then to have a barbecue. And if it isn't raining, I think we'll have a little campfire in the back yard that night.

And I'm pretty sure that on May 22 we'll be having leftovers, and cleaning up, and relaxing. Hope so, anyway. :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

My new teapot

This is my new teapot, hand made by my nephew Steven. I love the way he made the leaves and berries around the top. The color is great, too. It goes really well with my dining room. I love a cuppa tea.

I've made a lot of kids laugh because if anyone has anything wrong, I almost always try to cheer them up by offering them a cuppa tea. And for the most part, there are very few kids who want tea. (At first. I've gotten a bunch of them to like it, lately.) There's nothing more cozy than a nice warm cuppa tea with milk and lots of sugar. Very soothing.

I always had tea with Gram. When she stayed with me, when the kids were little, after the morning rush of getting people out the door, once things got calm and quiet again, she would always put the kettle on. The first cup of tea in the morning was to get moving, and drank while standing and organizing and doing whatever it was I did in the mornings when the kids were little. Getting out the cereal, finding a better pair of socks with no holes, mediating a dispute. But the SECOND cup of tea, THAT one we would sit down and drink quietly. She would tell me a story. She was a great story teller. Or we would read the newspaper. That was back when people had the newspaper delivered to the door every morning... do tell! Can you imagine that, the newspaper, made out of paper, and read every single morning?

Now, my first cup of tea IS my second cup of tea, because I don't have to get anyone organized or out of the house. Gram is gone, and so is the newspaper. I stopped getting it once upon a time when it had nothing worth reading, but it was costing money, and it was a pain to remember to recycle. Now, I take my cuppa - and my new teapot - to the computer, and read the news and status updates and blogs and stuff online. I think about Gram's stories. I'm going to start writing some of them down, along with her recipes. I don't want them to be lost forever.

My life has changed a lot over the years, but a lot of things remain the same.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The Law of the Garbage Truck

I saw this on a friend's facebook page. I really liked it, and I wanted to remember it. So I put it here so I can read it again.

This has to be one of the best emails I have received in a long time because when you sit and think about the meaning, it is so true. Law of the Garbage Truck

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport.

We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.

My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.

My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.

So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!'

This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call,'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment.

As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally.

Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.

Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets,

so ... Love the people who treat you right.

Pray for the ones who don't.

Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!

Have a garbage-free day!

"Faith is not believing God can,it is knowing that God will."

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

A New Day

It's a new dawn, it's a new month, it's a new year...

although I did take this photo LAST year.

Today I'm going for an interview for a new job. I'm still optimistic and at the same time, I'm not expecting to get the job. But I do think it's within the realm of possibility. I'm going to try my best, and I've been meditating on the idea that the universe (Higher Power) (God) wants what's best for us and if it's meant to be, it will be.

I've been thinking a lot about my beliefs lately.

I'm going to write here about what I believe, but please don't think that if it's different from what YOU believe, I'm judging you.

I always liked the line from the bible that says "In my Father's house are many rooms. I go there now to prepare a place for you." I might interpret it differently from other people, but I take that to mean that God has a place for a lot of different beliefs, and Jesus is one of them, but not the only one.

I like the Buddhist idea of deciding for myself what I believe, not just accepting the information that is handed to me, on faith.

I do believe in "God" but I don't believe in "Him." I think "HE" is too narrow of a pronoun and "God" is too small of a name for what the higher power actually is.

I don't really believe in church as THE place to connect with that higher power. I think church is a great place to connect with other people, to build community, and that there is a lot of higher power within community of peoples.

I believe in prayer. But I hate telling people that I'm praying for them, because of all the connotations that word has. Maybe meditating is a better word. "I'm meditating for good things to happen to you." That doesn't seem right either. "I'm focusing positive vibes on you, man. Groovy." lol

I believe SO MUCH in prayer, that I hesitate to ask for anything specifically, because I really believe you have to be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.

So going on this job interview today, I'm not praying I get the job. I'm praying "Thy will be done," which really is the best prayer, to me. Considering my belief that "GOD" wants what's best for us, doesn't that seem the most realistic prayer?

And it's a beautiful, sunny day... and a brand new month, almost spring... and whatever will be, will be. Amen... :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Blog Design

I've redone the blog again. I think it looks simpler, but nicer. It's always fun to redecorate.

It was a long day, and I'm tired. I was substitute teaching again today. It went really well, a very nice day. I put out a few more feelers for jobs. I have another sub job on Monday, and then an interview on Tuesday. Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Challenge

I'm home. I'm out of work.
I was happy as a secretary in the school system.
The economy feels like it is collapsing.
My heart starts to pound
when I hear about the public employees in Wisconsin.

My husband is working.
He's been working for years at the same job. It pays the bills.
Is he happy?
Eh. It pays the bills. He's good at what he does.
But there is a reason they call it "work".
His career is in consumer electronics.
Stuff people want, but not stuff people need.
Not stuff people are going to buy if they have no jobs.

My husband and I - we are getting older.
The kids are leaving.
It's not empty nest syndrome yet, but it's pretty close.
They don't need me to "mommy" them anymore.
They need me to kick them out of the nest.
They are teetering on the edge, and stretching their wings.
It's almost time.

I expected that the job I had was going to take me through to my golden years.
The husband was going to retire sooner rather than later.
I'd retired once already, when I had kids.
I was happy being back to work.
I wanted to work for the next 25 years.

Things change.

You are walking down the trail,
through a forest, in deep leafy green.
Your pack is comfortable on your back.
Heavy, yes, but it's not more than you can handle.
Sometimes you have to jump from stone to stone
and sometimes you have to cross a stream
and sometimes you have to push through the brush
but the forest is green and comforting.
The trail is leading you uphill
and you are getting tired, and a bit achey,
but you rest for a few minutes and then keep going.

Things change.
The trail turns slightly
and you realize that in front of you
is a rock wall.
You can't go around it
and you can't go back.
This is the next step on the trail.

And there is no guarantee
that you CAN climb it.
You aren't in the greatest shape,
after all.

Sure, other people
have been able to climb it.
But how?
There are no instructions.
Only a few scattered blazes
to give you some suggestions.
There are no guarantees.
This is NOT Disney world.
You know that rattlesnakes
like to linger in the rocks.
Other hikers have mentioned
a rattlesnake right here,
somewhere in this pile of rocks.
And the rocks are slippery.
Even if every other person
has been able
to climb these rocks,
you could be the one
in a million
to slip
and hit your head and die.

These thoughts
are rolling through your head
as you start picking your way
up the rock wall.

But -
taking it one step at a time -
I don't know how I'm going to make it
up ahead.
But this one step,
I can put my right foot right there.
And then what?
I have no idea.
But I can put my left foot
right here.

all the way up
one step
at a time
is really slow
and not very pleasant.
And your pack
becomes much heavier
and you can barely
look around at the scenery.

Finally reaching
the top of this cliff,
you look farther ahead
and you see
a whole new landscape.
The views are beautiful,
completely different
than hiking in the valley of trees.
You look ahead and realize
that there is another rock wall,
not so far away.
And you have no idea
how you are going to
make it up that wall
But you can see where you should put this one foot.

True story.

So I guess that's why
even though I'm really worried about our future
I haven't given in to complete despair.
And the kids are about to jump out of the nest,
but they have also proved that they are the kind of kids
to come back and help sherpa their momma if she needs it
over the rough patches.

My challenge.

I'm lazy.
I get "blah"
and I don't write
and I don't make money
and I don't do much of anything.

My challenge
Is to just keep moving
and take the next step
and not just sit by the trail
and daydream.

You are the bread and the knife.

This is an amazing video. It's a little boy, reciting a poem. It is a great poem, but what makes it even greater is this sweet little boy.
My gram would have loved this video.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Good evening.

I love to be up late. I love to sit up in the middle of the night, especially by myself, and listen to the quiet house. Thank goodness the wind stopped. It howled so much last night I couldn't hear myself think.

This isn't tonight's moon, but it's a good night shot, and I like to put a picture up. If I could put any picture up right now, it would be that picture that I can never take. The picture of being in the woods with the trees lit up from stars and sparks from a campfire, and plenty of light to see, but never enough light for the photo that I try to take and never comes out.

I haven't been writing much lately, I know. I'm not sure why. I have a lot to think about but not a lot that I want to share with the world. I've been doing a lot of stuff. Fun stuff, painting, making doll clothes, cooking interesting food, visiting people and places. I've got my garden planned out. I have ideas swimming through my head of things I want to do and accomplish. Maybe it's because I've been keeping myself so busy that I haven't written.

On the days I'm busy with all of my projects and people, I find I don't have the time to write. On the days that I'm not busy I find that I'm blah and I don't want to write then either.

I'm balancing on a teeter totter, back and forth, between optimism and pessimism. One moment in time and I'm optimistic that everything is great, we're getting by fine, the world is good, and I'll find a job - if I really want one - maybe I don't even need one. The next moment in time I'm worried that things could change in a moment, the economy is certainly going to get worse - this I do believe is true - and I need to prepare for the difficulties that haven't hit yet but I can feel coming our way. The song in my head? REM's "It's the end of the world, as we know it... and I feel fine..." I can see things coming in the distance that I don't even know HOW to prepare for!

I think about the story of the grasshopper and the ants. We are all grasshoppers. How come no one notices this? I know I'm a grasshopper. But the thing about that story... in the version I always heard, the grasshopper convinces the ants to help him out for the winter. I always imagine the illustration on the last page of the book that I had, of the Grasshopper playing his fiddle, while the ants dance in their cozy house, as the winds howled outside. The ants worked hard, and their hard work paid off. They had food and shelter. But what would their life have been like without the Grasshopper? Much more dreary, no sparkle, the only sound the wind howling at the door.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I'm Official!

I'm officially an artist, because I officially got paid for a portrait I did! This is Buffy. The person who wanted her painted said it came out great, and paid me! :) Wow, that made my week!
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Thursday, February 03, 2011


I'm here all alone again, and it's very quiet in the house. I have plenty of things in mind to keep me busy, but I don't know where to start first.
List of things to do:
- find a job
- figure out if I can get unemployment back or not
- work on budget
- go to bank
- straighten up house
- laundry (always laundry)
- floors
- clean bathrooms
- piles of paperwork
- paint
- make doll clothes
- start seeds for garden
- bake
- make a big dinner
- etc.etc.etc....

It isn't a lack of things to do, for sure, that will make me crazy!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What this week will bring

Sunday.... ahhhh.... love Sunday.

I have to go to work tomorrow. It's my last day as a substitute teacher.
I can tell you, it's not been my finest moment. I didn't do well, I didn't handle it well.
I'm happy I don't have to go back after Monday.

I've though so much about this whole experience and yet I can't pin down the real problem. I don't know why I was so unhappy doing this. In theory, it would be a great job. In reality, I didn't have what it takes, whatever that is.

So, now I'm going to be unemployed again. I'm hoping I can get my unemployment back. I have no idea if I can or can't. I'll have to call the Unemployment Office on Monday to find out.

And I'm going to be searching hard for a job. Unfortunately, I don't know how well THAT will work out. A "Facebook Friend" just posted that she has sent out 587 applications and hasn't come up with anything yet. The economy isn't what it should be.

So I'm also looking at alternate ideas for money savings and maybe making money. And it all starts Tuesday.

But one thing is for sure... I'm going to miss being out in the world. If I'm sitting here every day without anyone to talk to, just talking to myself, I'm going to go crazy.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Glaciers are forming


This winter has been one for the record books! I read somewhere that it's the most snow we've had in more than 60 years or something. And the custodian across the street said that he heard more snow is coming in for Tuesday.

Seems like I never blog anymore unless we have a snow day.

Seems like we have a snow day every week or so!

Today is the first time this winter that I've helped dig out the cars. It is nice having grown sons, but on the other hand, they are not always around like they were when they were little. I remember when they were little and helped me shovel, I did most of the work for the first few years, and then when they got the hang of it they really took over.

Snow days aren't bad if you don't have to leave the house except to shovel. I don't like them as much when you have somewhere to go, something to do. But today has been pleasant, and I've got the house to myself! :)

I'll be blogging more next week, I'm pretty certain of it. See ya then!
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011



We had a snow day from school today, which was lovely! It wasn't really snowing, but there is already a lot of snow on the ground, and the precipitating was rather icy and slush is covering the streets.
So I've tried to spend the day productively - like I try to spend all my days -- TRY being the operative word. It doesn't always happen that way. I did get my resume finished at least, and I had a lovely lunch with Nick. I've read a bit. And now I'm stalling from doing housework and laundry. And from thinking. So I decided to take a picture of the lovely slush that's allowing me to be home and lazy instead of at work.

I've got some new goals for my next time of unemployment, after the teaching thing is done. First priority is to actively look for a good job. My oldest son thinks that most likely, I'll take the first job I find, and then I won't keep looking for a better one. He thinks I should take the first job, but keep looking. I'm going to try to make the first job I find BE the good one that I want to keep. In the meantime, I plan on cooking more. The cooking substitute job taught me a lot about cooking simple things like bread and stuff from scratch, and I want to do more of that, for economy and for health.

I want to keep painting and reading, and write more. I'm starting to make doll clothes for a gift, and I want to sew more; I'm going to start the quilt I've always wanted to make. (My goal is only making one quilt, I'm not taking it up as a hobby.) I want to exercise more, first thing in the morning (which, for me, will be closer to 8 AM!) I want to be structured and not as lazy as I am today. I want my schedule to be full, and not so full of slush as it is today.
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Yay snow days!

We woke up to a few more inches of fresh snow, which is a good thing because I didn't want to go to school today! So I'm cleaning my bedroom, trying to get through the piles of laundry that just keep accumulating. And I'm thinking about how I'm going to enjoy being out of work again.

One of the problems I'll have with not going to work again is putting the weight back on. But I seemed to do well with that over the summer -- but I've seen in the last few weeks that I'm starting to eat too much....

Monday, January 10, 2011

Various thoughts, nothing important

It's hard to put a cohesive thought together to post anything. I've got very disjointed ideas floating around in my head and nothing seems to stick. That's why I haven't written lately.
That and the fact that I feel like I'd like to post a photo with everything, and I haven't got any good photos.

So maybe I'll take a photo of something, some of this mess, so you can see the clutter in my brain.

Every day that goes by is a day closer to the end of substitute teaching. And every day that goes by, I heave a sigh of relief that I got through it again today with no huge problem. And then I worry about what tomorrow will bring. (Like today, one of the girls said to me, "Ms. K, if we get in a fight, don't you step into the middle of it. We like you and don't wanna see you get hurt." What should I be expecting? She was laughing at the time... so I'm hoping it was just a joke... and she jokes about me being nervous quite often... eeeesh...)

I've been cooking with these kids since September. And I have no good ideas left. All of the good ideas I had in the beginning have been done already. Plus, there isn't so much money in the budget to make many meat dishes. So this week, they asked if they could learn how to make cannoli. But I don't know HOW to make cannoli. So I bought the cannoli shells, and I've got a recipe for the filling. But it doesn't sound like a very good idea to me... but I don't have any better ideas... The other projects for the week and next week for my three classes are (probably) eggplant parm; tiramisu; vegetarian chinese dumplings; portuguese chorizo, rice and beans; slovakian cucumbers; spinach artichoke dip; apple pie; dinner rolls with yeast dough; cheese danish; pizza with homemade crust; and mozzarella sticks. And I might spring for chicken for them to make fried chicken for the final meal. But I'm really tired of thinking about food, and I'm going out to dinner tonight. :p

It's supposed to snow again. Shoprite was crazy. Everyone had to get their milk and bread and eggs. I did the food shopping for the class, but not for home. But I think I have enough bread and milk and eggs anyway, at home. There's never enough at school.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Through a glass, darkly

It's a new year and things are changing. Who knows what this year will bring? I'm optimistic, I hope I am right to be.
My first priority is to finish up this teaching job. I have a month to go, and it's still taking up huge chunks of my time and energy. Probably because I'm not good at it.

After that, my next priority is to get the budget figured out. Like I said - I'm optimistic. I'm going to take a fresh look at things and find ways to be more frugal to make up for losing my income.

Then, I've gotta come up with a career plan. I swing back and forth on this one. Am I desperate enough to work in Shop Rite? How about retail? Can I find a real career kind of job? Or maybe I should give writing and art a chance? Or should I stick with the real world? I really change my mind about this every minute. Which is why I need to go over the budget first.

It's gonna be an interesting year. It's interesting that last January, I had no idea that I would be in this position this January. And here I am. So who knows what will happen by next January?

One of my thoughts, though, is that it's gonna be a BIG year. Cross your fingers for me! :D