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!