Slightly sarcastic, these are my thoughts on the things going on in MY world.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Rambling Rose and Other Cliches

Oops, she did it again. My middle child, my second daughter, Snark-Girl, just said the exact same thing at the same time as me - which has been happening abso-freaking-lutely so often lately as to be scary. She's said for the longest time that she lives in my head - I guess she's just proving it by speaking right alongside of me. Although my brain is getting rather crowded with her in there. And I need all the room I can get right now, as I've recently started a new job.

Let me be blunt, here. I'm no spring chicken. I think I'm more in the mid-autumn of my life, if I were truly honest. And I have no idea how I managed to get the position I currently have. Some people say it was my resume; others say it was the company I worked for previously - all I know is that I walked away from a month shy of 26 years employment with the same firm, fully expecting to poddle my way through a summer at home, dealing with Snark-Boy and trying to go through the mass of clutter and junk in my home, while trying to pull together clothes to donate, so we could get a tax write-off next year. Lofty goals, I know. But, it was not to be, much to my vast surprise.

A scant two weeks after turning in my keys and cleaning out my desk and surrounding work area, I got an email asking if I was still in the job market. Huh? Who ratted me out? This wasn't my plan! But, the Snark-Man had been making much noise about me getting a job and bringing in more much-needed money to the household, so I replied that I was available. An interview (which wasn't called that) was set up for the next day (my oldest daughter's birthday), and I planned the appropriate interview attire. Of course, this entailed a shopping trip to Target - everybody enjoys a trip there! - so I could maybe find something new and get some pantyhose, as I'd been able to wear jeans for the last year or so of my previous employment.

Long story short (which they never seem to be, really, coming from me), I was hired. Although, the road is never a smooth one for me - I didn't get the offer letter for the job until after two days of cross-training with the person who was currently in the position. So my start day was two days after I really started working. Confused yet? Anyway, that was the real reason for the rush on hiring me (she'd given her two-week notice) - but, not only were my skills right up their proverbial alley, I was also very familiar with the commercial real estate market, having just finished up working for a privately-held commercial real estate firm. But, those two days were gifted back to me as days I could use for leave without touching any leave I might have accrued, or time I needed to take off before my 90-day praobationary period expired, and I was permitted to begin using leave.

But, again, all is not rosy in Snark-ville. The particular packages that were mentioned in the non-interview interview as being something I shouldn't worry about, as someone else was able to do those - were a HUGE factor in being able to do the job. So, here I am, 7 weeks into this job, and I can finally say that I am feeling comfortable with the job requirements. Of course, I fully expect something new to be asked/demanded of me tomorrow, and I'll be knocked back on my keester and feeling dumber than dirt all over again.

But you know what? I don't think I'd have it any other way. I don't mind admitting that I don't know how to do things, as long as people understand and give me some time to learn what it is they think I should know! And I like keeping my brain limber - which is definitely happening with all the new packages, tasks and chores that are coming my way here!

Anyway, that's enough rambling about the job, without going into specifics - which I won't do here - I'm not going to name names and companies. This old dog is learning lots of new tricks, and I'm happier for it!

Monday, January 7, 2013

No Year's Resolutions

I've never been one to make New Year's Resolutions. But, as I get older, I'm noticing that my clothes sizes keep getting bigger, along with my stomach, thighs and rear. Not an attractive look, let me tell you.

Yesterday, when I hit Costco for a stocking/shopping run with my daughter, we wandered the book tables, as we're both avid readers. Of course, they always have lots of cookbooks around the holidays, and while I love to look at them, I rarely ever buy one. But I spotted one that looked - different. Not really a cookbook, although there are recipes in it. It's Eat to Lose, Eat to Win, by Rachel Beller. She's apparently helped people on The Biggest Loser turn their eating habits around by changing the way they approach their plates and grocery shopping. I bought it, and practically devoured it last night. I'll read it again, looking at more  specific spots, in a more leisurely fashion, again. And again. Something clicked with this book.

So, I've decided to track calories. It may not be precisely what she recommends, but I've got to start somewhere. I'm hopeful that it will make me more thoughtful about what's going in my mouth if I have to write it down, and be accountable at the end of the day for my number. Let's just hope it's not too high!

Also, let me not be tempted too much by all the food stuffs hidden away in my house. Evenings could well be my downfall, as the temptation to nibble after dinner, amid requests by my husband and son for dessert or something sweet, hit. My plan includes lots of water, and lots of busyness - I've been wanting to accomplish things around the house - here's the time for it. I may even ask my daughter to go for a walk around the block (it's a rather large block) - several times! And slowly but surely replacing the hidden treats with better-for-you things as I learn from Rachel's book.

Maybe it will be a win-win situation for both my health and my house!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Want, Need, Wear, Read

Every year, like clockwork, the holidays sneak up on me. I always have the best of intentions for getting started early on my Christmas gift shopping, but regular old everyday life always seems so demanding that it gets back-burnered. And, yet again here I find myself with almost every weekend holding some event or something I'm involved in somehow, and little to nothing accomplished towards Christmas. It's possible I can drag out the few outside lights and wreaths this weekend, with the thought of possibly decking the house for the holidays following Turkey Day. I don't think we have near enough stuff for the outside of our house, but I also have a hard time justifying spending money on something that's going to cost money to use!

Lat year, I decided not to put my tree in my bay window. You'd have thought I had ruined, or Scrooged, my husband's entire Christmas. (Just for that, I may do the same thing again.) To get the tree in the window, I have to move a loveseat and a sofa table that I've turned into a window seat for my dog. It's not the end of the world to move it, but it does mean rearranging a large portion of the furniture in the living room, just so I can put together the pre-lit box tree, connect all the plugs buried within the tree for the lights, arrange the tree skirt, dig out the boxes of eclectic decorations, and do the decorating and garlanding of the tree all by myself. Seems to me that if I'm doing all the work, I should be allowed to decide where the tree goes!

Sorry for the brief diversion, there. Okay, gifts. I tried, rather unsuccessfully, last year to follow the credo that a blogger I read uses - Want, Need, Wear, Read. Basically meaning that each child gets 4 gifts, one from each category. So if they're smart, they'll be involved and have a large portion of the suggesting/say in what they get. And yes, I realize that makes it sound like we no longer believe in Santa Claus, but my children are all old enough to know now who it is who funds the gifts - my youngest is 12!. Also, it behooves them to provide me with ideas from all the categories, so they know that the few gifts they are getting are truly ones they want. And I don't have to stress too much, aside from creating the silly stockings that I still do for them.

My daughters both take after me in that they are heavy readers, although they also like to watch television series on their laptops. My son took a while to nudge and encourage into reading. We had to find a series that he would be interested in, yet would challenge him - then he took off. We bought him a Nook for his last birthday, and if I'm not careful, he'll badger me constantly about buying books for him on it! Fortunately, to buy ebooks, we have to enter in not only the IP address, but a password to verify the purchase of EACH and EVERY book he buys. So we've got total control over his purchases. However, for gifts, I'd rather get legitimate in-your-hand books or paperbacks to wrap.

Then there are the rest of the family members - the Mister's family, my family, and our two grandchildren. How do I limit gifts there? I think I got three apiece for them last year, because I didn't want to overwhelm them and compete with the other grandparents or even with their OWN parents. But this year I'm scrabbling for ideas. Guess I'll just have to reach out to their parents and find out suggestions. Boring, I know, but it seems what I'm reduced to every year. I don't want to buy something that's NOT wanted, and I want to make sure that what I do buy will be of use to them - be it fun or functional.

GAH. I can put myself into such a tailspin over the holidays. I don't even need anyone else to help - just give me the topic, and watch me mentally run myself right into the ground. Good thing I have SLH (Santa's Little Helper) still available to go shopping with me! Santa's too busy doing other stuff this time of year - the show belongs to Mrs. Claus. Mrs. Claus being me!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Stink. Stank. Stunk.

Haven't even made it to lunchtime today, and my day is already headed down the tubes.

1.  The Mister refused to get up easily this morning. Meaning lots of extra trips back upstairs to shake him and tell him to get in the shower. Wasted time on my part.

2.  The Boy was unable to focus and help out with the morning tasks like he usually does. Which set me back in time for getting him organized and out the door and made my shower later than I wanted it to be. Then, he decides he doesn't need to leave at his normal time, yet yells at me while I'm in the shower about needing to do the paperwork for school picture day tomorrow. HUH?? Um, it's tomorrow - I can select the (overly expensive) package tonight and write the check. So at 15 minutes later than his normal departure time, I'm downstairs yelling, again, for him to turn off the mindless boob tube and get out the door for his walk to school.

3.  Getting dressed for work, gathering food for lunch, walking the dog and brewing tea for the drive to work took me 30 minutes longer than yesterday. I knew this would put me into bad traffic. As I'm driving, I'm hearing traffic reports about the Beltway being backed up. Great. Can't win for losing here.

4.  One of the roads I take to avoid traffic turned into gridlock this morning due to a ditz of a crossing guard holding up the main drag to let kids cross. I know they need to get to school, but a half-mile of cars would like to get past you, off this road and onto the rest of their drive to work! 15 minutes just to travel down 1.1 miles of this road. Need to check the school hours for these two schools so I can better avoid this mayhem in future.

5.  There was an accident on another side street I use. Had traffic backed up (not as bad as it could, I'll grant), and blocked one lane in both directions on this road.

6.  Finally make it to the Beltway, and as I'm driving I can hear my van clunking into gear (it's an automatic). Need to check the transmission fluid, again, since the Mister won't let me get a new vehicle until I get a "legitimate" job. Wonder just what I drive to every day?? I thought I had a job. Oh wait, he means a job with a future, as I'm one of the last employees left helping to close the company down.

7.  And it's freezing in my office. I put on my office sweater OVER the sweater I wore to work.

It's gonna be a long day, folks.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Night Owl

I've got to figure a way to create and cement a new schedule in my home. The Boy started middle school this year, which requires him to leave the house an hour and a half earlier than he did last year! And I'm not involved in getting him to school, either. He walks. Oh, my heart broke just a little the first day of school when he left and I was still at home, yes it did.

The Girl has taken a job looking after the son of a former high school English teacher in the morning, so the teacher can get to school on time (high school starts at 7:20!), and her son can sleep in and be taken care of and walked to school. Elementary school starts at 9 am. However, this little boy likes to get to school early, which is a good thing, as she attends our local community college and has a class that starts at 9:30 on Tuesday and Thursday.

Needless to say, our mornings are all kinds of higgledy-piggledy. And I'm still trying to squeeze myself into the cracks of the morning around everyone else's schedule, to get done all the things I do for them, and fit prepping myself for my day into the open spaces. It's coming together, but it still needs some tweaking.

And one of those things that requires tweaking is bedtime. I am such a night owl that I want to stay up late and do personal things that I enjoy; but the alarm clock is still going to ring at 5 am. And after 4 days of early mornings and still-kinda late nights, I am one tired person at work today. I've had my coffee, yes, I have, but the yawns are still arriving.

The schedule will continue to be finessed. Hopefully both ends will come together to make the week move along much smoother. Time will tell. But today my patience is thin, and I am tired.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Open Your Eyes

I should have done this yesterday, when it actually happened, but I'm me, and didn't get to it. Whatcha gonna do?

I told you about the fox on the hill, right? Well, the very next day, as I drove through the same neighborhood where crazy car lady hangs out - just one turn farther away - I saw a doe and two fawns standing in the yard space between two houses. This particular neighborhood is a bit more secluded, and backs up to forest, so I guess it's not all that unusual for deer to be out and about, but two fawns? Both were wearing white-spotted coats, so they were probably still young.

And to think, I live in a bedroom community just south of DC. Nature is all around you, if you'll only open your eyes to it. And I'm so glad that I'm a curious person, always looking.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Morning Salute

While driving to work this morning, and dealing with all the absolutely crazy traffic and kids going back for their first day of school, I saw something amazing.

Sitting on a hill beside a house, on one of the busiest corners in this development, where kids cross the main drag to go to one of two elementary schools (one schooling K-3, and the other 4-6) was a red fox. Parked close to a small tree, sitting just like a dog, watching moms and dads walk their children to the street crossing and on to their school. And I had plenty of time to observe him, as this crossing is manned by a policewoman, and traffic was moving slowly through her intersection.

And, rather than be disturbed by the fact that he was out, among all the humans, possibly rabid, I'm going to think that he was just being social, and giving those who observed him, a little special morning salute on the first day of school.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!