My Blog

Join me in figuring out "what now?"

Things Have Been Good For A Change

Even though I have made the decision to go back to work and have actively started the search, I find that things are okay. No, more than okay, they have been good. I like where I am in the broad sense of things and feel pretty confident about the job hunt.

Me and The Kid have spent a lot of time outside, getting the garden going and tending to my strawberry patch. The strawberries are third year plants now, which means that they are really routed and should produce many and sweet berries. I am looking forward to harvesting some.

I’ve not entirely given up on the dream of moving to Europe, although it still seems so difficult to achieve. I did sit yesterday and filled out the applications for our passports – mine expired and The Kid’s passport was a minor’s passport. And now that he is no longer a minor, he has to apply for an adult passport. I pulled out his passport the other day and he is about 4 and smiling that big beautiful grin of his in the photo. I just cannot believe how quickly all the time has just flown by. He is soon to be leaving his teens and will turn 20 this year!

Damned if that doesn’t make me feel old! Well, that and the bad knees and the headaches and the gray hair… blah, blah, blah. I suppose that I have turned into one of those ‘old’ people that I remember from my youth… bitchin’ about time passing too quickly and complaining about their aches and pains… oh, and driving around in those hot sport cars that should be reserved for those young and beautiful people!

Yeah. Every “old” person I remember from my youth has had their predictions come true. You know the ones, ‘just wait, you’ll see how fast time goes by’ or ‘one day you’ll understand why it is important to take care of yourself’ kinds of warnings. Yeah.

The funny thing about this particular blog, was that it was supposed to be a way to help decide how I wanted to spend this next segment of my life. Most days, I am happy to just be sewing or quilting or painting or whatever and watching old movies (at least they are streaming and I don’t have to watch commercials!!). Not such a bad way to spend a day.

I will try to be better about writing. I know I made a new year’s resolution to write every day, if only a few words, but hell, here I am but writing only a post or two a week!

Thanks for dropping by,

MacCupcake

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Looks Like the Sabbatical Has to End

When I dropped off the ’employment grid’ back in Thanksgiving, I had no idea my little sabbatical was going to last. Or how long I would need to decompress from the daily grind. Well, here I am right at the six month mark and I find that a) the finances are getting a bit stretched but (and most importantly) b) I am significantly de-stressed and ready to go back to work.

I have hopes that the next position will be my last… that is, I would really like to find a company, group and team that I enjoy working with and that has the finances to keep me on project for a while. Like ‘years’ while, not ‘months’.

There is always two things that I didn’t like about my career – and I don’t know what it is like in other industries, I only know in mine – is that lots of positions are sort of a ‘test’ position. That is, the project is new or in re-development and no one quite seems to know if, or how long, the project will last. It is a unique environment and a fickle one, and some things die a quick death, some run out of money or steam and some turn into the next million dollar idea. So some positions that I expected to last a few months, lasted years… and vice versa.

So, the second thing I don’t like is the job hunt. I suspect that most people don’t care for the job hunt, but sometimes it is unavoidable. I do a lot of contract work, which like stated earlier, requires the correct amount of money to be allocated by the project to keep going and if the money gets used up before the project is done – poof! – contracts are ended and I am once again, back to the hunt.

I think it was time, though. I think that I was having days where I was having a tough time finding things to keep me sufficiently engaged. And I swear that I have no officially seen everything that has ever been produced for viewing pleasure. I can spend copious amounts of time searching for a movie or series and have, in fact, turned to re-watching some things. Not that is all bad, as some things can only be viewed or seen in a second or third viewing. Or that specific projects are so well crafted that you want to see it more than once. (Kevin Spacey in “House of Cards” quickly comes to mind.)

So, yeah, deciding to go back to work was easy. Now comes the hard part. I hope there is a quick resolve to this and maybe the stars are aligned just right that I will find what I am looking for quickly. After all, in my thirty-odd years of working in technology, I’ve really not been involved in a bad project, and only temporarily involved with a less than optimum company. I am pretty good at listening to my gut and have had a very successful and challenging career.

MacCupcake

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Tired… Just Too Damned Tired

Ever feel like you can’t get ahead? On finances, or sleep or projects or anything? That’s me tonight.

And this is when things get tricky. You see when I have this much on my mind and I get to feeling that I can’t get anything finished, it really starts to aggravate the headaches. The medication I take keeps me just this side of a constant migraine, but let me tell you, add some real stress to the mix and then not enough sleep – and you have yourself a sure fired recipe for one helluva headache. I can feel it in my arms and chest and back and neck and it is slowly but surely creeping towards a migraine.

At least I can sleep in tomorrow. And stay in bed all day if I have to.

I can only pray that no one signs me up for more crap tomorrow… or doesn’t try to hack my Google or Apple accounts. Jeesh, talk about aggravating! Can’t someone give me a break?

MacCupcake

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It Just Goes On and On and On and On….

So, I have someone attempting to hijack a couple of different email accounts that I have. And my Apple account. Thankfully, even if you knew me WELL, you would not guess my passwords. I use a fairly difficult encryption scheme that even keeps me out on occasion! 🙂

But the frustration is always there. On a daily basis, I have someone or someones who sign me up for a myriad of websites and accounts. Thankfully, with recent legislation, the ‘opt out’ part is relatively simply, but still frustration when it occurs so much. I suppose the frustration is the reward for whoever continues to do this.

We all know when this started. It was following separation from a specific company and a specific boss. And it has been fairly consistent. Something like 7 – 10 a week, most weeks. I really don’t know what else I am supposed to do about it – I simply refuse to go into hiding or give up my trademark email/handle. I actually am not sure that writing about it here only stokes the fire. Whatever.

I was irritated enough by the fact that someone has attempted to hack into my gmail accounts last night and this morning. These are emails with very name specific handles, so it isn’t like someone is accidentally trying to sign up for their own name account. I am not 100% certain, but somewhere in the high 90’s percentage, that there is no one out there with my name. It’s pretty unique. So, it falls back to malicious behavior of someone who once knew me.

Yeah, you know who you are.

But that also goes to show that whoever that person is, is thinking about me. More than thinking about me. After all, it is said that there is a think line between love and hate… but both are passionate emotions. The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference and indifference is not what I am seeing in this situation.

Huh. Not sure that there is anything to be done about it, other than tolerating it. It is funny, though, that through the crazy behavior, I have been introduced to some pretty interesting sites on the web. Some, after inactivating whatever account was set up, that I’ve actually gone back and signed up for! I suppose that would be the silver lining of this very dark and stormy cloud.

There it is. In words. And through it all, my reaction is still: “meh”.

MacCupcake

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Manners Are Still Being Taught (And I, For One, Am Thankful)

I was touched, today, by the kindness of a mother and her daughter. It would seem in this impersonal age of computers and email and smart phones, something as corny as manners are still being taught. And it warms my insides!

I wasn’t much of a ‘girly’ girl, considering that I really grew up with five brothers (more or less) and so pink and frilly and sparkly was never my thing. As a mother, I had just my son, so I never had the chance to do girly things for a child. Or live vicariously through a daughter.

As many of you know, I have a sister blog. Its all about creative stuff… and to continue to fund projects, I sell what I finish. So, often I will work on pieces that are pink and frilly and sparkly. Last week, I sold a dresser -painted in six shades of pink – to a mom and to my delight, she brought her daughter along with her to pick up the piece.

Lovely conversation followed. (Maybe I am ready to be around more people?) Morgen had an awesome story behind her name and I had remarked what an awesome name it was. I guess her age about 8 or 9, and she wasn’t shy and was quite engaging as well. So, once we had finished the transaction, I asked if she liked American Girl dolls. (And I haven’t found many at that age who aren’t just ga-ga over those dolls. Me, too, I guess, since I had actually built a doll house in proper proportions – that thing was nearly seven feet tall!). But I digress.

I have a sizable amount of inventory to a failed idea about creating affordable clothing, accessories and props for the doll line – called “Dolls and Cupcakes”. I thought it would be a great idea, as the actual American Girl doll line is crazy expensive. A pair of shoes for a doll can range upwards of $20 to $30! I hoped that I could fill that need.

Alas, it was not to be. So with Morgen and her mom standing in my foyer and finding that Morgen was, indeed, a doll enthusiast, I retrieved one of the two remaining beds that I had made and presented it to her. She loved it. I was happy to have a little more gone from the house.

Now, here is the crux of the story. Today, I received a thank you card from Morgen. Hand written on a cute card, she expressed her appreciation of not only the doll bed, but for the dresser as well. I was floored! In a good way! I cannot recall the last time that someone took the time and effort to actually thank me, and especially using the good old USPS and something as archaic as a stamp and a pencil!

What a joy! I loved that her mom went above and beyond to teach her daughter the proper etiquette and for Morgen to sit down and author the note.

Totally made my day. No, totally made my week and month! I am so warmed!

Okay, y’all can make fun of me, but this really meant a lot.

End of rant! 🙂

MacCupcake

PS If by chance you read my other blog, you may note that I posted the same story in both places. That’s how much I was pleased!!

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Its My Birthday: And Today Proved to be Quite Nice Indeed

So, I woke up this morning to find this on the kitchen island:

photo 3Yep, The Kid stayed up late to bake me a cake! And then cut it into the shape of the Apple logo. Of course, he left it to me to frost it, but to his credit, he actually made the trip in the middle of the night to the store to buy both the cake mix and the frosting. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love that Kid.

And here it is after I frosted it:

photo 1Yes, plain and simple. Just the way I like it.

Oh, and lets not forget a day filled with about a thousand birthday wishes! When you have great friends, it more than makes up for the less-than-perfect family. Thank you! I love you all so dearly!

Today, in case some of you missed it, was a very special birthday. I turned five five (55) on five five (May 5). This milestone was pointed out to me on my first milestone birthday, turning 5 on 5/5. And let me assure you, at the ripe old age of five, I could not even fathom fifty years down the road. That would have made me ancient!

So, once again, a great big heartfelt thank you to everyone who reached out. Now I am going to put my feet up and me and The Kid are going to split the leaf (the “leaf” of the cake, not that leaf… HA!).

aq-happy-birthdayMacCupcake

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The Joys of Spring… Yeah, Right.

One would think that springtime would encourage feelings of hope and rebirth and celebration, but I find that spring showers elicit melancholy from me. It doesn’t help that I have a deck railing that seems to call mourning doves to roost there, singing their dark tunes. I sit today behind this screen with a headache that promises to be a real doozy, and I can’t help feel disappointed at the prospect of another day of pain.

Especially considering what an unexpectedly nice weekend I had. I suspect that it was primarily due to being able to spend much time with The Kid, even though our journeys yesterday ranged from disappointing to downright maddening. In trying to do something nice for someone, it pushed both me and The Kid to our breaking points – cultivating with him throwing his phone on the floor and his voice raising an octave or two. It didn’t last too long, but once he or I go to that dark place, there isn’t a whole lot either of us can do to get back. Other than good old fashioned time.

I suspect that I may have hit that sweet spot that I am no longer truly enjoying time off from work. It has been a pretty regular pattern for me, I really need to have something to challenge or stimulate me else I lose interest and look for something new to keep me occupied. That could mean going back to work, if only I could find the right job. I really need something that I could throw myself into, and be surrounded by people who are as invested as much as I am in a project. That’s hard to find. But perhaps the process of hunting will keep me occupied for a while.

Or who knows what else may come along. As long as I keep my eyes, ears and heart open to new possibilities, it may be enough.

MacCupcake

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