Friday, October 30, 2009

Fantastic Friday

Or it would be if the prospect of OT wasn't looming over my head...I'll get up at the crack Saturday and give them 4 hours and be done with it.

We sorely need the money, but I also sorely need home time. Cleaned the kitchen last night and my head was clear once again...when the f*ck am I gonna learn that that needs to be status quo? So I'm energized to dig into the apartment some more...I've been doing well at that the past couple of weekends, I'm getting into a zone of sorts. Also going to be baking, prepping for the week with healthy meal options...been reading recipes all week and really getting inspired. And thankfully, I've reached a stopping point where fast food is my age and size, the thought of having a heart attack is really waking my ass up. Took me f*cking long enough! I'm also inspired to create recipe boxes for the crazy amounts of recipes that I've taken off the Web...Joann's offers photo boxes in the impulse section that are cheap and will fit the bill nicely, I think.

Happened upon a goldmine that's going to be my saving grace in this holiday season: Organized Christmas. Les's family really celebrates Christmas, though the economy should give us an excuse for taking it easy in the gifts department a bit. I'm quite tired of spending the holidays in a panic about gifts and cards and whatnot though, so I'm looking forward to organizing it better so I can actually enjoy and get into the season. As a non-Christian surrounded by Christians, it's tricky finding your own ways to get in the spirit...requires a bit of research and effort, but it's so worth it as I align how I feel about the holidays with how I wish us to celebrate them.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Contemplative Thursday

Found these guys behind my work when I was leaving tonight...

So exactly how lame is it to think that my dad sent the geese I've been seeing so much lately?

I'm walking out to my car this morning. Humidity 93%, temp 75F, overcast, damp, feels warmer, and should get to mid-80s today. It's not pleasant weather. Key out, I cock an ear because I think I hear them. I strain my eyes to the sky where the honking is coming from and within 30 seconds, I see entire flock in 2 sections, close to a dozen fly right over my head, with a 2nd contingent off to the right, flying over the neighboring apartment complex, breaking the morning silence with their honks. And it dawns on me, why I've been seeing them so much lately...Dad sent them because we're not having autumn here this year.

The thought brings happy tears to my eyes. I laugh and cry and drive to work with a buoyant spirit.

Guess it's not too lame after all, huh?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesdays

Carolinas...a love story.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Full of Hope Mondays

I have two kinds of Mondays: the kind normal 9-to-5ers have (::grumble, bitch, moan, complain:: and see cat above) and Full of Hope Mondays. On the latter, my brain wakes up to new possibilities and I spend the day pondering craft projects, reorganizing the apartment in my head, and looking ahead to the future, all while editing the occasional website.

Today was definitely a Full of Hope Monday, and it was a welcome change after about 2 weeks of hormones and depression. I looked up sewing patterns, pondered holiday gifts for family, and even looked at Gastonia, NC, as a possibility for us, but thankfully tossed it pretty quickly out of the pile - just too many lousy memories.

Saturday was lovely...hung out with Lil Sis and Mom for Lil Sis's birthday. We did lunch at Friday's, wandered St. Johns Town Centre, enjoyed Starbucks at B&N, wandered some more, did dinner at the bar at PF Chang's, and then hung at Mom's and watched Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. I was surprised! I don't watch too many romantic comedies anymore, because a) don't need 'em as much when you're living the dream (pause so readers can barf), and b) I've seen enough of them to be bored of them. But this one was smartly written and had some great lines...we laughed out loud and rewound at several spots.

Sunday, woke up surprisingly not hungover (imbibed several adult beverages the night before), so I tackled the kitchen and baked cookies for Lil Sis to take back with her. That felt great, as it's been a while since I've baked, and popping the zucchini bread out of the freezer this weekend too, got me in the mood to get baking again. Just in time! I'm making lists for baked goods that are going in people's holiday gift bags this year, and this week, I want to try my hand at apple butter bread.

Got my birthday pressie!! Tried taking a picture, but point-and-shoot doesn't do well against glass, so here's the link. Don't know when I discovered Selina Fenech, but her art is delightful and I look forward to purchasing some more incarnations of it in the future. She's a 20-something breast cancer survivor too, so I'm kind of blown away by her ability to live off her art...reminds me I'm behind in my dreams. Love listening to Garrison Keillor, but it reminds me that I still want to publish - dude's got, like 4 books coming out this year! I'm rereading the Mitford books, and something's stirring in my creative psyche...we'll see if it turns into anything, though I'm betting the holidays will help it take a backseat once again. Got a lot of hand-making of stuff to accomplish...

Friday, October 23, 2009


I may hate my desk job, planting my ass in a chair 8 hours a day while my body atrophies from lack of use, but I do love working on a "normal" schedule. Mondays may suck occasionally, but Fridays are great, full of hope and promise. Never was able to manage that when my days off were Tuesday and Wednesday...just ain't the same.

Should've known we wouldn't have any sort of autumn down here this year...summer was mild in my book, not sure we even had any days in the 100s. So I'm still working on ignoring the weather...shake my head at the mugginess and 80s, and head out with my brain firmly in a cooler place, trudging through wet leaves, dreaming of next year...yes, it's gotten a pinch milder here, but it sure ain't the same...

My heart goes out to the Thompson family...Orange Park is a community right down the road from Jax, so we're all feeling the loss of that little girl Somer. Saw another story in the paper about a guy wearing no pants who chased a girl home from school yesterday. Lovely.

I'm recognizing that we can't start saving for the move until after the holidays, so I'm preparing a budget for the minute the holidays are over. It'll take me about a month to accrue fresh PTO after the first of the year, so I'll plan our first trip to Charlotte sometime in February, just to sniff the place out.

Lil Sis is home to celebrate her birthday this weekend! I'm so glad...she's had friends moving away from her right and left lately, for jobs or other life changes, so I love being a phone pal with her and any extra opportunity to smother her in hugs :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Been dropping off on here for a bit, and can't always blame the camera...though I admit I'm still getting used to finding things to snap. Didn't realize the moon was setting instead of rising last night, so missed a great shot...must've been in perigee or something because it was fingernail and really close-looking at my location. Ah well...the cauldron shot's an oldie from our CT trip last year. Didn't want to leave you hangin'...

Weather gave us bliss this past weekend, and now it's creeping up again, so I'm just trying to ignore it. Highs in the low 80s...grumble, grumble...

Caught a wild hair the other night and picked up a needle and thread...wanted to remove the snaps on a favorite purse, because it's Target cheap and was tearing the fabric. So I did that, sewed the holes shuts, and then repaired two more things of Les's that were in a pile that's been ignored for quite a while. One thing needs a patch, so I may search for some flannel that'll match it. It got me in the mood to sew, which is funny because I haven't been knitting lately...which gets me bummed and throwing in the towel about handmade gifts for the holidays...but I really can't afford to have that mindset, because we can't really afford the holidays this year, so people are just going to have to deal with baked goods and handmades.

So last night I went looking for the embroidery goldmine (aka stitch encyclopedia) I found at Chamblin's and I ended up rearranging the stash area again...funny how those things happen. I finally have access again to my crafting books, which have been buried on the bedroom coffee table for way too long, and the holiday brainstorming can resume!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Autumn and goose love

I have a love affair with Canada geese. Ever since my childhood in Warren, CT, where I've romanticized laying on the grass in our field watching them pass by overhead from south to north. Their honks sound in my soul when I hear them, and I love their solid coloring. One of my favorite movies still, is Fly Away Home.

These guys I feel sorry for, as I see them year-round. These poor critters have no business being in Florida past, like April. It bothers me that they could be suffering from climate confusion. I suppose, depending on their intelligence, they could've elected to be snowbirds year-round, but somehow I doubt that's likely. We have several flocks in the area, two that I'm aware of nearby...there's a dozen or so that travel between St. Luke's and Baymeadows, and there's a batch that live in my business district off of St. Augustine Road near Bayard. I'm cynical enough to wonder if some outfit trucked them in for decoration. Ah well...I love spotting them and when I see them, I talk to them briefly and tell them I enjoy their company. Yes, I'm a little tweaked.

I spent the afternoon thinking of stuff for this next bit, and it put me in such a good mood! I'm hitting the Southern Women's Show with Mom on Sunday (an orgy of brochures, free samples, and free food), but I hope that Saturday can be a day filled with baking, organizing, doing something with apples and pumpkin, and hanging curtains in the bedroom. The temps are finally dropping for a pinch this weekend.

Autumn is...

Apples and pumpkins
And leaves on the ground
Wood smoke and chill nights
And family gathered 'round.

It stops rhyming here, so don't get your hopes up...

Curling up by a fire sipping hot cider
Raking leaves for the sole purpose of then jumping into the pile
Crisp air
Digging out the woolens and boots
Finding a knitted cap for long walks after dinner
Cold noses and toeses
Extra blankets on the bed and not needing AC
The smell of leaf rot
Trying to dig and realizing the earth is cold

Jesus, how'd I survive as long as I have in Florida?!

Grabbing a jacket before you step outdoors
Rosy cheeks and wind cutting through your slacks
Soups and stews for dinner that have spent all day in the crockpot
Colors and colors and colors in the trees!
Hot cocoa with little marshmallows
Jack o'lanterns and the last harvests, finding new ways to use squash

That last one's a biggie...I start planning my side dishes for Thanksgiving a full month ahead.

Making sure the car tires are in good shape
(and keeping a window scraper in the trunk for good measure)
Contemplative evenings
Fall festivals and foggy mornings
Dreaming of eggnog
Walnuts to snack on, and apple butter on English muffins
Starting holiday gifts
Smelling the air, straining your eyes against the grey sky for a glimpse of flakes
And the warmth of wrapping yourself in a woobie when you come in from the cold.

10 months 'til Charlotte...I WILL make it happen this time!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Not-so-tense Tuesday

My lapsed-Catholic-turned-witch self doesn't believe in JC anymore, but I still think of God (as in Father, Son, Holy Ghost) every time I see the sun burn through clouds like that.
I definitely have different views now. I'm starting to reread "Twelve Wild Swans" by Starhawk, and there's that coming-home feeling that I haven't had in a while. It's good that I'm digging into it now, so close to time I can think of to renew my faith.

I'm jonesing for autumn and no help for it here...temps dropping as rain threatens, but the humidity's still kicking our asses. Today was cooler, but I see blogs of snow starting in the north and I ache a little. So I must content myself with clouds, clover, and random cat pics :)

Got demoted...well, not really...they just finally took the extra work away from me, the work they've been having me do for the better part of a year now as a stop-gap. The relief I've been feeling since hearing this is notable. Yes, I'll be bored out of my skull again as a regular editor, and it'll be tough getting back to focusing on one or two projects vs. like, five...but I'm in a position to make money, and the stress of that extra work, I will not miss. For the first time in quite a while, I went to work in a decent mood.
Geez, that last shot's kind of cat porn...sorry, Figaro!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday, Monday...

nah, nah...nah, nah, nah, nah...

Carry my camera in my purse now, but remembering it's there is still a trick. Spent half the day Saturday hanging out with Mom and Lil Sis and didn't take one picture, even though I'd love to capture more of Lil Sis, who after almost-26-years still radiates light in my book; and Mom's adorable mutt is all round n' cute and not barking as much (so the urge to drop-kick her has waned considerably). We hung curtains and imbibed Bud Select while Mom napped (she just had carpal tunnel surgery), which resulted in quite a bit of silliness and nice bonding. Then we enjoyed dinner at Carrabba's, which was so scrumptious and filling, and they were so heavy-handed with the garlic I'm pretty sure the vamps will steer clear of our apartment the rest of the week!

Sunday was a wash, darn mood swings...there's nothing quite so frustrating as wanting very badly to change your lot in life and lacking the energy or motivation to do anything about it. It bothers me when I'm so whipped by life I don't even want to knit.

So armed with orneryness and a firm desire to be elsewhere, I trudge into work today, determined to change things somehow. 10 months til Charlotte...

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

You take what you can get

This is a glimpse of fall. Live oaks don't change color much, the leaves are probably browning, but I'll take what I can get this week...temps are in the low 90s. Just not right.

The clouds are a great example of how I stay sane in this tropical unseasoned I keep from missing mountains...the one cool thing about Florida for me is that there's so much sky! We're flat here, so it's just friggin' everywhere, and the clouds, especially during hurricane season, can be spectacular in their different colors and densities.

It's interesting, having to remember to take pics...I'm first and foremost a writer, but it's finally dawning on me that all the blogs I love are picture heavy, that there are many other forms of communication besides the ole written word. My apologies for the droning journal-like nature of this little blog up until now. I get it finally, and will be giving you glimpses of me, how I think, what I see, what I hope to pass onto you, not just in words, but in pictures now. I'm enjoying trying to find interesting things to shoot, especially when my dang day/week is so repetitive (get up, grab breakfast, go to work, sit at computer 8 hours, regain sanity, go home, feed, chill...). Lil Sis has a really good point with her brand of restlessness lately, reminded me how we only hang on this planet in this body the once, so might as well make it memorable, purge the drudgery from your life if at all possible. That frame of thought's been really prevalent since we lost Dad, but doing something about it is quite another story. But I'm quite tired of falling back on the drudgery in the name of responsibility. That needs to be my motivator to getting us the hell out of FL...there's so very much more I intend to accomplish.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Cleaning fool

Something weird's happening...I guess I've never been a spring cleaner, more of a fall cleaner. Fall means back to school and new notebooks and clothes...but since I have notebooks and can't currently afford new clothes, I'm cleaning. Obtained boxes from Mom's move last weekend. Saturday was kind of a wash, though I did clear out around a key catch-all chair in the bedroom. Woke up clear-headed on Sunday though, and dug into the dining room. It's definitely a work in progress...I'll be digging into old boxes in the coming weeks and purging some stuff. But something funny happened...I had an OK day at work today, because I was looking forward to getting back to the cleaning in some form. Tonight I had to make dinner and do some old dishes, but once TV time hit, I tackled a project...reorganized my yarn stash. The above pic is the result. I hope to keep adding pictures as the mood strikes, whether they are of my surroundings outside or in. It's just that the apartment's still such a disaster, that you'll only get those in glimpses at first.

Sunday was fantastic...I plunged into the dining room, just started someplace rather than look around too much and get overwhelmed. I knew I wanted a fresh Goodwill box, a fresh Chamblins box, and to get some more stuff stored. That took me toward the bookshelves, where I discovered at least 10 shoeboxes of mementos and "stuff." So after I'd done a piece of sorting in the dining room, I took the shoeboxes into the bedroom so I could relax with the tube and sort. Purged a bunch of stuff, kept a nice amount, and managed to fit it into a single smallish box. It's interesting how at this age o' mine, you look at things you've kept and are able to say, I don't need this because I have my memories and they're enough.

Hopefully I can keep this mood going...geez, shouldn't say it like that, like I'm already setting myself up for failure. I'm not. It feels so great, and I've barely even started. When I have TV I want to catch, I'll drag a box into the bedroom and see what I can get done. Tomorrow night I'll hit another corner of the bedroom, because I think we need to get the other coffee table out of there too...that one's nice, solid wood. It has 2 funny little drop leaves on the sides and it's scratched to hell - it was another dumpster acquisition. But we honestly don't need it at all, and we won't refinish it, so I'll be talking up its removal this week.

Work's about to get harder, as the copywriting/design team undergoes some supervisory transitions. I'm keeping my chin up and my eyes on the future...I look to December, when I'll hit my 10-year mark with the company, and then I'll look further and see we're going to be able to move next year like I want, and if not, it'll be time to hunt here.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Mini rant and random thought

When did we stop driving while driving? I headed to work today in back of a guy who couldn't leave his bangs alone while studying himself in the rearview, and I was followed too closely by a broad in an SUV yacking away on the phone. Would've loved to have slammed on the brakes to teach her a lesson, but I love my car too much. I just don't get it. I guess I'm just lucky that my life isn't busy enough to have to talk to people while I'm driving. And I can't judge some I know my LilSis gabs away on drives, but she usually uses speakerphone or a hands-free...and she's a very social creature who's currently lacking a bit in the friends department, so I'd never begrudge her her phone time. The ones who annoy me are the ones who clearly don't have the IQ to be multitasking like that. I'm fairly proud of my smarts, but I don't talk on the phone while driving because a) speakerphones annoy me and where the heck would I put the silly thing without it sliding someplace while I drove?, and b) I drive a stick and know my limitations. There's plenty of people out there who could use a dose of my self-confidence.

And, off subject, it just figures that I'm contemplating a career change when unemployment just jacked up to 9.8% and the pundits are thinking it'll definitely go beyond 10% before it goes down...perfect time to be thinking about kids too. Geez, I love my timing.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Autumn Color Week: Orange

Yeah, like we'll ever have orange leaves in Florida...

So you get a shot of the log cabin blanket I started a while back, that's been abandoned until I get the xmas socks done...colors so far are burnt orange, burgundy, green, and off-white. I'm hoping to build it to king size, using all acrylics, like Red Heart. Hate the stuff and it's hard on the hands, but I just can't afford something that size in the good stuff.

What else is going on...not a whole lot. Work's hard. I'm thinking about how moving may mean a career change for me, which would be fine - I really can't stand how much time I spend sitting on my ass every day - but I also know that my current unhappiness is fueling that idea, so we'll see how things pan out.

I'm praying that payday tomorrow means we can pay rent without having to borrow from family. It's going to take a small miracle though.

Keeping it short...not in a great place still this week...looking forward to weekend. Got a bunch of book-sized boxes from Mom's move, planning to put them to use this weekend, consolidating stuff.
Read some Starhawk this afternoon and it boosted my spirits...going to dig back into my Reclaiming/Feri books, start thinking about Samhain and renewing my faith.