Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Random Dozen - October 7, 2009

Hosted by:
Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee

*** post edited to add picture to answer 2 after finally doing a search of my computer to find it. I thought I had one of the picture after it was signed and framed but apparently not.

1. On an average, how often do you splurge and buy something for yourself?

Very seldom.

2. Are you more like Hall or Oates? Just kidding. Real question: What is the last creative project you began/finished? Feel free to post a pic of it.

It isn't really the last project I completed but the one I'm most pleased with that I will mention here. I did an oil painting several years ago that I gave to my mother. It is of a mother and daughter walking through a field of mustard that first reminded me of the field that we walked up to get to her (step) grandfather's grave site in Tennessee. Although she and I walked through that field together as adults, it occurred to me that my mom and her mother may have walked hand in hand through similar fields when my mother was a little girl. Her mother, my grandmother, died when mom was only six years old and the emotional impact of that connection is what drove me to complete the painting. It hangs in her living room to this day.

3. OK, Goldie Locks, do you consider your house too big, too little or juuuust right?

I have too many rooms for me these days. I like the amount of space but would prefer less rooms now that my children are grown and gone. Four bedrooms, a formal living room, dining room and a family room along with two and half bathrooms seem like a lot for one little lady and her dog. Three bedrooms would be perfect, larger and less furniture to maintain, dust, etc. Same with the formal areas. I don't use them at all. I would like to incorporate that space into other areas of the house but the expense of doing so is prohibitive.

4. What is your favorite outdoor chore?

Planting and nurturing but I don't do enough of it!

5. If you knew that cigarette smoking was not bad for your health but would be a weight loss tool, would you use it? Why or why not?

I gave up smoking almost 14 years ago. Even if it were not an unhealthy thing to do, I would not smoke again because of the control the habit had over me and I don't ever want to let something like that control my life again. I was always looking for a place to smoke so I wouldn't offend others, and I hated the stale odor in my house and car and on my clothes, not to mention the cost. No way will I ever let that into my life again. I'll either exercise and eat better or I'll just carry a few extra pounds... smoking is not an option for me ever again.

6. On a road trip, would you rather drive or ride?

Since there's usually only me, I always drive and it gets old and tiresome. I do like to drive so I would prefer to share the driving chores if someone were with me.

7. What do you consider a trivial pursuit?

A game! HA!

8. This weekend, we downloaded the movie "Duplicity" with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. Within 5 minutes, I was bored and annoyed, but I kept watching 5-10 minutes at a time hoping it would get better between small chores. I finally gave up and Jorge watched it alone, and then regretted wasting that time because he disliked it intensely, too. So ... how long do you watch a movie or read a book before giving up on it?

If I'm in a theatre and actually paid full price for admission and the cost of snacks, I would probably stick it out to the end, but if I'm home and it's a cheap rental or freebie, I'm outta there PDQ... usually though, I just fall asleep (sometimes at the theater too!)

9. Is there a song that you really love but are embarrassed to admit because it's not cool or it's racy or because it's by Hall and Oates?

I don't feel embarrassed by what I like, whether it's songs or anything else... others may think I should be but that's their problem! (I like Hall and Oates, well some of their songs anyway!)

10. On a scale of 1-10 (10 = extremely) how spontaneous are you?

Not very maybe a 4 or 5.

11. Are you a food and/or beverage snob?

Not really, although I do have preferences for certain foods, methods of preparation or brands, but I don't think I'm snobby about it.

12. Who/What are you trying to control in your life?

Myself, my emotions, my need to try to fix everything and make it all better for everyone.


posted by Marsha at 3 Comments

Monday, October 05, 2009

While I Was Away - part 1

While I Was Away - part 1

I decided to make a series of posts entitled While I Was Away. I think I will do them in a semi- chronological order, unless I can't remember when things happened in the sequence of events and then they will be in whatever order I write them. Not that it matters, I just tend to be anal about such things and having some order or plan of order seems to be the right way to do this in my mind. The problem is that as I get older, my CSR condition (Can't Remember S*** ) kicks in and my anal-retentive ways get nipped in the bud (do you remember what tv character used to say "nip it... nip it in the bud"?) Anyway, this is the first of these posts.

While I was away, I spent a good part of my time working. In May, I finally got a call from the contract firm I had talked to last year about going to work and doing so immediately. The timing was terrible for me but I knew with the financial crisis we had just gone through and the losses my retirement funds had taken, I wanted and needed to do something to feel a little more secure.

Going back to work at this time would mean I would miss my usual trip to Indiana and Tennessee with mom. I talked to her and to my sister and since Robin had sort of made plans to make the trip with us anyway, it was decided they would make the trip and I would sit out this year. I would be missing out on mom picking out new markers for some of the grave sites of her family and that was a real disappointment for me. I've visited those graves with her for many years and I had looked forward to helping her do something that meant so much to her. But life is full of twists and curves and realistically, the best thing for me to do was to take this opportunity. I have a post in the works about these markers and finally getting to visit with mom that I will post later but for now, let me tell you about my job.

The firm that called me to work is a contract company to whom I sub-contracted. The work they were doing was to assist in developing a design for a telephone company that was hoping to receive stimulus funds from the government to place facilities to provide high speed internet access in rural areas as part of the economic recovery. We were tasked in part with identifying the location of potential customers in rural service areas that might take advantage of those services and how to get the service to them. This project is similar to the old REA funding that helped get electricity and telephone service to rural areas during the last century.

I was surprised how easily I fit into the flow of work. It didn't take long to get the hang of everything and it helped that I was working directly with an old friend of mine from CenturyTel who is and was a mentor of sorts for me. I was pleasantly surprised to find that many of the other design/engineering contract force were also former CTL employees. The owners of the contract firm are also former co-workers as are several of the management people with the actual telco we were doing the work for. It's a small world after all and was a little like homecoming without the frustration of corporate interference!

Working was a big boost for me as I was still in the tail end of a long term funk and the financial concerns had not helped that. My confidence was boosted and I felt needed and useful again. Not that what I do day to day isn't important in my mind but I have always enjoyed having an outside stimulus in my life. Making money again felt good to me. The job came and went in phases and a time or two I thought my part was done only to be called by someone in a panic saying we had to hurry up and get the next part done or lose out on the rest of the contract.

As it turned out, I worked a good bit from the end of May and into August, mostly at home, mostly in a very casual atmosphere with little or no pressure or stress. In that time I earned a good chunk of what I am allowed to make and not have to give back part of my Social Security. The only reason I signed up for SS this year is that I had not heard back from the company that finally offered me the chance to work in time to avoid doing so. But I still think it all turned out for the best. The kicker is that the telco we helped design the plan for, decided that they were not going to apply for the stimulus funds as they didn't like some of the restrictions the government put in place for this initial phase. Hopefully, they will decide to participate in the next phase and I will get to work again on this project next year. That would be perfect for me and my situation. Extra income and plenty of free time and no stress... you can't beat that!

Next up for WIWA is a home improvement project! I think!


posted by Marsha at 0 Comments

Friday, October 02, 2009

While I Was Away

I know I have been absent from this blog for sometime but the title of this post actually refers to my recent trip to Indiana to spend time with my mother. Many things happened while I was there and during our quick trip to Tennessee, that I kept finding myself wanting to blog about. The problem is that when I'm at mom's, I'm stuck on dial-up to connect to the internet. It's such a hassle to deal with that really slow connection that I don't enjoy trying to write and upload only to lose the connection before it completes. So I made some notes on my laptop and came home with good intentions about completing those thoughts I jotted down once I had broadband available again.

Posting my response to Linda's meme today was my first step toward getting back to the blog on a regular basis. While visiting one of her other responders, I was reminded of how much I used to enjoy the Wordless Wednesdays back when I was actively posting and I plan to resume those as well. From my trip, I have a couple of personal stories about family members who have suffered recent health crises. I also have an idea for a post about a lovely older woman I met when I went to visit one of them at a nursing home in Byrdstown, Tennessee. I've also been doing quite a bit of work in Paint Shop Pro and might consider posting some of those projects at some point in time.

Daughter Dee and her girls are coming over tomorrow for an overnight visit and I hope to get some new pictures of them to post here. I'm sort of bursting with ideas and plans right now and I don't want to burn myself out just trying to plan what I want to do first.

I just hope there's still people stopping by here from time to time. If so, I hope you'll come again soon. Leave a comment and I'll be glad to stop by your spot and visit with you as well.




posted by Marsha at 1 Comments

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Random Dozen - September 30, 2009

Hosted by:
Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee

1. Tell me the absolute best way to watch a movie.

Easy question. At home watching a free (or cheap rental) movie, either on the sofa on in bed with a big bowl of buttered popcorn that didn't cost 10 gazillion dollars, without any of my children or grandchildren present so they can't make fun of me when I fall asleep!

2. Do you ever think about your own funeral? If so, do you have specific ideas about how you would like it to be?

Yes, one thing I'm certain of is that one of the songs will be Softly, Tenderly (Jesus Is Calling). I love that song. I also have some preferences for verses.

3. Are you more of a giver or a taker?

I'm a giver.

4. Vacations: planned activities and schedules, or play it by ear?

I like a basic plan that I can play by ear. (How's that for covering all the bases?)

5. What is one often overlooked item in your home that needs to be cleaned regularly?

The carpet in my family room. It's a very deep, rich, chocolate brown and Ginger's shedding hair just looks awful on it. It isn't really overlooked as much as ignored. I just get tired of running the vacuum.

6. Name a cause that means a lot to you.


7. Do you eat a regular old peanut butter jelly sandwich, or do you customize it? And by the way, jelly or no jelly?

Regular... and I have a question, how can it be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if it has no jelly?

8. If we were having a conversation in person, how would I know if you were nervous?

I'd probably say uhm a lot or just talk a lot and say really stupid things.

9. Do you have an elaborate bedtime routine, or just the basics of tooth brushing and jammies?

nothing elaborate, I just usually hit the sofa and go out like a light and if I wake up enough to do so, I might go to bed at that point. If not, I wake up on the sofa wishing I had an elaborate bedtime routine so that I would actually go to bed before I fall asleep. (I do brush my teeth after eating - most of the time anyway - so I'm not a total slob.)

10. Have you ever regretted something you wrote on your blog?

Not really. I have said things conversationally or in the heat of the moment that I later regretted which is probably why I prefer written communication. I can consider it many times before I actually hit the post or send or print button.

11. Has anyone ever told you that you look like a famous person or celebrity? Did you agree?

When I was quite young (under 10), the doctors at Riley Hospital would tell me (teasingly of course) that I looked like Marilyn Monroe... of course I agreed! Funny, nobody said that after I grew up. I was told recently by someone that I looked like a character on her favorite soap opera but no one else agreed with that nor did I. Someone else once told me I looked like Holly Hunter but I don't see that at all either.

12. If you were going to dedicate a song to a loved one or friend, what would the song be and to whom would it be dedicated?

I could choose a song/songs for everyone I know. I love music and match a lot of songs up with people I care about for various reasons. I'll do what I always do in situations where I don't want to choose one over another and give the honor to my granddaughter Anna.

There's a song written and sung by Bruce Carroll called Sometimes Miracles Hide and I would dedicate it to her. It was written for a Down's Syndrome child and although Anna is not a Down's child, her life is certainly miraculous in our family's view. I'm sure there are many who wouldn't see the miracle that we do and I think this song would help them appreciate the miracle that's hidden from their view. I believe it was re-recorded last year.


posted by Marsha at 3 Comments