Over the Rainbow


I sit here comfortably in my familiar bed, with my coffee, a bowl of fruit, a pencil and my little notebook.  It’s been a month since I’ve scribbled anything of substance and one year since I started this blog.

The blog being an endeavor of escape for all the mumbo jumbo chaos in my head.  A way to release wit and laughter, heartache and sadness, anxiety and fear…………………………..

Some of life’s best laid plans have twists and turns.  Ultimately we get from point A to point B, but it may not always be in our scheduled time frame or in the direction we actually set out in…………………….but we get there………………….eventually.

The year has been an emotional test; a test of my strength, my anxiety level, my belief, my faith and my ability to adjust to unforeseen circumstances.

Unemployment is one of the most frightening situation to face.  when you feel the outside world doesn’t want or need you, you want to give up; but how can you when your very livelihood depends on the world we live in.  It’s then your path takes a different direction and you focus on a different path.  A work-around, so to speak; to give you the feeling of moving forward instead of sitting idle and just spinning your wheels.  It’s also a time when you take matters into your own hands; you maybe forced to make some life changing decisions…………………………….

One year ago, one of my first posts was about my desire to have a place at the beach on the island that I love so much.  I didn’t know when or how; I just knew one day I would.

One year ago, I didn’t know I would be faced with unemployment that would last 8 months either.  After 7 months of searching and 7 months of rejections, I decided to take matters into my own hands; the idleness was driving me crazy.

I began to focus on beginning a Pilates business in the little town where I’ve lived.  A field I’m familiar with and good at (being a fitness instructor for the last 10 years).  A local center offered space to me for just the cost of shared utilities; this was a great opportunity so I accepted it.  I would finally begin to generate some income.  It was going to be challenging; as I needed a certain number of paying clients just to break even, but I would worry about that later; for now I was moving forward.

The announcements were made, the business cards, brochures, music and small equipment bought.  I sent out personal invites to former clients and the calendar was printed.  The first class to be held on September 3rd.  I was prepared and ready.

Then I got a phone call……………………………..

I had been visiting my daughter for a week and had one more day left before heading back to spend a couple days with my son and his girlfriend.  My little cellular device rings with an unfamiliar number from Galveston; I didn’t answer it.

It was 3:30 pm on Friday afternoon.

I went on about my business with my granddaughter and disregarded the call.  Later I’m checking my phone and there is a voice mail, it’s from the Galveston County District Attorneys Office about my resume.

Who????  What????

I had to look in my little notebook I had been keeping with all my job contacts to see if I had applied for something.  There it was…………………….

3 months ago!!

I tell my daughter……………………

“I’m not calling them back.”

“What???  Why???”

“I’m already committed and focused on my classes.”

“You at least need to see what they have to say.”

“Nope.  I’m not calling.  It’s been 3 months.”

“Mom, don’t be stubborn.  At least tell me you’ll think about it over the weekend.”

“I’ll think about it, but I’m not calling.”

“Mom!!!”

She made  one last attempt Saturday before I left.

“Don’t let an opportunity pass you by and that’s all I’m saying.”

I told her I’d let her know.

The rest of the weekend my mind was filled with “what if, what if, what if”.  It wasn’t until Monday morning I threw “what if” to the wind and made the phone call………………………………………

Monday through Wednesday was a blur………………………………………..

Interview, offer, accepted, HIRED!

Wednesday evening on my drive back to my home, I ask myself, “What just happened?”

My path had just made a hairpin turn doing 100 mph and my head is still spinning from the initial shock!

How was I going to explain this to the people I had already committed to?   Would they understand?  (some did, some did not)

The decision was made with very mixed emotions.  It meant leaving family and friends, leaving the place I called home for the last 23 years and starting over basically from scratch.  But it also meant a paycheck and benefits.

I find it ironic; a little case of de ja vu that I write this post one year later about one of the very things I began this blog with.

The last few days have been spent gathering work clothes and shoes (oh how I’ve missed wearing them) and other things I may need to start a new job away from my familiar surroundings.  My car is jam packed and all that’s left is gathering my cat and getting on the road.

I begin a new job tomorrow in a field I know nothing about; I leave my familiar home and relocate to the island I love and I turn 50 in exactly one month from today…………………………………………

I clicked my ruby red slippers and the tornado lifted me up and dropped me in a new Land of Oz; sitting me on a new path.

Just in a short while I will start my slide just over the rainbow and see what new adventure is waiting form me (I do hope you’ll join me).

But for know, I think I’ll sit in the coziness of my familiar bed a little while longer; after all…………………………………………..

there’s no place like home.

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Exercise in “Focus~ism”


There are times of late that I MIGHT have found myself in a down and out, poor ‘ole me, piss por, boo-hoo, oh..my..gawd!, egg scramblin’ attitude; over my umpteen hundred job rejections.

I..said…MIGHT…have found me!

One might say, I need a little adjustment to my attitude.

Boo….Hoo.

I say, I just need a little random exercise on “focus~ism” (Jeri’s word)

Say what????

As writers, especially poets; which I claim to be, if you can’t find a word that works for what you need, you make one up.

Am I right???

Come on, you know you’ve all done it. I do it all the time.

As you all know; if you’ve been following me, I’m an uneducated writer, dumb-as-dirt, don’t know a thang, kind of writer.

But…. there’s logic behind my words………..most of the times.

For instance; what is the definition of “tour~ism”????

Anybody???

I’ll tell you……………..

“the act or practice of touring”

So if that is the definition of “tour~ism”, can you guess what the definition of “focus~ism” is??????

Come on, come on, come on!!!!

Never mind, I’ll just tell you…………………

“the act or practice of focusing”

Taa-Daa!! Genius right? (please hold you applause until the end of the presentation)

Now that we are finished with vocabulary, let me get back on track…………..

So when I need a little focus~ism, I open my poetry writing, exercise book; the one I’ve been working out of for the last year. Remember; I’m an uneducated writer, dumb-as-dirt when it comes to the formal, educated way of writing poetry. Hell, any kinda writing for that matter.

So I just write.

It’s cheaper than therapy, which I can’t afford and it keeps me outa the looney bin. I already live in my own little Oz and if I go to much further in the deep end of the pool they’re gonna cart me off to Rusk ina straight jacket!!

By the way, (here we go again) the aforementioned is a town in Texas where the state mental health facility is located. I was well into my adult years before I learned that “Rusk” was an actual place and not a state of mind (oh….my….gawd!)

Need I say more about the deep end of the pool…………..

Anyway, after yesterday’s “scrambled eggs”, I needed a little focus~ism.

A little focus~ism on something other than my freakin’ dilemma.

Looking back in my workbook, it had been 6 weeks since I had worked in it. Long over due. No wonder I had no focus~ism, I had been neglecting my therapy!

I was due for a session, so I scheduled an appointment first thing this morning with my therapist.

Which………………is my writing book on the kitchen counter (let’s get that clear).

Sometimes my little writing sessions are not successful; the writing exercises are complicated and being ditzy like I am, I don’t understand them.

But…………………..I push forward, even the worst attempts are better than no attempts, right!!

Todays counter session was called “Rhapsodizing Repetition”……………….

“repetition of meaning in a single line, separated by a punctuation”

Translation please……….”the meaning in the first phrase is repeated in the second phrase”

WTH????

My dumb-as-dirt brain could not comprehend this. I guess it had been scrambled to death yesterday!

I read it……..and I read it……..and I read it…………

Got another cup of coffee and told myself, “Self, you will not let this kick yo ass!!”

So…….I read it and read it again………….

BLINK, BLINK, BLINK went the neon sign!!

Hot diggity dog; oh, yeah; you got this! (dancing like Sha-na-na)

I must admit, it was a little challenging, but isn’t that what exercise is all about? Ok, so I didn’t hit all the phrases right on the head; big deal. I think it’s a damn good attempt.

I count todays counter session a success on working on my “focus~ism” Peace out!! 🙂

“Morning Rhapsody”

She listens quietly, contemplating the sounds;
the whirling of the fan, spinning plastic blades,
air conditions forceful air, coolness spewed in space.

Minus of the birds song, larks chirping can’t be found;
percales silent rustle, a muteness of her sheets,
eyes blinking in the dark, blind lash and lid meet.

There’s thunder in the matter, roaring brain pounds;
hear conversations ethereal, ringing air in her ears,
silent fading darkness, nights quiet disappears.

Slowly daylight dances, beams frolic in the dust;
rhythmic shadow dancers, marionettes in space,
pirouettes fill the room, spinning round the place.

Darting lazy drifters, exploding morning crust;
ride the stale cool air, blown helpless by the fan,
persona participation, she lends a helping hand.

Creeping night time stealers, sneak the dark from us;
sunlight washes windows, morning drenched panes,
kiss the night stealers, darkness greets the day.

Scrambled Eggs


When you’re unemployed and a voice on the other end of the phone tells you your benefits have run out; the ‘ole gray matter begins to spin.

In all directions.

As if beaten with a fork.

Like scrambled eggs.

So scrambled, I can’t piece together a single, complete, intelligent thought.

Should I change my resume, again……Did I feed the cat……Maybe I should try a different industry……..Don’t forget to clean the fridge……….What about you certifications……….Call the insurance company, increase your deductible………..Schedule your CPR……….Cancel the cable.

Nothing makes sense.

My writing doesn’t even make sense; going off in different directions.

Scrambled all around.

I have so many versions of my resume, I don’t know which one was the actual original.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned in any of my posts that I’m a certified Group X and Mat Pilates instructor.

For almost 10 years now.

I obtained my first certification on my 40th birthday and I did it for myself. Not to make money, but to keep me committed to good health and to help other people. I love it.

When I lost my real job, I gave up my classes as well.

It was a hard decision for me. I let my certifications lapse.

I felt dejected.

I’ve spent many hours thinking of ways not to depend on the world, but to utilize what I know and love and to learn to depend on ME.

I used to be a CPR instructor; training provided at the expense of my previous employer, but when my position changed I didn’t recertify. It’s been 7 or 8 years ago.

I throw these thoughts into the mix………………..

the start up is a small investment with training and equipment………..the training is out of town (additional expense)…………..it’s been a long time…………what if I don’t get it…………..what if no one comes?

(whip it with a fork)

Writing is an obvious passion, with a number of projects I work on more often. I can’t focus on just one. I did manage to finish one project I started about 5 years ago about healthy living. I self-published it July 4th and it went on sale July 17th, .

So I throw these thoughts in the mix as well……………..

the Pilates home series for beginner, intermediate and advance practices…………….the series about not so fictional adventures of not so fictional 6 female friends………….short stories from my blog…………….a second poetry collection.

(whip, whip, whip…….beat the hell outa the side of the bowl)

I know fitness and I love being an instructor. A few months ago I set a goal to get recertified. I completed and passed both re-certifications this month.

So, in go these thoughts……………………..

I got ’em; now what do I do with ’em?……………….do I go crawling back to my old gym?…………….rent my own studio………………just hold classes in the park, under the trees, where there’s no expenses……………but what if it rains?…………If I had my own place I could teach CPR, but I could do that at my old gym

(WHIP, WHIP, WHIP; it’s sloshing over the sides)

As badly as I would like to remove from the mix; there’s still the endless applications and profiles I submit daily.

(throw down the fork; there’s nothing left but foam)

I beat these thoughts around and try to figure out how I can make them work for ME.

Many bloggers I follow write about doing what you love; following a dream. One of my first posts, almost a year ago, was about my dream of having a condo at the beach. I’ve put the dream to rest for a while. The money I had saved for that dream I’m now living off of.

Gone but not forgotten.

Now, how did I get on that subject????

I went from scrambled thoughts (whip, whip, whip), to depending on myself (WHIP, WHIP, WHIP), to endless applications (throw down my fork), to a dream put to rest (???).

Whipped to hell; nothing more than frothy foam. Nothing making sense.

Beaten and scrambled like a dozen eggs.

I thought serving up this scrambled mess on a plate would help……………………..

Hmmmm…….maybe I’ll just make some toast…….

I could mow lawns…………..weed eat sidewalks………..but I don’t have a lawn mower, or a weed eater

and she quietly…….slips………..away………..

Old Spice


I have always been known to be frugal; or, so tight I squeak. A coupon clipper, a circular shopper, an ad chaser.

With 3 kids and a husband, I needed all the deals I could find. At one point I jumped on the “extreme couponing” band wagon and stock piled things we used most of…………..

toilet paper, paper towels, toothpaste, laundry detergent and body wash.

It was actually very time consuming, clipping and saving coupons (it was before phone coupons were widely accepted), studying grocery ads and circulars and rotating out the coupons that were expired.

Makes me tired just thinking about it.

I do still look at circulars and search for coupons for things that I may need that might be “buy one get one free”. Having an “extra” on the shelf gives me a little security.

Like toilet paper. Wouldn’t want to be caught without it!

I’m especially tight now, since my jobless status. Nothing goes to waste! I use the last drop of everything.

The tube of toothpaste; I scrape that tube down with a butter knife to get the very last bit.

Ever drop counts.

After a long sweaty walk this evening, I’m preparing to take a shower when I remember I used the last of my watered down, to the very last drop, Olay body wash……..

When my kids lived at home and I had a husband, we had a girls bathroom and a boys bathroom. The girls bathroom has a bath tub and linen closet and the boys bathroom has a shower and under sink cabinet.

Realizing I’m out of body wash, I go to the girls bathroom closet and search my stash………..

Nothing.

I begin frantically moving bottles of lotion, conditioner and mouth wash around………….

Nothing.

No body wash, no bar of soap.

I go back to the boys bathroom, to check the under sink cabinet. Maybe, just maybe, there was a bar of soap under there.

I see no soap when I open the cabinet, so I begin taking out the towels and wash clothes and there pushed in the back corner is a bottle. I reach for it and pull it out. In my hand is a bottle of Old Spice High Performance body wash; Pure Sport scent.

I stood there for a long moment looking at it………………………..

Then I dropped my towel and jumped in the boys shower!!

I stick my nose in the crook of my arm and take a big whiff. I grin at how manly I smell……………..

and vow to use it to the very last drop.

Up a creek…………………..


without a paddle.

176 job applications with resumes filed……………….

42 letters/emails of “rejected” (the other 134 didn’t bother to notify me)………………

and 1 (lonely) interview.

That’s about 29 rejects a month. One reject, everyday of the week, for the last 6 1/2 months.

“We regret to inform you, you have exhausted all of your unemployment benefits. You may file a new claim December 14, 2014.”

WTF?????

Yes, I dialed; 1-800-ORU-NUTS.

Ring, ring, ring…………

“Yes, I received a notice on my account my benefits have been exhausted. Please tell me there’s been some kind of mistake.”

“Hold just a moment please, let me check.”

tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock………………….

“Oh no mam, that’s correct; no more funds are available in your account. You can file a new claim December 14, 2014. If any funds are available at that time they’ll be paid out.”

crickets…………………………………………………

“Hello; mam, are you still there?”

Desperately trying to maintain my belligerent anger; as calmly as I could; through clenched teeth, I said, “You’ve got to be kidding me, I need to appeal, that can’t be right. If been working since I was 17 years old. The last 20 years with the same company. I’ve done everything required of me. I have logs, I have letters, and I have emails. All showing I have desperately been trying to get someone just to talk to me! And your gonna tell me I can only get help FOR 6 MONTHS!!!! WHAT AM I SUPPOSE TO DO???? I NEED AN EXTENSION!!!!!”

“There are no more extensions. Your funds are paid out until they are exhausted and then that’s all. Sorry mam, there’s nothing you can do.”

“UNBELIEVABLE!!! HOW AM I SUPPOSE TO PAY MY CAR NOTE??? HOW AM I SUPPOSE TO PAY MY UTILITIES????? HELL, HOW AM I SUPPOSE TO EAT???”

Ok…………this is were I came unglued.

The Texas Workforce Commission representative told me to go sign up for FOOD STAMPS and go to my utility company and get a list of organizations that help pay light bills.

“Excuse me??”

“You can probably get some food stamps.”

crickets……………………..

At no time did she say, “Your local Workforce office can counsel you on opening your own business and help you with applying for a small business loan,” or never did she say, “They can talk with you and help you with a new career plan or additional education.”

Noooooo!!!!

She told me, “Sister, you’re shit outa luck! Go file for some food stamps.”

I don’t want anyone to get me wrong, I’m not dissing the food stamps program. It has helped many and saved many children from going hungry. But it’s also bought and paid for a few underserving individuals Cadillac’s and Suburban’s.

You all know it’s true. I’m just the one saying it. So be it!!

I just can’t believe how jacked-up the system is for honest people.

Before screaming in her ear…….again; I politely hung up on her.

Tonight I broke the eleventh commandment……………………(if you read my blog you know what it is)

For dinner I had Triple Chocolate Cheesecake……………and nothing else.

I ate every damn bite.

I’ll start over tomorrow.

Can you buy chocolate with food stamps???

Locked and Loaded


“for those days when I’m just on the edge……”

——————————————————————————————————

If I open one more piece of mail delivered by the US postal service; from one of my creditors; announcing the excitement of their “new” statement format, that their customers will surely find to improve navigation and reading of our monthly bill………………………………….

AND…………………….BTW…………………………………

to pay for this new format we’re increasing you monthly charge by $10 bucks……………………………..

I’m going to be like a rabid dog and come off the chain!!!!

It was just a few months ago I changed my cable TV package to the lowest rate to help manage my budget since becoming unemployed. 

I have skeleton channels; no movie channels, no sports channels, no news channels, no food channels…………………….

well, you get the picture.

Local channels, CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX.  It works as long as I can get “The Big Bang Theory”, all the “NCIS”, “American Idol” and an occasional Texans football game.  Any extra channels are…………………………………..

well…….extra.

So……………………you increase my monthly bill; did you increase my channels?

Well, of course not.

If I refuse the new statement format, will my monthly rate go back to what it was??

Well, of course not.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!

I know to some of you $10 bucks is not a big deal; you give your 5 year olds more than this for their allowance.

But I received two statements last month announcing “new” formats; my car insurance and my home owners insurance.  Both of which I worked diligently just a few months ago to get the rates lowered, only to have them increased…………………………..

each by $10 bucks.

Whatever happened to increases of $1 and $2 bucks?

It doesn’t sting quite as bad.

Not only have my monthly debts increased by $30 bucks, but my last two unemployment direct deposits were decreased by $10 bucks each.

Did anyone bother to send me an announcement about that??

Uh………..NO!!!

I’m not very good with math, but I can add and subtract and when you add $30 bucks to your monthly expenses and you subtract $20 bucks from your income, I think that’s a $50 bucks deficit and when one is unemployed and trying to make ends meet…………………..

$50 bucks is a lot.

unlocked and unloaded” 

I Only Have Myself to Blame


So I have a little time on my hands…………….

Ok; I have a lot of time on my hands.

When one is accustom to working 8 to 10 hours a day away from the homestead, it’s hard to feel productive when all you have is time. What is one to do with all this freakin’ idle time to feel productive?

I can only make so many crosses to peddle and the virus on my computer has me raising hell with my cat. So outa the blue this morning I decided to clean the garage.

I raise the door and turned on the light……………….

I have gone mad!!!

What are you thinking you crazy women??

Staring back at me from my one car garage (that my car can’t go in) is 22 years of accumulation that includes the items of a couple of husbands and four kids (two of my own and two step-kids).

Tell me; how is it that after the husbands and kids are gone I managed to maintain all the shit??

I stand there looking at it wondering where to begin.

I start picking up the trash; off the floor, off the shelves and out of the cabinets. Then I began moving things out into piles ~ keep and donate.

It began unfolding layer after layer.

Shoe racks I no longer use ~ donate
Baseball and softball equipment ~ donate. Some ones kids will get as much use out of it as mine did.
Four paintings I did when my daughter was about 3; apparently I liked wildlife ~ keep. Not sure why, but I couldn’t seem to part with them even though they weren’t very good.
A box of fishing reels with no line, life jackets and a fish fryer burner and pot; all belonging to my ex-husband. I wondered if he knew they were still here ~ keep. I’ll call him and see if he would like them.
There were screwdrivers, nails and screws; all of which went into my tool box.
Several old, cracked planters ~ trash.

Propped in a corner was my American flag that had survived hurricane “Rita”. When everything else was twisted and crushed; flying beautifully from my uprooted Maple tree was my American flag. It welcomed us home. I vowed never to get rid of it ~ keep. One day I will have a tree to mount it on again.

Buried in some old hunting clothes I found a pair of binoculars; not an expensive pair, but very good magnification. Hmmmmmmm………….do I ask one of the exes if they belong to them?

NOT!!! Process of possession makes them mine right?? ~ keep. I need them anyway to check out the Split-tail Hawk I’ve discovered flying around my house and the Red-headed Woodpecker in the neighbors Pine trees across the street.

OMG!! I’ve become a bird watcher and I don’t even like birds!!! But the binoculars will make them easier to see.

Propped against the wall, covered with a sheet is the vintage 1960’s baby crib I refinished when I was expecting my son ~ keep. I covered it back up; another item I can’t part with.

On the floor, taking up a lot of space is a hook-up for the back of a truck, for a fifth-wheel travel trailer; of which I haven’t had for about 12 years. Really?????

Keep ~ Sale ~ Pocket the money.

I trudged through the boxes, the furniture, the cabinets.

I sorted, I trashed, I donated and I kept.

I unearthed a small wardrobe I used as a storage cabinet when I had my gift shop, to discover it still full of fabric and supplies. The shop has been closed for 17 years.

I will keep the wardrobe and deal with the contents later. I can get to it much easier and it is crammed full.

I had made room for the wicker furniture I’d been moving around for 25 years, because one day I’ll have a porch or patio to put it on ~ keep.

There’s also more room for my breakfast table and chairs that my son and I “dumpster-dived” for; again, because one day I’ll have a beach condo that will need a breakfast table ~ keep.

There tucked beside the wardrobe was a plastic craft bin I’d been kicking around, trying to decide if I should keep it or not. It didn’t weigh much so I thought it was empty. It was one of the last things to be moved to the “donate” pile. I see a piece of crafting “raffia” dangling from the side. I pulled it, but it wouldn’t come out.

I opened the lid.

This was one of those boxes that had the shallow tray that sat down into the box. The tray was full of pens, price tags, a receipt book and an empty, small spiral notebook. When I remove the tray, there in a quiet little tomb was a sweet little country bunny. Underneath it was 4 more perfectly maintained sweet country dolls. Dolls I had not made in about 18 years.

All of them looking at me as if to say, “Well, it’s about time you let us outa this box.” I’m sure they had to have been for a craft show or one of my many “co-op” craft booths and the box had somehow gotten left behind and somehow made it’s way to the garage.

Waiting all these years.

I pulled them all out and sat them all up and looked them over. I remembered how much my sister and I enjoyed making these little dolls. Smiling, I packed them all back in their little tomb and placed it on a shelf ~ keep.

I don’t know why.

The floor was swept and everything was in it’s place with room to spare and plenty of room to walk around.

What I discovered was……………….

Jeri has more shit than anyone else.

Shit she refuses to part with.

There will be no more blaming the kids or the exes.

I have no one to blame about the cluttered garage but myself.

One day, maybe; little by little, I may part with my 22 years worth of “keep” items, but today I will just close the door on my now clean garage and be thankful that I felt productive.

Then I will grab my “new” binoculars and go watch for the Split-tail Hawk, or maybe I’ll just spy on the neighbors across the street. 🙂

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It’s a Jungle Out There


If you’ve been following me a few months, you know I’m unemployed………………….

Wait, wait, don’t leave!

I’m not going to whine about it, but I do have to mention it. Because being jobless you have to give up the more frivolous conveniences………………………

like buying shoes, getting your hair cut every 8 weeks (haven’t had my hair cut since December) and lawn care.

Lawn Care???? You say…..

Yep. For a single women with no lawn mower I always had someone else do it. I don’t mind pulling weeds or doing a little pruning, but I’ve never operated a lawn mower in my life and I left all the real yard work to my ex-husband. Now I’m at the mercy of my step-son or step-dad, which ever feels sorry for me first; and neither of them has lately.

Winter is not so bad; the grass and shrub’s don’t grow a lot; but spring and summer……that’s a different story altogether. But you don’t see it until you pull in the drive.

Like yesterday; after being gone a few days I return home and my yard looks like a jungle!! I walk around to the front of my house and the grass and weeds are ankle deep, the dandelions are every where and the shrubbery is outa control, to the point that a vine had found it’s way through the siding and was growing INSIDE the window.

That’s it!! I can’t mow but I can do something about these outa control bushes. I decide right then I was going to get up today and tackle the shrubs……………………….

For years in the Spring I’ve had little Wrens make a nest in the window next to my back door. For years I had my ex-husband move it………….

I don’t do birds very well and these little birds would fly right at you.

He would take it out of the window and the little birds would build it right back. He would tell me, “Jeri, just leave it alone, it won’t be there long.” I always replied, “Long enough.”

Ok, they were cute and we could watch them from the inside and my children learned first hand how birds teach their young to fly. But I couldn’t stand the damn little things darting at my head every time I walked out the back door.

I say all that to say……….they’re back……….in the window…………by my back door.

I watched them for a little while this morning and took a few pictures. The little momma bird not happy that I was lingering around the back door. Her little babies squealing for something to eat. I finally told her I’d leave her alone, it was time to get busy on the shrubs……….

A few minutes later out the back door I go and damn if that little bird didn’t dart at my head causing me to duck and run.

“Seriously???” I said.

“Ok, I’ll give you that one.”

I retreat into my garage to get my gloves and tools when two other birds fly under my carport.

“What??”

There are two new birds; not Wrens, in a nest in one of the corners of the beams under my carport.

“You’ve got to be kidding me. Don’t these creatures know I don’t care for them?”

Obviously not.

No time to worry about birds flying around, I had work to do. I take my tools and head to the front yard…………..

By my front door is a bird house; been there for years. Why? You may ask. My ex-husband put it there. We could see it through the big bay window and for several years Bluebirds nested in it. But I haven’t seen any in a few years…………………..

until today.

I knelt down to pull some weeds and a bird came darting out of that little house; scared me to death.

“Good Lord, they’re every where!!” I said out loud. “The front door, the back door, the carport……..”

Didn’t take me long to pull the weeds and move on to the shrubs. These things were as thick as an African Jungle. Blindly I stuck my hedgers in those shrubs hoping to cut something; each time missing a stem. I finally decide I’d have to dig down in the branches with my small pruners to get started.

I told my “mini-me’s”, “If I drop these and have to go in after them, someone call the posse because I will surely be lost or eaten alive.”

My “Diva” mini-me says, “You know we all have to go with you.” While my “Don’t Give a Damn” mini-me says, “Stop whining and let’s get this over with!”

So I cut and I snipped and I wacked. All the while my mini-me’s asking and answering themselves.

“Is this Poison Ivy?”

“I don’t know.”

“Hmmm, well it’s gotta go.”

Snip, snip.

“Is this short enough?”

“No.”

“Cut some more.”

Cut, cut.

Did you know that flying insects don’t like it when you disturb them?……………………………

Ducking, “What tha hell was that?”

Dodging, swatting and running from wasp the size of vultures, I’d swear they growled as the zoomed by. Ready to finish working in this jungle, I throw down my tools and head to the garage for some arsenal………………………

The freakin’ birds are in the garage.

“Ok look, you all have to leave. I don’t have time to mess with you.”

They aren’t listening. Flying all around.

I grab the closest thing without going to far into the garage…………..

I return with a broom.

The mini-me’s are talking amongst themselves again………

“Whatcha think ya gonna do with that?”

“I got this.”

I’m sure the neighbors were hiding behind their curtains laughing so hard they ’bout pee’d their pants. Watching me in my front yard swinging and swatting with a broom, then run like hell.

I have to admit, if it were me watching, I’d be laughing my butt off.

Having chased off or beat down the vultures, I finally finished cutting the shrubs. Sticky and drenched with sweat my “Diva” mini-me says, “Can we go in now? I could really use a Diet 7Up.”

Satisfied, I’m done for the day. I got the weeds pulled and the shrubs cut. It’s still a jungle, but not as thick. I take my tools; the birds gone from the garage and I put them back until the next time I need them. And hope someone will have mercy on me and come mow my lawn.

Tired and thirsty I head for the back door as the little Wren darts at my head;

“Damn bird!!”

Ducking, I hurry into my house………………….

safe from the wilds of the jungle.

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They’re every where, they’re every where!!

Locked and Loaded


“for those days when I’m just on the edge…………..”

There are days I feel like a loaded gun, ready to fire, and then…………………..

I explode.

On paper.

I’ve decided to add a new category to my repertoire or arsenal; if you will.   I have previous posts that would fit very comfortably in this category.  I do hope that I don’t contribute to this category daily………………

But today was the day to start.

“Locked and Loaded ~ for those days when I’m just on the edge………”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When I was 19 I applied for my first job in the corporate world.

I was a small town country girl that uprooted with my young daughter and moved to the big city………………….Houston, Texas.

I told no one.

My mother was beyond shocked.

But that’s a story for a different day.

In those medieval days, you could walk into any company off the street and apply for a job.  Computers were strictly data bases; all other tasks were done on paper.

I walked into a place called The Credit Bureau of Greater Houston and said I wanted to apply for a job.

They handed me a pen and application, I filled it out right then and there, then immediately gave it back.

The receptionist disappeared for about five minutes.  When she returned she ask me to follow her to another room to complete the application process.  She then put me at a desk and gave me a packet telling me to answer all the questions in the packet; don’t leave any blank; shouldn’t take long, they’re multiple choice.

There were 100 questions.

This was all new to me.  I had worked in a jewelry store and a Dairy Queen.  I filled out an application, they said I was hired and I started the next day.  So sitting alone in a room answering a bunch of questions seemed a little strange to me.

Although I was a country girl, I was not stupid.

As I trudged through the questions I realized it was a “personality” test; though they never called it that.

You know the ones.  They ask a few select questions but they word them a hundred different ways; to see how you will answer them.

You know what I mean.

It seemed like it took me forever.

Once I completed it, the receptionist took it and left me in the room; telling me she would return shortly…………………..45 minutes later.

When she returned she took me to another office; this time there was a person in the office.  She introduced herself as Agnes (her last name slips my mind at this moment) and told me I had met the qualifications for the job and she would like to hire me.

This is were the interview started……………………………..but I had already been hired based on my “scores”.

The position was the lowest entry-level position they had; a Credit Extractor.  I sat behind a terminal (in medieval days they weren’t called computers) all day, entering peoples names and social security numbers, extracting credit reports for credit card applications.  Anyone that could remotely type could do the job.

It was an experience I will never forget.  It took more than three hours to complete the application process and I was hired passed on a score.

The plus side to the experience………………….face to face contact and I was hired on the spot.

If I remember correctly, a few years after that, Human Resources could no longer use those “personality” test, claiming it to be discriminating or something.

Well guess what???

They’re baacckk!!!

I’ve made a complete 360 degree turn.

This morning I open my email to start my daily ritual, to find an invitation to apply for a position based on my resume’ the employer had seen on one of those many job sites I’m registered with.  I don’t need to tell you how excited I was, thinking this would be a piece of cake, they already had my resume’ right?

Wrong!!

Same song and dance, only this time, at the very end; before submitting the application, the employer had a “few” questions that were required before I could submit my application…………………………..

95 to be exact!!

You’ve got to be freakin’ kidding me!!  What could they possibly be asking?

Yep……….about six questions in I realized it was a “personality” assessment and upon realizing this I knew if I didn’t score high enough I would not even be considered for an interview, no matter how much I qualified based on my experience.   The whole process took me an hour and a half.

There would be no face to face contact; no emotional connection; no opportunity for a first impression.

Possibly all based on a number.

I suddenly felt 19 again; dazed and confused, applying for that first job.  I wondered; when had those “personality” tests crept back into the work place and taken the place of human contact.

A few keystrokes; a calculation and the computer spits out a numerical determination of a persons possible employment opportunity.

As great as technology is; it has made us a very impersonal world.

“Unlocked and Unloaded”

“Oh, Me of Little Faith”


I decided against posting the poem for my self-made “Daily Prompt”. The prompt was “Something I’ve Learned” and the poem ended up being very negative.

Oh, I tried posting it, but my Internet kept freezing up causing me head popping frustration. So I decided I’d leave it and go take my afternoon walk and try posting it again later.

It had been a chilly, gloomy morning, but around 3pm this afternoon the sun came out and it was beautiful. I laced up my tenny’s and headed out the door. I had been down in the mouth and down on myself all day. The job searching not going very well. I had spent hours yet again on another job database building a new profile and resume (which is still not quite complete).

I have yet to see the fruits of my labor and it puts me in a foul mood.

I needed the walk.

I finished walking and I’m sitting in my car clearing out emails when I look up and see a man who goes to the church I used to go to. He waves, then walks over.

“Hey, what’s going on with you?”

“Oh, not much, just did a little walking.”

“Yeah. You off today?”

“Well, you could say that. I got laid-off.” I kinda laughed.

“Wow, sorry to hear that.”

Uh-oh…………………………

Well I don’t need to tell you it set the wheels in motion for a whining pity party about how many applications and resumes I had filled out and how frustrating it was. How I do the same thing every day and hear nothing. And on, and on, and on.

He quietly listen to me rant and rave until I finally said, “It’s just so frustrating, I can’t even get one call.”

“Have you prayed about it?”

“Well…………..yeah I pray about it.” Thinking that was a silly question.

“Have you told the Lord what you need and want……………………..specifically?”

“Well…………………”

“You haven’t have you?”

“Well………………..”

“If you don’t ask specifically, you may end up with something you don’t want. We have to be careful what we ask for.”

“Right………………”

“Jeri, I know you’re a believer. Don’t you believe the Lord can provide you with the job you need AND want?”

“Uh, well………….”

“He raised Lazarus from the dead and he’d been dead 4 days!! Surely you believe He can provide you a job.”

“Well………………”

“You’re full of doubt and fear aren’t you?”

“Well…………….”

This was becoming a one-sided conversation and the side wasn’t mine.

“I see the worry. You’ve lost your faith. I believe. I know He has a job for you. He’s just waiting for you to ask. Be specific. Believe!”

“Uh, yeah………..”

“Jeri, He raised the dead!! He will provide you a job.”

“Yeah………………”

“Do you think this was a chance meeting?”

“Well………………..”

“I don’t. The Lord put me here to lift you up. As soon as I saw you I knew. Don’t let this steal your joy. Ask for what you need and want.”

“I will…………………”

“And believe it! I’ll be praying for you.”

Waving he headed down the walking track.

WHEW!! What just happened??

I’d just been chastised and preached to all at the same time and I was smiling.

Goodness gracious!! (we say that a lot in Texas)

I drove away my attitude and spirits lifted.

I knew I wouldn’t be posting my negative poem, but would rather share my positive, uplifting conversation.

Tonight I’ll take the time to complete the profile and resume I didn’t want to finish this morning. And just before I hit “submit” I will specifically ask for the job I’m looking for and thank Him for it in advance. 🙂

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This little note has been taped to my bathroom mirror for almost 2 years.

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