Monthly Archives: October 2013

Have you seen my muse?

grrrMy muse has been AWOL for a few weeks now. I hope that she’s on a beach somewhere knocking back margaritas and is not lying in a shallow grave in the woods. I hope that she’ll return forthwith, tanned and inspired and not too hungover. In her absence though, I’m being forced to turn elsewhere for blogging inspiration in order to uphold my commitment to post every day in 2013.

First, I’ve been feeling out of sorts lately. I’m normally pretty even-keeled, not one to sweat the small stuff, able to let the nonsense of life just flow around me. But recently I’ve been kind of snarky, quick to criticize, and slow to let things go. I don’t like being inside my own head when I’m like that, so I’m sure those around me are about over it, too. I need to refocus. Get my zen back. I think if I concentrate on all that is good around me, and consciously show a little gratitude for my blessings, it’ll go a long way toward restoring my natural balance. So I’ve found a 30-day gratitude photo challenge that’ll fit perfectly into November (it is the month of Thanksgiving, after all). I plan to tackle the challenge using only my new iPhone’s camera, instead of my trusty Kodak, so there’ll be a bit of a learning curve that will hopefully prove to be valuable experience.

30day photo challenge

I don’t want to abandon writing in November, despite my muse’s desertion, so I’m looking to NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) to get me through. actually hosts NaBloPoMo every month during the year, but November has come to be the month in which to participate, because of its close association with NaNoWriMo, the novel-in-a-month challenge. For anyone who joins the challenge, provides 21 prompts for the weekdays, then it’s every blogger’s responsibility to free-write on the weekends. The main benefits of joining the blogroll are public accountability for sticking to the schedule, support and feedback from fellow bloggers, and the chance to stumble upon some awesome new blogs with which to waste away hours I should have spent working, cooking, cleaning, bathing…

NaBloPoMo November 2013

So, I’ll be here tomorrow, with a new commitment to both writing and photography. If all goes well, by the end of the month I’ll have an improved attitude firmly in place. Meanwhile, if you see my muse in your travels, please tell her to drop the tequila and report for work.

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Posted by on October 31, 2013 in How It Is, On Me


This is no fun

job-ad-multitasker_300Photo credit Burcu Avsar

As I was sitting in front of the computer screen today, following ethereal job leads willy-nilly all over the internet, two things dawned on me:

  1. I have never really had to conduct a legitimate job search before.
  2. I really, really don’t know what I’m doing.

Not even counting high school babysitting jobs, where neighbors literally came knocking on my door, every single job I’ve ever had in my life came easy. From summer jobs as a teenager to certified teacher positions as a professional, the process was always the same. I looked for a position I wanted. I filled out the application. I went in for an interview. I was hired. I showed up for my first day of work. That’s it. Simple.

I’ve never used job search engines (holy crap, they are a nightmare for someone with even a whisper of ADD tendencies). I’ve never sent out résumés (I have one, but I’m pretty sure it sucks). I’ve never applied to more than one job at a time (I’m not good at saying no, so what do I do if they all call for an interview and all want to hire me?).

I’ve never not been called for an interview. Until now. It’s demoralizing. It’s confusing. It’s disheartening. It’s stressful. I’m not having fun.

It’s still early days, and my head knows that. I assume that the more time I spend searching and applying, the better my skills will become. I’ll be better at finding truly suitable positions and better at talking up my skills so that a prospective employer feels compelled to call me for an interview. I don’t need my phone to be ringing off the hook. I just need one call. Please.

Then I’m working at that job till I retire.


Posted by on October 30, 2013 in On Me, True Life, What's She On About?


On fall


gold and azure flirt
on a dazzling mask that hides
winter’s yawning maw
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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in Poetry, Tuesday Tales



Road trip: Skyline Drive

The hubby and I were hoping to see some glorious fall leaves when we drove through Shenandoah National Park along Skyline Drive today. There were a few golden hues, but the leaves were definitely past their peak by a couple weeks (duly noted for next year). It was still a lovely day out though…a leisurely drive, a tasty lunch, and a chance to play with the camera feature on my new iPhone. Gotta say, I’m impressed with the color and detail it captures. I think the days of point-and-shoot cameras are numbered. Why carry an extra piece of equipment if you’ve got such a quality camera in your phone?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to research photo editing apps. If you’ve got a favorite, please share!


Posted by on October 28, 2013 in Monday Mix, Observations, Photography, True Life



Travel theme: Stone

Check out more stone photos or play along with Ailsa’s photo challenge at Where’s My Backpack?

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Posted by on October 27, 2013 in Challenges, Photography, Sunday Best



I’ve never done this before

There’s a first time for everything

I didn’t consciously set out to make this a week of new undertakings, although upon reflection that wouldn’t be a bad approach to life. Completely by accident, the past week was filled with firsts.

First first–spaghetti squash. In my four decades on the planet, I’ve never met a squash I like. I avoid it whenever it’s polite and possible. But then about a year ago, spaghetti squash came as a side dish with my salmon at Bonefish Grill during a friend’s retirement dinner. I thought it’d be rude to leave it untouched, since the retiring friend was picking up the tab for everyone’s meal, so I took as small a bite as humanly possible. Then another bite. Before I knew it, I’d cleaned my plate. Hallelujah! A squash I like! Well, this week I decided to cook it myself for the first time. After quite a bit of Googling, I found directions I liked for cooking it in the microwave (there were lots of sites that recommended just poking the squash with a fork and popping it in the microwave, but that sounded like an explosion waiting to happen). In just 15 minutes I had a whole bowlful of steaming, stringy goodness–which the hubby absolutely refused to share. Apparently, he’s never met a squash he likes either.

Second first–smart phone. There was no point in getting an iPhone while we lived overseas, because it would not work in the States…unless I bought the full-price, unlocked phone and a handful of different SIM cards. So I got el cheapo pre-paid dumb phones to use overseas and an el cheapo pre-paid dumb phone to use over here during the times we were back for family visits, business trips, etc. I’ve continued using the US dumb phone the past two months, in an attempt to burn through the 800+ minutes I’d already purchased. Except the phone never has a signal when I need to dial out, and never rings when someone calls me. Enough is enough already. So this week, I got my very first iPhone. The hubby’s been coaching me in which apps to download, but my attention is focused on finding the perfect case. First things first, dear. I can’t go around with a naked phone.

Third first–screening a movie before its release. I’m a sucker for loyalty cards, so when we went to the movies a few weeks ago, I signed up for the theater chain’s reward program. The spam email commenced immediately, but buried in there was an offer for free tickets (in return for a review, I thought, but there’s been no follow up for that) to see About Time before it officially opens November 8. I’d seen the trailer (which was a bit ambiguous–date movie or chick flick?), and I didn’t think there was much chance of getting the hubby into a seat at regular price, but he was happy to go along for free. Apparently lots of people were…the theater was nearly full, unlike all the movies we’ve paid to see recently. Turns out About Time is quite suitable as either a date movie or a chick flick. You won’t find any novel twists on the traditional time travel plot, but the dialogue is good and there are lots of laughs. The fact that most of the characters were British even helped to ease my homesickness for England for just a little while.

Fourth first–cream eyeshadow. I don’t use eyeshadow often, but when I do, it’s always been the powdered variety. I can’t seem to apply it, especially if there is the slightest hint of sparkle, without getting it all over my face. At a friend’s Mary Kay party this week, I tried cream eyeshadow for the first time. I like the idea of it–no wayward sprinkles drifting down on my cheeks, but as this was also the sparkly kind, I thought it looked kinda greasy on my eyelids. Now I’ll have to investigate the existence of a matte finish shadow. If one is out there, this could be the start of a whole new era in face painting.

Fifth and final first–craigslist. In the process of moving back into our house, we found some stuff we just don’t need any more. A lot of the little stuff has made its way to Goodwill, but there are some larger items in excellent condition that we’d like to sell. I’ve heard countless people talk about items they’ve bought and sold on craigslist–its main appeal in this case is that its local, unlike ebay. I don’t have to worry about how to ship a four-piece patio set, I can just tell the buyer where to come pick it up. So I took photos and posted ads on craigslist–they’ve been active just over 24 hours. Holy wack-jobs, Batman. Gmail’s filters can’t figure out which messages to send to my inbox and which ones to send to the spam folder. I’ve gotten aggressive demands for my address, hostile inquiries (in very poor scammer grammar) about whether my ad is legit, and half-naked pictures of some chick. I’m thinking I should have paid to run classified ads in the local paper. Some firsts just don’t pan out.


Posted by on October 26, 2013 in Six Word Saturday, True Life


Good intentions…screwed

screwsQuestion 6 (The Complete Book of Questions by Garry Poole)
What’s something you intended to do today, but didn’t? Why not?

I intended to post some items for sale on craigslist, but didn’t.

The hubby was working through his to-do list and had come to “repair shed,” which required an extra set of hands. Well, ditching my to-do list didn’t help him get anything crossed off his, because neither of the cordless drills was charged and the screws we purchased specifically for this project weren’t long enough. By the time we’d done as much as we could (we measured and cut all the boards, and marked where the screws will go, once I get the right ones) and cleaned up the mess, it was time for lunch.

Then it was time to wash up and change clothes so I could head into town.

Then it was time to go to the AT&T store so they could fix the new phone I got last night so it would actually make or receive a call.

Then it was time to go to the eye doctor for my yearly exam (two years late).

Then it was time to go to Office Depot, Walmart, Hobby Lobby (OMG–it’s only the second time in my life I’ve ever been in there and I almost totally derailed the whole rest of my evening walking up and down the aisles drooling), and Lowes–to buy new, longer screws for the shed project.

Then it was time for Wine and Whine.

Then it was time to pick up Chinese for dinner on the way back from town.

Then it was time to eat–the hubby had nearly fainted from hunger by the time I arrived home.

Then it was time to finish and submit a job application.

Then it was time to wash off the war paint and find my jammies.

Then it was time to write and post today’s blog.

And now it’s time for bed.

So craigslist will have to wait till tomorrow.

Unless it’s time to repair the shed.