Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fiction Blog

A while back I had what I consider a pretty nifty idea:
Create a fiction blog!
I like to write.  I actually wrote a novel [no, it was not published], but that's another story [literally].
Well, daughter Allie enjoys writing too, so I thought, why not make this a joint effort?  Maybe we can even get Chip and Jamie to participate also.  So far, it's just Allie and I, but we're having fun.

Our fiction blog is in the form of a journal or diary.  It is based on the Constant family, and includes 4 members:
  • Veronica {Shane's wife; Danny & Larissa's mom}
  • Shane {Veronica's husband; Danny & Larissa's dad}
  • Danny {son of Shane & Veronica; Larissa's older brother}
  • Larissa {daughter. .  .you get the picture}
Up to this point, Allie has written all entries for Larissa, and I have entered the rest.  If you'd like to read what we've written so far [which we hope you do!],
please follow this link:  A Few Constants
Once there, go all the way to the bottom [the first entry is dated July 20] and work your way up.  Thanks!  And please comment to let us know your thoughts.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Down with Plastic

       I'm putting this on my Christmas list: 

Or at least something similar.  It's the Pyrex 14-piece Storage Plus Set.  Yes, Pyrex = glass.  I've read too much about plastic storage containers and their harmful effects.  Plus they often [take on] the smell and/or taste of whatever's been stored in them.  And I'm tired of dealing with the mess plastic containers and lids cause in the cupboard.

Meanwhile, I came across this yesterday:  The Beauty of a Mason Jar.  I've decided that I will begin utilizing my mason jars as refrigerator storage [more often than I do now].  Currently I use them for homemade salsa, salad dressings, and a few other things.  But why not leftovers?  I have a pretty good collection, thanks to a mom that cans peach jelly, pickles, etc. . . . . . .
{I conveniently forget to return the jars when I visit.}

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Teenage Inspiration

Here is the Urban Dictionary definition of teen angst
When teenagers, for any number of reasons combined with their hormones and stress from school, get depressed. Contrary to popular belief, some teenagers actually do have it rough and have to deal with [crap]* most adults don't have to. Other teens don't and just like to pretend they do. Either way, everyone has a right to be pissed off.     
*I changed this word.

My son Jamie was recently featured in the [Get to Know. . .] section of our church worship folder.  Basically, he was asked some interview type questions.  At the end, when asked is he had anything else he'd like to say, he added this:
"........I am immensely proud that we are a church that 'unabashedly serves the poor and the meek' 
You should be proud of that as well."
I found that to be, at least a bit, inspirational.

2 weeks from today, he'll be in Haiti.  2 years after his original venture to the island.  He's going with his dad, along with a missions team.  He wants to go.  He's happy to go.  He'll miss 5 days of school, but that's not a worry for him.  Haiti is far from a resort destination.  And after the earthquake, he and his dad really don't know how different things might be from their last visit.  I think that's pretty inspirational. 

A few days ago we received an envelope addressed to Jamie, containing $40 cash from a girl he went to school with last year.  He has since transferred schools, but their friendship has apparently continued.  She was inspired to send him $40 towards his Haiti trip.  Which I in turn find. . . . inspirational.

So, while I know that my teenager will at times suffer from a classic case of "teen angst" {he is a musician, after all}, it's comforting [and inspirational] to know he has a ♥ and is a positive influence.  And it seems some of his friends are, too.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

happy hunting

I have amped up my job hunt.  My current job just might be ending.  It is for sure changing.  Different dates are floating around:  
September 30 = federal grant funds cease
Thanksgiving = [hopefully] we'll be able to carry on with our current funds until then
end of 2010 = [maybe] we'll be able to carry on until then

Meantime, we're looking for financial support from donors.  So far, nothing. . .
. . . . except words of encouragement [and those can't be converted to cash].

So, today I dropped off 3 letters along with resumes.  I decided to personally deliver them because it's just that, more personal.  And, none of these places actually had any posted openings.  But, they're places that sound interesting and rewarding as potential workplaces.

Wanting to look presentable to future employers, I decided to wear a dress.  I do not own any Spanx, so I substituted my biker shorts.  I also wore closed toed shoes, the reasons being twofold:  1)  I was a business major in the 80s and that's what we were told to do [at least I think we were - it's hard to remember that far back]. 2)  I removed the nail polish from my toe nails yesterday and have yet to repolish.  I'm not one to expose my naked toe nails.

My first stop was Refugee Ministries.  It is located north of downtown Lexington in a Christian Church.  I liked the location, and the vibe of the place.  Stop #2 was the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning.  It is downtown, and home to one of the Horse Mania 2010 horses (see blog below).  The building is beautiful, and again, I liked the vibe.  My third stop was the Maxwell Street Legal Clinic, which is actually located just off Maxwell, on Lexington Avenue.  I had a hard time finding just the right place, but a nice young lady who was heading in took my envelope.  Apparently they keep the door locked.  Since I didn't make it inside, I don't know about the vibe, but again, I liked the location [near downtown and adjacent to the UK campus].

I also am mailing a letter and resume to the Singletary Center for the Arts.  I would have delivered, but I wasn't sure about their office location, etc.  Yesterday I applied for a caseworker position at the Salvation Army, and later today I plan to apply online for two position at the University of Kentucky.

Most of what one hears today regarding the job market isn't positive.  The fact that I haven't held a full time job since 1996 isn't especially helpful.  I've been part time since January 2006, and I'd never trade those ten years with my kids.  But I'm not one of those titles:  nurse, CPA, teacher, architect, etc.  The title people seem to have an easier jump back into the workforce.  I'm ambiguous.  I'm one of those not sure what I want to be people.  I know what I like, what I'm interested in.  I know what I don't like, what I'm not interested in.  So hopefully I'll end up with something great.  Or at least good.

For now the hunt continues.  Let me know if you've got any suggestions.  Or would like to offer me a job.  Or an interest free business loan so I can go out on my own.  Or a cash gift.  Or a Subway franchise (not really, I hate the way Subway restaurants smell).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

another first day

Today, Wednesday, August 11, 2010, 
is the first school day in the Fayette County Public school system.  Which means, James & Catherine Alexis [aka Jamie & Allie] reported in for duty.  For Jamie, it is public school #7 (folks, this is not counting his 2 preschools). But, he is 25% done with high school and has a 4.5 gpa, so I'm not concerned it's affected him academically.   He began his sophomore year this morning at Bryan Station High School.  They offer a music program that he (or us, his parents) couldn't pass up.  Allie continued at Lexington Traditional Magnet, leaving the house in her lovely polo shirt/khaki pant/navy cardigan combo, as LTMS is a stringent dress code school.  Through text messages this afternoon, I was able to confirm they both had good first days.  

I don't particularly care for the back to school season.  It includes supply and clothes shopping, which are 2 things I don't really enjoy.  And, of course all the fees, all the forms, all the hoo-rah-rah that goes along with the beginning of a school year.  Not to mention the fact that it was nearly 100 degrees today.  That seems like summer weather to me.  At least here in Kentucky.  The cold hard truth is:  I like having those 2 around.

Since a significant portion of my day was opened up for the first time since June, I:
  • worked until 2 pm
  • went to the YMCA and ran on the treadmill (I dislike treadmills)
  • purchased some thank you notes and postage stamps (for Jamie to send to his Haiti partners)
  • applied for 8 jobs on-line (my current job just might end 9/30)
  • folded some laundry
  • worked on a fiction blog (more on that later)
  • made my dinner and ate it alone (due to youth group and Chip's Wednesday schedule)
  • baked a loaf of banana bread
  • read a July entry from my one year Bible (I'm just a bit behind - I WILL catch up)
  • contemplated whether I'll quit being a rebel and join the PTA this year (probably not)
  • read on someone's FB that many evangelical Christians are converting to Catholicism (really???)
  • pondered why people criticize others so much on line (aren't we all [yes, including myself] too judgmental?)
I just deleted 2 paragraphs I wrote on the last point.   I realized perhaps I was being too critical. 

So another first day is coming to an end.  I've got 2 more with Jamie; 5 more with Allie.  Unless I can convince them to go to college locally.  We live 4.1 miles from the University of Kentucky; 4.7 from Transylvania University.  I can surely make it to either of those for a quick first day. . . . .
"Have a great day!"