What I Want

Have you ever found yourself assaulted by a random thought about someone you knew years ago? It’s like, once that thought grabs you, it won’t let go until you force yourself to let it go. Or, if you’re like many people, the thought sticks with you until your attention is focused randomly elsewhere. Who knew that a phone ringing with an unsolicited telemarketing call could be a blessing a disguise?

Once in a while, a great while, my mind suddenly wanders away from the present to a time when I was (not literally) someone else.   There was a time many years ago when I jumped into the pool of unknowing, taking a chance that somehow, someway, I would find that one person I was supposed to be with. Ultimately, through many encounters and many mind-blowing missteps, I find myself here, in today, still wondering if that one person exists. I’m getting too old to keep pursuing the thought that magic exists and works in my favor. It does not on so many levels!

After all that happened in 2016 with both of my parents passing away, Ma in March and Dad in September, I find myself feeling horribly guilty for moving from Illinois to Maryland, missing time with them year after year after year, and yet knowing that moving was probably one of the smartest decisions I ever made in my life. When I go back to the Chicago area now, I wonder if I could ever return. I have gotten so use to the area in Maryland where I live, where there is fresh air (except when local farmers are fertilizing), where there is space (at least for the immediate future), and where I feel at home near the mountains.

Conflict. I feel it every minute of every day.

I want to be successful in my career even though it veered of what I thought was the right course. I want to be successful in my family life, being there for my son, my sister, and the rest of my family, knowing that it’s very difficult when my son is in Georgia and the rest of family is in Illinois. I am here in Maryland, family at least eleven hours away, but with them in every non-physical way possible. What else do I want? To someday achieve all of the things that will make me feel I lived life to the fullest extent I could – definition of that still under development.

When MySpace was the thing, I used to post a blog almost every Sunday. Now, MySpace is my space for posting the songs I write (https://myspace.com/kathy.booker/music/songs). Though they are few and far between. But the idea of writing at least once a week is a turn-on for me. I love to write, and with 2016 being over and me trying to focus on things that will make me feel more complete, I’m hoping I can create a schedule for me to do the things I like/love to do.

I hope everyone reading this (knowing it’s really maybe one, two, a few people) finds what makes them feel complete – no matter how long it takes. Just remember that life may be shorter than you expect it to be (as I experienced with my parents) and that you need to start focusing on your future TODAY. Pax!

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Sunday Morning Rambling

FullSizeRenderThe wind is harsh this morning.  Gusts are causing the siding on the house to creak and moan.  Being a light sleeper, this is what woke me shortly after 5 am.  I wasn’t ready to be awake, but I tossed the covers aside, picked up Buddy (my dachshund), and started the day.

As I start jotting down thoughts for this post, it’s a little past 7 am.  I have already finished a small load of laundry.  I’ve had two cups of fantastic coffee, a 50-50 blend of Monsoon Myst and Honduran Blend from our local Furnace Hills Coffee Co.  I’ve got a coffee maker that grinds the beans and makes the pot of coffee with the push of a button.  How I savor the smell of freshly ground coffee on my weekend mornings!

I finished reading “The Buried Giant” last night.  If you like a fantasized-historical account of the Britons and Saxons post-King Arthur, full of a mist that robs the people of their memories, a she-dragon, monks, knights, etc., it’s a good book to read.  Honestly, don’t think that this is weirder than it is, but what I like about the book as much as the story is the book’s binding and jacket.  The jacket reminds of linen.  I wanted to read the book, and when I picked it up and felt it in my hands, I knew it had to be on my bookshelf.  I never judge a book by its cover, but in this case, if I had been wavering on whether to buy it, I would have after seeing it.

Short post today – it’s a busy day, lots to do like grocery shopping, more laundry, and all the other fun weekend stuff that gets crammed in before the work week starts again.  Have a  blessed day, everyone!

Finally, and All About Floundering

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Patience. It took a lot of patience, but I finally got a picture of the bluejay in the backyard. Only took over a year.

Getting this picture was also a catalyst for blogging. Write is a verb, and it’s an action word that sits in the back of my mind poking at me, prodding me to take action. I hesitate far too often. Why? Because even though I am constantly thinking about writing, I never seem to “find” the time to do it. I’m learning it is not about finding the time, but rather making the time.

Just like the bluejays, I fly away the instant something distracts me or jars me from my thoughts. Elusive, those thoughts that run together creating a cohesive twist of words describing what is on my mind at any given moment. I need to capture them just like the photo of the bluejay. Snag them, make them hold still for just a few moments while I use them to paint the picture in my head.

Say what?

I flounder.

A Blog for Conflicted Women

I feel like something is missing, and I can’t put my finger on it. Do you ever feel that way? So I’m considering starting a new blog targeted towards women in their 40’s, 50’s, and beyond – a blog that simply discusses the challenges, thoughts, desires – whatever- that some (if not most) of us experience as we age.

As for me, I feel like there’s a hole I need to plug. I’m looking into meditation, yoga, music, writing – various things to ease that feeling. They go in waves, these odd feelings. Some days they’re wispy, some days they’re an anvil.

Scotch, cigars, pipes, rediscovering Sherlock Holmes, listening to Mozart and Bach … ethereal things I’m enjoying on this journey.

Come join me.

Cold Days

Many (maybe most) of us in the U.S. are dealing with a seasonal cold snap this week. There are so many people without heat due to Hurricane Sandy, issues connected with being unemployed, financial circumstances, and everything in between. For those who can afford to do so, our local utility companies have donation options to help those who need it. In Maryland the BGE web site is http://www.bge.com/ourcommitments/community/energyassistance/pages/fuel-fund.aspx. I’m sure there are many organizations that do the same all across the country.

Please, if you own a pet, bring it inside when it’s so cold. It’s the humane thing to do (that’s my two cents).

Stay as warm as possible. Stay inside if you can. Curl up with a good book or watch a movie or catch up on your TV shows. Enjoy your families, your hobby, or your time alone.

And think about those who could use some assistance during this time.

Holiday Shopping Notes

I went shopping for stocking stuffers and shoes on Saturday.  I was truly in the Christmas spirit as I walked through Towson Town Center.  I found something at Macy’s that I wasn’t sure to pull the trigger on, and after four times of trying on the item the sales clerk told me she could give me an additional 25% off the already 40% sale price, and I told her with a huge smile that she made my day.

Every store is having great sales.  Harry and David had exactly what I needed plus a pepperoni stick from Vermont!  Yeah!

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Things were going well.  Everything that I went to the mall for was getting checked off my list.  And then I had an encounter with a sales person that could have really dovetailed my day.

I went to Teavana for the first time.  They had a couple of sample teas to try at the entrance to the store, and I fell in love with one of them.  I figured it wasn’t going to be cheap, but the tea was phenomenal.  I walked around the small store looking at their tea pots and cups.  When it was my turn, the girl behind the counter couldn’t have been less interested in the fact that it was my first time in the store and that I didn’t have a clue how the bulk tea was sold.  She seemed exasperated as she explained the difference in the large tin container versus purchasing the smaller decorative tins which cost more.  Then she told me the price for an ounce, and I know my eyes popped as I said, “Wow.”  She of course followed with the information that I could buy less than an ounce.  Which I did.

I handed her my credit card and she rang up the purchase.  Before the receipt printed for my signature, I asked her if I could see the peach tea in the upper right hand corner behind the counter.  The look she gave me was like, “Really?  You’re going to ask me that NOW after I’ve already rung up your purchase?”

I smiled and said thanks after she let me smell the peach tea.  I signed for my purchase and left the store determined to not let her attitude interfere with the rest of my day.  However, I made a conscious decision to not let that girl wait on me the next time I decide to buy tea there.  Or maybe, since I don’t get to Towson that often, I’ll just buy the tea online (although I won’t have the benefit of smelling the teas prior to purchase).

I understand that everyone is entitled to have a bad day now and then, but when you’re a sales clerk trying to make a sale, you have to put your best attitude forward regardless of how crappy you might feel inside.  And seriously, if a customer tells you that it’s the first time they’re in your store, you should go all out to make sure their experience is top notch – that’s the way to get them back into the store.

I’m adding this note on Dec. 9 – I went back to Teavana today.  Would you believe the same person waited on me today too?  She did!  And she was great – helpful, providing the information I needed.  What a difference time makes, huh?  Well, I just want to let everyone know she was a totally different person, and I hope whatever soured her day previously doesn’t happen again for a very long time.

Happy holiday shopping everyone!

There’s an App for That, but …

Jamie and I decided to have dinner at Olive Garden this evening. When the check came, we handed over a $20 gift card along with my credit card. When the waitress came back with the receipts, I looked at the bill and was figuring out how much to leave for the tip, not wanting to short-change her based on the lower amount due as a result of deducting the gift card amount.

As I was calculating the tip in my head, Jamie says, “you know there’s an app for that (meaning a tip calculator)”.

I quipped, “yes, but I have a brain for that.”

The Vacation Continues

I spent a little time outside today after straightening up the garage. The roses are starting to bloom.

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The mulch in the backyard is looking good.

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Buddy enjoyed being outside too.

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And yes, of course, I studied again today! Really, you didn’t have to check up on me.

What I Did on My Vacation (so far)

It’s Wednesday night, and I can say without a doubt that it’s been one heck of a week so far. My vacation started on Monday, but I put in a lot of work last weekend to make up for so many things that haven’t gotten done around the house.

I had six yards (Jamie calculated it to be 81 bags worth) of double-shredded black dyed mulch delivered early Saturday morning, and by nightfall it was all removed from the driveway. Well, except for some stains on the concrete that won’t go away (yet). I still have some smoothing and placement to take care of, but for the most part the front yard is done and the back is about 70% complete. The dye bled through the garden gloves, and it looks like I’ve been playing in dirt for days. I’ve tried acetone, goof-off, stuff they told me about at Lowe’s, and regular nail polish remover. Most of it is gone, but there are some lingering spots on my cuticles and under some of my nails that look just plain awful. I might have to paint my nails since I have a supply chain meeting to go to tomorrow night at Towson State University.

Sunday, Mother’s Day, I did the laundry, went grocery shopping, stopped at Lowe’s to pickup some flowers for the deck and porch, and then did some stuff around the house. I decided it was time to replace my burned-out dryer too.

On Monday I went back to Lowe’s and ordered a dryer to be delivered on Tuesday. Just a head’s up – I saved around $120 at Lowe’s compared to the exact same model dryer at Sears. Just sayin’ …

Tuesday the dryer arrived and I promptly did a load of laundry to test it out. On Wednesday I switched the washer and dryer spots since the dryer stuck out a little too far next to the garage door. Mowed the front lawn, did the edging, went to the bank and the Post Office …

And in between all of this I’ve been studying for my project management exam (late next week) and practicing a song for the Fiddler’s Convention in June. Whew! Oh yeah, and checking email at work and taking care of a few things there too.

I love being busy!

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