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Mar. 3rd, 2008

Crater Lake

Think about it...

I don't think I'm the only one in the world who does this, but I am one of the few people I know who is so aware that she does it. The 'it' I'm referring to is this: Almost everything (if not absolutely everything) I do, is to avoid doing something else. Think about that. I mean, I go to work to avoid living on the street. I got several rooms cleaned up this weekend to avoid finishing my taxes. I do fun stuff to avoid doing yukky stuff. Sometimes I do yukky stuff to avoid doing REALLY yukky stuff. (I DID finish my taxes this weekend, because I had a deadline for my daughter's financial aid for USC, and so to avoid ruining her life, I did something I hate to do.)

I'm not sure if it's possible, but I am going to begin to make a concerted effort to start living some moments for the sheer pleasure of whatever I'm doing. I believe that the decluttering will help with this goal - you know, less clutter, cleaner house, easier to keep neat, more time to actually DO what I WANT to do for the sake of doing it. I'll start small - like a minute a day. I'll let you know how it goes.

Feb. 12th, 2008

Profile pic


Haiku2 for avventura1234
me and others we
laugh our asses off we pee our
pants and other shit
Created by Grahame
Rainbow Balloons

Happy Birthday serenity_valley!

I hope you had a wonderful day!

Feb. 10th, 2008

Profile pic


I, too, have begun decluttering and organizing and 'feng shui-ing'. I tend
to get a bit carried away sometimes with my projects.
My Laundry RoomCollapse )

Jan. 28th, 2008

Rainbow Balloons

College bound

I am so proud and pleased to announce that my first born child, Lillian, now a Senior in high school, today received the first (of likely several) acceptance letters - to USC School of Cinematic Arts! Taa daa! I take very little credit for this - other than giving birth to her and raising her for the past 17 years, but she busted has busted her butt, gotten straight A's, is an athlete, and a very nice girl. She applied to 7 colleges, so she certainly hasn't decided yet. And much will depend on which school offers the most money for scholarships. I'll keep you posted.

Jan. 24th, 2008

Profile pic

Learning html...

For your viewing pleasure...Collapse )

Jan. 22nd, 2008

Rainbow Balloons

"Sometimes me think what is love, and then me think love is what last cookie is for."

I had yet another day off work today.  So I applied for a couple of new jobs, did a project in my basement, sent some emails, ran some errands, and decorated these cute sugar cookies                          They taste good too!

Jan. 21st, 2008

House with Lights

The Only Good Squirrel...

...is one that lives OUTSIDE my house!  Some people think squirrels are cute, fuzzy little creatures.  I think squirrels are rats with furry tails,  nasty, dirty little things.  For a few years, I have had a squirrel (or two or three) living in the soffit of my house.  It or they have, I'm sure, a large store of nuts up there.  I have tried live trap removal, but new ones keep moving in.  I have tried pounding on the side of the house, but that only irritates the HUMANS living here.  I have a sound device up in the attic that emits a high pitched noise that is supposed to bug the squirrels and make them move out.  I have stuffed ammonia-soaked rags into the soffit through the HOLE that the little darlings CHEWED through the wood trim on the front corner of my abode. 

Well, last weekend I was awakened at about 5:30 by the scurrying sound of little feet running overhead.  Even though the soffit is outside the house, it SOUNDS like the things are inside.  As I lay there contemplating buying a gun and shooting them out (it was really early!), I suddenly got this brainstorm.  I will get up in the attic, get to the soffit, and put down carpet tack strips in rows to completely cover the area.  This way, they won't be impaled (and thus DIE) inside my walls, but will rather be driven completely mad (and hopefully OUTSIDE) from having their little paws poked by those tiny little tacks.  Brilliant, yes?  But not a project I relish.  So I haven't done anything yet.

Last night, the squirrels challenged me to a face-off.  Tiny little gauntlets thrown down at my feet!  My 17 year old daughter called to me from up in her room.  "Mom, the squirrel has come through my wall!"  I went running up there, expecting to see the little rodent standing on its hind legs, front paws in tiny boxing gloves, poised for a fight.  The thing had not actually entered her room, but had indeed chewed a small hole in the drywall.  Let the fight begin!  Now I have to cut out the dry wall (and thankfully I know how to do this - I learned at work), Get the little bastards and their stash of nuts out of there (I may need to get one of those thick hazmat suits like they wear in GhostBusters ) to protect myself, clean out the soffit really well, install the tack strip, replace the dry wall, tape, mud, paint.  No small chore, but I'm ready.  Advanced Squirrel Control.

Jan. 20th, 2008

House with Lights

(no subject)

The weather is getting cold here in P-town.  Cold for here, anyway.  It's 34 and windy.  Tomorrow it's supposed to get quite a bit colder.  So I should be grateful that I don't have work tomorrow.  The no-work is not because of the holiday.  It's because there is no work - no jobs for us to do.  I work as a Deconstructionist.  We take apart houses and buildings for re-use, resale, reclamation.  When we ARE working, our team of 8 is able to keep several tons a day of building materials our of the landfill.  That's a good thing.  The work is challenging, physically.  We sometimes work indoors, but even then the doors are usually open.  Or, we may have removed the doors and windows, and the roof for that matter, and then we are out in the elements.  I've worked in cold weather, very cold weather, torrential rain, snow, hail, sleet, and an occasional sunny and clear day - since starting this job in November.  I enjoy the work.  I really like the people I work with.  I like that we're keeping all that stuff out of the landfill.  BUT... I need to work!

So, it's job-hunting time...again.  Earlier this year, I left my old job and took some time to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  I had a part time job over the summer creating and implementing an outreach program for a cycling organization.  When that ended,  I enrolled in a 7-week pre-apprenticeship program called Oregon Tradeswomen.  I have always wanted to try doing work that was more physical and related to building and construction, so I applied to the program and was accepted.  It was fun, fascinating, eye-opening.  During that time, I applied for the Deconstructionist job, but I didn't hear from them.  So I got a full time job doing tech support for HP.  That was hideously boring - sitting in a cube, taking phone calls all day to help people fix their printers.  I learned a lot about the technical stuff, but most of all, I learned that I am not well-suited for the type of work that requires I be sitting in a certain place, at a certain time, not allowed to pee without signing off the phones.  I was great at the customer support part - I have a great phone style and tons of customer experience.  But the sitting all day doing nothing but talking on the phone and using a computer....it really got to me.   Then I got called for an interview for this job.   A few weeks later they offered me the job.  Total and complete opposite from cube-sitting.  We rarely sit down.  I get a full-body workout every day I go to work.  I get some cool stuff for my house for free.  And the other perks I wrote about. 

I feel like I am narrowing down my list of requirements that I want to fins in an employment situation.  I am contacting a head-hunter, because I believe I want to get back in to the professional world and have a high-profile management-type job.  That pays very well.  Where I work with great people.  Where I have freedom and flexibility.  Where I am respected for my leadership, communication and vision. 

I'll keep you posted on the search!

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Jan. 9th, 2008

Skywriting at dusk

Music to My Ears

There is a sound that is made when a nail is pulled from a piece of wood.  The sound is familiar to most people, and is unpleasant to many.  I can't say I've always liked it myself - it kind of sound like a seal barking, or loud scraping of sorts.  I work in an industry that requires that I take out nails from wood on a regular basis.  I am a Deconstructionist.  Deconstruction is the are of taking apart houses and buildings for reuse and reclamation - as opposed to demolition which uses a bulldozer to tear down a house or building to throw in the nearest landfill.  (Did you know that construction materials account for 50% of the waste in American landfills?)  So our crew goes to a house and  systematically 'unbuilds'  it pretty much in the opposite order from which it was built (remove trim and moulding, remove fixtures, take off the roof, siding, floorboards, joists, studs.  Somewhere in there we remove all the electrical wiring, the chimney, the plumbing, etc.  You get the idea. 

Needless to say, there are a LOT of nails that go into building a house.  In order to reuse the 2x4s, 2x6s, tongue-and-groove flooring, wood siding, etc., we have to take the nails out - which is cleverly called de-nailing.  De-nailing is most easily done while a joist or beam is still installed.  But often we de-nail wood after deconstruction - setting up two sawhorses, laying the board lumber across them, and manually taking out each and every nail., using a flat bar tool, or 'nippers', or a larger 'gorilla bar' (pry bar).  During this process, that barking-seal, loud screeching sound means success.  It means that nail is coming out.  It is a most satisfying feeling.  Especially when the nail has been stubborn.
So that irritating sound has become musical to me - the sweet song of satisfaction. 

Another mind-shift experience that came from my work happened my first week on the job.  I work with a diverse group of people from various backgrounds.  Two of the young men on our crew are from Mexico, and neither speaks much English.  They seem to be the keepers of the radio, and usually have it tuned to MUSICA MEXICANA - a local radio show.  I have always found that the oom-pah of Mexican music reminds me of a German polka, and is not to my liking.  After two days, I feared the music was going to cause me to leave my job.  But the day after that, three of us were assigned to another site.  One of the young men, Nico, brought his radio.  Oh shit, I thought.  Well, the three of us worked on that site for almost two weeks.  Nico was the most experienced of us and was helpful, thoughtful, and funny, and extremely diligent, and all of us worked very well together.  After the first couple of days, I began to like the music, because Nico likes the music, and I like Nico. 

Two kinds of sounds become pleasant music because of the experiences which caused a mind-shift in me.  The sounds didn't change - only my perception of them did.

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