List Update

Well it’s T-minus 13 days to finish the list and I have 17 more things to do.  And I start a new job, including 2 days out of town training, today. Gulp. Might I note that 4 of the 17 items are painting projects that have been ongoing for weeks. Double Gulp.

I figure I can take a longer lunch sometime soon and finish 77 & 74 once those clothes are ironed (note to self: iron clothes).  I have started peeling the fish trim (#82) but it’s going to take a few hours on the step stool to get all that glue off.

The price quotes for sod and the window frame can be done, maybe next weekend, by calling around town. If I get those numbers together I can call on my lunch break this week.

A few of the items were going to be done last weekend but my Dad had to put in overtime at work. I don’t know if I am willing to trim the tree branches and go in the attic to replace the hallway lights without backup.

Finally, the only item I can say for sure will not be completed is scanning all these family photos. Especially since Mom dropped off another few hundred on Friday.  I will count that a success if I can hook up the scanner and reinstall the software.

Left to complete:

2        Figure square footage of front and back yards      Yard

3        Move rocks to garage                                       Yard

4        Price sod                                                                Yard

5        Trim dead branches on trees                        Yard

32      Paint the baseboards                                        Living Room

35      Get quotes for replacing frame                           Living Room

37      Paint front door trim                                         Living Room

59      Paint door trim in hallway                                  Hallway

60      Replace hallway light bulbs                                Hallway

63      Paint baseboards in hallway                               Hallway

74      Donate old clothes to Goodwill                           Master bedroom

77      Take nicer clothes to consignment                     Master bedroom

82      Peel off fish trim                                                 Bathroom #2

86      Mop the bathroom floor                                    Bathroom #2

87      Price replacement light fixture                            Bathroom #2

93      Scan family photos and organize                         Online/Other

100     Take a SPA day!                                             BONUS

And I really want to do that last one…. see I have the goodies all ready:

spa day prep
spa day prep

Busy Day

Aside from solving the “no income” problem, today was quite a busy day.  I’ve got to recap this quickly and get to bed because I have work in the morning!

(You’ve no idea how happy I am to say that again!)

First up I finished working in the main bathroom – I need to touch up the door and trim paint but that will be on-going. I think it looks great:

finally finished
finally finished

I tried to catch up on cooking at home, finally slicing the slightly mushy apples and peaches for cobbler.  This is what I got:

peach cobbler
peach cobbler

I’ve also been fighting a sore throat and cannot be sick right now so I mixed up some Strawberry Smuckers Lemonade that I keep in my handy glass jars.

cheap drinks
cheap drinks

Usually I stick with my nice Fostoria glasses but when I’m sick it’s heavy doses only

I drank 6 or 7 of these
I drank 6 or 7 of these

I made a special trip to CVS today to pick up the vodka they had on sale for a recipe. Since I hate to waste a trip for ONE item I found some other sale items and saved 1/3 off my bill.  The notebook was free, the juices $1 each, canned fruit under $1/can, Mac  & Cheese $0.50/box and the lunch bowls were $1.50/ea.

CVS Trip 8-24
CVS Trip 8-24

I have been looking forward to making raspberry liquor for a few weeks now and my raspberries are finally ripe enough! (I paid $9.99 at Costco for 6 packs plus used up some frozen ones)  I didn’t get a picture of the berries because my hands were red from cutting and mashing them. Nor did I stop stirring the water and sugar concoction to take a shot.  I did get a picture of the glass jars I’ve been planning to use!

free jars
free jars

Then I re-read the recipe which suggests using one BIG glass jar. Which I did not have.  So I substituted with a plastic one:

Yum
Yum

The final product should be ready in about 3 months and I have to carefully stir the liquor to make sure the fruit is breaking down or something.  But for under $20 this is going to be some yummy liquor!

12 days later

Sounds like a horror movies, doesn’t it?  In many ways unemployment is my own personal horror movie.  No set schedule, fewer people to interact with, no planned challenges, fear of living in a box, no income and the social stigma of being amongst the unemployed.

Because despite all the ra-rah you’re awesome talk I get, there is still the reality of 11-15% unemployment in this area and thousands, hundreds of thousands of qualified people without work.

And while it feels like the longest horror sequence ever to grace the small screen (except The Stand that was months longer), it’s now over.

Yep, I have a new job.  Starts tomorrow so here’s my preliminary review.

Pros:

  • don’t have to live in a box
  • in town, can walk or bike
  • guaranteed hours and stable pay
  • office is across the street from the library
  • new challenges and things to conquer
  • planned training schedule
  • salary is good

Cons:

  • salary is good, not great

And really, that’s all the cons!  The salary will still enable me to save and plan and the company is wide enough to endure hardships and entertain a transfer if and when that time comes.  Plus I’m already saving money on my car insurance, fuel costs and I won’t be stuck in a car 2 hours a day surrounded by road ragers.

It is rather hard for me to admit, especially in print, that this new job did not come from some magistrate of luck, crossing of fingers or sending of ju-ju.  It was plain, old fashioned hard work and determination! (Which is not to say being unemployed for a long period is a result of a lack of hard work and determination)

There is a verse that came to mind and, even if you’re not religious, I think most people can relate.

2 Corinthians 4:7-9

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

When it comes to being laid off or fired it hurts.  Someone, or a whole company of someones, has said you are not good enough, you are expendable, you are not living up to expectations. And that stings. Because many of us are working quite hard to do our jobs and rejection always hurts on some level.  We know that feeling of being hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down.  It’s oppressive and difficult and yet, not the same as being crushed, dispaired, abandoned and destroyed.

There is hope.

There is a silver lining.

Not just because I have a new job, but because we all have options. Blessings. A way out. If I look back over these last two weeks I can find the good. The time with my grandpa just because, spending the afternoon reading at the park stalking hot dads, walking with my dogs, calling friends in the middle of the day, reading, finishing freelance work and projects I’ve been procrastinating on, and getting away from a toxic work environment that made me entirely too angry.

Tomorrow is a new day with new challenges.

I can’t wait.

Taking Stock

One of my biggest unemployment challenges is keeping my food and sundries budget low.

I am fairly confident that I will not need to spend on any bathroom or cleaning products for quite some time.  My proof:

hair control
hair control
toilet paper, shampoos, tissue and mouthwash
toilet paper, shampoos, tissue and mouthwash
candles, soap, cleaning supplies and rags
candles, soap, cleaning supplies and rags

And that’s just ONE bathroom.  So, no matter the deals going on right now I am stocked up!

the Fairest of them ALL

I love summer. And with summer comes watermelon, lemonade, corn on the cob, sunflowers and the Fair.  Kicking off Fair Week begins at home with my county fair. It’s teeny, it’s tiny, but oh how much fun!

I always begin with a cruise through the outbuildings to check out what people more talented than I have baked, brewed, sewn and knit for this year’s entry. Usually the food entries don’t bother me. By the time they’ve been baked, tested, awarded and put on display the cookies look stale, the cake is dry and the pie is oozing. No biggie.

But then I get to the craft booths and see the quilts. The pillows. The blankets.  Wow. These people are talented! I would say give ’em a reality show but I’m pretty sure watching people knit is not exactly prime time television viewing.

Note: I have no pictures because these people already make me feel inadequate. No need to have photographic proof.

Next up on the list is the very boring hall of businesses I will probably never use. Various independent jewelers. Water delivery service. Window tinting. Parks and Recreation Services. People selling beanie babies. Expensive kitchen doo-dads. People selling fudge.

Oh, wait a red hot second.

Yes, the fair is prime pickin’ for foodies.  This one had the typical fudge, candy, peanut brittle, cotton candy and cinnamon roll fare.  You know, all the stuff that made my blood sugar dip even lower at the thought.  Then there’s the good stuff. Corn roasted over an open flame, corn dogs, barbecue anything, hot dogs, burgers, fries.  Then there’s the less impressive egg roll on a stick, $12 chinese combo plate, sausage with more grease and fat than we care to admit and fried onions, twinkies, etc.

I finally settled with a cold lemonade and bbq chicken sandwich.  Yum.

Now that I was fortified by food it was time to enter the gauntlet. The row of people in their little booths paid to scream and taunt passersby with offers to knock over milk jugs, shoot streams of water into a clown’s mouth and win goldfish, stuffed animals and your pride back.

I survived the gauntlet unscathed.

Then it was the fun part: 4-H kids.  The ones sitting next to their pigs in perfect white jeans applying eye liner are my favorite. I wanted to stage whisper you’re at a fair… with a pig. No one is looking at your eyes! One girl, no lie, was straightening her hair.

Here are the only pictures I took, of the animals:

I call this one stripey
I call this one stripey
this guy was especially friendly
this guy was especially friendly
wilbur... you've really let yourself go...
wilbur... you've really let yourself go...
Meet Billy
Meet Billy
th brown one is Bob, the black and white one I call Angelina
th brown one is Bob, the black and white one I call Angelina

Because I was on the phone and had time to make up stories about cows in my head. That’s all.

die, fungus, DIE

Right about the time I think I have things under control my home is under attack by fungus.  Don’t believe me? Check out these mushrooms:

die bastards!
die bastards!

Yesterday the grass was free and clear of little white patches of death.  Gah.

As Bilbo said…

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,”  to which I add “especially when you’ve just painted said door and now you look like Saruman the White with a team full of Orcs just waiting for your hand print.

Hi. I’m painting again.

It’s times like these when I get overly frustrated at those small, dark haired creators of hairballs that occupy my living space.  Cute as they are, when my hallway resembles the Dust Bowl and there are mini hair tumbleweeds blowin’ in the wind it makes it a tad harder to paint.

Especially white.

Especially baseboards.

Yes, I’m aware I’m whining about staying home all day with nothing to occupy me but the now dreaded 99 things list that I now have no excuse not to finish.

Let’s start over, shall we?

I spent a lot of my day hugging the porcelain pony.  No, I wasn’t sick and no Richard I’m not preggers but Yes, that was the only way to clean, dry, tape and paint baseboards behind the toilet.

Who puts baseboards behind the toilet, you ask? The same people who painted the bathroom cabinets (but mostly the floor) florescent pink. And the smallest bedroom a Cosby Show worthy kaleidoscope. Back me up here, Rudy!

(see photographic proof below)

who paints like this?
who paints like this?
the closet door
the closet door

Anywho, I am rather pleased with the blue I picked out for the guest room and it covers well after the primer.  Also finished the primer project in the garage so I’ll be rearranging my pantry area tonight and there may be pictures tomorrow.  Until then I leave you with what Bilbo really said:

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Amen. Especially if you’re job hunting.