Monday, June 07, 2010

Time Passages

When I started to compose this post in my mind, I began to wonder if, after more than a year's time elapsing between the last post and this, would there be any reader(s?) left out there who noticed that I'd posted? Would anyone in the blogosphere even register that I'd thrown a post out to any and all passersby?

I'd actually composed several "return" posts in my head, and for reasons unknown I either started them & got interrupted (and failed to save the draft), or the nugget for a juicy post flitted through my brain at a time when I wasn't near a computer to capture its essence.

Whatever the motivation, if for no other reason than to satisfy my endlessly perverse, obstinate self, I was determined to stick a flag into this day & claim it for ME-- I made up my mind to post SOMETHING. Me, the person who has actually had more items of interest to post about in the past 12 months than at any other time since I started blogging, but who has conversely had that much less time free to sit myself down and write.

In some respects, I've missed the time that I used to spend blogging. It was a level of self-indulgence & blissful escape that I'd forgotten in recent years. As a child, I was always the little girl with her head stuck in a book, so completely lost in a story that people calling my name would swear I was ignoring them... I was accused of "escaping" into books vs living. However, what they often failed to realize was that the one time my ADD mind ever settled down to business was in the arms of a good book. I didn't have the self-understanding to explain to others was that it was only through books that I felt I WAS living-- that the rest of the time, the world whirled by so quickly that all I perceived was a terrifying blur.

Much of this last year has been just such a blur, in some ways terrifying, but in many others, one of my best. I've learned things about myself, about the strength / depth / breadth of human emotion, and about the heart's capacity to grow & evolve, despite love and loss. This was the first year I spent without my grandmother's sage advice and dry, randy humor on tap to rally me through life's storms. A year ago today she left this mortal coil, and its been a bittersweet time of feeling like a boat propeller with part of a blade missing. The other blades kept turning as usual, trying to propel my lifeboat foreward. But without the proper balance that Grandma lent to things it was hard to do more than watch my craft spin in lazy circles.

But live I have, and moved forward in my journey. Such is the nature of time in its passage. One of my favorite quotes regarding the unrelenting march of time comes from the classic story "Anne of Avonlea". Young Anne is writing to Marilla about the approach of final exams, how she fears not being successful. Her whimisical concluding observation is to state, "I assume the sun will continue rising and setting whether I pass geometry tomorrow or not."

In much the same way, I've been accepting the backlash (if you will) of letting my blog go stale while I was off gadding about, ignoring my love of writing. I was at first a bit sad, then annoyed, when I realized a few months ago that my blog had been removed from several other writers' blogrolls. "Who do they think they are??" I demanded, "removing MY blog from their lists!" Did they assume that, because I let a fe-e-e-ew little months go by without posting, that I had in effect stopped THINKING? Stopped having thoughts, ideas, whimsies worthy of sharing? And in almost the same moment that I was tempted to grow indignant over the perceived slight, I also said, "Do I really believe that none of THEM have lives, outside of blogging?" How arrogant of me to assume that, because other people 'have time' to blog that, by default, my own madly busy existence should get a pass card for NOT posting?"

Silly girl.

The reality of it all is that it IS sensible that some of my readers have decided that my silence equals an "end" in their eyes. "Gee, if she had something to say to me / us, she'd be on here saying it!" The oppposite couldn't be more accurate. But if, through my silence, my few interested readers have wandered away, then so be it-- I would no more expect people to stare at an empty piece of paper or a blank screen than I would encourage them to keep "visiting my blog, only to see nothing new. I have sought to amuse or entertain through my postings. Heck, if I went to a friend's house regularly & they stopped "being there" (i.e. not posting), I'd think they'd closed up shop & not be bothered as well!

But the main point of having this blog has been to have a PLACE. A place that is mine. A place where friends are welcome, were they visit, share thoughts, then continue on their way.

My point? I am here... I haven't left, I'm still chock full of thoughts & musings. If you're interested enough, and willing to tolerate the occasional silent spell, then know that I AM still here, and all is well.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A Bone, for my Dawgs

Yes, you read that right-- I'm throwing the proverbial blog-bone that a number (ok TWO) of my readers have requested.

What a long, strange internet-less trip its been, amigos mine.

Here's a thumbnail to bring all of you (ok-- the two remaining readers) up to speed on my present state of being. As the last post mentioned, my work hours were slashed in half back in November & for now have not been restored to full time. With that in mind, our agency HAS received notice of incoming funds (to the tune of roughly $25,000 total) that are coming-- exactly when the hell they are coming, no one can answer. That being the case, until those pesos are actually IN HAND, its not feasible to restore my 40-hour status. **Sigh**

In light of that "challenge" to my income, I have since taken on two additional part time jobs (one with the Wheeling Artisan Center in their gift shop [working random Saturdays], and the second with a local pre-school doing aftercare). The retail work is easy, but it reminds me why I got out of working retail (barely over minimum wage & zero mental stimulation). The child care is a little more fun, but it likewise reminds me why I got out of child care / early childhood education (on your feet constantly, lame pay, minimal mental stimulation). At least this go around with child care doesn't coincide with the Barney craze from 15+ years back--- say... no... more. My fond hope is that within the next 60 days 1) the money will arrive to restore my work situation, and 2) I can give final notice to both part time gigs and close the chapters. I've enjoyed the work, and appreciate folks hiring me on to get me through this rough patch, but working 6 (and sometimes 7) days a week tends to wear a woman down, capice?

As to the personal life, Steve and I are still going strong after almost 9 months, and we are in the middle of making the transition to full time cohabitation. I have a tenant moving into my ghetto abode around the 15th of this month (I refer to her as Laura's Little Dividend), and have roughly 75% of my things moved out already. This Saturday is scheduled to be Ground Zero for the last leg of the move (last of the larger furniture, etc)-- of course, Steve was just informed that he now has to WORK Saturday, so methinks I'm going to be playing moving day mostly solo. **double sigh**

And in reference to Steve working a 6-day, that's also been a screwed up spectre during our relationship-- he's just come off of the third work layoff since November, and his oh-so-wise bosses are working the crew like a chain gang (10-12 hour days, 5-6 days) to fill an order, and the scuttlebutt 'round the mill is that they will all be laid off again after this order is filled (short of another large order being placed). **triple sigh**

That said, our relationship has only grown more solid, despite adversity. During this same 5 month period, Steve's mom has been recovering from major foot surgery, his dad his been diagnosed with (and successfully treated for) bladder cancer, and my grandmother has been in the hospital & is now ensconced at a nursing home due to failing physical strength (hell, she's gonna be 97 May 22-- she's allowed to lose power). Between work / financial stress, family angst, and the usual ups and downs of getting to know one another, I'd say we're surviving the turmoil nicely, despite it all.

I've also had random house / pet-sitting gigs that have help pay Da Man, and the occasional freelance writing job has also fallen on my plate, so looking at the big picture I'm far better off than many fellow Ohio Valley-ites whose lives have been utterly devastated by the present economy.

I have work.
I have family & friends.
I have a home (ok, TWO).
I have love.

I'm in a much better place than a large cross section of the population, so I try to keep perspective when the bills come due (and they always do) & it feels like this everlasting winter won't end...

Hopefully your girl blogger will soon have regular access to off-the-clock Internet, and I can once again unleash the fascinating workings of my mind on my adoring reader(s). You know you want me to!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Kitty Knows Best

In case anyone was wondering why I haven't been posting, let's just say I've had limited access to Internet, thanks to the recent changes at work. Not that I would ever blog on da clock, but my time THERE has been cut just short of half (25 hours vs 40), and in an effort to economize, I shut off my home Internet to save on the monthly bill (at least while the reduced income persists). So for now, you'll just have to take what you get & be content with it!

Now, for the REAL purpose of this post-- a paean post to honor (belatedly) my very own bestie best gal pal, Barb. She celebrated her birthday on 11/17, and I had the great pleasure of chatting with her a bit (never long enough) that night. In addition to the good news she was calling to share (svelte creature that she is), we had a few minutes to take verbal pot shots at multiple targets-- some of the travails of the past year (for both of us), and allusions to both our shared and separate past hurtles. We nattered on for at least 15 minutes, during which time I repeatedly caught Steve looking at me and making amused, bemused / confused faces over my remarks.

The confusion was understandable, considering he was only hearing my side of the conversation & lacks much of the inside info needed to follow our convoluted convos. What's noteworthy is that I doubt there are many other people on the planet who would follow our conversations smoothly. Barb is one of the few people who has wandered across my path to whom I can say damn near anything & from whom I can expect nearly flawless comprehension (NOTE: so don't feel bad, you folks who have told me I speak in riddles-- Barb holds the only special secret decoder ring!)

Anyone who has visited Barb's blog o' joy during the past year (FYI: she recently celebrated her first blog-a-versary) will have some insight into the strange trip (in the good, Grateful Dead sense) that she's been on... As someone who has been a close (albeit, from afar) observer of her journey, it has been a beautiful and sometimes painful ride, sharing the soul-searching and chrysalis shedding.

Barb is blessed with both the artistic and verbal dexterity to express herself in ways that take my breath away. From practically the first day we met, she has been my litmus for what I want to be "when I grow up"-- little did I know early on, that Barb has patently refused to do so (grow up) herself, and that I'm left to find my way sans role model.

Not being a woman who wants the kleig lights aimed in her direction, I'll keep this tribute concise out of respect to her (hell, she's already had to wait two freakin' weeks as it is). Barb is a woman of honor, who tells it like it is and is not afraid to launch a flying bitchslap where needed. Even if I don't end up just like her someday, I'm proud to call her friend & I look forward to the day when we are both ensconced on the porch of the Renaissance Ranch, sipping Patron and comparing sagging tattoos and looking back happily on our salad days.

If I recall correctly, we both like croutons AND bacon bits on our salads, right?

Friday, October 31, 2008

That to Which I Have Been Up ~

For those who have wondered what all I've been up to since my last post, in addition to the usual work grind and the added dimension of grant seeking, I've also been helping to prepare for a women's conference (read about it here)

Overall it was a success. For women who might have attended conferences in larger markets (i.e. "the big city") where you're not coping with FREE meeting space (and the associated suck-it-up-this-is-as-good-as-it-gets-ness), you had professional meeting planners (which we're not), and a budget (PERIOD), it might have seemed provincial. But the end result was a fun (if hectic) day, and so far we've received predominantly positive feedback from attendees. Yay us!

For now, I'm still nursing sore feet from running around 12 straight hours, but I wanted to update my reader(ship) about my whereabouts. Fear not-- Laura's always near, just not always able to blog at will ~

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hey good lookin'...

... watchya got cookin'?

It would seem that Laura needs to start doing some creative thinking, when it comes to approaching her work life. It turns out we didn't get the $60,000 grant we requested after all, so now I get to spend the next few months working with my board to find "alternative" (read here: involving tassels and begging) methods of extracting money from funders.

Check back in Monday-- I've got 1) some ideas for making money, and 2) an idea for another fun/thought provoking post that is worthy of the time it will take to write it out...

Until then, have a simply fabulous weekend, my reader(ship).

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I'm Officially...

... a CRANKY PANTS today (OK-- more often than that).

It's supposed to get up to 70F today, but its about 56 and raining right now. Not to mention our office landlord has expressed his desire to put off firing up the furnace for the building as long as possible, so the thermostat sits at a balmy 62 & I'M sitting here in a long sleeved sweater / slacks, with an additional long cardigan on and a fleece lap blanket over my legs to thaw me out... My fingers are like icicles, and I'm simply not feeling the love for much of anything today. We still haven't heard about the huge HUD grant-- you know, the one we submitted July 9th & were supposed to hear about on SEPTEMBER 6th??? The one that determines if we are open for business next calendar year? Yeah, that one.

I'm cold, cranky, crabby, and wish I could go home, climb back into some woolly jammies, crawl under a comfy quilt & hibernate with some old movie & snacks.

Maybe tomorrow I'll be back to being shiny happy girl-- for now, just back away slowly & no one will get hurt...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Gourd-itos, AKA The Pumpkin Posse

For anyone who wondered how a couple of wild youngsters spends a spicy Saturday evening, the truth is revealed: you go to the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival, wander around in the drizzle for two hours, then get your picture taken in front of the King Pumpkin.

So there you have it--you never knew the Greater Ohio Valley region had such exciting night life, didja?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

One Heck of a Day

All right, team-- so it would appear that your girl's blogging mojo lost a bit of speed in recent weeks. Well, fear not-- its HERE & its CLEAR-- I've still got the goods, just not always the time to execute... So I'm stealing a few minutes out of the hectic schedule to write a review-- of what you ask? Of my birthday!

Yes, possums-- to those of you lovely people who knew it was the infamous day (9/23) & celebrated appropriately (i.e. by sending various & sundry tokens of fealty), THANK YOU. I received some decadent bath items, as well as some lovely blog lovin' posts. I'm blessed with my friends, and I send reciprocal blessings your way as well (FYI: Gopher's got a birthday coming too-- go wish him the best, too!)

The picture above is another lovely gift I received (thanks, Steve-O!)

This cake was also a day sweetener-- green writing & candles (my favorite color) and a big fat red rose (also, my fav fleur) because EVERYONE KNOWS, the birthday girl gets "the flowers" on the cake-- so one giant one was even better, dontchya think? On the whole, it wasn't the most diet friendly day in my recent history. But then again, it isn't everyday that you celebrate turning another year older (37, if you're counting). So I boldly enjoyed some cake, had a 6-inch Subway sub for lunch, and did Olive Garden for dinner. And YES, I DID cash in my FREE Cold Stone Creamery coupon afterwards (I ordered their Coffee Lover's Orgasm... er, whatever its called)-- but it was too much for me, so I was compelled to give 1/2 of it away, so it wasn't nearly the travesty that it would have been in years gone by (when you would have had to wrestle the plastic spoon from my cold, dead hand before I'd give up).

So a summary: balloons, cake, flowers, bath goodies, boastful blog tributes, and in general a day filled with love, life & laughter. Can't ask for much more than that, can we? Here's to doing this again in another 363 days!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Seattle Breast Cancer 3-Day - Sept 12-14, 2008

Here's the plug, gentle readers:

Barb (and others) Get Walkin'

I won't rattle on at length-- follow the link above, or better yet, wander over to Barb's blog (if you haven't before, or if you need a reminder of her eloquence). Her dedication to battling this cause is awe-inspiring, and it is with all my heart that I ask you to consider donating to support her Walk goal-- and if you have already donated on her behalf (or in someone else's name), then consider an additional / alternative way to support this critical cause.

Breast cancer touches EVERYONE'S life eventually-- the sooner we find a cure and eradicate it, the better our world will be...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Restless Wind & Itchy Fingers

Call it the first blush of autumn color, or the first ragged (still learning) vee of geese I saw fly overhead last evening, but something is afoot in your favorite girl blogger's field of vision-- have no doubt.

It might be the waft of school supplies drifting through the air, or the sentimental song of seasons changing with time & tide.

Who knows? What I do know is that its been ages since I felt this kind of stir in my veins. Something's coming (cues West Side Story soundtrack, for good measure), and it defies identification. Whatever the name of this particular muse, its elusive. Light footed, clever-- s/he's calling me to toss aside the everyday & begging me to throw one last big Oooh La La festivus before the summer draws to a close.

How can I do otherwise?