god's purpose on the job

(I will now break all cardinal rules for the internet by talking about work. I have never done this before.) I' m having a hard time at work. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't environment. I strive to rise above the annoyances, abuse and negativity. Last week I failed utterly. Failure is tough when you take being an example seriously. I don't know how my work struggles will end. Sometimes I think I should get out while I still have sanity or while I can still get a good reference. On the other hand, when things are going well - which they are more than they aren't - I love my job, really love it. But it's a volatile environment governed by values I abhor. Last week was horrible. I felt antagonized and abused and a co-worker is driving me absolutely bonkers. I snapped. I said... Read more →

muriel, my nightmare

(This tree is close to my house and I love it. Happy Spring.) It's been so long since I did this, I don't know if I remember how. I feel so out of the zone. So where to begin... I have so much catching up to do. I'll start with the job front. Job... Well the bookkeeping job turned out to be from hell. I liked what I did and got some really good rapport going with my clients. They liked me. But my boss, ... she hated me, really really hated me. When I didn't know how to do something, she spasmed. When I asked questions, she spat venom. When I didn't ask questions, she shook with anger and threatened to search my desk for "evidence". I've wondered many times what she thought I might hide. It was all brand new to me and I was totally dependent on... Read more →

pilot screening

Years ago I was driving two pilots to an airport ninety minutes away, a job I did occasionally for my ex-husband's business. Being in a car with two men you don't know can be a little strained, but these particular men were good conversationalist and very funny. That day I learned that to fly for commercial airlines, one has to pass some pretty intense psychological screening. They told of near-abusive psychological screening by a panel of persons. I guess the idea was if they succeeded in making you "loose it," you weren't fit for the job. One told of being screened for a couple days with grossly invasive questions. Have you ever had sex with your sister, mother, father, and other disgusting things like that. But this panel didn't just ask it once, they asked it over the course of days in varied ways. Can't you see why some folks... Read more →

ejecting tables

Many years ago I had an acquaintance named Beverly. Beverly had a great personality and sense of humor. But she had a horrible problem with mixing metaphors and getting her cliches all bungled up. Once I made fun of her to my sister, Diane. Diane knew Beverly too so I pointed out this fault in great detail. I can't think of any of Beverly's blundering cliches, but just to give a couple of ideas of things she might have said; "You gotta think outside the circle," "American as blueberry pie," "Low man on the pecking order." Do you get the idea? Well, I thought it was a hoot and I hooted it up telling Diane all these things poor Beverly had said. One does reap what one sows. (Bev might have said, "What goes around you reap.") God is my witness, and Diane is too, that the very next day... Read more →

another day of work

(Gordon and me, camping in 2005) I've decided to take another work day. I told my boss I'd do this each week, but was clear if it was not working for the family, I'd let her know within the month. We shall see. I don't foresee any problems. Last night Gordon asked if there was anything particular I wanted to do with that extra money. (Grant it, it won't be much.) I paused for a few seconds before I answered, "I can't think of anything, so I guess not. But if I say I want some money, you'd better say, 'how much?'" Read more →

practical joke

I was talking to my sister Diane last night and briefly spoke of a story that happened when her ex-husband Herbie and I worked together. In our office everyone was fun-loving, laughed lots, pulled stunts on each other, and covered each others' back. It was a Christian organization too although there were plenty of times when we weren't very Christian. Another piece of background is that this story takes place in small town, USA. And for ease of telling the story, I will call the antagonist Roger and change several of the details. I will use quotes to make the read easier, but I'm actually quoting the gist of the story, as of course, I don't remember the particular details of who said what when. With that lengthy, un-smooth set up, here's my story..... Secretary Cindy brought me a stack of mail and said, "I put a letter on top... Read more →


School teachers are regularly coming in my stores buying things for their classrooms. I've marveled at their artistic creations, more specifically the artistic creations they take to their classroom. Yesterday while a lady was checking out, she was telling me in detail what she was going to do with her students with the purchase she was making. As she spoke my mind wandered back to many years ago when no one brought my creativity out of hiding. I always got a C in creativity, and have since carried hostility in my heart that they gave me a C without ever trying to tap into what was hiding, or coaching me how to be more creative. Like a basket case, I mentioned this to her and she listened sympathetically. I stared into space and in my mind went one by one through my teachers recognizing afresh how they failed me. I... Read more →

a humpless giraffe

At work last night, a lady brought a clay giraffe up to pay for it. She kept calling it a camel. My co-worker said, "This is a giraffe, see, it doesn't have a hump." The customer said, "Oh, it's humpless." I chimed in at that point, "Poor thing." Looking at the giraffe, the customer responded, "Yeah, sucks to be you." Read more →

jobs and bras

(My senior picture, 1984) I got a new job at a quaint fabric store. My creative juices are always flowing and I love it. As far as fabric stores go, this is a large one and it's nearly void of all modern technology. (It reminds me of Rephans from my childhood.) It's disorganized and inefficient and that makes me feel valuable. I love going to work because I know when I leave, the store will be a bit more organized. The best part of the job is my 40% discount and a $40 project allowance each month. Yesterday a lady came in and requested "boning." I'd never heard of boning so I asked what it was for and she replied with an edge, "to hold my tits up." At that point she had my undivided attention. If there was something in the store that would "hold my tits up," I... Read more →

jobs and frodo

I'm flying high today. I got a $.40 per hour raise. That was kind of cool. I also got very good to outstanding on my performance review. The highest in the store. Yippee! That's all good and fine, but the really good news is that I quit cake-decorating purgatory. I am so happy. Surely the world's a better place without me wielding a bag of buttercream frosting. Senor Frodo, our manly little Chihuahua, is on the lookout for a nice little Senorita. It seems he is in the babino-making mood. When he attacks Lucy (or a pillow) we say naughty Mexican things. Never mind that our Mexican is hardly better than our Somalian. "Senor Frodo, go to your own le casa to do that." "Senor, give it a siesta!" When he squints in the sun, Hannah says he's saying, "Get me my sombrero, will you?" Our little Frodo keeps us... Read more →

bragging, quickly followed by wallowing, then a little animal rescue

Hannah's Interest Fair Project Dogs 2nd Place Winner Well, well, well, I don't mean to brag, but (picture me snorting like Barney on Andy Griffith), my Hannah won second place in the interest fair at school. It was such a cute display and she put her heart and soul in it. It was soooo Hannah and she deserved her win. Rachael's looked nice too. Deborah's display board kept falling over, but Harry the hamster was a big hit. Kids are so smart these days. There were displays that boggled my mind. Smart, creative, artistic, and elaborate. Attendees voted on the best displays. First, Second, and Honorable Mention were the voting options. As Gordon and I made our way around the gym, we were impressed with the many displays. I voted for all my girls, I admit. Gordon, on the other hand, was more methodical. He stood thoughtfully in front of... Read more →

happy spring & lucy is two

Salutations! Spring has arrived in the Great White North and I LOVE it. I walked around the yard this morning and was pleasantly surprised to find an abundance of tulip and lily shoots. Spring! Is there anyone who doesn't love it? Later we got a rain shower. How delightful when the moisture comes in the form drops rather than white fluffs! Simply invigorating. My cake decorating adventure is pretty cool. I worked 36 hours this week and will have another busy training week next week. After that I will be a "professional cake decorator." Pretty cool. Today I brought home a lemon supreme cake that I made. When Hannah saw it, she hugged me. She loves to see me learn new things. She is so artsy and loves new creations in whatever form they take. She's so sweet that way. (Hannah and Lucy, 2006) My beloved Lucy is two years... Read more →


Today I learned I am the employee of the year at my work. That translates to cash, a new t-shirt, a plaque, a new frame, and the most significant is a 30% discount until 2007 (even on sale and "as is" items). I'm feeling pretty good about that. I start my cake decorating job on Saturday. I went for training yesterday. It was kind of weird because they didn't ask for references or anything. They know absolutely nothing about me. I could recently be released from prison for poisoning cakes for all they know. I told Gordon that it sure is easy to get a job when you're middle aged, turning gray, and overweight. Is that the look of wisdom? Or maybe I look too tired to cause any trouble. Read more →

lifelong learner, i am

"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything." Laurence Sterne I have a number of interests. More than I can name. (Hannah making her 4th birthday cake, 2000) Since Rachael's first birthday, it's been a family tradition that the birthday girl decorates her own cake with only a little guidance from Mom. Well it so happens that the girls have bumped up against my own cake decorating knowledge so I can no longer help them develop new skills. This has been bugging me for a couple years. A few nights ago I went to Safeway and saw a help wanted sign in the bakery. I thought the following selfish, self-centered thought: "If I work here, they'll teach me to decorate cakes AND they'll pay me to learn." I came home and ran it past Gordon.... Read more →

field trip and such

(Deborah in kindergarten) Today is usually a work day for me, but I took the day off to attend Deborah's Easter party at school. She is so excited. For the first several months of school I didn't go on her field trips or attend her school parties because I work on Tuesdays and Thursdays which are Deborah's school days. Several weeks ago she expressed that she wanted me along for these things. Since then I've taken off work for them. I'm so glad I heard her desire. She was giddy with excitement when we went to Bee Maid Honey factory. I'm glad I had that time with her. Yesterday she wanted to lay out my clothes for today's party. She chose a black skirt and light blue sweater. I'm not excited about wearing a skirt, but I will wear for her. When she brought them into the living room to... Read more →