Abandoned Blog No More

writing-stuff

After an extended hiatus, I am back. I needed to take a break from a lot of things that were going on in my life at the time, including the illness and eventual death of my father in August 2015 at the age of 89 (just 11 days before his 90th birthday).

I found myself becoming even more introverted than usual, and my work schedule along with newfound responsibilities left me rather exhausted in the evenings, with no desire to do anything. So I watched a lot of TV. I goofed around on my iPad. I learned to knit. I ate carbs. LOTS of carbs. And just kind of existed.

I am feeling ready to come out of that protective carb-induced shell and get moving, literally and figuratively (stay tuned for a separate blog dedicated to the literal “get moving” part of that equation). So I am “reactivating” this blog with a new name and a new purpose.

It’s good to be back.

 

Photo by surasakiStock

In Memoriam

My wonderful, strong, hard-working, rock-solid father lost his fight with acute myeloid leukemia on August 11.  I wrote a post about it and I keep editing it, but I just can’t hit “publish.” So I will post a poem instead – “Funeral Blues” by W. H. Auden:

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public
doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Rest in peace, Daddy.

It’s Been Far, Far, Too Long

Hi everyone!

Just wanted to poke my head in and let you know I’m still here!  Life has been crazy, busy, tragic, happy, joyful and sad, and I haven’t had much time to think much less write.

There have been some major changes in my life; mostly positive but some negative.  I will write about them soon, I promise.  I’ve been feeling the urge to get back to blogging – I really need the creative outlet that blogging affords me, even though most of the time it seems I’m just rambling.

So I will get back to the blog shortly.  For now, I will say “hello” again and hope you, my readers, are still there.

Good Riddance, 2013

Happy New Year!

2014

2013 was not the best year of my life.  Not by a long shot.

It started off with getting laid off on January 2, after nearly five years of employment. It kind of went downhill from there.  About the only things that went right are I finished my master’s degree and I’m still here and relatively healthy.

So much of my life this year has revolved around not having a job.  Every day I looked for jobs, I sent out resumes, I networked, I went to events, I talked to people, all to no avail – the two dozen or so interviews I went on amounted to nothing, including a couple of good ones that I left feeling like I really had the job.  Fortunately, my unemployment compensation kept my head above water, but I still had to cancel a long-anticipated vacation (for which I’d already saved the money) because I could not in good conscience spend money on a five-day trip when I didn’t know what was going to happen, insofar as having a job.  So I stayed home.  All flipping year.  Continue reading

All That You Can’t Leave Behind

My parents did something over Labor Day weekend that they haven’t done in more than 40 years.

They stayed home.

Because they didn’t have anywhere to go.

You see, for just about as long as I can remember, most of our holidays and vacations were spent in Standish, Michigan, at my aunt’s lakefront house, that eventually became my mom and dad’s after my aunt passed away in 1991.  But the care and maintenance – and the expense – became too much for my parents to handle so they put it on the market.  There was little interest until mid-June when the real estate agent called to say she had a buyer.

I stood in my parents’ kitchen, dumbfounded, as they told me the news.  They had tried to sell the place for the better part of the last 10 years – it had been on and off the market all that time and there were never any serious inquiries, aside from the one person who wanted to rent it and not buy.  My folks said no to that deal.  But suddenly there was a buyer – the price was agreed upon and in a few weeks’ time it would no longer be ours.  And a chapter in my life would close.

The house in Standish, which no longer belongs to family.

The house in Standish, which no longer belongs to family.

In the late 1960’s, my aunts Frances, Bertha and Virginia, along with my uncles Steve and Frank – all of my mom’s siblings, with the exception of my Uncle Eddie, who visited several times – bought property on Beachwood Drive on Saginaw Bay.  They built cottages.  They planted gardens.  They bought boats.  I remember the first time my parents took my sister and me there – we stayed in my Aunt Frances’ cottage, which was not finished.  There was only particle board on the floor and it was not yet hooked up for electricity or water.  We sat around in the evening by candlelight.  My parents were worried that us kids would be afraid, but we thought it was cool!  We were a little disappointed when the cottage had electricity the next time we visited. Continue reading

The Frustrations of a Job Hunter

hire meNot much new on the job search front in the last few days, other than I recently signed up with a few freelance web sites hoping to get some income, because I don’t want to be on unemployment any longer than I have to.  And I need something to do. Nothing has come of the freelance sites yet, but I keep checking for new jobs and putting in bids for assignments.  Eventually something will break.

Now, can I just vent for a moment? Okay?  Thanks.

*deep breath*

I’m sure I’m not telling you anything new when I say that looking for a job is frustrating on so many levels.  It is especially frustrating when you get little response from your resume.  Now, I know my resume is good.  I’ve had it evaluated by professionals and they have said so.  So I know my lack of response is not due to that.  But just what, I don’t know.  Is it that there are many people applying for the same position?  Possibly.  But geez, I have plenty of experience and I’m good at what I do.  Damn good.    Continue reading

Product Review: Pantene Expert Advanced Keratin Repair

Well, hello there.  Long time no see.  How have you been?  Me?  So-so.  The summer has been meh, largely due to my job search thus far not amounting to much.  I did have an interview a couple of weeks ago that seems promising, and I’m hoping to hear from them soon.  I’ll keep you posted.

Pantene Expert Advanced Keratin Repair Shampoo and Conditioner

Pantene Expert Advanced Keratin Repair Shampoo and Conditioner

Meanwhile, I thought I’d try my hand at a product review.  There are a few newish products I’ve tried over the last few months that I considered, but the products I chose for my first review are Pantene Expert Keratin Repair Shampoo and Conditioner, which I decided to try after my stylist, Chuck, used keratin products on my hair and recommended I get them for home use.  See, my hair has been really bad lately, and that is rather traumatic for me because I’ve always had great hair.  I have hypothyroidism, or low thyroid function.  Among the lovely side effects of hypothyroidism are hair loss and change in hair texture.  My once thick, wavy, somewhat coarse hair has become thin and fine, with an absurd frizz.  My hair has always been frizzy enough to use a frizz-buster serum, but this has been crazy.  Like 100% humidity crazy frizz.  And I could do nothing to tame it.  Continue reading