Yard Visitor

>> Wednesday, May 26, 2010

We have recently discovered that our yard isn't alone. It's not just the neighborhood cats and flying birds that like to hang out in our yard. Now we can also add cute, little fluffalicious bunny to the list (aka cottontail). He's been hopping around in our yard, nibbling our grass and just spreading his cuteness around. See how cute he is?

That picture was taken before we had done some major weeding. I saw him again today so I decided to go outside and get a few more pictures. He let me get 5 feet away from him before he scampered under the fence! Don't pay attention to the dead spot in my lawn.....just look at Mr. Cottontail:

While I was outside, I tried to play around with my digital macro setting. Be forewarned, I am NO photographer nor do I claim to be. These were the best of about 20 pictures I took outside.

This was of the bouganvilla in my front lawn. I was trying to get the little yellow flowers inside the bloom into focus, but I never could get them. The camera was trying to focus on stamens (I guess that's what they are?) in the center of the photo. The hard part about this macro setting is that you have to hold the camera really close to the object and the object must be something really small and intricate.

I liked the texture of this one. It was a piece of some ground cover in the front yard. I just held the camera up really close and was able to get the texture just right. Not too bad for my first time messing around with the setting.

This one isn't great, but I was trying to get the center in focus. I guess it's not too horrible.

I love our rosebush, so I had to capture the newest buds to appear.

This is the best photo I took in my oh-so-humble opinion. I took several pictures of this fly, but the wind kept blowing the stems making it hard to get anything to focus. This is the only photo where the fly wasn't blurry. I think my hands are a bit shaky as well. I don't think I have to tell you that these photos are completely raw and unedited.

I'd love to take some photography lessons and get a DSLR. I think it's a fun hobby that I could be good at, but I just don't have the money or time to invest in it right now. What do you guys think?


Ten on Tuesday

>> Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ten on Tuesday from Roots and Rings:

1. What is your favorite piece of furniture in your house?
Our bedroom furniture. The mattress is nice and comfy, the bed is king-sized so both of us ridiculously tall folk can sleep well. Plus, the mirror on our dresser is tall enough for Jason!
2. If it was raining so hard on a Saturday that you couldn’t leave your house, what would you spend the day doing?
Probably reading on the couch with the cat in my lap.
3. What was your favorite candy as a child?
4. Did you get an allowance? What was it based on? What did you do with it?
I know that I got an allowance based on chores, but I really don't remember how much it was since it was sporatic. I probably saved it all because I was a tightwad.
5. Do you have a favorite Etsy store?
6. Do you prefer time with family or time with friends?
Family. We don't see each other enough.
7. Looney Tunes, Tiny Toons, or Animaniacs?
Looney Tunes!
8. Best daytime talk show: Oprah, Ellen, The Doctors, Tyra (ha!), Dr. Oz, or Dr. Phil?
I guess Ellen. I don't really watch any of them.
9. Would you rather have the power of invisibility or the ability to fly?
The ability to fly. It sounds much more fun.
10. Name 1 thing you love about being an adult.


The good and the bad

>> Sunday, May 23, 2010

First, the good: I had a really good day at work today. I sold more than I had all week. THANK GOODNESS. It's been such a slow week that even Saturday's numbers were worse than a bad Monday. Seriously! So that was good news!

Now, the bad: The first person I sold a handbag to today was someone that I didn't ever want to run into. And I mean EVER.

Let's flashback 5 years, shall we? I was working for a certain company in the staffing industry. After college, I was lost in what I wanted to do and got an interview with a lady at a different staffing company. The job fell through and I didn't hear from the lady for months. Then out of the blue, she called me from a different staffing company. She had changed jobs and offered me a position at the office. I really didn't want to do this type of work, but I agreed to try it out thinking that I could move onto something else if I did this job. Staffing wasn't so bad at first. It was fairly manageable and my coworkers were nice. Slowly, the work load was elevated and our company was given goals that were impossible to attain. My workload suddenly increased by over 100% and demands were made that were hard to keep up with. And when I say that the workload was getting too hard, I speak for all at the company. On top of this, I had just started grad school and was balancing this full time job with 3/4 time grad school at night. In the middle of this, a new salesperson was hired. This salesperson was new to sales and had recently left the police force. Yes, you read that right. A former cop decided to go into sales. Can you picture a salesperson/former cop interrogating employees (unintentionally) and nearly bullying companies to give her job orders? And then once this person left and I had to fill the job, suddenly there really wasn't a job that was open. Maybe, this person was a little too forceful in acquiring job orders and when she left, suddenly these companies grew a spine and told us "NO JOB" over the phone. Yeah, that's pretty much how it was. The really bad part to it all? She was the owner's "pet" employee. They got along too well and he thought she could do no wrong. She made my horrible job even more stressful and drove me to meltdowns at home frequently. Finally, I was let go from the job. My direct boss didn't support this decision, but she had to go with it since the owner had made his decision. I believe that I was let go as an example. I wasn't heartbroken over losing my job since I was already miserable, but I was really disappointed. I had gotten into a job that I didn't even want and then was let go because it was probably obvious that I didn't want the job.

If you haven't guessed that the person I sold a bag to this morning was the saleslady in the story, then you need to have a couple more glasses of wine so that my story begins to make more sense.

Fast forward to this morning: I saw a woman walk into my department looking at an expensive Coach handbag. I asked her if she needed help and she said she knew she wanted that bag, but she wanted to look a little more. Then she told me I looked familiar. She looked vaguely (and I mean really vaguely) familiar to me, but it was more because her profile resembled someone I knew. Then she asked me where I worked before this. I told her a certain staffing company (not the one mentioned above) and then I interned at another company. She still looked puzzled and asked me if I worked at Staffing Company Mentioned Above. I told her that I did a long time ago. She looks at me and says, "I'm Tina! Remember me?"

The wave of emotions that rocked through my body at that moment are indescribable. That part of my life was so miserable, I never wanted to remember it again. Or her. And I feel bad for saying it because she's actually really nice. I get along with her as a person. But working with her was hard. To add insult to injury, the Staffing Company Mentioned Above had merged with two other companies and now had 4 offices. She's now the Branch Manager of one of the locations and earns way more than she did before. On top of it, she's gotten married and has a baby.  Just seeing her was enough to send me over the edge. But hearing that she's really successful and is able to do the things that I want to do now just hurts. And I was embarrassed to have to admit that after 8 years of schooling, I'm working in retail. I've essentially gone nowhere. I really wanted to punch a wall this morning. It took every ounce of strength that I had to keep a smile on my face and look comfortable speaking with her. It was so freaking hard. I wanted to break down afterward, but I held it in. On top of it all, I have a bad feeling that she's going to return that bag.


Ten on Tuesday

>> Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hey, it's 11:00pm. It's still technically Tuesday! Better late than never!

Ten on Tuesday from Roots and Rings!

1. If your name was a verb, what would “to Stephanie” mean? (Insert your own name though…)
To rock something out! For instance, I totally Stephanied those shoulder pads with my leg warmers!

2. What myth have you always wanted to prove or bust?
That you can't go backwards in time, only forwards. Oh wait, maybe Stephen Hawking has already done that? Did I lose anyone with that one?

3. If you had the ability to get a message out to the entire world, what would you say?
Huzzah! Just kidding. How about letting the entire world know that Stephanie has now become a verb?

4. I know you’ve answered a similar question before, but it’s been awhile. Please name your current top 10 blogs.
Um....read my blog list. I don't really play favorites. Plus, with my time so much more limited nowaways, I don't really read as many as I used to.

5. Do you have a junk drawer?
Yes, it's in the kitchen with random household stuff. Jason also calls my nightstand drawer a junk drawer.

6. Bottled water or tap? 
Tap so I don't waste the plastic.

7. As a kid, did you have a favorite Biblical story?
Noah's ark was always a good one. I also liked the Zaccheus story from the "Zaccheus was a wee little man" song.

8. What is your favorite black and white movie?
I don't really have one. There's some cool ones that I've seen, but they're pretty random. "The Parent Trap",  "Memphis Bell". "Young Frankenstein" and "Gone With the Wind" come to mind on my list of black and white movies that I've seen.

9. Aside from your engagement/wedding rings, what is your favorite piece of jewelry that you own? Does it have a story behind it?
I have a lot of jewelry, so it's hard to pinpoint specific pieces that are my absolute favorite. I have several from my grandmother that are especially sentimental. I have a locket that bears her initials that she gave to me when I was in high school. She wore it when she was in high school so many years before me. The locket was originally her Aunt Amanda's locket and was given to my grandmother when she was old enough to appreciate it. My grandmother and her aunt happened to have the same initials. I like the history behind it; plus, it's really, really old!
10. What sports/activities do you hope your kids will be involved in? (Answer for both a boy and a girl)
I just hope my kids are active. I really enjoyed volleyball, basketball and tennnis. I hope my future children play what makes them happy.



>> Saturday, May 8, 2010

I've read so many articles about jobs and how to find your "dream job", that job that embraces your true passion. But how do you find that passion? I've read things about this, but I can never come up with anything for myself. I'm afraid that I won't like something in 6 months and will have to start over. I truly have no idea what makes me tick....what makes me want to get up in the morning and go, go, go! Part of this could be that I feel very dejected as far as the job market goes. It seems that I qualify for nearly nothing and am over-qualified for nearly everything. I've done so many different types of jobs and yet none of them were great. I never woke up and really wanted to go in to the office. Currently I work in retail to get some income to keep Jason and I half-way afloat, but it's something that I don't love. It's stressful, since I'm in a commission-only position. It's also hard working around others that are 10 years younger than me making more money than I am with a degree and a master's degree. Does that make me sound full of myself? I hope it doesn't, but that's how I feel. Some days, work is pretty good. Others, it's tough when I know I'm not coming home with much money. It's even tougher knowing that there aren't any more job prospects for Jason and that I am the sole source of income for the time being. It's not a good feeling. But back to the original question at hand....what is my passion? How could I spend so much time in school and still not know where I fit in? It makes no sense at all! How do you figure this out? And how do you find a job that embraces it? I know that the job market is terrible, but I am so freaking tired of hearing about it. What do you do when you were out of a job for 22 months and then took a retail position? Where do you head next? What can I possibly do to change our current situation? I'm seriously out of ideas.


Update, anyone?

>> Saturday, May 1, 2010

It's been awhile since I've done an update, so here's what's been going on (in bullet points, of course!):

  • Work has been going pretty good. I'm doing well according to my 45-day review and am improving daily. I'm no longer the newbie since they have hired someone else in my department. Hooray! The constant changing of my schedule is harder than I remember and I frequently get tired. When I close and then open the following day, I don't get 8 hours of sleep. My poor body needs 8 hours (no less!) to function well. I've taken two 2-hour naps so far in my quest to catch up on much-needed sleep.
  • Somehow, even though I have a crazy schedule, I have managed to stay in the gym. I'm still attending Body Attack, Body Pump, Body Combat and Step. It's been hard to fit them in, but I'm able to go several times a week. I'm getting better at each class and I'm able to follow the motions with much more ease. I did fall in Step class this week, but I didn't hurt myself. It was toward the end of class and I was exhausted. I was jumping over the step quickly when one foot touched the other. It was just enough to set me off balance. Then, it was like I fell in slow motion. I landed on my butt fairly softly and laughed. The best part? No one noticed because I was in the back!
  • Still no job prospects for Jason. He's been looking, but there's not much out there. His mood has been very up and down and some days it's hard to deal with. As long as he keeps himself busy, he's okay. I've been trying to keep him motivated to get things done to make himself feel productive. So far, so good.
  • Luckily, with my paycheck we can live the exact way we are living currently (the horror!) for another 18 months. My paycheck doesn't cover all the bills currently, but's fairly close. At least that means we can stay in our house for now. Thank goodness.
  • Our garden isn't looking good. The soil that we brought in last year has mixed too much with our original soil. It's now a compacted, thick soil that is making it hard for the plants to establish roots. Also, something is eating a few of the plants. I have no idea what they are, but it's not the pill bugs that we had last year. This time, it's eating the leaves, not the stem. The squash is the only plant that actually looks pretty good. I think we'll have a good harvest from it.
I think that's all there is to talk about. If you made it through my jumbled train of thought, I applaud you! And now my friends, I must get dressed to go to work. On a Saturday. :(


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