UNRELENTING

puzzle light

"Mama, it's hot", declared Cinnamon at bedtime.

"Can we turn the fan on?", she asked. The heat is unrelenting tonight and shows no signs of cooling anytime soon. With it being 31C (87F) inside and 28C (82F) outside, tonight is the first time I opened the windows in hopes of a gentle breeze to ease the discomfort.

The air conditioner never seemed to work well since I moved in, despite my efforts at adjusting the controls. Another issue is at play - unknown at the moment. The simple solution would be to call the landlord, albeit the stubbornness of my nature prompts me to pursue the avenues of troubleshooting myself before resorting to a call. The first course of action is to go to Home Depot and buy a new filter, as the current one appears far from the white it should be. I wonder when, if ever, the previous owners last changed it.

After school, Cinnamon took to reading "Green Eggs and Ham" again. Twice. She announced her great love of the book and read it with much emotion, making sure to put emphasis when exclamation points showed up. She told me she read the book on the way to school. I asked whether she read it out loud and saw a scene in my head of her doing so. She assured me she did not read it out loud and I was happy to know she was using her ride to school in a useful manner.

green eggs and ham

After reading, she continued the drawing of the cat she started in school, made another one, and worked on a calendar with multiple sheets of paper.

seena drawings

Sage did what he does best. Building puzzles. This old puzzle has 280 pieces and is one Oma had decades ago - one brought out of storage not long ago and shipped from Germany.

sage puzzle

Sage can sit for hours sorting through pieces to find the one that fits. As a child, I loved puzzles as well and was able to get lost in them for hours. Now, I am cautious to start a new puzzle as I know I would lose track of time and find myself staring up at the window hours later, wondering where the sun disappeared.

At the moment, I would love the sun to disappear for a while. Until next year. Rain as a respite from the unrelenting heat is mere wishful thinking.

puzzle box

THE GAS LEAK INCIDENT

seena bed bw

The construction workers were careless. Police cars blocked off one of the entrances to the complex as a precaution while a fire truck parked behind my driveway to block off the other entrance to the affected area. I was trapped in the middle.

As I prepared to leave this morning, a fireman walked up to my minivan and informed me of the situation. Two buildings down, by the construction site, a worker in a backhoe drove into a gas line. The fireman backed his fire truck to let me out of the barricade and let me know it would take a couple of hours to clear the situation. I took the opportunity to make an unplanned trip to Central Market for bread, cheese, and veggies.

Upon my return two and a half hours later, the fire truck and police cars were gone but a few of the neighbours were outside. One of them, whose townhouse was next to the construction site, let me know we were not allowed to go into our homes. An inspector was going around measuring the gas concentrations in the homes in the immediate area.

Uncomfortable with the thought of a stranger entering my home, I went inside, closed the door behind me, and waited. I hoped there was no need for the inspector to make a stop at my place and kept peeking through the blinds to see if anything was happening. When I noticed the neighbour across the street going into his home, I was certain the crisis was over.

sage bed shadows bw

After the children returned home from school, they sat with me to do homework before getting to play. Sage is forever mesmerised by puzzles - the 3D globe puzzle from Ravensburger in particular. He put it together and took it apart, only to put it back together again.

sage earth puzzle

Cinnamon, on the other hand, preferred to read "Green Eggs and Ham" again, claiming it was an easy Dr. Seuss book. Since we do not have a television, we come up with other forms of entertainment. The best, which also happen to be my favourites, are puzzle building and reading.

cinnamon close up bw

Tonight's two bedtime stories were chapter 3 of Giada's Naples book and a new book that arrived yesterday afternoon. This new book, "What Do You Do With an Idea?", is a great lesson for both children and adults. The progression of watercolour illustrations from monocolour to fully coloured was stunning. My favourite quote was the last page:

"And then, I realized what you do with an idea...
You change the world."
elli the elephant bw

POLAR OPPOSITES

yellow flowers bw

Cold, impersonal, curt...words to describe the person on the other end of the phone line at a government agency. No notable pleasantness to be detected. Even a feigning one.

Warm, friendly, patient...words to describe the lady at the airlines help desk who went out of her way and took a "very complicated" (in her own words) situation and presented a workable solution.

Helpful and diligent are two words I would use to describe the credit card company as they both called and texted me to inform me someone was attempting to make a charge with my card on an airline's site. "Yes, that was me", I replied and thanked them and proceeded to finalise my flights to Europe next month.

The little ones have returned. The cheery one and the pensive one. The talkative one I will be visiting shortly. Three children, each with their own distinct personality.

cinnamon sincere
sage pensive

Asleep before 20:00 tonight after two bedtime stories (the library books they each brought home) and a requested dinner of polenta - or "lalenta", according to Sage. The return to schedules and routines is underway.

FLEETING

incense burner

Moments. Short-lived...temporary...fleeting.

Moments create memories. Some you remember well. Others you soon forget. As a fire's smoke, moments pass but the scent lingers. The scent of a time as once we remember long ago.

Every time I smell anise, I'm transported to the times we visited Nona's sister in San Pedro. The creak of the screen door as we entered her house, the flowery 70s sofa reminiscent of that era, the kitchen in the back of the house which led to a yard with a garden and fig trees. The anise biscotti at my great aunt's place were a time in my life now long forgotten, but resurrected as a result of one smell. 

Every second of every day is an opportunity to create memories. To forge impressions. To make a difference.

golden burner

Fleeting as moments might be, they linger as memories deep within. Memories to resurface at a later point in time. Some wanting forever to be remembered. Others wishing to be freed. To forever be forgotten.

charcoal burning

BITS AND BYTES

texas flag

An informative day at the Bob Bullock Museum started with a most convoluted routing of the car's GPS system. What would have been a simple 30-minute drive from 183 to I35 ended up taking me 45 minutes from 2222 over the 360 bridge and through winding roads in Westlake. Relief washed over me as I emerged from the maze and viewed the downtown skyscrapers.

Talks about food photography and blogging were topics of the day. Many bits of useful information and most importantly the networking - meeting new people and hearing their stories.

star

Stories I love. Everyone has one. You might think your story is not interesting...but it is. Some are a bit more straightforward and black and white. Or at least it might seem so to you.

museum bw people

Other stories have more colour, but are no more interesting than the seemingly straightforward ones. Whilst conversing with a lady at my table, I discovered a new way to write down those ideas that come to you in the most unusual of places - the shower. She talked about jotting down notes on Aqua Notes (a waterproof notepad for the shower). I thought that was quite intriguing.  

museum colour

Take a personal challenge: keep a daily blog for a month. Nothing too intense or time consuming. Nothing too personal. Take one photo each day and put some words to it. One or two sentences. Perhaps something someone said - your friend, child, spouse. Or something that stood out during the day - a thought, an epiphany.

Look back after 30 days and see what you remember. Chances are you've forgotten the little things. The everyday, seemingly mundane life you think you lead. You might start to see life differently and appreciate those little things even more.

three windows museum bw

 The day ended at the Salty Sow. A beautiful place with great food and atmosphere.

drink salty sow

I sat outside and admired the above café lights and the white lights wrapped around the tree. In all these years living in Austin, I've never ventured too far from the comfort of home...until now. 

lights and trees bw

INDULGENCE AND COINCIDENCE

henna lamp

A bit of last minute indulgence at the hair salon today and a strange dinner coincidence. Not something that happens often on either account.

Growing up with a hairdresser, I was lucky to have my hair cut whenever needed. For years, I observed my cousin work her magic with the scissors and noted the sequence of a simple cut. After moving away to college, I purchased a pair of hairdresser's scissors and trimmed my own hair without the hassle and money of booking a professional.

One day, before my 8th grade graduation, I had this "great" idea to go to Supercuts instead of having my cousin cut my hair. That was a mistake I will never forget as I walked into line for the graduation ceremony with a mullet haircut. After that miserable experience, I let my cousin continue cutting my hair as long as I lived in LA. Even when I moved away to Chico for university, I would go to her during my holiday visits.

So today, I decided not to purchase another pair of hairdresser's scissors and let a professional cut away. But only a little as I wished not to return the my pixie cut from a dozen years ago.

After the hair appointment, I returned a call to my ex who informed me he was making halibut for dinner. Quite the coincidence since I had also purchased halibut prior to my afternoon appointment. Even stranger was when he mentioned having potatoes alongside the fish. I was also having potatoes. Baby potatoes. And not any baby potatoes, but the tri-coloured ones from Whole Foods. From strange to bizarre, he informed me those were the exact potatoes he was making.

IMG_3908-1-2.jpg

I was experimenting with an idea for Sunday's dinner menu. Seeing how we both had the same meal already, I will have to change the baby potatoes to mashed potatoes and add carrots and broccoli with onions as the veggies instead of the spicy chard I had tonight. I'm certain the chard he did not make, but it was a strange coincidence indeed.

halibut dinner

FLATLINE

shadows bw

They were unable to save him. Every option was exhausted as they tried for 30 minutes to revive him. After the realisation set in, they gave in, carried him to the van, and drove him away. Elton was gone.

The "furniture medics" arrived around noon today and verified what I'd believed. The daybed sofa was defective. In a way, I was relieved. Not because I wanted the sofa gone, but because I was relieved to discover it was not my inability to assemble the sofa alone that was the issue. I've assembled many pieces of furniture in the past. I knew what I was doing.

Regardless, after waiting four months for it to be delivered plus three weeks after vacation wherein the three boxes sat in a corner of the garage waiting to be assembled, my dream of sitting on a sofa in front of the window was no more. Granted, the view of the open sky is now obstructed by a new building in the midst of construction a few feet from the patio.

window bw

My hope is that a replacement will arrive before Thanksgiving albeit that seems unlikely as I recall the conversation I had with the ever-so-cheery customer service girl last week. She hesitated requesting a replacement letting me know it might be a few months for a new daybed to arrive.

The options for the time being are to leave the area empty, wait for the replacement to be delivered (albeit it might arrive at the time my lease expires in early spring), or place the IKEA mattress - meant for the daybed - on the floor. The Moroccan theme is the look I was going after anyways with a carved wooden coffee table being used as the dining table and cushions as seating.

no daybed bw

If nothing else, there is plenty of room for dancing, pillows to be strewn all over the floor, and setting out the countless candleholders for the hundred or so tea light candles I have packed away in boxes. And lighting some amber resin incense. Elton might be gone, but all is not lost.

UNKNOWN

plums

Sometimes you know not what the day will bring. But you get up out of bed and move on with your day in hopes nothing bad befalls you.

Sometimes you come across something for which you've been searching at a time you've stopped looking and wonder if you should get it. You should - especially if such item is a set of measuring spoons which includes the smallest amount not found at your usual kitchen store.

So, you get the spoons because you know you'll need them when you go to Germany and remember the time you said to the lady at KaDeWe: "Ich suche löffel für backen" (I'm looking for spoons for baking). And this after you've been scanning all the stores in Berlin. The indignant stare forever seared in your mind reminds you to never even dare ask about the existence of measuring spoons in Germany. They simply do not exist - at least all the stores I've searched. And they will not let you forget it as they snobbishly tell you, in German, that we use scales for that. The snickering in the background between two colleagues as you walk away reminds you you're not in America.

eighth measuring spoon

Sometimes seemingly random events make no sense whatsoever. But you continue moving forward knowing that there is a reason yet unknown to you.

Sometimes you wonder about tomorrow. But know you should focus on today. Tomorrow will come in time.

anthro wooden salad set

ARM AND A LEG

iron bed bw

I almost gave my friend in Ireland a heart attack when I mentioned how expensive it is to live here in Austin. In some ways, you're selling your soul. Or at least an arm and a leg for rent.

"You pay what?!"

"Per month?!"

"Yes", I replied. And that's living 30 minutes outside of downtown.

People in Europe seem to believe that America is some enchanted land. A land where everything is possible. While part of that is true, this possibility comes at a price. For many, it might mean giving away half of your income for rent or a mortgage. For a select few, life is a bit better but more of your time is sacrificed in order to earn a higher income, which means less time for family and living. A vicious circle.

skewers

Austin has become almost as expensive a place to live as the Bay Area - a place I escaped in order to raise a family. When I think about paying my rent every month, I wonder where else could I live to make the money last longer. California is out of the question, as is New York.

The stress of finding a job is weighing on me. I know that at some point, I will find something. I will not starve, nor will my children. Life is not as bad as it could be, but we always want things to be better. How much we're willing to sacrifice is the question left to answer.

anthro bowl orange aqua

GOODBYE SUMMER

overgrown shrubs bw

I welcomed autumn a day earlier than I should have. It arrived today, not yesterday as I'd believed. But one day more or less makes little difference as we bid farewell to summer and look forward to a new season - holding dear the fond memories of summer's events.

Early morning found me scanning websites for deals on a plane ticket to Europe. 4am was when I decided to go to sleep and continue the search at a later time. In four weeks, I will be in Berlin albeit I've not yet purchased a ticket.

Since my return from a summer in Ireland, including a last minute four-day surprise trip to Berlin for Saffron's 8th birthday, I've been monitoring prices for my next trip. At this point, I fear I will have to take whatever is available as my older daughter is looking forward to my visit next month.

Autumn in Berlin will be a new experience for me as I've vacationed there during both summer and winter months. My daughter has a few things in mind she'd like to do. Piercing her ears is one. Going out for pizza is another. So far she seems to be enjoying her time in Berlin but I'm sure she is also looking forward to coming home in February.

Summer brought about many memories and changes which will never be forgotten - such as the look of surprise on the children's faces when they saw me at the Wednesday farmer's market on Goethestrasse. It is autumn's turn to create new adventures to cherish.

HELLO AUTUMN

autumn flowers

The first day of autumn. A time of change. The overall mood of the season shifts towards comfort this time of year as we start to spend more time in the kitchen baking foods that make us feel good.

This morning was one of those days as I unwrapped a new cookie sheet and proceeded to bake scones. I'm still getting used to another oven and figuring out how to set up an efficient kitchen.

As I started to peel away the protective blue plastic film on my cookie sheet, I wondered why. Why was this warning necessary and how many complaints did the customer service department at Vollrath receive about blue plastic melting in the oven? I shook my head in disbelief and continued with my scone making.

cookie sheet warning

Banana oat scones. The first scones of the season and the first baked in a "new" oven. The kids each had two with a glass of cream top milk before heading to a picnic with their father. I stayed home and continued to bake today's cake to take over to Sunday dinner at the ex's later in the evening.

One tradition I hope to instill is the coming together for dinner on Sundays. The kids already look forward to it and remember to say "Happy Sunday" when we sit together around the table. This week's menu was grilled salmon, green beans with almonds and lemon, and grilled corn. Next week will be my week to host.

banana oat scones

My intension was to make an orange spice layer cake with mascarpone cream frosting. However, upon further inspection of my spices, I discovered I lacked cardamom and ginger. I also did not have mascarpone but was going to remedy that issue with whipped cream instead of the mascarpone.

The other choice was an orange hazelnut cake. Since ground hazelnuts were also absent from my pantry, I settled on a new recipe I had written in January (but never tested) involving melting raw local honey and light muscavado sugar with butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

The result was good, judging on the fact that not a slice was left to take home and photograph the next day. I find that a 5" (12.7 cm) cake is a perfect size for one evening.

lemon honey cake

Autumn is also a time to start something new. In my case, returning to work on my bake book of small simple cakes. Despite the fact that three publishers have already rejected my queries, I will continue with my recipe development. Giving up is not an option. A lesson children need to learn early on as they encounter the frustrations of life.

So ends another week of co-parenting life with the younger two in Texas and the oldest in Germany.

seena sunday
sage sunday bw

Autumn is here. Another summer has passed. I look forward to cooler weather, more baking, and evenings spent reading and writing.

autumn grass

SOMETHING ANYTHING

red cart

"Did you get the picture you wanted?", asked the lady collecting the carts outside of Trader Joe's.

She saw I was still fiddling with my troublesome lens - the one where the autofocus sometimes works - so she made her way to the store entrance with the two carts she'd gathered from the parking lot, leaving me to continue with my composition of the lone cart along the wall.

bw trees

There is an empty building space (the old Saks building) in between the new Trader Joes' and Williams Sonoma at the Arboretum. I have no idea what the new store will be, but for some reason there are several large photographs plastered on the windows. When I saw the bright red shopping cart against the black and white street photo, I knew I had to make my own photograph.

On the way into the store, I noticed some beautiful green plants which I thought might look good in black and white. Sage commented on how soft the leaves were and I watched with anticipation as he grabbed at the leaves.

green bw plants

The day had been a challenge with the younger two pushing my buttons all day long. First, the one with the waterworks. With her being able to cry on demand, I'm guessing she'd do well as an actress. No onions needed.

"Sagey threw my shoe...why don't you care about that...Sagey broke my special magic wand...don't take my picture...". On it went.

cinnamon floor

Then mischievous Sage with "it wasn't me". No, it's never you, is it.

sage bed

Cinnamon finally let me take her photo and showed me the broken magic wand that Sage broke. "By accident", he claims. He has a knack for breaking a lot of things. Somehow they're never intentional.

broken wand

At that point I decided I needed to do something, anything. Get in the car with the kids and go somewhere, anywhere. Which is how we ended up at Trader Joe's buying an orange for tomorrow's cake, more Greek feta, provolone, spaghetti for tonight's dinner, Nero d'Avola, two different chocolates, and a small box of lasagna with which I plan to create some kind of vegetarian meal for one next week.

Sometimes when things seem impossible, the best thing to do is to get up, get out, and do something...anything.

trader joes

ECHO

old room

A hollow sound resonated as I closed the French doors to what had been my room for the past eight years. The longest I've ever lived at one address - which at present totals to somewhere over 40.

Growing up, I had to encounter the inevitable question of whether my parents were in the army. "No", I replied repeatedly and wondered why we moved so often. Sixth grade was the worst, having gone to three different schools spanning two states and three cities. Crazy, I know. Even in college, I would move once or twice a year.

Born and raised in California - besides the five years in Oregon, the four years in Nevada, a year in Colorado, three months in Washington, one month in Georgia, a year in Croatia - I now live in Texas.

window and door

The reason for having moved here from California is the same as I suspect many other Californians have migrated to Texas - affordability. With husbands going to work, wives are able to stay home and raise a family. I haven't heard of many stay-at-home moms in California. But that chapter in my book of life is over and another is being written.

"An echo", my daughter commented as we returned to the house and I took one last look at the room. She ran upstairs to staple the hat she'd made at school today while Sage gathered some toys to bring over to my place.

Cinnamon helped her brother carry a basketful of Brio wooden tracks and bridges to the minivan. Tired of playing with the same game throughout the week, the two figured they needed a change. Having forgotten a few key connecting pieces and more tracks, they made the best out of what they had. Their next stay would be better.

cinnamon basket

The room, now empty, will be turned into something else. It is a beautiful room at the front of the house with cherry wooden floors and a large window that I framed with red velvet curtains. The white cotton voile sheers drape onto the floor and soften the bright sunlight as it shines through the window. 

voile drapes

"Mama's room"...as the children grew to knew the room. I had always envisioned it being a room for my boy when he got older - with the other two rooms upstairs going to the girls. 

sage window

Life. A journey along which you meet people who lead you to your next destination. Some places you stay awhile. Other places you're meant to linger but for a moment. Every stop is a place to gather experiences, memories, and lessons. Lessons to take with you to your next destination and to share with people you meet along the way.

sage smile

The rule is simple. Move forward. Going backwards in time serves no purpose but to hinder your progression into the future. The past is gone. The future is unknown. The now is writing itself with each passing moment.

These words from this song by b-Movie...

I thought, I saw you smile at me
But it was meant for someone else to find
I thought, I heard you say my name
But it was just an echo in my mind
window light




CORK SCREWED

corks

The man held up his arms in defeat.

"I give up", he bemoaned as he stumbled out the door.

"If they want to leave...let them."

She stared at him in amazement wondering what possessed him to give in to defeat. Was it the boss again? The new girl who never should have been hired in the first place?

"Wait!", she yelled after him.

corkscrew man

Ok, so that's not what Cinnamon was reading this afternoon. Rather it was Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham".

"Easy, peasy", she declared as she walked upstairs upon finishing the book.

green eggs ham

While she read, her brother practiced letters with his elephant and lion. Today was better than earlier this week - the stack of "unknown" letters of the alphabet cards was reduced to five...G, N, U, I, H.

lali and sage
lost in thought

The news of the day from cyber land...Scotland voted for independence from the UK. Results will be in tomorrow. Then there was much ado about Gerard Depardieu's claim to drinking up to 14 bottles of wine in one day. How this became news is beyond my comprehension. Although I wouldn't mind having those corks for my collection.

HALF DAY

fog

The fog this morning was a rarity. I long to live by the sea just so I can have a great collection of fog-filled photographs. I ran inside to get my camera and walked past the construction site to capture this moment of mystical vapour hovering above the canyon trees.

A half day of school for the kids meant a restructuring of my day. The children were finished with school by noon instead of the normal 15:00. Three hours they did not get to burn off the energy of childhood - the one we as adults would love to harvest and use for ourselves. Silliness ensued by late afternoon.

silly cinnamon
silly sage

Without a yard at my place, my children are confined indoors every other week. A "good" thing in Austin as you cannot let your children play outside for fear of someone calling the police or Child Protective Services on you as in the case of this Austin lady. Absurd, I know, but what can you do.

"I like sporks", exclaimed Cinnamon at dinnertime.

"That way we don't have to have forks and spoons", she continued.

I wasn't able to find the bag of plastic spoons for her applesauce this morning, so she was given a spork at school. She found it quite amusing.

For dinner, I revisited an old recipe of mine from last spring - red lentil soup with honeyed onions and yogurt. Instead of scaling it down to a dinner-for-one size, I opted to make the recipe as is and have the soup for the next two dinners since the children refuse to eat it. I'm hoping one day their taste buds expand beyond penne pasta with Greek feta - the same dinner tonight as they had last night minus the Parmesan. Dessert was sweet red raspberries.

red lentil soup

For the most part, my son and daughter played well together today. They first went to Bunny Land - where they pretended to ride on a plane and subways, following a map to get to a place where their stuffed animals lived. Then they played with their Ravensburger game.

ravensburger game

More than anything, they enjoyed being silly. Even during story time when we started a new book I am having a difficult time reading due to the writing style. I simply cannot get into it - must we say the aunt's first and last name so often and use every adjective imaginable to describe things. Since it arrived in the mail today, I will make my way through to the end. Silliness is welcome in this case...as is wine.

silly sage bw
silly cinnamon bw

 

 

MR. CRAP

20 cabinet drawers

Sometimes you have to wonder what children's book authors were thinking (or doing) whilst writing their books. Helen Palmer's "Fish Out of Water" is one example. The kids and I could not stop laughing tonight during story time. The second line is what started the giggling:

"This little fish,
I said to Mr. Carp..."

You see, it was easy to reverse the letters to read "Carp" as "Crap". In a way, I wanted to see if the kids were paying attention - which they clearly were. After two minutes of laughter, we continued the story of the boy who overfed the little fish even after Mr. Carp told him there would be consequences to overfeeding it.

The fish kept growing to the point where it was too large for even a swimming pool. Magically, Mr. Carp came to save the day, jumped into the pool, and shrank the little fish underwater. He handed a fishbowl, with the now little fish, to the boy. 

It was owl day for Cinnamon. She learned to draw owls in school today and continued when she returned home. I was happy to see how proud she was of her drawings.

owls

Sage was content to sit and play a game - making up new rules along the way. 

ravensburger game

He then asked for paper so he could draw colourful dots with his new rainbow pencil.

rainbow dots

And me? I was photographing the last of the baby tomatoes for tonight's spicy sauce. The sauce was enough for one as I knew the kids wouldn't eat it. They preferred their penne pasta with feta and parmesan.

baby tomatoes

As we reached the end of tonight's story, I wondered how the fish was reduced to its original size. Magic? Or was Mr. Carp just full of "Crap".

NO LEMONADE

lemon yogurt cake

"When life gives you lemons..." - make lemonade? No. Make cake. Zest two lemons, combine with yogurt, eggs, sugar, flour, leavening, butter, salt. Nothing complicated. Nothing fancy. No frosting or ganache or glaze. A simple 6" cake for Monday.

The kids are back this week. Sage building his Lego car...

legos building

And Cinnamon reading a book she checked out from the school library...

cinnamon reading

Cinnamon insisted we go to the pool after school today. So we did. And we had most of the pool area to ourselves. Afterwards we had lentil soup, tortillas with Tillamook cheddar, and lemon yogurt cake.

Sage was explaining to me how sparkling water is made "first you put in bubbles, then water, then you mix it together".

As to how bubbles are made. Simple... "with soap". Nice.

I skipped the bubble water and had Nero d'Avola instead.

NOT GOOD ENOUGH

colorado stones

Rejection is never easy to accept - in any form. Dating, job search, finding a publisher for your book, or any other endeavour which requires an exchange of ideas, time, and money.

I knew that getting back into the work force was going to be an uphill battle after being gone for over eight years to have my three children. It's absurd to believe that the first job you find will be "the one". But employers...please be honest. I know it's not an American thing - honesty, that is - but don't tell me I'm not qualified to file papers, answer emails, and do basic office work. Have you looked at my CV? Do you not see that Bachelor's degree in Finance with a  minor in Economics + accounting classes. Does having attained one of the top IS certifications mean nothing? Granted I'm not in IT anymore, but it takes discipline to sit and study for the CISSP or any other exam.

Yes, I realise "things happen for a reason" and "there is something better around the corner". Or "it wasn't meant to be". I get it. But be honest about why I was passed over for a job I can do in my sleep. Tell me I'm overqualified and you think I'd be bored out of my mind. Tell me you think I would ask for more money than you were planning on paying for that position. Tell me my going overseas to visit my daughter in Germany (something I was honest to disclose) was the reason. Or simply tell me you don't like me or my style. That is all fine. I am me. I will never be anyone else but me. Like me for who I am, but never tell me I'm not good enough.

MEDIC NEEDED

daybed

Sometimes no matter how hard you try to go it alone, you come to the realisation you need help. Albeit you might feel like a failure for not being able to do a seemingly simple task, the truth is that an extra pair of hands or point of view will lead you to clarity. Or an assembled piece of furniture.

Even then, with two people, you come to the further realisation that a third person is needed. A medic. A "furniture medic" - words the customer service lady was delighted to repeat every chance she could. In this case, a rubber mallet might have helped but I'd rather someone else inflict the damage.

Two precious Sunday hours lost, only to discover a defect outside my control. Hours I could have spent making Sunday cake. Alas, not all is lost for tomorrow we shall have Monday cake.  

 

DAYS LIKE TODAY

rainy window

A cold front swept in this morning, bringing along the rain. Rain that graced us for hours on end. One comes to appreciate days like today after the sweltering heat of summer that lasts well into September.

So, I embraced this day and stayed indoors - turning on the fireplace for the first time this season. I busied myself with some decorating but mostly enjoyed the sound of the rain hitting the pavement below my window. It's days like this you simply want to get a blanket, sit on the sofa by the fireplace, and read or think or write. To be still and listen to a different sound of nature.

As summer draws to a close, we find ourselves catapulted into autumn - a time when the kitchen comes alive with warm soups, stews, and comfort foods. A time when the oven, with its sweet aroma of spice-filled cakes, fills the house with that familiarity only autumn brings.

The seasons change, as they do every year, but each new day is different from the day before. Every day is unique. New experiences. New thoughts. New opportunities.