All posts tagged lifestyle

More Changes

Published May 26, 2017 by mindfulofchatter



Before I hit ‘real’ part of this post, a quick car update:

After a small wrinkle in getting the car to the repair shop, the car has been delivered to the hands of the fellas at my local repair shop. I am awaiting a call to tell me if the car is dead or not. Please cross your fingers.

I have finally managed to quit my housekeepers job (Yay!). I actually gave notice two weeks ago, but my supervisor didn’t want to lose me (I am a hard worker and reliable). She was trying to find somewhere else for me to work. But all the ‘let’s try this’ and ‘let me to talk the GM’ were going nowhere. I am sick and tired of hurting so much I can barely walk after work. I am also sick of it taking both of my days off to recover from 5 days of overwork. So I called it done.

My last day of work saw me and my team member with a total of 22 rooms to clean and service. And that was considered an easy day. With summer pretty much here, the workload was only going to go up, up, up. There isn’t the staff to support the number of rooms that need service everyday. I don’t want to be made a cripple by my job. I’m kinda funny like that.

When I left on that last day, I was left as an employee for back-up and for hire when laundry was allowed to have two people working. Not my idea of a good time, but at least it was some sort of work.

But today the tow truck came to take my car to the repair shop. After I got all that sorted, I walked into downtown and waltzed into the local sweets shop to apply for a stockers job.

The young man who is GM greeted me and we talked for minute or two. He then went and got the warehouse manager and an application for me to fill out. All this time I was having serious hair envy. His hair is a gorgeous shade of bright teal that blends into a deep, bright blue. I’d love to do something like that, but those colours are tough to care for and I am not only rather hair inept, but I am hair lazy.

But that is neither here nor there.

The warehouse manager came out and all  three of us chatted for a bit. Both of the guys are young men – young enough to be my kids. Both are adorable, smart and funny. We hit if off in about two seconds. I walked away with the newly created job of Stocker Supervisor/Warehouse Liaison (we don’t have a real job title yet) and a start date. The wages are little lower than the housekeeping gig, but this place is a lot more fun and relaxed. And far better staffed.

I am looking forward to starting this job, something I haven’t felt in long, long time. I have more of a feeling of this being long-term, rather just-until-I-find-something-better. If my dear little car is repairable, this will be better than a good day.

It will be fantastic.



Eyebrows. Who knew?

Published March 17, 2017 by mindfulofchatter


As some of you know, I decided to stop plucking my eyebrows and let them grow back to their mostly natural state.  I am keeping the uni-brow from becoming a reality and keeping the outer edges more or less shaped. Since I tend to be lazy about this, it’s pretty much less.

It’s been 13 days since I stopped plucking and pulling the little hairs out. They still look rather patchy and funny. There are a few gray hairs in there as well. I’ve noticed I have a stripe under each brow that is devoid of hair at the moment. I wondered about those and had a closer look in mirror.

There are some hairs growing in the little desert strip, but they are very blonde and don’t show. I also noticed that there are the beginnings of brow hair showing up, even though they haven’t sprouted yet. Over all, things still look a bit odd so I decided to do a little eyebrow research.

Mind you, most of the eyebrow information I found was on some sort of beauty site, so they include ‘tips’ for faster re-growth. I ignored those.

Like all hair, eyebrows grow in a cycle. Eyebrows tend to run on a 5 -7 week growth cycle. Because plucking pulls everything out, it can take longer as the follicle needs to re-form and so on. If you over pluck or shave your eyebrows, it can take up to 2 years before they recover fully. In a few cases, they may never grow back. The average time for eyebrows to fully re-grow is 56 – 65 days for adults.

So it seems I remain looking a bit odd for a while longer. I don’t mind. I’m having sort of a fun time watching them re-grow. I do try to keep them groomed – meaning I brush all the hairs to face the same direction. I am not into penciling in the gaps, or pomading them into place, or using some concoction to make them grow a little faster. When all the little hairs have made it back in place, I will deal with whatever weirdness is left then. The gray ones don’t bother me. They are part of the badge of making it this far in life.

Not only is my grooming life a bit easier, but now I’ve gone learned something as well. For me, this is a plus. Who knew there was so much to learn about eyebrows?

Pretty darn cool, if you ask me.


Living on The Coast

Published January 6, 2017 by mindfulofchatter



A month has passed. It seemed to blink by when I wasn’t looking. Time seems to like slip and slither past when you aren’t looking. It gets sneakier as you get older.

I have never been a big beach person. Going to the beach was something I did on occasion with my friends when I was a kid and later as a teen. I’ve done my share of swimming and body surfing in the waters of Carpenteria and Leo Carrillo beaches. It was fun, but never something I longed to do or begged my friends and parents to do. Moving to southern Oregon meant I was within striking distance of the coast once again.

My first years here were filled with raising kids and going to the coast didn’t happen. I moved away and came back 11 years later. The first few years I was back, I was married to a man who rode motorcycles. We were part of a group that rode every week. We often went to the Oregon coast for lunch.

For me it was a long ride to go someplace that was often foggy and cold with drizzle. I had had my share of wet, nasty motorcycle rides in Minnesota where it stormed all summer. I am not a seafood lover, so the whole coast thing often seemed pointless to me.

And now I live three block from the beach.

My short stint in Port Townsend, Washington taught me that a dog and beach make a good match. In Washington, the beaches were rocky and there lots things to find. Arty and I once found a huge, purple starfish in a tide pool. I found clams that still held the resident creature, the barnacles on the rocks at low tide were alive, there were crabs skittering around and sometimes other sea creatures were caught in pools for the finding. It made walking the beach fun and interesting. Arty had room to gallop like the wind and logs to leap over as she ran.

Port Townsend stands along the Strait of San Juan de Fuca, the strait that leads to the Puget Sound and Seattle. There are few waves, and the ones that come are small. The tides roll out a long way, leaving much to explore and things to see.

This place is far, far different.

We walk to the beach and cross a stretch of tall, coarse grass to get to the sand. The sand is flat and vacant. There are a few logs washed ashore, but not many. When it is stormy, the waves break one upon the other, and they break farther out than I have ever seen waves break. There are rows upon rows and breaking waves. I counted six rows one day. The wind can be biting cold as it screams in off the open waters.

Today, though it was still cold, the winds were calmer. The waves were small and fewer. The tide was out so the walk to the water was longer than usual. I imagine this how it will look in the summer when the storms have become less frequent.

But it is a dull beach. There are no rocks. No tide pools. Only flat sand stretching its arms in both directions. The shells that wash ashore are mostly broken. They are all the same kind. There are also the bits and pieces of what once were crabs lying scattered all over. Sand dollars are everywhere, but all are broken and smashed.

It not a good beach to look for shells, or living creatures. It is not a good beach for leaping over logs.

It is good for walking. For looking at the waves as they roll in. For watching the gulls wheel and dive. For watching the little sand pipers running in the water as it rolls its way back to join the rest of the sea. It good for Arty to run like the wind on the sand and in the tall grasses. She rarely leaps over the logs because they are so few.

But it is a dull beach.

Summer will see it filled with tourists and the walks will be harder. Arty won’t be able to run off lead because the people will fill the sand, the promenade, and paths in the tall grass.

I will learn how to live here. I will adapt. I have done so many times in my life. A girl from sunny Southern California learned to live in Minnesota. She can learn to live on the coast.

After all, it’s a new year. A new life.

Moving On

Published November 9, 2016 by mindfulofchatter



Since I have lost the battle to stay in my little apartment, changes must be made. The means I am moving, again. I seem to live rather a gypsy life without intending to do so.

Initially, I had a friend who was going to share he very small space with me while we looked an apartment. Low income housing is as much a premium, even more so really, than reasonable priced housing. Housing in my part of the world is insane. Housing costs have raced far ahead of wages.

So we have been looking for a low-income apartment to share. She had already applied at one complex, and found she was number 97 on the waiting list. Somehow, being number 97 doesn’t say ‘Live here Today!’. But this new one, in a different town, closer to where she would like to be, popped up on Craigslist.

Off she ran to apply. There are a lot of hoops to jump through for these places. But she filled out the application and chatted with the manager. And waited. She was number 3 on the list. Three. A chance for an apartment.

Last week she got the call. She raced to fill out the remaining paperwork. Last week, I filled out my paperwork. Unless something goes horribly wrong with background checks, we are in.

We will have an apartment.

So I am packing and doing the things to close an apartment. I have written my landlord, cancelled my internet, reserved a truck and trailer and have begun packing up once again. I have to do this alone, and while I prefer to pack myself, but it does get old doing it alone time after time. My body tends to revolt more often than it used it.

This time the truck will be smaller and easier to handle (in theory), my friend will rally the troops to help unload at the far end. We will get it done and figure things out as we go. All and all, things will be okay.

As my follower, Laurie, said;

…this was not a battle lost but rather the beginning of a new amazing journey.

Thank you, Laurie. You were right.


And The Beat Goes On

Published September 22, 2016 by mindfulofchatter


It seems like eons since my last post. In actuality it has been 4 days. Only 4 days. It is amazing how time can warp to feel long or short depending on our mood and the things that impact that time.

In those 4 days I have finished up more orders that I will ship today, gotten an order for three more of the little pumpkins I have been painting (along with the skulls), looked RV’s to live in, and applied for more jobs. Today I will go back to one place I applied at before and re-apply. It can’t hurt. They can only ignore me again. I’d phrase it as saying ‘No’, but they never actually say anything. They simply never ring back.

I have made enough money with my little painting gig to pay my bills but not my rent. I think there is local group that may help with my rent. I will have to ferret them out and see. I am not adept at ‘working the system’ because until lately, I have had no need, and I dislike having to be helped by government agencies. I can work. I want to work. There’s just that snag of finding the actual work itself.

I’ve applied for a few housekeeping jobs. I am of the generation that dresses nicely when going to look for work. This becomes a disadvantage at times. The last place I went tried to steer me into care giving, which I am not wired to do. Another place thought I ought to work the front desk, but they had no openings there. I want to work in housekeeping, but no one seems to think I ought to.

Now understand, I am not dressed to the nines. I am not in a skirt suit and heels, with my hair swept up into a french roll. I do not look like I ought to be a TV attorney or executive. I wear a nice, casual dress and flats. My hair is brushed and I wear light make-up. Apparently the ability to dress remotely nice means you can’t run a vacuum cleaner, make beds and dust.

Now, I know what housekeeping is. I have done hotel housekeeping. It is hard work. You are exhausted the first week or so. Your body hurts from head to toe until it becomes accustomed to the work. It isn’t as easy as people think it is. So, yeah, please tip your housekeeper when you stay at a hotel. She is working harder than you may think.

I am looking for a cheap RV. It doesn’t have to pretty. I can clean it up. I just need a place to live and not be homeless. I have a marvelous friend who would like very much for me to be where she is so we can help each other. That is our goal. But I need an RV of some sort to make that happen. Or a million dollars to buy a place for us to live, but the RV seems a much more achievable task at the moment.

I am grateful for the help I have been given up to this point. It has kept me afloat. I am grateful for the people who have ordered the little skulls and pumpkins, many of whom have paid more than the balance due. I am grateful that GusMonster is still with me and still mostly happy. I am grateful for every day I have with him.

The beat goes on. I will keep dancing along with it.


The Dating Challenge

Published June 28, 2016 by mindfulofchatter



Not long ago I wrote a post about dating again. Well, thinking about dating again. After a perusal of the single’s posts on Craigslist, I figured I was better off alone. The perusal of Craigslist was mostly for entertainment. I am always amazed at the demands people make when looking a significant other. It is no wonder that people are alone. Seriously, it’s a bit scary.

After reading that post, a friend noted that I ought to make a blog style post about who I would be looking for (if I were looking). I live alone, I have no friends to hang out with here, so sometimes I get lonely and think (for a millisecond or two) about dating again. She mentioned that there may, indeed, be a man looking for me out there in the vast, endless aether.

Since it is Monday night and all of my programs have ended for the season, I thought I’d give it whirl. Even though I figure I have not the chance of a snowball in a lake of fire at this point in my life (my situation simply does not holler ‘great catch’), what the heck. It’ll be fun.


Tallish. I am tall and I prefer a man my height or taller. I have dated men shorter than myself, but I do prefer one on the tall side (5’10” or taller). For the record, I am 5’10” tall. Really. Even the doctor said so at my check-up a month or so ago.

An adult with a child’s awe. This does not mean an adult who thinks not paying the electric bill and buying a ski-doo instead is okay. This means someone who pays the bills on time, but still finds child-like fun in everyday things. Like standing in the Lego store building Lego people from the big play bin of Lego bits.

Is a fan, but not fanatical. I love Star Trek, but I don’t know, nor care, how bathrooms the Enterprise has. I love the Klingons, but I don’t speak Klingon. I love superhero movies, but I am not a comic book reader. I have a lot of different interests, but I am not fanatical about any of them.

Speaking interests, he ought to have several of different ones. I am intrigued by things I see in passing and will go research them out of curiosity. We don’t have to share interests across the board, but a wide variety and the ability to be open to new ones are a positive trait. So, I guess, in a nutshell, he ought to be curious about the world.

Dressing up. No, not suit and tie for a fancy dinner. More like the money is there to hit the local Ren Faire and he is all about YES!, What do we wear? (meaning going in costume). And being willing to entertain the idea of a comic-con as the world oldest dragon slayer and warrior. You know, having fun. In costume.

Oh, and if his heritage even hints at a kilt (and he has the legs for it) will wear one. In public. Like to the Ren Faire.

I have an interest in the paranormal. I don’t mind if he does not, but don’t please let me have my fun and don’t tell me it’s all bunk. If I want to grab my friend and go ghost hunting, sigh, shake your head and wish me luck.

The package is not as important as the contents. I am a little fatter than I ought to be. I am also 57 years old and losing weight is difficult. I am never going to be 150 pounds again. Let’s be realistic about looks here. I don’t need a stereo-typical prince charming, and he shouldn’t need a trophy on his arm.

Humor. Honestly, if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? I have a goofy mind that flips to the odd thing quite often. Over the years I have learned to mostly keep the comments to my inside voice.  Such as seeing one of my bosses cranking his middle up and me thinking he really doesn’t look like Starlord. Or renting a port-a-potti to Allan Berry, putting into the computer as Berry, Allan and wondering if he’ll use it in flash. Yeah, some of you won’t get that.

He can accept people for who they are inside. I am tired of hate. I don’t give a rats behind about sexual orientation, religion, skin colour, etc. I won’t be someone who can’t see past his own nose to who the person is inside.

He wants a partner, not a maid or cook. I am not into gender roles. We can both cook and clean or figure out who does what best or likes doing (or doesn’t mind doing) certain chores around the house. If he is expecting me to cook every night, he’s gonna get really hungry.

Dogs. I have dogs. I will always have dogs. Animals in general. Gotta like ’em.

And, lastly, someone in my own age range. I am not looking to date someone 10 years younger, nor 10 years older. Younger is fine, older is fine, but let’s keep it somewhere in the middle. No 30 year olds, please.

I think that’s the gist of it. I’m sure I left a few things out. It’s a guide, a wish list, a whatever. You get the idea. What the heck, it can’t hurt to dream.


Oh, and don’t forget to share:

Thank you!


A Gentle Reminder

Published June 11, 2016 by mindfulofchatter



From time to time I think about having a male companion in my life. It would be nice to have someone to go out with and share things with, someone to cuddle up on the sofa with. When I get this feeling, all I have to do is go to Craigslist and I am reminded instantly why I prefer to be alone.

There are an amazing number of married men looking for affairs. They claim everything from a wife who works too many hours to a wife who hates sex. I often wonder why the wife hates sex. Perhaps, gentleman, it is not sex she hates, only sex with you. Not to mention that there are no reasons you guys can come up with that will ever justify cheating on your wife. None. If you are not happy, leave.

I live in ****** but I can travel during the day. I’m married. I’m seeking a great lover and friend to keep for a long time if we can make it work. I have a busy schedule but not to busy not to make time for your attention and passion.
Perhaps if you put this much time and energy into your marriage, it would be a happy one. Ever think of that? No, I didn’t think so. Oh he includes a photo of himself in his briefs showing off his man bulge. Ew.

Then there are the men who want very specific things.

This guy claims to be a REAL man:

I desire an amazing bond with a grace-filled, non-bratty/princess-type female who craves learning about or being very submissive. I seek an amazing, LTR with a female who cherishes and craves My intellect, advice, wisdom, tenderness and My naturally dominant nature.

And he signs this ‘Your Sir’.

While this may be a matter of taste, it does not ring as something a REAL man would look for. If you are, indeed, a ‘real’ man, wouldn’t you prefer someone who you feel is equal to you? Someone who is with you because they choose to be, not because you make them feel they have to be? Oh, and this guy also wants a younger woman. You know, one he can train.

And there are these guys. The men who insist his woman be in perfect shape, not matter what her age.

And if you’ve let yourself go to the point of embracing the whole oxymoron of BBW, there’s little chance for us. You’ve maintained as I have to keep a reasonably fit body. Passing up those Twinkies is paying off now. Now might be the time to say I’m a smoker albeit a considerate one. Never indoors or near those who don’t smoke. Yet another red flag…

This guy says he is 58. I have to be shape and take care of myself, but he can smoke. The last I heard, smoking wasn’t good for you. So not only do I have to be in shape for him, but I have to either put up with his smoking, or smoke myself. And I am not giving up my Twinkies. Oh wait. I don’t like Twinkies.

There is a guy who has run the same ad for years. Yes, I said years. He lays out exactly who he is looking for – her height, hair colour, eye colour, figure proportions, likes and dislikes. His list is very long, and very complete. I give him kudos for knowing what he wants, but at the same time it gives me chills. It always reads like he trying to replace someone with the exact same model year. Fella, we are not cars. We are all delightfully different.

Many of the men in my age range are looking for a woman in her 20’s or 30’s. These guys always strike me the stereotypical mid-life crisis men trying desperately to turn the clock back to when they were young and more care-free. They won’t even consider a woman their own age range. Probably because we won’t put with their bull shit.

Thank you, Men of Craigslist. You have saved me from listening to how I am not perfect. How I am too tall or too fat or too old. How my hair is too short, or I am too weird, or too loud, or too not-looking-like-Farrah Fawcett-in-the-80’s- when-I-am-57.

It good to remember that I am strong enough, funny enough, smart enough, weird enough and so completely out of your sorry league.

I am perfectly fine the way I am, and you guys can’t be bothered to see that, that’s fine with me.