Friday, December 25, 2009

From Our Home to Yours - Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
I can't believe another Christmas is upon us. It just seemed like yesterday we were ringing in 2009.
This hasn't been the easiest year for me. But losing two jobs has really helped me reconnect with myself and to figure out who I want to be. How I want to spend my time. It reminded me work is just that, work, not life, not defining who I am. It has also helped my husband and I realize how precious your health is and not to squander it. We have rededicated ourselves to taking care of ourselves. He'll be running a marathon before you know it!

So in the end, 2009 has been a blessing. We are focused and happy.
So as we celebrate this special day we wish you peace and happiness and blessings for 2010.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hallomas - Wha?

I love the holidays. There, I said it. I love Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. I love the smells, the lights, the Christmas trees, presents under the tree, Midnight Mass, singing the songs and counting down to midnight of a New Year.

What I don't like is the blurring of the holiday lines. That the holidays have been corrupted by retailers and them deciding when the Christmas season begins - the day after Halloween I believe it seems to be. That a time for family and friends is now a time for spending money.

I want to be able to enjoy Thanksgiving. A day to spend with my family where I can be reminded of all I have been given and how thankful I need and should be. And then enjoy advent - the period leading up the Christmas. Then Christmas Eve and then Christmas. And in my faith, Christmas doesn't end on Dec. 26 but continues into January. And then it's New Years Eve and New Years. Each day is special in itself.

And that's what I think is a serious problem how we as people seem to wish away days. I can't wait until this or that. When the kid can walk or talk, when they are in kindergarten, when I lose weight, when I get a promotion, when I get a job, when I get married...etc. We need to enjoy each day as you don't get to do it twice. And by starting Christmas at Halloween I think it's a form of wishing days away.

So folks, enjoy each day. Don't wish it away. Every day is special. You can never get it back.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

One Step Forward

Americans don't like to wait - for anything. We love fast food, fast cars, express lanes, 10-minute hair color, instant-read thermometers, quick oil changes and instant mash potatoes. This is also true when it comes to making changes in our lives. We want immediate results.
I've struggled with my weight for years. I don't think I was ever a skinny person. Always what one could call plump and increasing to obese in my adult years. It look me a while to get to where I was. I know that it will take a while to get to a more normal size.
I'm being realistic.
I am re-learning about eating and changing my relationship with it. Learning that exercise can be fun and rewarding and how to integrate moving more throughout my day. Whether it is gardening, cleaning house, taking a walk during my lunch hour, or even dancing around the house while listening to music.
I'm down from my all-time high 46 1/2 pounds and then I stagnated for a year. Now I've renewed my commitment.
I know I won't be skinny in 2 months, but I am working to make sure I am smaller than I am now. And most important that I won't gain it back - ever. By eating whole foods, prepared in delicious and healthy ways and moving more. Really it is simple. It's me making a choice and sticking with it.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Ups and Downs and In Betweens

2009 hasn't been my best year.
It started well. I had hopes of a promotion, financially we were starting to turn the corner and I was slowly, but consistently losing weight.
All of that changed on February 11 when I was laid-off from my job. I spiraled down into a depression as my unemployment continued into May and then June and into the beginning of July. I didn't know what to do. I finally got a job in July, thank goodness due of the kindness of an old friend who needed help. It's not my dream job, I don't get to write, but it's helping to pay the bills.
You'd think all the extra time I had on my hands I would have had the chance to lose even more weight and get my house in order. None of that happened. I stagnated and my house remained a mess. I'm pretty sure it was denial. It was easier to hide behind my computer and watch afternoon talk shows.
I haven't written on my blog for a long time because I didn't think I had anything to say. Everytime I started, I deleted it because it was consistently depressing and had a whiny tone so I just stopped trying.
Recently I've had an upswing, by my choice. I've accepted a leadership position at church over a new committee. I've started projects around the house and exercise is making a come-back.
I've decided it's time to stop letting my circumstances rule my life and to be thankful for all I do have - A strong and happy marriage,a great family, friends I can count on, a home to come home to, food on my table, my health and a future.
So welcome back to Sarah Says...I have a lot to say.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Trying to Write..

I'm feeling all out of practice. I haven't written anything outside of cover letters since June. I'm trying to write a simple one-page explainer for the parish council at my church. My lede is great and then it putters out as I continue. Something that should be so simple is proving to be really hard.

I'm worried. Worried that I'm losing what I worked really hard over the past few years to craft to learn. I feel like I'm losing that creative side.

Some may thing I'm being dramatic. I don't. These are valid feelings. I just don't like knowing where or how I'm moving forward in the future. I'm just feel like I'm losing myself little by little.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saying Goodbye to a Friend

Today I said goodbye to an old friend. I've know Patti since I was in middle school. She says that she helped me open my locker in gym, I don't remember when we met, only that she was easily my best friend. We spent hours together on the phone, sleeping over at each others homes, talking about crushes, singing, dancing, telling each other our hopes and dreams - everything.

After high school we kinda lost track of each other. We saw each other every now and again. Finally we hooked up again and I met the woman she fell in love with.

Now she is moving out west with her wife and I have to say I'm sad. This is the person I grew up with. Whom I shared so many memories. But she is starting her life anew in a new state and I hope her the best. I also hope that when our finances get back on track we can visit her in Colorado.

So Patti, here's to you and all the great memories. Thank you for being my friend.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Excuses and more excuses

It's amazing how many excuses a person can come up with not to do something that is difficult. I'm tired, it's too hot outside, I'll look funny, I don't own a sports bra, it will make me uncomfortable and think about bad memories and I can re-start the diet tomorrow.

It seems like that's been my life for the past few years. A bunch of excuses why I hadn't advanced further in my career, why my weight-loss plateaued at 45 pounds,why my garage is still over-flowing with crap, my my closets are overflowing with crap and why I have done nothing to my backyard in five years.

I'm tired of excuses.

I'm tired of people asking me what's new and having very little to report. I'm tired of saying to myself tonight I'm going to..or this weekend I'm going to..and nothing coming of it.

At the end of my life I don't want to be saying if only I had done that. I want to do that. Life is too short. I plan to actually live the one I've got and live it well.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Great Day for Up

Last Sunday I saw the movie Up. I haven't been to the theater in a long time and it was a real treat.

It was fantastic. Not a children's movie at all, but for me it hit me in a place deep down. I really think you are exposed to things at specific times for a reason. And it was the right time for me to see this movie.

A couple gets married, enjoys life and gets ready to move onto the next step, children. We find out that children aren't in the cards for them and they continue to move on. A childhood dream of the wife is to visit Paradise Falls, somewhere in South America. Due to circumstances they don't make it. After she dies, the man decides it is his mission to go there to live that dream for them.

The movie is about living your life to the fullest, no matter what life brings you, even if it isn't what you or society believes it should be.

As a women in her mid-30s I can feel that. Children haven't happened for me and my husband and may never. While around me babies are being born left and right to family, friends and acquaintances. This is deeply painful. And with no health insurance at this time and no extra money, infertility treatments and adoption are out of the question. And to hear people ask you when you are having kids or hearing them announce they are pregnant can wound deeply. But you have to smile and move on.

I have started coming to terms with living my life to the fullest with or without children. And I have to stop waiting around and be active in my life to bring more meaning to it in other ways. To figure out what God wants for me. So I've been asked to join the Parish Council at my church, a leadership role, and I've accepted. I'll paint the spare room whatever color I want because pink or blue might not be in the cards. I'll take care of my health because I want to live and live well. I'll spoil the children born around me because it's right. And I'll be sensitive to others who are dreaming of children but haven't achieved it. Because it's a personal thing and no one has the right to make you feel unworthy, less of a woman or a man. And it's not about them, it's about you and your adventures in life.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

An Open Letter from Sarah

Dear Wonderful Readers,
Today I had the chance to visit the St. Petersburg Museum of Art. There was a fantastic Andy Warhol exhibit that really opened my eyes to the artist. I have a new appreciation for his art. Of course there were the wonderful paintings by Monet, Georgia O'Keefe, Renoir, Cezanne..etc.
What really struck me though was the "More Than Words: Illustrated Letters from the Archives of American Art" exhibit. This fantastic exhibit showcased 58 letters from artists. The letters were all illustrated beautifully. I loved the care they took with not only writing letters but also making them beautiful.
Letter writing is a lost art. With blogs, Twitter, Facebook and e-mail it is so easy to send your regards electronically. It is also so easy to hit the delete button.
This made me think about what will people have to look back on for my generation. E-mails with tons of abbreviations, incomplete sentences and stupid forwarded jokes? Tweets? A YouTube video showing someone lip-syncing to a bad song?
There won't be the wonderful love letters stacked and tied lovingly to be re-read on a whim. Or notes from a child home to his/her parents. Letters between best friends sharing confidences.
It makes me sad. I have a box of cards and notes from my husband when we were dating that I want to sit down and go through. It makes me want to write notes to my friends to say hello.
It's amazing how seeing an art exhibit can inspire a person. So words to the wise: Go to an art museum, you'll never know what will inspire you.

Sincerely Yours,

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Twin Time


We spent the weekend at my sister and brother-in-law's in Jacksonville. Sister Laura and brother-in-law Greg (they drove actually)also came. We all just felt like we needed a little time away. We sat around the house and hung out, played Wii, watched a bad movie (wrong movie was in our Blockbuster envelope), ate yummy food and of course spent lots of time hugging, kissing and playing with our twin nieces Chloe and Abigail. In the photo above my hubby was happily spending time with them both (Chloe on the left and Abby on the right). What a great way to spend a weekend. We can't wait to see them again, oh, that will be Friday when the Nichols family makes the trip home for Father's Day weekend.
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Catching Up on Some American Lit.

I've taken a break from some serious non-fiction reading and took up two American classics that I can't believe it has taken me this long to get around to reading. First up was Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I loved this book. I found it to be very relevant to today, well written and thought-provoking. i loved the editors notes in the back that helped me understand what he meant and that many people have given meanings to the book he never intended. It is about media's effect on society which is so interesting because this is more relevant than ever. I even found an eerie similarity with items in the book with Twitter. Bradbury was ahead of his time.

Next was Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut. I literally just finished this one and had to turn the computer back on to read what others had to say about it. I liked it, I don't know if I got it in the way many others have, but it was good. I thought it was well-written and I admire Vonnegut's writing style. I didn't find it as funny or biting as many others have but more satirical in many instances. But I was struck by the moral of the story and that he tells you it up-front even though you don't know it at the time: "We are what we pretend to be, so be careful about what we pretend to be." Oh, and "Make love when you can. It's good for you." Both profound yet simple.

Hmm..what's next on the bookshelf? I do need to finish up the Book of Deuteronomy from the Bible and move out of the Pentateuch - the first 5 books of the Old Testament in my quest to read the entire Bible. I will be visiting my sister's this weekend and my brother-in-law usually has lots of good books to borrow. I do have War and Peace...time to break that one out??

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Little Piece of Heaven

Captain Hubby - Aye Aye Captain!

Mangrove Trees at Caladesi Island

The Blue Wave Beach - Caladesi Island

So Hubby and I decided to take a break from job searching and work today and headed for Caladesi Island off the coast of northern Pinellas County. Rather than take the ferry over, we took our small jon boat.

What a gem of a place! On the ride over you glide over crystal clear blue-green water and head into an opening surrounded by mangrove trees. The narrow slip of land has nature trails (note to self - bring bug repellent next time because the mosquitoes are fierce!) and on the west side, beautiful beaches with white sand and lots of shells. Swimming wasn't for the faint of heart this morning because of strong undercurrents and riptides. Came out unscathed except for a small cut on my toe - luckily I didn't attract any sharks!

It was lovely to be at a beach not built on at all. I just enjoyed sitting on a bench watching the Gulf of Mexico and listening to waves crash and smelling salt in the air. I'd love to return with our canoe and take the kayak trail deep in the mangroves. I'd return any day as it's a piece of unspoiled old Florida.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Auntie By Friendship

One of my best friends from middle, high school and my college roommate is expecting her first child soon - less than eight weeks. She's been referring to me as Auntie Sarah which is cool. Being an aunt has its perks. And it's cool to see Kathy becoming a mom. I'm looking forward to meeting him or her (they have decided to let the sex be a surprise).

Kathy and Dave have been fantastic. They both have supported me through my unemployed odyssey. She has sent me unexpected notes and little gifts. It's wonderful having support of friends. I hope she knows what a great friend she has been - if not, Kathy - read this now, thank you for everything you have and continue to do. I wish I could be a better auntie to Baby Big, getting you all the cute baby things you deserve. Throwing you a baby shower. But Auntie Sarah will make it up to you some day when I can spoil Baby Big.

Baby Big watch starts now.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Under My Umbrella

We've had a lot of rain recently which is fantastic actually since central Florida has been in a major drought for more than three years. I got caught in a downpour when I stopped at Publix to pick up a few items.

Behind the drivers seat was my trusty umbrella. I've had it since the Christmas before I graduated high school in 1992. It was a gift from my paternal Grandmother. It was a very nice umbrella. Not like the ones that folds up tiny and easily break. But one that is old-fashioned style, with the curved handle you can place over you arm that is accented with wood on the handle, the end and on the tips. To top it off, the material once was vibrant multi-colored that looked like a jig-saw puzzle.

Who keeps an umbrella for 18 years? And how does this umbrella still work? I should have lost it by now. It was left in a number of places, in the library at USF, restaurants, people's houses, etc. But every time I lost it, I found it.

Today I popped my trusty umbrella open and I noticed one of the wooden tips had slipped off and there was a tiny tear in the material. In the midst of the rainstorm I stopped and stared at it.

Grandma died a few years ago. I have a variety of items that belonged to her, lovely items. But for some reason seeing this umbrella falling apart brought pause to me. Reminded me of what a great lady she was and that I missed her.

I brought the umbrella home and popped the wooden tip back on, I will look for some glue to attach it better. The rip is small and not in the top so it will still keep my dry. So it will go back behind my seat tomorrow to keep me dry another day. I'm not ready to let go of it yet.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

No News, Not Good News

Wow. I can't believe I am still unemployed.

I never thought it would take so long. Thank goodness I have my volunteer work at the church to keep my mind sharp. I have had the opportunity to write a good number of items in the past few months and participated in meetings and even town hall meetings.

I can't believe how some employers are using this opportunity to put potential employees through an awful ringer, making people bow down and kiss their toes and reminding us again and again that you are so lucky they are even spending a moment with you.

I am a fair person. I want to work hard and be paid a fair wage and be treated with a little dignity along the way. Is that a huge order? I don't think so.

Why must the first question be about money? Forcing me to show you my hand, but then refusing - REFUSING - to show me anything of yours. Not letting me tell you that I am more flexible. Not telling you that you DIDN'T get the job after an interview. I'd take a computer generated e-mail.

But at least this time really shows the true nature of a business and helps me to know where to try to get a job in the future.

I'm sure my job is around the corner. I have faith. And I am lucky to have to many great family members and friends who care about me and lift my spirits when I need it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

It's Time...

I finally finished reading Thomas Friedman's: Hot, Flat, and Crowded. It took me a long time but I am glad I persevered and finished it. I know many people think Friedman is an environmental nut. He may be, but he has some good points.

The main one is this: the energy revolution is the opportunity for America to stand up and be truly innovative and lead the world with new technologies dedicated to new forms of energy that are better for our planet rather than allowing other countries to take that lead. This opportunity can allow us to transform our economy, creating new companies and jobs. Instead we have had our head in the sand and handed hand-over-fist billions of dollars to foreign countries, many who hate us, and allowed them to be successful off our backs. And whether or not you believe in global warming, which I am amazed there are those folks out there who think it's great for the planet to burn fossil fuels, (ever been to a coal plant?), how could you not believe we have the opportunity to change our country economically. We aren't in the best place right now are we?

And today, I turned on the radio to hear that Al Gore is saying that the current House bill on global warming is akin to the Marshall Plan and Civil Rights and Glen Beck was throwing a hissy-fit about that. Well guess what Mr. Beck? A plan that in all-encompassing and geared to change the energy landscape of the USA is akin to those things. It would change everything. One day it would give access to electricity to those who don't have it and electricity is necessary for an improved standard of living. And doing it clean is absolutely necessary as the areas of the world this effects have the most people.

So America, when are we pulling our heads out of the sand? We have men and women losing their lives because of oil right now and every time you fill up your big-ass SUV or truck you are paying the people who are killing them. Being all fuzzy and nice with Arbor Day, which is today, and Earth Day is nice but it isn't enough. We need politicians to make tough decisions by passing laws that force the companies who are polluting the planet to change and mandate it's citizens to make new choices. Change is tough and sometimes people have to be forced. It's time...

Friday, April 17, 2009

I want to ride my bicycle...Lessons Learned.

Yesterday sister Laura and I decided we needed to get out of the house and get some exercise and since she lives really close to the fantastic Pinellas Trail we thought we'd go there. Also, just south of her the trail crosses the intercoastal waterway in Seminole and we have been wanting to cross it. The picture above is on the bridge crossing the water. I guess there could be worse ways to spend the afternoon.

Lesson 1: Remember that if you haven't been on a bicycle for a while, yes your ass WILL hurt.

Lesson 2: Drink enough water and eat something a little more substantial than a granola bar and a banana because add the two deficiences together and you too could faint on the side of Seminole Boulevard (at least it wasn't in the middle of the boulevard!). I am fine by the way, just a sore ass and a couple of scrapes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Doe a Dear...

Something about the Sound of Music that gets me every time.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

B.U.E. (Before Unemployment)I had the chance to have a variety of things happen to me and since I was around a variety of people, this upped my chances of interesting interaction. Since U.E. (unemployment) I'm home most of the time and the amount of people I actually talk to on a daily basis is much smaller. So my inspiration for posts seems to have gotten smaller. I don't have a lot to report. I get up, go to mass (guarantees I get out of bed at a good time (7:30 a.m.)and gets me out of the house everyday), come home, exercise (yoga, weights or nothing), eat a bowl of cereal if I didn't get up in time to eat before going to mass, look for a job, have lunch, look for a job, have dinner, look for a job or watch a TV show or read a book and finally go to bed. I think if I didn't use FaceBook, I'd go nuts because I can follow mini conversations throughout the day.

Staying home costs me less money, so that's good, but it always is tedious. But I have to be home to look for a job which I need, badly.

I just wish employers would go back to the whole, we'll let you know that we are no longer considering you instead of postings that scream "NO PHONE CALLS, IF WE THINK YOU ARE WORTHY, WE'LL BE IN TOUCH." OK, I made up the last part, but that's what goes through my head when I see that. Out of all the resumes out, I've only had one response that said thanks, but no thanks. What stung the worst? The job listing went back up.

Enough of my ramblings. I go to the outplacement company on Friday morning and I hope they will help me. I can't handle being by myself so much. I'm ready to work!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Simple Things

I have seen some of the news reports that Americans are returning to simple pleasures. Since there are so many uncertainties out there people don't want to spend their money unwisely. What a novel concept, spending time with our families, reading books, seeing movies, simple vacations and starting gardens. It's too bad that it takes a national emergency to get people to do these things - to focus on what is really important.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Tools

I read an article about fully using Social Media to gain employment. So off I went to make a web site to showcase myself and I started Twittering (or is it Tweeting?) again. Hey - if if works, I don't care.

So you can catch my new web site "I Want a New Career" - you can find it on the menu on the left and you can find me on Twitter under my name Sarah Varga, you can find me on LinkedIn too. I'm easy to find!

Whew, I've been on the computer a long time today, I keep expecting the laptop to start smokin' soon!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Staying Positive is Hard

All you hear all day is how bad the economy and how hard it is to find a job. For those of us without a job it makes it even harder to stay positive. Either it's the Dow dropping, huge number of layoffs, dropping home values or another peanut product is being recalled. So with all that is going on how do you stay positive? Believing that you will find a job soon and that you won't be heading towards financial ruin?

I don't know.

Please let me know. I know stressing out doesn't help - but it's hard no to. I think I'm getting gray hair faster recently and that stress could be the culprit.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Who Haven't I Told?

I'm getting to understand that you need to tell EVERYONE you know that you are unemployed and tell them what kind of job you are looking for. Because you never know who will be talking to a recruiter, business owner or contact who knows about a possible job. Infact, I am thinking about printing resumes for all my family and friends to tote around in case they need to hand it out. (Ok maybe I jest slightly - but only slightly.)

Today my Dad was at a job fair recruiting for workers and he happened to be next to a booth with a recruiter from a large local company. He was kind enough to chat about my and my situation. Next thing I know I have a contact at a company I would love to work for and he has my resume.

So incase you are out and about in the Tampa Bay area and someone is looking for a communications, public relations, marketing, events or project coordinator think about Sarah. I won't pay for the info - but a beer and a hug might be in your future.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Today I called the career assistance service I get as part of my severence. I realize I need help. And if someone else is paying for it why am I not using it? I need them to help me get my resume fit the best. It is hard for me because I want to jump from one role to another and getting potential employers to see my value in a new role isn't easy when they don't know you. I was hoping to make that jump at my old employer.

So I'm waiting to hear back from them after they verify that I was let go and do in fact get the service. So in this case, not using assistance makes an ass just of me.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Top Secret Company

One thing I am finding that is obnoxious is company's who don't put their names out there when they are advertising for help. I've seen some interesting jobs I might like to apply for, BUT they say the company is confidential. I'm not sure why they do this. I want to know where I applying to. Does this make sense to anyone else? Just say, no phone calls. But I want to know how far away the company is, to see if I would be willing to drive that far or not and to be able to familiarize myself with the company.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Doing my sending resumes dance

I've had a good friend read over my resume and give me suggestions for improving it. And now I'm ready to pull the trigger. This is a precarious thing. This is now the first chance for me to be either accepted or rejected. I'm trying to prepare myself for what being rejected will feel like. My ego has taken a beating and it's starting to feel somewhat normal at this time. I mean I haven't sat in front of the TV during the day at all this week even though Martha Stewart (don't be haters! she is fun to watch) and Oprah call out of me at 11 and 4 p.m. And my mind is much clearer for what I need to do. Now I just need to do it.

So wish me luck.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Resume Strategery

I know that I need to make my resume match the job I am applying for. The hard part is that I am looking to change my career away from a support function. I have the experience from within my previous job, but the title just doesn't match. It's all strategery (Saturday Night Live reference). I have been reading up on what I need to do to show that I have experience but that my previous job title might not say that.

I know you only have one time to make an impression so the resume and cover letter are so important. Especially since there are so many people out there looking for jobs.

All I know is I need a job, I can't take being home so much. I'm going nutty. I am keeping the TV on just to hear people talking. It's only been a week. Oye.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Oh Poop

While taking my 2-mile walk at Lake Seminole Park a bird pooped on me. Yes, I said it, POOPED on me. Now, I really think I have been pooped on enough for the past week. And this is my 1-week anniversary of being unemployed. Not sure if there is any meaning to it being pooped on or if I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The First Monday

The end of last week was like I was on a long weekend. This morning felt very different. I have decided I need to have something every day that forces me to get up and out of bed - besides the fear of running out of money - something that keeps my sanity. So it was off to daily mass and then to a walk in the park for exercise and then home to the job search.

It is so quiet at home and the cat isn't great for conversation. I think just the loneliness might push me.

Anyhow. On to Tuesday.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Day One

Wow. Thanks to all my family and friends for their support, kind words and offers of help. I can't thank you enough. Today I am processing. So there wasn't a ton of action. I got signed up for unemployment (you can do it on-line did you know that?) went grocery shopping and have spent the last 3 1/2 hours taking traffic school on-line. I am waiting for this current section's time to run out before moving on to the last section and then the final exam.

Not a ton, but something. Tomorrow I hope to read my termination paperwork and call work with any questions. And I have to rework my resume. I submitted one in haste yesterday out of desperation and I'm sure it's not up to snuff. But thanks to some good friends I have folks who will give me pointers.

I do have to say, it is weird waking up on a Thursday and having no workplace to go to. No real purpose. I know, finding a job, has now become my job. And I think I have to continue to write here. It is a release and it keeps me writing. It's easy to get real rusty, real fast.

Whew...well, time's almost up on the other web page I have up so I better finish this darn class up. I can't come back tomorrow and expect that I will remember all the stuff I have crammed in my head. Right now, my brain is on the mushy side as it is.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Unemployment Reality

Wow. I can't believe I am typing these words. I lost my job today. I was laid off from Progress Energy due to budgetary reasons. I am am in shock to say the least. Not sure what to say, how to feel, how to stop crying. I took a lot of pride in my job and thought I did it well. Since I have no children my job had become my identity really and now it is gone.

I'm numb. My mind is

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ethanol: Part II

It's interesting that someone from the ethanol industry, I assume this since they choose to be anonymous, responded to my earlier post. I am interested being I monitor blogs for my work and we are in the process of figuring out a social media policy for when to respond. I would argue that I would have liked to know who is responding, so I can go an research the group.

I still disagree with ethanol being pushed on Americans. It is a a process that expends a lot of energy to create something that is less efficient and you can't argue, using farmland that used to grow other grains and crops to corn causing worldwide increases in prices of those crops including wheat.

I know it is a bridge to the next technology that we will use to replace oil, which is an imperative, but I don't believe it is the panacea that some are saying.

What America really needs a change of attitude. We need to make some difficult choices. And conservation is a must. We need to curb our usage of energy. We can't continue on the same path. Some of it is very simple, others will require a little more discipline. But the stakes are high. How can we not act?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Ethanol - what a joke! And other randomness

Why the heck is America investing so much of its resources in ethanol? We are using land which used to produce food, which not only was feeding us, but people around the world, and now producing a crop that the government subsidizes almost exclusively and producing fuel that is inefficient and added to my car, actually causes me to get LESS gas mileage? Does this sound like a wave of the future? No, it sounds like a sham to me.

America, we are all about our creature comforts. We can still have them, we just need a new way of doing them. It's called innovation people. For so long, America has been the most innovative country in the world. Our technologies have been amazing. Why aren't we unleashing some of that innovation on one of the largest issues facing us. Energy independence that is clean, dependable and in sustainable means. That it's about thinking in a new way.

Look, Henry Ford came up with the Model T and the assembly line, changing America and the world FOREVER. People, that was 101 years ago - 1908. The technology really hasn't changed significantly.

This is a chance for America to change the world if we take the lead. There is a chance for businesses for make a lot of money. It's time for America to be smart again. If not, we're giving this up to other countries and you have to wonder, if America is in decline at that point. It's a battle for America to be great and this is the one we should be looking at. It is our chance to shape the world. Our chance to help countries that are developing and skip over our mistakes.

Ok, I'm getting off my soap box - for now.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Social Media Anonymous

I have to admit it. I officially addicted to social media. You know all things on the Internet that connect people. Blogs, Facebook, reading twitter (I couldn't care less about actually tweeting), YouTube, you name it.

It's so fun finding people you haven't talked to in ages. I've recently started hanging around FaceBook. And I've found friends and relatives. It's really cool. And it doesn't take much time. I love my blog because it offers me space to really write.

And I keep track of social media at work to see how the company is mentioned so I feel pretty darn immursed in it.

Remember, the first step to fixing your addiction, admitting you have one. I have one, but I don't know if I want to fix it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm mad as heck, don't know what to do about it

Tonight I finished watching the last of the five-disk series Plant Earth filmed by the BBC. I know it is a few years old and originally ran on Discovery but this is he first time I really was able to watch it.

If you are in a cave, like I was, and haven't seen it, the series highlights fantastic areas around the world and the wildlife that inhabits the areas. I don't know if the 5th disk ever was shown on TV - it is three documentaries with experts about what is happening to the planet, how humans are effecting it and what can be done to conserve the wonders of the planet we have left. It sums everything up.

The more I watched it, the more angry I became. Angry because we are destroying so many parts of the planet. So many animals, insects and plants are going extinct. We are changing the environment we live in, potentially forever. And it is beautiful. I am sad to think I may never be able to see some of these natural wonders in my lifetime.

I am worried that so many of these things will be gone soon and I feel helpless. I am mad that so many people are apathetic about the place they live and that it is shifting, parts dying. That it's too difficult for them to recycle, they are put out, they are too busy. That big oil-fueled cars make sense, that it needs to be 76 degrees in the winter and 72 in the summer in houses.

I'm at a loss. Call me a tree-hugger. Go ahead. I'm ready to find my way to help. Maybe this is my calling. I may not have been called to be a parent, to be the smartest, to have the best job. Maybe this is what I need to do. I just know I can't sit back and watch. I don't have the option.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


My thermometer says it's 48 outside with a gusty wind that makes it feel much colder. I know, most people in the country are dealing with much colder temperatures, but I am cold. It really reminds me that I really don't have many appropriate clothing to wear when it gets cold. I got rid of almost all of my sweaters because they were too large or just ugly. So I am down to 2 sweaters. I had to go and buy shoes that weren't as open. How silly.

I'm still cold. Where did I put those fluffy socks..?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Work has been busy. I have two co-workers out on maternity leave (2 out 8)and one of them has a big effect on my workload. My brain is kinda fried. And on top of it, is the project I'm working on for church. I get to give my first real presentation in front of a large crowd. Sure, Dad will be there too, but it's still unnerving.

I'm ready to curl up with my fluffy blanket (it's cold outside today in west Central Florida!)and sleep.

But, at least I am feeling challeneged like I haven't in a long time. I hope this will remind my boss why I need to stick around. In these economic conditions, you can't be too careful.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Holy Moly

I've been working on a speech for a project at church off and on all week. I just sent it. I don't know how many times I have sat there with the arrow on the SEND button in the Outlook e-mail program and agonized about actually hitting it. This is one of the biggest writing projects I have been involved in and the most personal. I just want the team I am working with to like it. And that it has the impact we have set out to get. I have paced, drank espresso, and read it out loud again and again. I hit the button and it's gone so I can't take it back. But I have butterflies. Big ones. This is a proving ground for me. Holy moly.