Thursday, December 14, 2017

gif guide for humbuggers

Yesterday, there was a meeting at work.  Since I'm a noob, it was my first meeting at work.  I'm told they happen every quarter or so. It was a pretty laid back meeting featuring some business talk and some awards.  And, being the time of year that it is, there was the inevitable ugly sweater contest.

Where are those sweaters the whole rest of the year?  The thought, to me, is uglier than the sweaters.

As confessed a few times on the blog, I'm a minimalist.  I don't like "stuff" that serves little or no purpose, such as a sweater worn for a few hours or less, once a year.  A lot of the stuff in our house is only there so as to not scar our children by my getting rid of it, although I've probably already created little scars during the times I couldn't stand it.

In fact, I've told our kids not to get me stuff - for Christmas, for birthdays, for Mother's Day... They all too readily comply.

Truth be told, I wouldn't mind learning that they gave it some thought.  I just don't want "stuff".

So with that, I offer...

A Gift Guide for the Minimalist in Your Life

1.  The first category that comes to mind is Consumable Items.

  • Gourmet coffee or tea
  • Trail mix
  • Harry & David pears and cheese (we just ripped through the annual box from the MIL)
  • Homemade jam.  I'd eat it.

And although a minimalist's gotta eat, there are non-food consumables too.  Ferzample:

  • Nice luxurious hand lotion - rather than the cheap store brand stuff I buy
  • Art/craft supplies, for the artsy minimalist *hint*hint*

2.  Another category is the Experience category.  Being a minimalist doesn't mean sitting in a cave!

  • Ski pass
  • Fishing/hunting license
  • Theater/concert/sporting event tickets

3.  Or howzabout some educashun?
  • Yoga class
  • Guitar lessons
  • Personal trainer session

But seriously, don't get ME anything!


Linking up with MamaKat this week for the prompt:
3. Create a gift guide.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Started the new job this week.  Sorta.

I'm working for the company that provides food service to the school district.  They also serve area universities, colleges, hospitals, and senior living facilities.  I took a job with the school district branch because it has the best hours for me.

The plan is for me to eventually manage one of the site kitchens, but for now, I will roam around and get a feel for the various schools.  I've been at an elementary school this week, and I know from previous experience that there's not much to it.  Middle school and high school are where it's at, but everyone "trains" at an elementary school.  Today, I'll finish my training and let the roaming begin!

In the meantime, I'm still wired into the job I just left.  This is finals week, and kids are emailing me with late assignments, and I'm graciously updating their grades as I still have access to all the stuff.

There's probably a rule against doing that since it's government and I'm not getting paid, so don't tell anyone.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

communication skills

Do you leave your phone on all the time?  Is it near you when you sleep?  I was having this conversation recently with some people, and the overall majority said they sleep with their phones.

They had reasons:
"It's my alarm"
"I get called into work early in the morning"
"What if... happens?!"

Unless Meego is out late somewhere, I typically turn my phone off at bedtime.  Yes, we have older kids, but they're technically adults and pretty self sufficient.

Tuesday morning I turned on the phone and as it booted up, I had two texts from Chaco:

"J took me to the hospital, but I'm better now"

"Wolfgang knows the details"

Okay, so that was slightly better than the time he texted me that he'd been hit by a car while on his bicycle to his place from our house and nothing more.  Slightly.

I eventually got the scoop.  Chaco and his girlfriend were at a rock climbing gym.  As Chaco was climbing, he was gripping a hold with his left hand and his feet slipped from the wall, leaving him dangling from the hold with his left hand.  In hindsight, I guess he should've just let go, but who would do that?

Since he didn't just let go, he dislocated his left shoulder.  The crew in the ER, with the help of some good drugs, put him back together.

As I talked to him, I told him I'd turned off my phone around 10:00.

"Ha, I texted you at 10:06"


Other than THAT, it's been a great week.  I got in my last days at that old  high school job, and feel I'm leaving on a good note.  I like the kids and the staff, it was the job itself that sucked 😝.  And there was some silly drama - from a few of the adults! - that I didn't care to be a part of. 

They still have one more week left of school before winter break, but it's half days for finals.  I'm out.  That last class on Friday took FOREVER!  I swear time stopped.

What time is it?  Where's your phone?

Friday, December 8, 2017

that moment when you realize it's you

I was scrolling around in instagram a couple of days ago.  I got an instagram account a while ago because it's the platform of choice for geocaching pics, but I soon learned that I don't really want to post geocaching pics  *YAWN*

But I admit that it's kind of fun to find interesting things to follow.  I don't really follow my "friends" much, but I've found some fun artists and such to inspire me.  And I follow some gear companies and groups, because really, I like looking at happy pictures. 

So I was boringly perusing my instagram feed when I came across a familiar looking photo.  Then I realized it was familiar because I had just been living it!  My PEO chapter was adorning the screen.

Yeah, we had another party.  Yeah, we had to take the Von-Trapp-Family-on-the-staircase photo - complete with a coupla pooches.

Thanks to the Veep who has a great house for parties and then took some pics and then posted them to the PEO instagram.  You go, girls.  What did we do before the internet?

Linking up with MamaKat for the prompt:
3. Share a recent photo or video you  somebody added to Instagram and give us the back story.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

one week to go, the high school musical

Where did this past week go?  I feel like it was busy and productive, but I have no blog submissions to show for it.  Well, here we go...

For one thing, I'm in the process of leaving my job and starting a new one. Yup, my "new" job is now my "old" and I've got a new "new".  It's a bit of a tedious and whiny story, so I'll be brief.

I took this job at a nice area  high school.  I don't have a teaching license and have been going back and forth for the past few years, wondering if I should get a license and just be a high school teacher already.  So this job opened up, which didn't require a license, but would be a strong step toward getting one PLUS a job.

After doing this gig for a while, I consulted with my inner cells to see their thoughts on pursuing a license.  After crunching the data, here are the results:

Okay, so yeah, it was unanimous, but unanimous elections make for dull pie charts...

In the end, I got my answer.  No more wondering.  And I'm glad that I didn't just go ahead and jump through the various hoops to get a license only to learn AFTERWARD that it wasn't for me.  So it's all good, and I'm a lame duck for another week when the semester ends.

And I've got another job lined up to begin once this one ends, so I've been overlapping quitting the school job and going in for some training and such for the new one.

In somewhat related news, one of my students got himself suspended last week for 5 days, which is a lot of days to be suspended for.  I'm curious as to what he did, but since no one's told me, I haven't asked, out of respect for his privacy.

In the meantime, I eavesdrop on student conversations.  In one, I heard "jail" and "probably".  So curious.

Another day last week, security came through our classrooms with the cutest drug sniffing pooches!  I think it was just a random sweep, but they did remove one of my students' backpacks, and the kid was in the office for quite a while.  I wasn't surprised, to be honest.

But back to the dogs.  They were the cutest black labs.  I'd pictured drug sniffers as German Shepherds, but these were small black labs, about 40 lbs. I wanted to play with them, but they were all business.

I have had some fun stories from my semester of high school, but not enough fun to make me want to stick around and go bonkers.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

old age, bus boys, and meeting girls

I've got some doorbustin' to do in a little while, but I'll give thanks for an all-around good Thanksgiving week.  Both fun and productive!

In addition to Thanksgiving, Magnum and I both turned it up the age count.  His birthday was Friday, and mine was on Tuesday, with Thanksgiving falling in the middle so the whole country could celebrate us!

As mentioned, the Turkey Trot was bunches of fun.  There really was a five-guys-dressed-as-a-school-bus.  See?

That's one way to get your picture in the paper.  I'm not sure what place it/they finished or what relation it served for Thanksgiving, but they seemed to be having fun.  As for me, the results did eventually update, and I became myself again rather than a nameless and homeless male of no age.

I took 2nd for my age group, and when I looked at the next OLDER age group, there were three women there who beat me.  I recognized a couple of names, and yes, I've eaten their dust before...

Speaking of eating, we spent Thanksgiving at Magnum's sister's, and it was a good time.  Chaco brought his girlfriend to meet the fam, so she was in a bit of a hot seat.  But I'd told her prior that everyone is pretty chill, plus there would be a 5-month old baby there to grab all the attention anyway.  The little guy did a good job of it, and I think GFchaco had a nice time.  She's cute and fun and I'm not quite sure how Chaco swung that ;)

Meego went shopping with his girlfriend's family for Black Friday.  They came by the house to get him, and he wanted me to come out and meet them as he's only been with this girl a short time.

I actually know her mom as she's an active band volunteer, but I didn't know the girlfriend that well.  I honestly "met" GFmeego only once during band camp when she had an asthma attack, thus freaking me out.  But she's talented and pretty and I'm not quite sure how Meego swung that ;)

Now I'm off for some doorbustin', but be assured I won't buy anything we don't need. 😛

Friday, November 24, 2017


My mom had an old sewing machine that she hardly ever used.  It was such an interesting contraption to me as a kid.  One day when I was about 8 years old, I was playing with my Barbie doll, and Mom asked if I'd like her to make a dress for the doll.  Of course, duh!

Mom cut up some pieces of fabric she had lying around and whipped out a dress on that sewing machine in seeming record time.  I was at a loss for words, so utterly impressed.

I'm not sure if it was from that incident or just an inherent thing, but I'd badly wanted to learn to sew for the longest time.  I asked my mom to teach me, but she was reluctant.

She and her family made clothes and sold them when she was growing up.  Mom was the only daughter, and I think she and her mother did the bulk of the sewing while her brothers cut the fabric.  So years later, when she was in America, she was ready to put that life behind her, and I guess she didn't want it for me either.

She did have a crafty friend of hers show me a few basics, and I also did some projects in junior high home ec. class.  When I graduated from high school, Mom gave me my first sewing machine as a graduation present.  To this day, I think of that sewing machine as both the best and most practical gift anyone has ever given me.

But clothes are pretty cheap now, there's really no practical reason to make clothes.  Most people I know who sew do crafty things like quilts and decorations and such.

I recently found a blogger who has made a lucrative living as a... seamstress?  For lack of a better term?  She has a powerful online presence with her fashion and DIY as well as sewing tutorials.  Probably another thing that attracts people to her various websites is that she models all her own clothes, and she's not the typical stick-figure anorexic-looking model.

What impresses me is how productive she is - cranks out the outfits and photo shoots and vlogs and blogs with crazy regularity.  She says it all happened when she just decided to blog about her DIY a few years ago, never meaning it to be her career, and it all went viral.  But it's obvious she's got skill and loves to do this stuff.

Illustration Friday hasn't posted a  new prompt yet, so I'm still in time for last week's prompt "skill" with a fashion sketch of Mimi G.