Posted in 2020, Aging, Challenge, kathy70, Quarantine, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #42 Mission Statement

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one per week.  My personal goal is to do this for one full year.

Question:

Outline a “mission statement” for your life.

My Mission Statement

At one point in my life, when I was in a stable well-paying position,  I joked that I wanted to live long enough to be a “burden on society.”  In my reality, this did become my mission statement.

Part of the reason for this truth is my own fault. I was never a competitive or driven person for most of my life I just rolled with the flow and never needed to make long term plans. For a very brief time in my life things were on an upward trajectory and it looked like I would wind up as a complete and solid person.  Sadly that was not to be.

I grew up in a poor house and never learned the benefits of saving money or developed the tools to be able to do that.  No idea of disposable income versus savings versus retirement.  My grandparents were always retired in my lifetime and money was never talked about, but they seemed to be fine.  My mother did not work outside the home until I was a teen and then it was part-time.  In high school I worked part-time and saved the $100.00 needed to go on my senior class trip and didn’t save for anything after that.

summer job 2

Junior College after high school didn’t require much money and my job more than paid for all of that.  Within a year I decided to quit school and worked full time, lived at home and only took public transportation.  Had a great wedding on the cheap.  Fast forward three kids and 1 divorce later with no savings or pension on the horizon.

At times I worked 3 jobs just to make ends meet and saving was not a possibility.  The company I was working for was hit bad by the recession and my job was eliminated.  First time ever on unemployement.  Back to college for the third time and I found a great position that I loved but did not pay well.  Then 9/11 happened.  My small pension and 401k were hit very bad and I lost my job again.

At my age it was almost impossible to find a position and wound up working at a big box store for minimum wage and part time only.  So with all this happening close to my retirement my Social Security is tiny and it’s very hard to understand the system.

Help, I really am a “burden to society”.

Posted in Uncategorized

First Flight

August 13, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a first flight. It can be anything or anyone that flies. What is significant about the first? Go where the prompt leads!

Here is my contribution for this week.

I’m taking the early first flight out this morning. Handy trick learned years ago that allow options if I miss it. DC is ugly hot this summer. Today’s assignment is to meet an old friend for lunch. Twenty years is a long time, I wonder how he’s changed. Will he know me? My job today is simply gathering information on what’s next years hot clothing color. How does a nice girl from Kansas get in the spy business? Should I have married that farmer? On my flight there is a familiar face in the next seat. “Hi I’m Dorothy.”

Posted in Uncategorized

Covid Safe Travel

Sorry, hope the title did not give you the false impression that a private jet was pulling up to your doorway to whisk you away on your dream vacation.  Since I am in the same time-out, stay-at-home, do not pass go, lock-down plus “your grounded” feeling most all of you are having, I want to give you a little hope.  Extreme-mini-vacay is what we are talking about here.

My first suggestion is a trip to the closest nursery or garden center.  If you have a garden space outside here is a chance to pick some new  plants to live in that space.  If you have no garden area, it’s just nice to go and look at what they have that is blooming.  Take a few photos or make a sketch or two of your favorite plants on display.

20200815_064903

Also, take your time.  This is not a place to race through to get the best bargains or sale items, enjoy the beauty, enjoy the fragrances, enjoy the sunshine or rain, enjoy just being out of your house.  Since most of these are outside it becomes a very safe place to be, but wear your mask while walking around.

Posted in 2020, Challenge, kathy70, Quarantine, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #41 Tea Time

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one per week.  My personal goal is to do this for one full year.

Question:

What is your cup of tea?

Tea Time

I have learned to love tea, I grew up as a coffee drinker, my grandparents would have coffee time and ask an individual grandchild over to have “coffee”, what a treat!  The coffee was always more milk than anything else, but it was one on one time with grandparents.  I do drink more tea these days than coffee.

I love my herbal teas as well as Chai tea, no green tea for me, my system does not like it and let’s me know.  I have recently learned how to make my own Chai Latte and this may have serious consequence on me gaining the quarantine 15 (much like the freshman 15).

20200509_154457

I love a Russian tea that has great spices and orange tones as a breakfast tea. A peach herbal is my newest favorite for making sun tea, which I like iced.  My sun tea never sees the sun, I simply put a number of tea bags with water in a container in the refrigerator, leave it there for at least one day then pour into my glass filled with ice.

It is always a toss up for my day to start with either coffee or tea.  Today it was tea.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Still Crying

I know that I said I was crying a few months ago for the tragic news of people dying all over the world by the hundreds and thousands.  It slowed for a while, but it is back with a vengeance now.  I am crying for all those who have had to face difficulties in their lives for no valid reason and some of us still don’t get it.

The news used to be something I looked forward to seeing to find out what was happening in my city or in my neighborhood and what to wear tomorrow based on the weather forecast.  Now the news makes me cry on a daily basis.  How do people still not understand that there is a huge racial divide in this and many other countries and it must stop.  And, yes, it starts with me and you.  We need to change everything we say and do and think about what is happening in our country.  It’s not enough that you feel empathy, you need to challenge your friends and family when they make inappropriate comments.  Challenge them on a daily basis if necessary, educate yourself and others on how we got here.

This will not go away until we all can move in the same direction as  one America.  I cry for my child who gets it and for my child who does not.  We have had some tough discussions and it felt good to hear that we never judged but were accepting of everyone in our home and life as we were talking about how they were raised.  Then I hear from another sector and I am told well you did not have to live through this event, and I disagree.

I hope that I don’t cry all year long and that we make some levels of progress on all fronts.

Posted in 2020, Challenge, kathy70, Quarantine, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #40 It’s Raining

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one per week.  My personal goal is to do this for one full year.

Question:

Have you ever experienced the phrase, “When it rains, it pours”?

 It’s Raining

Of course.  At points in my life I marked the years by the disaster of that year, like the year of this surgery,  or my accident, or I lost my job. Right now we are in the chaos of what could possibly be how everyone in the world marks this year. Some of this will not go away quickly or ever and we still have no real resolution.

A young friend contacted me recently and she was feeling very hopeless.  After some consideration she had given notice to her current position and had taken a new position in another city, it was all set.  She had also given notice for her apartment and had everything packed up and moved out.  Now the full scope of the pandemic hits, no new job, no new city, no old job and no place to live.  She did move in to her parents home and her stress level is through the roof.  Now that is raining and pouring in action.

Another friend had been working the current position for about six months, with the pandemic, the orders drastically slowed down.  They had a Covid-19 scare with a couple of employees early on.  The decision they made was to close down the business one day a week for deep cleaning.  Now all the employees receive 8 hours less pay per week, while the bills stay the same or cost more.  A tough example of raining and pouring.

This did not start to be a pandemic article today but it is so hard not to look at the world with other views.  I know there are many who have lost so much more, their lives or the lives of loved ones or permanent damage to live with. There is truly a sadness that is covering much of the earth.  Let’s hope for  more sun than rain.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

No Julia Child Here

Carrot Ranch promptAugust 6, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about molten lava. It can be real-time, such as a volcanic event or the result of one in the geologic timeline. Or, think about making the prompt into a metaphor of heat. What is so hot? Go where the prompt leads.

No Julia Child Here

It is a love/hate relationship with a YouTube chef.   While I watch the “simple recipes” I wonder was he born with a whisk in his hand. It seems like fun when he has a smile on his face the entire time, his home kitchen is amazing and all the recipes sound like I might actually be able to do them.  The ingredients are not overly exotic.  It looks like a dance as he adds in new ingredients.  This one will taste as good as it looks, maybe.

Now to sit and enjoy my camera ready molten lava chocolate cake.

Posted in 2020, Aging, Challenge, humor, kathy70, music, Quarantine, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge # 39 It’s Nap Time

 

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one per week.  My personal goal is to do this for one full year.

Question:

Do you believe “power naps” are beneficial?  Do you think they should be incorporated into the workplace?

Is It Nap Time Yet?

Yes I do believe in “power naps” and I do take them.  A power nap is considered  a nap of 15 to 35 minutes.  I don’t have the ability to automatically wake up so I set an alarm for these naps.  If I don’t have a set agenda or an appointment I will just allow myself to wake up naturally.

Today it was a 15 minute nap because I had a rough night.  My pandemic worried brain woke me at 3 AM for no particular reason.  Over an hour later still awake I put on some soothing music to sleep another 4 hours.  So after lunch is a 15 minute quick nap and I am refreshed again and ready to move on.

While working at one of my large telephone centers, we had a “quiet” room.  This could be used after you had a tough call to reset and get back to the phones.  One of my coworkers had a family member pass away and she needed to simply sit in that room for a bit before leaving for the day. Mainly it was used by agents to take a quick nap

inernet3

We all have from time to time a day with too much activity and so that room came in handy.  I once had a Paul McCartney concert on a school night that went way too late in the evening.  Before everyone had cell phones, I grabbed a kitchen timer as I walked out the door that day.  Lunch found me pulling into a quiet park in the area and setting the timer for 45 minutes, then right back to work.  I think that was more of a rescue nap than a power nap. LOL

Some corporations are realizing that a short nap can really do wonders and allowing employees to check out for  1/2 hour or so.  Sleep deprivation can be brutal and cause damage in lots of ways.  Maybe with the work from home scenario we are in now, more people will learn how to sneak in that little nap and better handle the 9 hour day they are putting in at the computer.

Take a nap!!

Posted in 2020, 99 words, Challenge, kathy70, Quarantine, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Elevated Upcycle

July 30, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that uses the phrase “her crowning glory.” (Thanks to Anne Goodwin for the prompt idea.) It can be in the traditional sense of a woman’s hair or applied to any idea of a best attribute. What happens if you play with the meaning or gender? Go where the prompt leads!  Prompt from Carrot Ranch.

Elevated Upcycle 

As we stepped off the elevator I felt a bit anxious.  I was visiting my friends family lake front condo on the 32nd floor of this building and I had heard stories about the fabulous decor.  The huge entrance hallway was a deep dark brown with floor to ceiling world renown famous artists works on display.

To me her crowning glory in this unit was the 3rd bathroom we saw. Bath mat, seat cover, tissue box and wastepaper basket all covered with mink.  Upcycled old coats rescued and remade by her mom.  So unexpected it took my breath away.