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 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).

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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 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 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

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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.

 

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

Challenge #38 Bag Lady

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 1 year.

Question:

How do you keep yourself organized?

Bag Lady

Pre-pandemic and quarantine, many of us had lives and in some cases very busy lives.  As an active senior citizen with a variety on interests, I had my fingers in a large variety of pies and enjoyed every minute of it.  My solution was tote bags.  Not only did I make my own, at many events and functions I received them as a participant.  It also told me what day of the week it was.

totes for wp

Monday, I was going to one of my quilt guilds and based on what project I was working on, I had a tote bag with all my items in it.  Throughout the week, if I came across a pattern or some fabric that I was not going to use, into my quilt tote to take for the sharing table so others might take the items home.  Also, during the course of the meeting some of us worked on small hand held projects to pass on or share with others.  I also made sure that this was right by the front door on Sunday night so I did not forget to go to the meeting.

I taught several different crafts in my community so based on what I was teaching that week I would organize by tote bag. If it was flower arranging, the containers and oasis and tools in one bag, for making bracelets it was beads and wire and another type of tools required.  If I had a special request from a student I would make sure the items went into that bag.  For work, it was a whole different group of items in my tote bag.  Gym days, another tote bag. Not included are the bags  I took to the grocery store to cut down on the use of plastic bags.

For many years now I have driven a pick-up truck and this means no trunk, if I had a trunk some of these bags would have been left in the vehicle until needed.  On really good days, I walked out with three separate bags for my current days events.  I did make sure bags were different colors and styles so I did not arrive at the gym with only my jewelry making supplies.  Now that could be a whole new direction to this story.

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

Challenge # 37 1/2 Continued

This is the 2nd half of my blog about cravings and that was all centered on food cravings, I also have nonfood cravings.  The first that comes to my mind is  solitude.  I don’t think of myself as a writer, I have always thought of myself as a creative person and a craft person.  I like to write when no one is around to distract or disturb.  My crafting is just the opposite, a former Girl Scout leader, Sunday School teacher and room parent I used crafting with all.  I have also over the years taught many crafts in a variety of settings.

For a number of years I have worked directly with the public in telephone sales,  customer service and direct sales.  All of these required one on one contact with the general public, while trying to achieve what they needed along with my companies requirements or quotas.  Some of these positions required a solid seven  to eight hours of customer contact.  That’s a lot of talking!!  Some required a certain volume or dollar quota of calls handled each day.  All I wanted at the end of the day was “no talking.”

To this day, if I have a busy week, I need a day with no requirements.  A day for my writing or reading or watching TV or some solitary craft project.  I can feel myself getting testy or short with others after a little bit.  It does not make me feel lonely or abandoned or isolated if I don’t talk to people for a day, it revitalizes me.  I can also feel this as much as a physical craving for a certain food.

Another thing that I crave is travel both near and far.  This year is going to be tough with all the restrictions.  I have easily agreed  to a trip to a nearby by town I used to live in as a quick diversion to classify as my current travel.  It saddens me to think the I will not travel outside the US at all this year and no idea how soon into next year things will open up.

go

Take a look at your schedule or menu or closet or storage and see if you have any cravings that surprise you.

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

My Heart Screamed One Yesterday

July 16, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that expresses the phrase, “scream inside your heart.”

This is part of the 99 word challenge from Carrot Ranch.

 

Hear the manager screaming before you ever get into his office,  “production is way down this week”  or  “why is my department not showing a profit” these concerns all seem to blend and repeat.

Down the hall my office is filled with  people trying to tell me why we have taken a hard hit in the wallet and how thing should improve.  I want to slam my fist on the desk and scream until they hear my plan, but I can only scream in my heart.  I am Black and I am a woman, the rules change for me.

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

Challenge # 37 Food Cravings

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 1 year.

Question:

What do you crave?  How often do you crave it?

Food Cravings And Then Some

My first thought is to food cravings and I start going over in my mind all my food cravings.  Next it jumps to other cravings and I am thinking this could get interesting.  But, let’s start with food.  I think I have a permanent craving for chocolate anything, it does have some seasonal items, but mostly just chocolate.  I am also pretty sure that it is included in all categories of food groups.

I may have a few weird tastes, the first that comes to mind is buttermilk.  My family will not even touch it, unless it is in pancakes.  I just like a tall glass of cold buttermilk.  As a child I can remember going to the cheese factory and getting a fresh glass of buttermilk, this was the real thing,  created by what was left in the churn from turning milk into butter.  About every other month I can hear it calling me.

Soup in general is about a once a week craving all year long.  I have a few seasonal soups that I like, but anytime I purchase a rotisserie chicken I anticipate some kind of chicken soup in my future.  I mostly make more than I can consume in a week so it gets put into individual portion containers in the freezer.  I am always happy if I can reach in to find 4 or 5 varieties of soup.

I have a longtime relationship with oatmeal as well.  For over 20 years I ate oatmeal every day for breakfast as a way of simplifying my life.  As a single parent of 3 with 1 full time and 2 part time jobs I needed to take some control.  This was an easy choice, put a scoop of regular oatmeal and 2 of water in the micro as I walked out to put on my make-up my breakfast was done when I came back.  No thinking, no debate and very little effort this worked for me.  I still have cravings for it even though my life is not as hectic.

Last food craving is for home made corned beef hash about every 3 or 4 months.  Cook a corned beef brisket that will be more than we can eat just for the leftovers.  Mix some onion, potato and green pepper with the beef throw in a few spices and fry to get a little crispy in a cast iron pan.

Writing this is making me hungry it has been about a week since I had buttermilk and almost as long for a bowl of soup.  The oatmeal was 2 days ago and the hash was yesterday, we also like to find restaurants that make their own and will try that out.  I will take a second look at other cravings I have which are not food related.  It’s always interesting to look closely at some aspect of your life that you probably take for granted.  Now back to my chocolate craving…

 

 

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

Challenge #36 Shopping Spree

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 1 year.

Question:

Do you prefer online shopping or in-store shopping?  Why?

A Shopping Spree

Let me start by explaining that this group was formed in September of 2019, no idea of a world wide pandemic was even a concept at that time.  All these questions were  simply looking at a changing world.

Fast forward to 2020 and this question takes on a whole new meaning and resonates with people who never even considered online as an option.  (Note to self, check with my non computer comfortable friends and see how they are shopping.)  Needless to say, my response to this is very different today than last year.

In today’s world for almost everything but fabric and shoes online shopping is the new winner for me.  I tend to spend less online because I can hop from screen to screen and check out all the prices,  I can also do this at 3 AM when I can’t sleep because I am worrying about the pandemic.  I am not a drunk shopper which some 3 AM shoppers are so no surprises arrive two weeks later.  Some friends are on both ends of this scenario, they will remain nameless.

Fabric is hard for me to buy online.  A friend once said it was fun to watch me in a fabric store because I shop mostly with my hands.  I walk down the aisle with my hands  touching on both sides and my second reaction is to color or pattern.  So I have to be backed against the wall to buy fabric online.

The other thing is shoes.  I have wonky feet and had one surgery and don’t really want more so I do wear the comfy granny type shoes.  My granddaughter is the queen of online shoe shopping, before her wedding a shoe box arrived every other day it seemed. She ordered a variety knowing she would not keep them all.  Some had to be shipped back but some had returns to their local store.  This is a good thing to check when shopping online.

How do you feel about online shopping?  I’s a bit sad to see the changes in the brick and mortar shops.  I would like to see a world where a mom and pop local store could expect to fill a shop and have walk in traffic.  It has been a while since I have been in any remote locations where they have those 10 foot by 25 foot shops that a single person can operate.  There is no mall where that fits, if they have a kiosk the rent is usually out of range.  So maybe online is the only answer now????