Catching Up

Summer was busy with lots of changes. Some good, some not-so-good but what can ya do, life is all about change.

Funnest parts of Summer were dogsitting Blanche & Honey Badger & Spikester, housesitting, Diane & Kelly invade Colorado,  my trip to CA to hang out with my parents for a week and dinners & fun-time with Tim & Brian. And Aigneis and Mildred and Tucker and Mr. Zigglesworth.

After answering way more Craigslist ads than I thought possible...and talking to way more "interesting" potential landlords than I thought possible, I moved late August. Back in Superior, a neighborhood that I cherish that's super close to work which my commuting budget loves. Superior is very much a bedroom community... a very spendy bedroom community...but the views and the parks and the proximity to most (definitely not all) of my my favorite people and places makes me really happy. And content. For now.

Had a scare several weeks ago when my Dad was rushed to the ER. We almost lost him but luck was on our side. Not going to say a whole lot about his situation out of respect for privacy, but he's doing much better now. Much better.

Still on the path to getting debt-free...closer than I was last time I blogged. The move put that on hold for a bit, but now I'm back to making progress. Yay for progress!

My friend Ryan is my inspiration. So is Mortgage Free By 30  As well as No More Harvard Debt

Mr. Money Mustache is a local blogger that has a love for bikes and common sense ways to grow your 'stache.

My daily inspiration is Dave Ramsey.  His podcasts are free and they're a lifesaver. Every time I walk into Target I'm listening to a Ramsey podcast on my phone. Have any debt-reduction/frugality blogs you'd like to share? Leave the links in the comments.

I've gotten really good at saying no to anything that costs $. Ask my friends that issue invite after invite. If it involves money and even if it doesn't cost money but requires gas to get there, 9 out of 10 times my answer is no. Short term situation for long term rewards. Haven't been to a concert in ages. I love concerts...used to go all the time when I first moved to CO. They're not in the cards anymore. 

Back in the day when I was married and we were getting debt-free from $75K in consumer debt, my go-to answer was "is it a want or a need". These days my response is "INITB"...It's not in the budget. So when you start seeing INITB on my Facebook posts, you'll know what that's all about!

Finally, let's chat about blogging. I've been doing this for awhile...since March 2004. Doesn't seem like 8 years have passed, and I'm glad I've kept my blog active even tho it's been dormant a time or two.

It's been great to go back and read the archives and see where I used to be to where I am now and I'm sure the same will hold true years from now.

So that's my news...what's up with you?



Highlights of 2008

I'm an optimistic realist, always choosing to look on the bright side.

In keeping with that tradition, here's what made me smile in 2008.

  • My friends, here and there 
  • My blogger/online friends, who are as unique (and priceless) as their internet personas.
  • The 2nd job that turned into the 1st and only job that turned into my biggest joy of the year 
  • That even in the toughest times (losing my sister-in-law) the love of my friends and family was there to get me thru the darkest days 
  • The news that it was not cancer 
  • Hearing that two friends - Howard and Stephanie - were cured of Lymphoma 
  • My family aka the loves of my life 
  • Karma, who was very good to me this year 
  • Waking up Nov 5th and realizing it was not a dream and YES, WE DID 
  • Realizing that bad times are still good times if you look at them in the right light 
  • Saying yes more than I said no 
  • Choosing to laugh more than cry 
  • Perserverance 
  • Taking vacation the week of the DNC  
  • Trusting in God when I wasn't sure that I could
  • E-A-G-L-E-S 

Hope you all have the opportunity to challenge yourself and live life to your fullest...and then some...over the next 365 days.

xo :-)

Was at work in Boca Raton, FL

(my post on one of the political blogs that I subscribe to)

We all worked in close-quartered cubicles.

Everyone was screaming. Easily 30-40% of our 300+staff was from New York or the surrounding area. One new team member was hysterical, as this was her second week with us after quitting her job at the World Trade Center. It was non-stop crying and panic and bedlam.

We tried to stay focused and call our clients ( I work in travel healthcare) who are spread out all over the US. Called 3 of my clients in VA...attempted I should say, since the circuits were all busy.

One by one they all called me. All 3 were safe and had worked the night shift. One lived in an apt 4 blocks from the Pentagon and was knocked out of bed when the Pentagon was hit. All my clients were called back to their respective hospitals to wait for survivors. There were none.

My company closed up shop by 11 am in both our MA and FL locations and told us to go home and be with our families. We were paid for the rest of the day.

I was newly separated so I went home to my one bed apt and sat and stared at the tv for the next 2 days.

I had no family or friends in NYC. Had never been there. Had no idea what the World Trade Center or 'The Towers' were. And frankly, the one thing it reminded me of was during the Gulf War when they kept repeating over and over 'They are bombing Tel Aviv'.

9/11 was one of those days that you'll remember for the rest of your life. One of my clients is at Ground Zero today for the memorial service. She just sent me a pix via cell.

Don't really know if we'll ever get over this. Or if we should.


Our company president, CEO and CFO were all in New York for a meeting at the World Trade Center. Their meeting was running late so they stepped across the street for a quick breakfast before their meeting.

That still chokes me up to this day.

They all made it home safe and sound a week later.

Back In The Day...

Back when I had my own headhunting business in Northern California, one of my clients used to tell the following story.

The set up went like this...

'You're on a burning boat in the middle of the ocean. There is an island that you can swim to, although it won't be easy. The question is: Are you swimming away from something or swimming towards something?'.

I realized last night that I'm swimming towards something.

I Want My Party Back!

Today is a happy day for Deaniacs and for Democrats tired of the status quo.

Free free to browse the other blogs on my sidebar that lean more heavily towards politics to get all the intensive analysis of this very important transition...I won't even attempt to weigh in against bloggers that are lightyears ahead of ALS!

As for me, all I wanna say is 'Give 'Em Hell, Howard.

Wonder If...

...Kerry would have won the election, if we would have had all this hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing going on about 'what we did wrong'?

The post-mortem's are starting to stink. All the analogies are starting to blend into one maddening voice. Everyone has their 24/7 Reason Du Jour for the defeat.

Silence. Dai. Shecked. Enough.

First DFA meeting since the election is tonite. Time to stop talking and start acting.

Shiva's over.

Just About To Start Brainstorming...

...and I read my it one r or two?? oh well..

Quickie: Your frankness is admirable. Still, consider your audience before you speak.

Overview: You'll greet everyone with the same enthusiasm and warmth that others reserve for lifelong friends. That's nothing new for you, but it may be for them. Go easy. Don't scare off a new friend.

Uh I wish I hadn't done two Jager shots with Jacob...I am definitely in 'friendly' mode. Hey, if ya can't be friendly with your fellow Dems, then just WHO can you be friendly with?

I'll let ya know how it goes.

We STILL want our Country Back...dammit!

Just An FYI...

Thanks to those of you who emailed or called. No I haven't moved to Nova Scotia...yet. No, I'm not 100% ...yet...hopefully I will be soon 'cause the way I'm feeling right now truly sucks big time. I'm definitely in hermit mode. It's easier to check out my friend's blogs than to post on mine these days. Every time I start to write something political I get upset or angry or manic and I just can't finish so I delete everything in frustration and just go back to mindlessly surfing the net or when that gets old, watching HGTV.

Haven't been able to sleep much this week either. Nightmares of nuclear war almost every single night. Trust me, waking up terrified at 3 in the am and not being able to get back to sleep for the rest of the night does not make for a happy Kathy. The latest I slept all during the past week was 6 am...far cry from my usual wake up time of 7:30/7:45.

Can't stomach political stuff yet. As much as I love watching Jon and The Daily Show, can't do that. Have sworn off Anderson Cooper who I'm crazy about...yeah, I know he's 'not on my team', but who cares...intelligence is sexy, regardless. Have given up the Nightly News with Tom and the local news. Whenever I see GWB's face I wanna puke or throw something at the TV. So I don't go there anymore. My stomach has started churning as I type this, so time for a subject change.

Jacob has been in MA for most of this week. Very quiet house, which has probably added to my hermetic way of life. That, and working until 8 most nights this week, by the time I come home the last thing I want to do is to talk to anyone. So that's why I've called no one. No calling, no TV watching, some reading, lots of staring off into space. And procrastinating...MEGA procrastinating.

Meant to balance my checkbook for the last week...ok, month...still not done. Caulking the tub in Jacob's bathroom...was supposed to do that last Tuesday night...still not done. He'll be home in the am so I'd really better do it tonite...we'll see what happens.

In fairness, I did do some things I'd been putting off. Paid bills. Faxed in my pharmacy receipts for Flex account reimbursements. Dealt with a confrontation that I didn't want to do, actually was dreading it, but did it anyway. Cancelled my landline...had been meaning to do that for ages. And I applied for a part-time job for nights and weekends. Hey, Costco pays $10/hr during the week, $15/hr on Sundays...not too shabby. Also sent out a mass-email asking for roommate leads. So yeah, some things were accomplished.

Have spent a lot of time thinking this might be a good time for a change.

I promised myself before the election that depending on who won, would determine my action plan. If Kerry won, I planned on staying in my current job (that I truly love), hoping the economy would improve which would result in hospital hiring freezes being lifted which would make all the difference in my industry and hopefully the industry would rebound. Sadly, that did not happen. If anything, I fear things will get worse. So time to find another job. And get a part-time job (paragraph above-already working on that!) Resume is ready, just need to take the next step and (gulp) start sending them out.

Have also been thinking maybe it's time for a change in location. While I do love it here, I'm not tied here. Would make a nice profit on my house, move somewhere Blue that doesn't have too much snow or too much humidity, find a smaller house - maybe a townhome as long as they would allow dogs- and just start all over. If I got a good enough deal, pay cash outright for it and own it from day one. And since I'm going to be looking for a new job anyway, why not consider other geographical locations? My parents have asked me 3x in the last two weeks to move back to So Cal. It's just not possible. When I left CA, I knew I'd be pricing myself out of ever living there again (barring a lottery windfall). And the earthquakes got to me too...massive big time. So yeah, CA is out of the question, even tho my parents said I was welcome to move in with them until I found a place of my own. Thanks anyway Dad and Mom.

Other changes I'm considering are not as radical. Like chopping off most of my hair and dyeing it purple. I did the drastic chop-off back when I lived in San Jose. Woke up one day tired of having long hair (half-way down my back) so I went into my salon and told my stylist 'chop it all off' so she did -after asking me if I was drunk- and once my hair was an even inch long, she bleached the tips for much longer than she thought she should. I left with very short brunette hair with spiky golden-white tips. Ha ha, funny.

My husband at the time was not amused. Definitely not amused. But I loved it...made life so much easier.

And now...yet again my hair is half-way down my back...takes minimum 25 minutes to blow-dry and all on the days I decide to blow dry. Lately have been putting it up wet and it dries during the course of the day. So yeah, chopping it off is on my mind again. And purple...gotta love that color.

What to do, what to do. Don't really know. Possibilities abound but right now I think I have to focus on what's time sensitive and immediate. Like the upstairs bathroom that is calling to me.

Yep, time to get caulking.

Not Over It Yet

IT happened a week ago tonite. Black Tuesday. Have worn black at work every day since the election. My silent protest at sitting Shiva for my country.

Driving home tonite was wondering why don't I feel better? While the intensity I first felt last Weds am has subsided, I am still slogging thru each and every day like I'm in slow motion. How long will this take? I am having the hardest time getting over this and I don't know why. Any suggestions? Answers? Theories?

Blogging thru my fave blogs and came across THIS on BMW's site.

Proceeds will go to a good cause.

Bottomline, while I don't want to forget what happened, I want to stop feeling like it happened yesterday. Maybe this will help?

Back To The Drawing Board

(Cross-posted on Daily Kos)

Time for a get-togther.

Have decided to invite everyone I know...Stork, Castor, K/E, DFA, FAU and anyone else that might be interested to a ‘Back To The Drawing Board’ evening.

The purpose will be to get us all together to vent, eat, drink, talk and brainstorm. We’re all over the place right now. One friend says we need to ‘become more centrist’. Another says ‘market ourselves to the Right’. I’m more along the lines of ‘Fuck The Right...I voted for MY values and I’m not changing one iota’ and actually I’m more than likely moving more to the left.

All of these viewpoints are good and fair and have value...ooohh...the ‘V’ word again. And lots more viewpoints out there that haven’t been vocalized.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still very sad. And very pissed. Wore black to work on Friday. Wearing all black tomorrow. Wearing all black on Tuesday, which will be a week since what I’m now calling Black Tuesday. I sat Shiva for my country and our loss.

And now it’s time for me to get active again.

Back in August Team Stork had an unusually rough day. The same day we discovered one of the newest staffers had a recurrence of cancer and had to leave for home asap was the same day that Jim gave everyone a head’s up that he had medical problems and was going to put his campaign on hold.

That night, everyone gathered at my house. We needed to be together as a group and blow off steam, vent, etc. It was a good thing.

Same idea for my ‘Back To The Drawing Board’ nite. Bottomline, it will be good to get together. We’ll create our own unity and in the process start to get back on track.

We’re a team, a force, a movement. We don’t all agree on everything...who does?...but we all come from a place where we want to do good for our State and our Country and our future.

It’s time to get back to work.