Casual Fridays 8/7/15

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Happy Sunday! That means it is time for the latest installment of Casual Fridays (Sunday edition), my weekly chat post – no structure, no rules, no prompts, anything goes.  And please also check out Casual Fridays over at Helen’s blog, Good Woman.

Let’s get random…

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m just getting around to Casual Fridays. But, in my defense, it has been a busy weekend. It’s the last weekend before school starts.

I actually had a pretty good week at work. Things are starting to settle in. On Wednesday, I went out to the suburban office – which is where I worked before I lost my job four years ago. It was so nice to be back there and to see all of my old coworkers. I will be going out there one day a week and I will be at my normal downtown office four days a week.

We had a girl scout recruitment event Wednesday at the pool. My girls were happy to get to swim since we haven’t been to the pool much since swim lessons ended. We may be adding some new girls to the troop which is always… interesting. The pool time was unfortunately cut short by a storm. This has been the rainiest summer ever.

Yesterday was spent shopping for back-to-school shoes and clothes. It is also tax-free weekend in my state so the stores were packed. Shoe shopping turned out to be far easier, we only had to go to one store. We were even able to find acceptable shoes for my picky sixth-grader. Clothes shopping was more strenuous as both of my girls are hard to fit. But after schlepping from store to store for hours, we were able to get enough jeans, leggings and tops to start the school year. It was a long day and I came home and had to recharge my social batteries.

To reward myself yesterday, I got a new purse. And I absolutely adore it.

Today we organized and labelled school supplies. Everything is sorted and ready to go to school on Tuesday for open house.  My sixth grader is so nervous about switching classes this year. There have been tears. We wrote out her schedule today  for A and B days and put it in her binder. We will find all of her classrooms on Tuesday and reassure her again. Growing up is so hard (on everyone). I’m really proud of her, by the way. Her favorite part of shopping day was not the clothes but wandering around Barnes and Noble browsing the books.

It was sunny this morning and my husband put our dog outside on the zipline. I was laying in bed and all of a sudden I heard rain on the roof. I looked out the window and it was sunny and pouring down rain! Even on our nice days we get rain. My daughter ran out to get Rusty, who was barking and not too happy about getting wet. Strangely, the little cloudburst only lasted a few minutes.

Have a great rest of the weekend and upcoming week, everyone!

Casual Fridays 7/10/15

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Happy Saturday! That means it is time for the latest installment of Casual Fridays (Saturday morning edition), my weekly chat post – no structure, no rules, no prompts, anything goes.  And please also check out Casual Fridays over at Helen’s blog, Good Woman.

Let’s get random…

This Friday-post-on-Saturday may become a thing. Stay tuned.

What a week. I scratched and clawed my way through the last five days, a little beat up and bruised. I haven’t been so glad for Friday in a long time, welcomed it like a long-lost friend with a great big bear hug. You know that feeling of elation when you feel hopeless and lost and then you see the light, a beacon calling you home? That was me yesterday at 5:30 pm.

So, my first week at the new job is over. Thank the heavens and stars and the Force and God and all of the rest of the dieties. To say that it has been a stressful week is a gross understatement. It was physically and emotionally draining. #overwhelmed. My first two days were fraught with complications. Nothing about my transfer went right. Well, one thing went right. My parking transfer went smoothly. So, yes, the highlight of the first two days was that I was able to swipe in/out and didn’t get trapped in a parking garage. It was all downhill from there.

Getting my computer access to programs vital to my work was nothing short of a nightmare. I spent an obscene amount of time on hold with IT. When you work for a large university and you are on a first name basis with the IT guys, you know you have problems. Ed and Adam are my new besties. Ed got to the point where he would answer my call and say “hey girl!,” his smile evident in his voice. Fortunately the major computer issues were solved on Wednesday. I missed my besties after that.

My new job is incredibly busy. Since I am the only genetic specialist in my very large department/division, my phone rings constantly. I have a lot of patient calls to make and also patients to see in my office. There were several snafu’s this week, complicated problems that were dropped in my lap because of misinformation or poor scheduling practices in the department. I am proud to say that 1) I handled them and 2) I handled them with grace. Mostly. I came home exhausted every night and fell into bed in a useless heap but I made it through. I survived. Things will get better. Things will settle. I am meeting with my office manager next week. There is much education and organization to be done but I am up for the challenge.

In other news, we have seen a ridiculous amount of rain this week. I have also been besties with my umbrella.

We have also been dealing with the sickies this week at home. My younger daughter has had a bad allergy flare up. So we switched from maintenance medication protocol to all-hands-on-deck medication protocol in a war against the mucus. My older daughter had some kind of virus that resulted in two days of fever and general yuckiness. By week’s end, both were feeling better. Add Walgreens to my list of besties.

I still turned words, stories, plots, characters, etc. in my head during my commute time (which was really the only quiet time I had all week). But sadly, I got no actual words to paper or computer screen this week. I was just too exhausted. While this makes me sad, I am trying not to feel hopeless. My challenge is to figure out how to make it work, how to carve out the time, how to find the balance. I mentioned I love challenges, right?

We have a busy weekend ahead so it’s time for me to get to it. Have a great weekend and upcoming week, everyone!

I’ll take my chances with the rain



I can’t believe I forgot my umbrella. Rookie mistake. Damn Florida and its daily cloudbursts.

As the trickle turned into a downpour, I frantically searched for shelter. I ducked into the first storefront that I saw with an “open” sign. A bell jingled above me as I closed the door, shutting out the rain. I assessed the damage. I was pretty soaked, my clothes dripping on the scuffed, wooden floor. My hair was a matted mess.

Damn Florida.

As my eyes adjusted to the store’s dim lighting, I realized that I was surrounded by clutter. Very old and dusty clutter. I was assaulted by the smell of dirt and mildew. I had somehow wound up in a place that time forgot. I was in an antique shop.

“It won’t last long.” I turned toward the voice to see a tiny, fragile woman. She was ancient, as old as many of the items strewn about the shop. “The rain, I mean. It won’t last long. It does this every afternoon.”

“Right. Every afternoon.” I knew that because I was a local, I was not a tourist. Yet, there I was soaked without an umbrella.

“Take a look around, dear, while you’re waiting. We have many treasures here.” She shuffled back around behind the counter and went back to her duties.

The floor creaked as I moved toward the nearest stack of clutter. Furniture, mirrors, knick knacks, portraits, records. It was a motley collection of junk. I noticed a hand-carved music box perched precariously on a shelf. I reached out for it and felt a cold burst of air that sent a chill through my body. My arm covered in goosebumps and my hair stood on end. I was hit with a feeling of extreme sadness, it crashed through me like a wave. I froze, unable to think or move. The energy pulsated through me – despair, fear, loneliness, depression. It was so strong that it caused me physical pain. I drew my hand back and tried to make my legs move. Get away, get away, get away.

I turned back toward the door and then I felt it. The sadness faded and was replaced by adrenaline. My chest felt tight and my stomach churned. I felt sick. I could feel a presence and it was full of anger, hatred. Evil. Vile. I could feel it around me, moving. Every thread in my body was screaming to leave. Leave now.

I lunged for the door and threw myself back outside, slamming the door behind me. Relief washed over me as I smelled the fresh air. Still shaken, I pushed away from the storefront and walked on, eager to put distance between me and whatever was in that shop. I did not look back, too scared of what I might see.

I’ll take my chances with the rain.

Daily Post: Sudden Downpour

Author’s note: I had a similar experience with an antique shop many years ago (minus the rainstorm). There was an evil presence there, I’m sure of it. I have never felt anything like it. As a result, I find antique shops creepy and I generally avoid them.


Image by South Granville (flickr) – license