Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I had a nearly-hour-long conversation with my friend "N" yesterday. 

I hadn't spoken to her in almost a year (I mean in person or on the phone). She had this job. It was a soul-sucking, time-consuming, all-encompassing job. Such that just about every month, she traveled 50% of the time. And when she was in town, she worked 14-hour days.

Which isn't remarkable as such, since so many people do that today - just to keep employed. 

But what she did was remarkable. She quit. She resigned after dealing with an entirely toxic department, a supervisor who shoveled crap on top of her and then chastised her repeatedly for "not performing to expectations" under conditions which can be considered "hostile" to say the least. After giving directions to an assistant who wouldn't do her job, and then being told that she was being given a "job improvement notice" because she couldn't manage. After writing up the assistant and the assistant complaining to HR about her. I just shake my head at that kind of garbage. 

And she did it the right way. She submitted a resignation note, cleaned out her office without fanfare and left. 

It takes guts to do that. She told me about it while I was in the midst of a therapy visit with Tippi, so I had to wait to call her back. And then during our conversation, she said something which made me stop. "You were the first one I thought about. And I knew that, unlike so many people, you wouldn't have tried to talk me out of walking out."

She's right. I have left soul-sucking jobs. I have done the "travel every month" thing, while trying to raise 2 kids. I would have helped her draft her resignation note. 

We discussed what she wanted to do, what her immediate goals were, and yes, we made plans to get together soon. 

I had missed her. We e-mailed; I tried to network to find her a new place; but she was always on a plane. She was unable to sustain friendships, was having trouble with stress, and was missing out on so much of her family life. 

Was quitting the best response? She's lucky enough to be able to do it. And yes, for her, it was the absolute right thing to do. Yes, the economy is still recovering. And yes, she's at the top of her field and will likely not find another job like that. Which may be a good thing. She's being tagged by the corporate world as "too expensive" -- they can hire 25-year-olds for about 1/3 of her salary. 

And she's ok with that. I have been in her shoes and I have been lucky enough to be able to shed a job that wasn't doing me any good. I look forward to seeing N accomplish her goals: to be a present parent; to concentrate on HERSELF; to learn to knit. Those are things that will matter. Not the job. 

The Turkey...

So I wrote a check for the turkey yesterday. And about had a heart attack -- this bird had better be good!! Three Maples Farm is a lovely spot; we got to pet the horses and cows. This is Lola. She likes peppermint candies and is shy. 

Hubby about had a fit, too, with the price of Mr. Turkey. But we agreed (sort of) to try something more organic. So we shall see. Right now, Mr. Turkey is in the fridge at work. It'll take him 5 days to thaw, so while I'm at work Saturday (we're having our Thanksgiving early, remember), Hubby will come by and get him. If needed, he'll be getting a cool-water thaw. 

Lola will eventually be hamburger. The woman who runs the farm was telling us that she's been involving her kids in the farm. They understand about "raising what you eat" and the concept of attachment. All her animals have names, and all of them, for the most part, end up on a table somewhere. So the next time we go there, it may very well be that Lola's in the freezer. But if you want to make sure your food is not injected with garbage or fed GMO grain, you go to a local farmer. And you ask. 

The dogs, of course, had a sniff-fest when I came home. They recognized "horse" since I have come home smelling like that. But "cow" was entirely different. They loved it. It's a shame I didn't get to pet the goats or the pig... Three Maples also sells hand-made goat's milk soap. That's on my agenda for gifts. Support the local farmer. 

Various papers
The Storms...

The Shorewood Police Department is acting as a collection spot for storm debris blown up north-east by the horrible storms. Here are some pics of what Hubby collected. He and the dogs were written up in the Chicago Tribune. The Facebook pages coordinating the storm damage "let's return their stuff" efforts are very busy, and I'm so glad social media is working for something good instead of "this is what I ate for dinner" trivialities. 

Some storm debris
Imagine, if you will, losing everything. And then potentially having your identity stolen. Seriously - Hubby found checks, bank statements, a car title, school transcripts, an adoption order. This is tremendously sensitive stuff. If you're in the area of the tornado damage and you have found stuff, please pick it up and bring it to the local police department -- you could be saving someone a lot of heartache. Along with the good folks who pitch in to help - there are also scummy people who'd steal an identity in a heartbeat. 

Sorry about the sideways shots. You get the idea...


The sock comes along. I did nothing on the afghan yesterday. It seems like between the turkey and the Tuesdays with Tippi, I was running all day. 

Migraine News...

Well, I'm having a few more migraines. I'm sure it's because "things are changing." My mom said it gets worse just before you stop having them.

On a good note, though, I just read about a "home remedy" for migraines: the self-induced brain-freeze. In the Chicago Trib's "Health" section, there's a column about various medicines/medical issues. This doctor wrote in, saying that he (or she) suffered from migraines and was caught short without the prescription meds.

So his (or her) friend had him sip ice water and then "gobble down" a bowl of chocolate ice cream. The resulting "brain-freeze" stopped the migraine in its tracks. 

Wow... and I bet there was no Rx hangover!! Hubby said, "Well, I guess I go get some chocolate ice cream!" I can get behind that. My health insurance recently switched me to the generic of my migraine Rx. And it works, but the "hangover" is more significant than with the brand-name. But I won't be able to appeal it on that basis. The basic fact is -- the generic works in this instance, so I'm stuck with it. And the day-long "fuzz" I have afterwards. But at least it stops the migraine. 

However, that "chocolate ice cream"'s tempting!

Dr. Who...

Yay!!! I found a YouTube channel that will simulcast the premier of the Dr. Who 50th Anniversary episode. I have to work. I want to see it. In case you're interested, it's going to be simulcast at -- I can't wait. 

I'm a come-lately Whovian. A novice, if you will. My first Doctor was Christopher Eccleston. I've been on a Dr. Who gorge ever since BBC has had their "takeover week" this week. 

I seriously want to knit a Dr. Who scarf. In all the specials, that Doctor said that the director at that time gave "a batch of wool" to a lady and said he wanted a scarf. The woman (I can't remember her name) was given no further direction, so she knit all the wool. That's how that 12-foot scarf came to be. I know - I'm what? 5' 4" if that... a 12-foot scarf knit entirely in garter is crazy-talk. But I want one. What can I say??


I'm done shopping. Sorry - I do a lot online and I am usually early. Well, I have one more thing to get: a chain for Kid #1's girlfriend. I'm giving her an amber charm, and I want to have a chain for it. 

We still have no idea of when we'll actually do the Christmas Eve dinner. It's too early to figure that out yet. I know I'll be doing Midnight Mass and we still have to figure out how to wire my guitar. 

Just about all the online stuff has come in. Hubby teased that he'd "already wrapped" my presents. I will be doing that this weekend; just because once I finish the afghan, I can reclaim my dining room table and we can put up our small tree.

We will probably use the big tree again once our canary goes to Canary Heaven. Right now, his table is in front of the picture window, and our room is small. I have no place to put a big tree - that the dogs won't knock over! I haven't gotten presents for the dogs. I did get Larry the grand-cat a couple of gifts. I figure since I'm baking, it's easy to just bake them some treats, and I wouldn't put those under the tree anyway. 


What's wrong with this picture? First, the Bishop in Springfield, IL holds an "exorcism" for Governor Pat Quinn because Quinn's signing a gay marriage bill. Now, this: a Methodist pastor has 30 days to renounce his own gay children. Renounce. His. Own. Children. Classy, right? Just click on the word "renounce" here and see what he says. I admire his stance. 

Gay marriage is not a threat to society. Just like interracial marriage didn't collapse the whole universe. If you don't like gay marriage, don't marry someone of your own sex. Is that a "simple" answer? Well yeah. Because nobody's forcing you to do that. So don't. 

We need to solve unemployment. We need to solve the poverty gap in our country. We are simultaneously the richest and poorest country in the industrialized world. Shame on us. Education needs help (not reform necessarily and certainly not reform by CORPORATIONS because kids aren't widgets). We need to dismantle the "too big to fail" banks back to their original sizes.

And all you want to carp about is gay marriage? Get a grip.

Also, happy birthday to Vice President Joe Biden!! 

Random Picture...

Shades of Blue by Sonda
Digging back in the picture archives. This is a hank of my friend Sonda's hand-dyed yarn. I made a hat out of this. I still have some left. I will probably do something with it, but I'm not sure what. I did also use some to make a bag for my mala beads, but I have at least 100 yards left. 

Sonda started dying her own yarns and then she got sick. I'm not saying that the two are connected. It was just horrible circumstance that she had a malignant melanoma. And they didn't find it till it reached her brain and her lungs; she died at age 55 and I still have trouble believing she's gone. She was a talented knitter and designer, having patterns in several "One Skein" books published. My knitting friend D and I had purchased this yarn, and we gave full hanks back to Sonda's mom. She's using it to knit shawls for Sonda's nieces for Christmas. I had that yellow - it was a tangled mess, and I took it home and spent a weekend unwinding it. I gave it back to her - and it's where it should be. 

I don't have enough of the blue to make an impact so I'm keeping that. 

Time to dive back into the real world. I need a stretch break. 

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