Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Various and Sundry

Today's post will be a scattershot of thoughts and ideas. I'm tired, and that's about all I have in me right now. :)

  • Caspian turned 20 this week. Seems impossible. He had a great day though. He had to go to his volunteer job and the people made a "big thing" out of his day, earning him a free juice, some raspberry danishes and even--get this!--a brand new pair of Danner boots. Wow. At home, he had favorite dishes for lunch and dinner, and cake gave way to cheesecake, plus ice cream, of course. His gifts were two games he had requested weeks earlier, plus a new mouse for his laptop. 
  • Next up is Coryn's birthday--on May 1 he will turn 17. Sheeesh. How it will be celebrated I don't yet know, but I am sure it will be fun. Food requests are already coming in. 
  • Nicole currently is employed by three companies, but the first ends tomorrow. It is one of those jobs that went from fantastic to stressful and none of us know what happened. Wish we could get some closure on that one. In the meantime, she is working for a catering company and at a greenhouse on weekends. 
  • This past weekend we sold our beloved Green VW bus . .  not without some tears though. We have another bus that Joseph is fixing up and I am desperately hoping will be ready by the time Maupin rolls around in mid-June. The front of the house sure looks empty without our Avocado Crib. 
  • Work . . . well work is kickin' my ass, honestly. I am, as always, grateful as very few people can earn enough writing from home to raise a family of five, but I've been able to do it for the past 12 years. There have been some pretty tense times in those 12 years, but for the most part, we do pretty well. Of course, we're driving a 18 year old van most of the time and we do our best to deal with health emergencies at home with minimal care, but still--we do okay. 
  • I think it might be important for me to officially state that when I come on here and bitch about my workload and being tired, I am not asking for anyone to DO anything about it. I'm simply venting so I can then relax and go back to the next assignment. A recent comment on my blog inferred that I was setting myself up for failure and behaving irresponsibly . . . which was interesting because I am pretty sure the person making the comment knows little about me and my family situation.  I do believe the person was speaking out of concern for me, which I do appreciate. 
  • Suffice it to say, I would like to cut back and take more time to "stop and smell the roses--which Portland has a ton of!", but I can't. I have a family to raise. They are all getting old enough to contribute and they DO in so many ways. As time goes on and they all end up employed, things will ease up. For now, I am grateful I can earn enough to let them pursue dreams and goals and ideas. THAT is what I work so hard for. Paying the bills is not nearly the motivator giving my children freedom is. 
Back to work. I have birthday cakes to pay for--especially since 54 is coming up in about a week. Maybe I will take the day off!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Just Teasing . . . .

Yesterday was a really fantastic day. Granted, I started it with less than four hours of sleep, but still . ... I got up early, got dressed and Joseph drove Nicole and I to the train station. We got on the train and rode it to Seattle. Once there, we walked to a nearby bus station where we got the chance to connect with Coryn, who was in transit from Port Orchard, Washington to Vancouver, Canada. It was so nice to spend a little time with him. Then, we went to our favorite store in Seattle (because it has aisle after aisle of paper, pens, paper, pencils, paper, cards, paper, postcards, paper, markers, paper, notebooks, and PAPER!) We lingered and then went to the Asian grocery store to pick out fun drinks and snacks.

From there, we walked to this GREAT coffee shop/bakery we had found. Best sandwiches and salads ever. We grabbed seats in front of the huge picture window and ate, drank and wrote letters--and talked, of course. We watched the sunny weather turn gray, then dark, then wind and rain swept through, sending pedestrians into their hoodies and splashing fountain water way out of its boundaries. We just watched from our comfy spots inside.

Then, the weather turned gorgeous again just in time for our walk back to the train station. It was almost like it had been designed for our pleasure all day! We got back, boarded, and had a peaceful ride home, spent reading, writing letters, talking, and looking out the window at a gorgeous sunset, sparkling waterways, mysterious mounds, endless pine groves, and graceful bridges.

Yes, perfect. (Well, except for the heart stopping moment when the phone rang and I heard, "Mrs. Orr, this is the Canadian border patrol and we're calling about your son." No, not a line I ever wanted to hear!!! Coryn had his passport, but apparently, when a minor crosses the border, he is supposed to have a letter from mom and dad saying it's ok. Oops. I reassured her I knew he was there, where he was going and when he was returning. Nope, not a runaway. Thanks.)

But the perfect day made returning to reality awfully hard. I came home to 56 emails. Four of them were to revise what I had written before I left--immediately, of course. Having a free day was like a this really mean tease. It's like that first sunny, warm day in early spring. It stays around long enough to remind you of what you are missing, and then disappears again, making those gray, rainy days so much harder to bear. I am yearning for free time when my work schedule barely allows time to eat and pee.

Sigh.  It's a work teaser.  :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Utterly Overwhelmed

If you are currently unemployed and desperately searching for work, please DO NOT read this post. If you do, you will most likely end up shaking your head at me, and asking me if I want some cheese with my "whine". But, this is my blog and I can bitch if I want to (sung, of course, to "It's My Party and I Can Cry if I Want to.")

My brain is overflowing and I keep thinking I must have brain juice dribbling out of my ears. (Apologies if you are eating as you read this.) I am absolutely astonished at the rate of jobs coming in for me right now. In February, I was offered 26 new assignments, of which I accepted 24. In March,  I was offered 28 and accepted 26. In the first two days of April, I have been given 5 assignments and taken all of them. Since the beginning of the year, I have been hired by 4 new companies. In the last three months, I have had 11 training sessions. Each one a different system, a different project, a different topic. Keeping the details of each one separate is a killer.

Sure, I could say no more often. But I have a family of five here, and two of them are grown boys who like to eat. Nicole currently has two jobs, so is certainly taking care of most of her expenses, but Caspian is busy interning (learning but no pay), and Coryn is just now applying to jobs since he will be 17 soon. So, without any real stability, or health insurance, or regular paychecks, I say yes unless the pay is hideous or the topic is out of my element. I am very proud of the business I have created, but lord, I get tired by the end of each day.

A few statistics for you . . .
In February, I wrote 33 passages and 192 items. I also wrote two PowerPoint courses, and two entire books.
In March, I wrote 30 passages and 185 items. I also wrote two more entire books.

And you wonder why I keep lists?
So if you think I am frazzled, or behind on my letter writing, or hard to get in touch with, or never free to hang out on the weekends . . . . this is why.
I am just . . .. utterly overwhelmed.