Monday, September 29, 2008

Friend and Co-Worker's Son Passes

I would appreciate it if you could all pray for a friend of mine. Carolyn is a woman I work with who is also my good friend. She called me this morning at 7:30 a.m. to tell me they had just found her son dead. Her husband has a very serious heart problem and this was their youngest child and only son. Obviously, she is upset over her son but I know she is terrified of her husband going into cardiac arrest.

Jeremy was 28 or 29, just my oldest son's age. They do not know what happened. His wife tried to wake him for work and he was cold and blue. They have one child and she has two from before the marriage. He'd been taking Loritabs for a back problem and was to have back surgery but the coroner said it could have been his heart. They won't know until they do an autopsy.

This is so said. This boy had Attention Deficit Disorder and learning problems in school and had worked at a restaurant for years. This last year he landed a really good job where they really liked him and were giving him extensive training for the job. He was doing really well. His mother was so proud of him. Please keep them in your prayers this week.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Social

I'm about to go to church but decided to check out some of your blogs and leave a note. My aunt and uncle came up for a visit late yesterday afternoon. They were visiting Branson, Missouri with friends and since I am kind of on the way home to Atlanta, Georgia for them, they came in for the weekend.

They only get to come up about once a year but I don't know how much longer. They are in their 70's and in really good health but my uncle's back is really bothering him this morning. He has a back case of sciatica this morning and can't go with us. I hardly ever have a way or the money to go there. It also gives them time to see Sarah, their great niece.

The weather is lovely here. The nights are in the 50's and the days in the 80's but we've actually had a breeze so it hasn't been too hot.

They always stay in a hotel because I don't have any extra beds. I hate it but it means I spend less time cleaning and more visiting with them. This is my mother's sister and she lived at home with us until I was 9 years old. She was like a big sister and after I grew up, she was more like a mother to me. They are really wonderful people and I am always so happy when I get to see them.

Well, I an off for the morning. I will check in as time permits. They will be here through Monday and I took Monday off to spend with them. Everyone have a great weekend remaining and a wonder start to you week.

I know, Alice, it is time for more Mist. I'm working on it but I've been stalled for a few days.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Welcome Wagon

I've added a new contact this past week. Please run over and welcome my youngest sister, Roselynn.

Link

She has begun to set up her page. I don't know how much I'll hear from her but looks like she's making a start. Might take her a bit. She is a foster mom, who this past year when I visited in May had five foster children, a son in Iraq and a daughter in high-school. So, I'd say busy is her name. She is married to the my most favorite person and most wonderful brother-in-law in the whole world. Everyone should have one like him.

I'm glad you joined me, Roselynn!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

More Answered Prayers

I suppose since I share lots of bad news around here that I should share some good news once in awhile. Let me first thank all of you who have prayed for us. This has been a difficult week of ups and downs.

Mike's girl friend found today that she is not pregnant. I think they were as relieved as I am.

Mike got a job. Please, please, please keep Mike in your prayers about this job. He has such a hard time keeping one. Either they don't like him (he doesn't read social ques very well and unwittingly makes comments that come off as annoying) or he can't do the work because of one of the disabilities he has (poor comprehension, deaf in one ear, visual and auditory learner). This is a dispatch job with a transportation company and I think he can do it if the hearing doesn't interfere too much. He's deaf in his left ear only so I am praying that it won't present a problem. Just pray that God will help him learn and do what the job requires.

He is supposed to get an apartment in about a month so this income will help him getting set up. I am hoping it will be a turning point for him. He needs a job for many reason, not just survival. He needs some successes for a change. His whole life has been a series of failures and it has been so difficult to watch the bright, sunny, energetic little boy everyone adored develop into a frustrated young man who feels like it was a mistake to be born. I've run out of options and solutions with Mike. If this doesn't work, I don't know what will happen to him.

I do believe these are answered prayers. I don't think any of it is an accident. I have only one hope and that is in the Lord. Despite disappointments and heartache, amidst storms and sieges, buffeted by winds of confusion and fear there is only one who shelters me and holds me close until the storm is past and the clouds are gone. I tell you truthfully, this week I have turned my face into His chest and let Him shelter me.

I'm going to bed, folks. I'm exhausted and weary.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wednesday Laugh Line - Las Vegas Churches

O.k., I think we all need a good laugh. I've decided to call it my Wednesday Laugh Line to get us through the end of the week.


This may come as a surprise to those not living in Las Vegas, but it is a very spiritual city, with more Catholic churches than casinos!

Not surprisingly, some worshipers at Sunday services will give casino chips rather than cash when the donation tray is passed.

Since they get chips from many different casinos, the churches have devised a method of turning the chips into cash.

They send all their collected chips to a nearby Franciscan monastery, where the patient and detail-oriented men sort and count the chips. The chips are then taken to the casinos
of origin and cashed in.

This is done by the chip monks.

You didn't even see it coming, did you?




Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Where Can I Buy an Umbrella?

I'm serious. I need one. Better yet, how about an ark?

I found out last night that my oldest son's girl friend is pregnant. Under normal conditions I might be happy, not thrilled, but happy with the news. I do not live under normal conditions.

This girl is 22 and has a 5 year old, a 3 year old, and an 18 month old. She is basically homeless, living in her brother's house, sharing a bed with her mother and two children. She has no place to go. She does have a job but how long do you think she will be able to work? I suspect the brother will boot her when he hears she is pregnant. My understand is the family is angry because she divorced her husband, who just happened to leave her with three children and is not paying child support. My son is stupid and unemployed. He is the one with learning disabilities and so perhaps bad judgment is a better choice of words. At any rate, I can't move these people into my house, even if I had room.

You know, I don't know what to say here. I'm just really frustrated and angry with Mike. We have taught both these boys how to behave and they have loved doing everything we said was wrong. If they were the ones who had to deal with the messes, it might not be so bad but they simply leave the mess for us to deal with, just like they did at children. No, as children, I'd have beat the crap out of them if they didn't clean up their messes. Perhaps spanking are the cause of all this?

Admittedly, they both had choices and chose badly. Unfortunately, even the innocent are punished by the bad choices of others. I've told Mike he has to take care of this girl if she can't work, and her kids. He is not dealing well with this whole thing. I don't think this girl realized that he has emotional and mental disabilities but I don't know how she could not. Some people want to be loved so badly, they'll take anything they can get and often this is the results.

Anyway, Mike has an interview this morning at a Speedy Lube. He can do this kind of work. I am asking you faithful friends to once again put this on your prayer list today. He had an apartment picked out and would have been moving next month to his own place. Now, I have no idea what will happen. But he needs this job badly. And he needs help to keep it.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Never On A Monday

You know the song is really Never on a Sunday but seeing as how that was yesterday, I felt the title was more appropriate. And it isn't about kissing either.

I went to the "new" doctor today. Dr. Rupert, pain management specialist. He was very nice. Said we are not going to use the "F" word at all because insurance companies don't like it. I have neuropathic pain. LOL! Fancy word for the gremlin that torments me.

I said, "Well, according to most people fibromyalgia doesn't exist and is all in my head anyway. "

He said, "Exactly. So my diagnosis is neuropathic pain."

He is prescribing Lyrica. I am so afraid of new medications. Everyone of them have such awful side effects that I am just terrified. I tend ot be allergic to a lot of things but never know until I take it. Please say a pray for me in this regard. He said there some people retain water. Hah! Just what I need. . . more weight!

I got my computer fixed and I think it is running ok now. Still lots of stuff to load but I can do that a little at a time.

I am re-reading a book that I read a long time ago. I think I want to do a review on it when I am done. I am not sure but I think I am getting more out of it this time than I did then, or at least it is giving me some insights I missed the first time. Anyway, I will try and post a review about it later on. I'm about halfway through.

I wanted to tell you all how much I appreciate all your prayers and words of comfort and encouragement. I am a long way from home and I've come to realize that I value my online friends so much because often, you are the only people I talk to and when things are bad, you rush to bolster me up. You have all filled a need in my life by sharing your lives, even if it is in writing. Thank you so much for making room for me.

Oh, by the way, Jerry got the job. He started on Saturday! He was so happy to be able to go to church on Sunday. Thank you for your good thoughts and prayers. God is so very good and so are you all!

I hope you all have a good week. I will catch you later.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Drive

I got the hard drive in and have spent most of the weekend reloading software, and updating Windows and other programs. This is the most tiring part of the whole thing. So much to reload and all you can really do is sit and wait and reboot and start over on the next one.

Pain has been very bad for a week now, gradually becoming worse each day that came around. Today was no different. I didn't go to church but I slept in and got a shower in hot water. I'd dearly love a sauna or hot tub. I think the hot tub would be best because moist heat is better for this kind of pain. The hot shower helped a bit but I'm still creaky in the legs and the shoulders are just a huge ache. This is nuts, you know. There is no reason for this! I hate it and I don't understand it. I've done nothing to cause it and I think that is what is the most frustrating.

Oh, don't mind me. I'm just tired. I have to go now. I am going to church. I hope you all have a great start to the week.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday Chore

I will be off line after this for most of the day. I am doing the final back up of some files and the replacing the hard drive. It is taking so long because they want me to send this drive back. It occurred to me on Thursday night that I might want to be sure and have all personal stuff wiped from this drive. It is still bootable and it has all my photos and writing and bank information and even passwords. So, I spent Thursday night trying to clear things off.

For those who don't know, just deleting doesn't get rid of anything. It's still out there for someone to find. To totally delete everything, you'd have to reformat with specific command to completely erase the drive or you have to use a program specifically designed for this purpose. Fortunately, Spy Bot Search and Destroy has a feature called Secure Shredder. I used it and it even has a drop down that will allow you to clear out your temp files and cache and cookies. No, that little feature in tools doesn't do it completely either. Lots of stuff is stored on you system after you think it is gone. So, that's what I've been doing and so I'm behind schedule a bit.

Woke up again today to intense pain from my neck to the soles of my feet. I can't really tell you what it is like but here are a couple of analogies. I feel as a board is bolted to my back and that 500 lbs gorrilla is sitting on it or the refrigerator. I can barely move when I first get up and my legs don't want to work. I took a 800 mg muscle relaxant and a Doxepin (an antidepressant used to treat pain) and slept like a rock. I've been up about 20 minutes and the pressure is not as great but there is stiffness in my neck and shoulders and I can't turn my head very well. My lower back is stiff and hurts and my legs just feel as if the muscles are torn, particularly that right one.My feet are very unhappy with my weight, too. When I walk, I totter just like a very old woman. As for my hands, stiff and achy.

I have no idea what is causing this.

Yes, I'm taking all kinds of meds for it.

No, they don't work very well.

I have no idea how one can tolerate this kind of pain. I have days when I feel that the limit my not far off.

I so want to have a day with no pain and I can enjoy the day.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Last Lap

I'm on the last lap before replacing my hard drive. I don't remember if I have mentioned that it has to be replaced. Dell sent me a new one when it was discovered that my current one has a bad place on it that it can't read. Fortunately, I haven't lost any major data that I know of. I've spent the last three days backing up data. I've decided that as soon as I have the cash I am buying a back up hard drive. This copying disk of data to be sure I don't miss something is a pain.

I have to say that tonight, I feel better than I have in a week. Less pain. Tomorrow may be a different tale. The cold seems to make it worse and I have been sleeping with the windows open. It's stupid to use air when it is 60 degrees or less out! Tonight, I'll sleep warmer and close my bedroom window but not the rest of the house.

Anyway, I am going back to the job at hand and if I'm not here for a couple of days, it is because I am replacing that drive.

Tent cities rise across the country - Life- msnbc.com

A few weeks ago I expressed concern over the price of basic needs such as housing, food, and utilities. In case anyone thought I was exaggerating . . . I wasn't.
Link

It isn't over.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Winds of Change? Winds of Destruction?

You know, we are hearing about how a change is coming and that "change" is what the nation needs to get us back on track and make us a great nation.

Well, I gotta tell you, I'm a bit skeptical. Change can be good but I thought we had a good country in 1975. My parents probably thought it was a great country in 1956. My grandparents probably thought it was the best country in the world in 1945. I still think it is a great country. Not because we have no problems but because we have always been able to step back and address the problems and even solve some of them. However, in the last twenty years I've watched us decline in every area that makes this nation great.

We are not just economically bankrupt as a country. We are morally and ethically bankrupt. This was a country found on ethics, moral principles and values. What we are spewing out, like vomit, is a host of unethical, immoral and vulgar creatures who have no qualms about walking over bodies to get where they want to go. Maybe they were always there but in the previous climate, they couldn't succeed. Now, they've spread, like a plague.

We have financial difficulty because government and corporations are blood suckers who want to reap as much financial gain as possible before they bail to an island in the Caribbean or some backwater where they can hide and live off the spoils of their corruption. Or retire on exorbitant government pensions while the electorate struggles to keep the lights on and the pantry filled.

Do I sound negative? I guess I woke up this morning without my special rose-colored glasses.

We have moral problems because the foundation our forefathers built this nation on have been removed and destroyed. Biblical principles are now out of style. The Psalmist ask the question: "If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Psalms 11:3

Here it the full context of this verse. And the answer to the question is provided! Something we seldom hear!

1 In the LORD I put my trust;
How can you say to my soul,
“Flee as a bird to your mountain”?
2 For look! The wicked bend their bow,
They make ready their arrow on the string,
That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart.
3 If the foundations are destroyed,
What can the righteous do?

4 The LORD is in His holy temple,
The LORD’s throne is in heaven;
His eyes behold,
His eyelids test the sons of men.
5 The LORD tests the righteous,
But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.
6 Upon the wicked He will rain coals;
Fire and brimstone and a burning wind
Shall be the portion of their cup.

7 For the LORD is righteous,
He loves righteousness;
His countenance beholds the upright

God don't like ugly either!

I can't stand listening to the news anymore. I can't stand reading the paper. I can't stand hearing the radio. I want to pack and move but it's everywhere! This is the land I was born in. This is the land I have loved with all my heart. This is the land my ancestors chose to come to for the opportunities and freedoms they knew waited here. We have turned it into a wasteland.

We've allowed corrupt government, corrupt executives, and corrupt immigrants to rape and pillage. We've given away our increase to disreputable nations who will stab us in the back at the first opportunity. We give away the finances of our citizens to those who have not worked for it, who aren't even here legally and those who despise us have only to hold out their hand and we fill them to over flowing. They promptly align with any country that despises us. Exactly how long do you think we can continue this before it all comes crashing down? Based on the economic events of the year, I'd say we've almost reached that point.

There is no economic plan, no war strategy, no political change, no politician who can fix all the problems. If you believe this, you are living under a delusion. Humanity cannot help itself. We prove it every morning the sun rises. If you believe in long earth creation, we've had more than 10,000 years to prove it. If you believe in short earth creation, we've had about 6,000 years. In terms of time, pick one, you've had long enough to learn the lessons needed to make this planet a better place. But you haven't. No one has.

We have made it a cesspool in many places, a growing cesspool. Nearly every major nation on earth is at war, taking war-like actions, or contemplating provoking a war. Look at the map if you don't believe me.

This is getting very negative and if you are a person who likes to think positively and look at the bright side, this isn't going to be any fun for you at all. There is no bright side in human solutions. I don't care how bright the smile, how silken the words, nor how attractive the mouth they come from, it can't be fixed by any amount of charisma. You can paint an outhouse a pretty color. It is still a dung heap.

There are those who will say, "Oh great, another fanatic." Yes I AM! I am fanatical about wanting to live in a righteous country where right and honor and character are the rule of the day and the law of the land. I am so very tired of this "poor little me", "the world treated me bad and owes me", "the world treated my ancestors bad and owes me", "the world doesn't appreciate me and owes me" crowds. I'm sick of the "I'm special because I'm from MARS" mentality. Book a flight on the next shuttle.

I'm sick of dictators who think it just to sell drugs and get rich while their own people wallow in poverty and who then condemn nations who actually purchase legitimate goods and services from them or will send aid in time of need.

I'm sick of arrogant politicians who spout lies as truth and false promises and then, put their own agendas into action once elected and who do not believe they are accountable to anyone for their actions. I'm sick of ignorant liberals who criticize anyone who prays or believes is justice and honor. I'm sick of conservatives who don't practice what they preach.

There is no cure on the planet for what is wrong with us.

It is hopeless if we rely on people. It is sort of like Alice says about guns. "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." Hello.....! People caused the problems. It is not our nature to fix anything. We are destructive by nature. Everything we touch we change the natural state of that thing. That is destructive by nature.

What kind of change is coming? Who will we follow? What do we stand for? We fall for anything. We follow the brightest star, until crash into it and burn to a crisp. We will go down screaming that we were right, despite the devouring flames.

The world was given answers long ago. We rejected them. All of history has pointed to this hour. I don't believe all religions are right. But I do believe all roads have lead to this place. All events have acted to create this time. People had options at any point in history to change the course of events, to build different roads, to construct right governments. But humanity is by nature self-serving. Me first! Those who truly do want to make a difference are trampled on the roads by the masses who do not care.

And yet, hope springs eternal in the hearts of believers. Always there is hope that someone will come who will bring peace, safety, honor, integrity, hope. Someone who will heal the nations and bring prosperity to the lands. Always human hearts seek rest from fear and chaos, from war and death. The eyes of the heart are always searching and their voices constantly whisper for someone to come who will shake the very foundations of the earth and restore order to the madness we have created. Evil lives and walks the highways and byways while we cower beneath our bed to see if a champion will arise and rescue us.

But will we recognize him? What qualities will we look for? What rule shall we measure him by? Will he look like us? Will he think like us? Will we seek one who is human, just like us?

Just like us? I hope not.

Another writer said this, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" 2 Chronicles 7:14

If an entire planet acted on this one verse, what would happen? If half the planet acted, what would happen?

We may never know. I can promise you that the winds of change are blowing. Change is coming. I can't promise you what kind.

So, how will the story end? Depends on which way the wind is blowing. But there is a clue.

19 “But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, and worship them,
20
then I will uproot them from My land which I have given them; and this house which I have sanctified for My name I will cast out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
21 “And as for this house, which is exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and this house?’
22 Then they will answer, ‘Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this calamity on them.’” 2 Chronicles 7:19-21

~The End~


Monday, September 15, 2008

Calling All Prayer Partners

I am asking that every one of you who pray or who know someone who does to pray for my husband to get a job this week. He interviewed this morning with the Dollar Store down the street from our house. He has applied there numerous times and never gets hired. They tend to hire women and people with very little education. Sorry, but it is true. He talked half an hour with the manager she said she would let him know something soon. Maybe today. This would be perfect since on a nice day he could walk there in 10 minutes (if I can get him to walk!). No car expense! It would be less pay so that would be a help.

However, if this job doesn't happen, then he needs something else. So, please be in prayer for Jerry this week. Physically, he can't do a lot of hard labor but God knows what he can do.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Little Bit More

Alice will be thrilled to know that the next chapter of Mist is posted. Actually, had it written but for a few paragraphs tonight. My brain fog has been so bad lately and I can't really focus very well.

I've started doing some research on the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). I have a book called Natural Medicine that has a chapter on major illnesses and disorders. It talks about causes, clinical studies and treatments. Today I looked over at it and something said, see what is says about them. So, I did. I found today that both these disorders may stem from something called Chronic Candidiasis Syndrome (CCS). This is yeast overgrowth in the intestines. There is a 2 page check list of indicators with points assigned. I haven't actually taken it yet but just a quick glance tells me I may have discovered something important. The primary cause could be long treatments of antibiotics. I had a two courses of antibiotic treatment about 9 years ago for H. pylori bacteria. My problem began within a couple of years of that. There were other indicators and a lot of the symptoms I have were listed. I need to read it more carefully but lately reading is even a chore. I am so tired I can't think.

My praying friends, say a prayer for me. I feel like I could sleep for weeks.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Impending Chaos

I am not sure if I'll be on in a few days. We have to make some serious decisions this weekend. My husband got laid off today and that is going to cause an income loss of $800 a month. Not sure what I am going to have to shut off. Maybe cable, internet and phone.

Anyway, say a prayer for us please. He is going job hunting next week. He should be able to draw unemployment for a bit so it won't be really bad for a couple of months if he can do that.

Gotta run. I am starved and tired.

Storm Siege

Galveston, Texas is readying for Ike's landfall. As a former Gulf coast resident for over 20 years, I can tell you that hurricanes are no laughing matter. To think you can party while the wind blows it stupidity. And to think a last minute evacuation is possible, well, New Orleans proved that point.

However, Galveston seems to understands in a way very few Gulf cities can. They've been there and back. Unlike New Orleans, they know the meaning of the Boy Scout motto "Be Prepared" and it sounds like they don't expect anyone else to do it for them. They aren't waiting for the Federal Government to tell them what to do or to fish them out of the Gulf after it is over.

Way to go, Galveston! I suspect they will weather the storm far better than New Orleans, both in terms of survival and revival, should that be necessary.

Pray for the Gulf Coast region during these storms. The potential destruction in terms of property and people is unthinkable.

Link Read about Galveston, TX here.

Monday, September 8, 2008

What To Wear to the Interview

Probably this is directed more to women but I may be able to offer a few techniques to the guys.

So, what do you wear to an interview? Obviously, we've covered the worst scenario in a previous post, all in good fun but all too true. So, now, if I were interviewing what would I be looking at. Remember, the interview is about YOU. The interviewer will see what you wear but what he or she should remember is you, not your clothes. Unless they are atrocious. If the clothes yell louder than you talk, well, keep submitting those resumes. That doesn't mean be colorless. It means be tasteful. They call if professional dress. Watch the lawyer shows. They know how to do it.

Size doesn't matter when it comes to looking good. Everyone has a good feature. Find it. Flaunt it tastefully. Big women can look well dressed and attractive. I know. I come from a long line of BBW's who knew how to dress, even on a budget. Avoid anything with bold prints all over the body. You will look like a walking sofa. My feeling is that big women look best in straight vertical styles with minimal prints. Knee length skirts keep you from looking like a blimp. Find good shoes.

Clean lines. Ruffles are fine in teensy portions, say at a cuff. Understated is the key. This is particularly true if you are a size large.

If you have a tailored suit and a pretty blouse, I'd say wear it. If you like color, that's fine too, but stick with solids or vertical strips in small quantities. Pair strips with a solid so they aren't over powering. Red is actually known to be a power color but don't overdo it. A red dress, if you're slender might be fine but maybe not if you are an 20+.

A red blazer with navy skirt or slacks is great and a better choice if the fit is good. Put a pretty white blouse underneath and a gold pin on the lapel. If you aren't into red, find the color that is appropriate with your coloring. There are sites that can teach you about what colors will suit you best. I tend to look best in rich or dark colors like teal, navy, emerald, burgundy. I call them jewel tones. Black is also a good color on me. But it might not suit everyone. Some people appear washed out with dark or heavy colors. Pastels would probably be their best choice.

If you are into scarfs, find a book that gives you examples that suit your look and teach you how to drape or tie them. Thick necks might not do scarves well.

If you favor slacks, find a pair that FIT. This means they don't conform to your cellulite bumps. They fall cleanly from the waist and hip. They don't hug the buttocks either. We all know you have them but over time, those things are gonna do ugly things. Slacks that don't fit well will wear in the places that rub the most. Avoid what we all called pedal pushers when I was a girl but they are now called Capris. Those are for beach wear or biking (pedal pushers... get it) or mall crawling.

Heels are o.k. within reason but not stilts. No more than 2 inches. Makes the leg look nice but you won't totter and your feet won't kill you for a bit. For daily office work, (sigh) stick with the less than 2 inch policy. Every time I wear higher, my feet hurt by night and the next day, too. I love heels. My feet just don't love them anymore.

Knee length dresses or skirts. No one wants to see your stuff when you sit down. That's the nicest way I can say it. Save it for the pole dancing job.

Basic hosiery. I only say this because you don't want a distraction. You can save the pretty patterned ones for after you get the job.

Simple jewelry. Note the lapel pin above. If you opt for necklaces... stick to simple and one. A single strand of pearls look great with a tailored look. Faux works if you aren't lucky enough to have the real ones.

If you wear makeup, keep it light. You don't know what kind of lighting you will be seen in during the interview. Lights can be cruel to older women and if you use the wrong makeup for the lighting, you will end up looking hideous no matter what your age. Check you makeup in several lights but again, go for as natural a look as possible while still doing what makeup was designed to do-- make flaws look natural.

I don't actually know what to tell you about hair. I have waist-length, straight hair. I can do curls up high, a chignon, a french braid with a bun at the base or a low ponytail, a lover's knot on the crown of my head or 60's flower child. For office work, I've always favored one of the up do's so it isn't in my way. With my hands bothering me, the pony tail has become pretty favored. My office is a bit laid back so most of the women often wear casual slacks or capris. I often wear more casual clothes. But not for the interview. For that, I put my hair up, usually with the curls or in the fancy bun.

If you tend to be frizzy, go somewhere and get it fixed. If you get the job it will be worth it. Over dyed hair is ugly. Sorry. You've abused it and it lacks shine and body. Find a hairdresser to fix it.

To really impress, find a hair stylist that can help you find the look that suits your face! Just because you like it doesn't mean it suits the shape of your face. There are books and websites that can teach you about facial shapes and the types of hair styles that will flatter you. Take the time to research it. It is why I can wear severe buns and a french braid.

Color is a matter of choice. I've not become so gray that I care to bother with it at this point. I may never care. When I do, I'll have to decide on how to handle it. I am a boring brown with a lot of gray now but at one time I had a lot red and gold and blond highlights, so much so that I could be called blond. Those red, gold and blond strands are now all gray. {sigh}

Finally, hygiene. Take a good bath. Brush your teeth. Get them cleaned if you can and if not, use baking soda for several weeks. It works and if you keep using it, a professional cleaning may never be needed. Seriously.

Go easy on the cologne. Some people are allergic. Be a shame to cause the interviewer to go into an allergic reaction. Doubt you'd get the job. If you bathe in a good soap you probably won't need a lot of other stuff. I love perfume and showering myself in it. Restrain yourself. I am serious about the allergies. I once got a new doctor and they sent me a letter before my appointment telling me that she was allergic to some colognes and to please not wear them to my appointment. I didn't.

One thing we can't forget is BODY LANGUAGE. Focus on your posture. Practice in front of a mirror. Do not slump if you can help it. Chin up, shoulders back, stomach tucked, and don't lock your knees. Stand against a wall until you are sure you can stand straight. Eyes ahead and walk in a natural pace. This is why good shoes are important. Unless you have a physical disability that hinders your walk, you need to stand straight and walk straight.

During the interview, you're likely to be seated. Sit straight. Don't lounge. Do not cross your arms. It is a closed posture and indicates a lack of openness. You don't want to convey that message. If the chair has arms, put your arms on it in a relaxed manner. If it doesn't, lightly clasp you hands in your lap. If you can find another way to leave the arms uncrossed that looks natural, that is best.

Don't clench your fist. Don't pick your face, nose, mouth or hair. If you must cross your legs, be sure you remain erect in your chair. It is easy to slip down when the legs are crossed. It isn't flattering at times either. It is better to cross your legs at the ankles than at the knees. Better for you and a more positive (open) posture.

There are things you can read to tell you about positive body language. I would encourage you to review some of these also. Sometimes we just can't figure out why we didn't get the job when we had all the required skills. Presentation is everything, whether you are baking a cake or making a bed or interviewing for a job. Take time to do your homework.

So, have I missed anything? You will have to tell me.

Please remember these are just my observations. I've hired for support staff. I've sat on hiring boards with my current employer. So, I have some idea of what I am telling you.

If you are a woman being interviewed by a man, you are supposed to extend your hand first to shake hands. If you are a male interviewed by a woman, the woman extends her hand first. Male to male handshake, don't ever remember hearing who goes first.

Oh, remember to smile.



Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Time is Drawing Near

Once again the National Novel Writing Month is creeping up on me. Last year was a wonderful experience and my second year participating. I'd like for this year to go as well but at the moment, I just don't know how that will happen.

I am struggling with this fibro brain fog and exhaustion. I never seem to get enough rest. The simplest tasks seem beyond me. I got tired just sweeping the floor today!

I so want to do the writing contest again this year. But aside from the physical problems I'm having, I also have not got one clue. I don't know when I began planning last year but I believe that helped me succeed. I need to get busy with it. Only, I can't seem to get beyond the thinking stage.

Still, I drifted over to the website today and spent the day, off and on, cruising in the forums to see who was posting what. I think the feeling that you have all this company doing this with you, some who will fail and some who will succeed, makes it easier. My first year I rode it out alone but last year, several writing buddies kept me on my toes.

So, if you are up for the challenge, I am extending my invitation to join me on NaNoWriMo. I am known as Dixiegirl. I'd love to have you for a buddy.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Blue Beauty

I am often amazed by the beauty of design and the awesomeness of creation. Nowhere has life ever been found to exist but in the sheltering womb of our planet. No place that I have seen in all the photos of the universe and stars, as wondrous and beautiful as they are, is as beautiful as our planet from space. Our mother is a beautiful lady.

This link was sent to me today by my Dad. He often sends me interesting things in my email. Sit back and watch the show.
Link


Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Last Day of My LIfe

It was Christmastime and Mama wanted to go shopping. We got in the car and headed out for the stores. I always loved the time I spent with Mama. We could always find something to talk about or something to laugh about together. I remember that it was a typical south Alabama holiday season - cool and sunny. The day was made of crystal.

I can’t remember all the places we went, maybe Penny’s or Sears. I don’t remember exactly what we bought. I just remember the sun shining and the laughter we shared. No doubt she bought presents for everyone she could afford.

I still have a beautiful scarf she bought me that Christmas and an Avon perfume bottle with perfume still in it. I also have the perfume bottle I bought her that Christmas with perfume still in it. The perfume no longer smells sweet. The memories are bittersweet.

One moment is graven into my memory, as if it happened moments ago. We were traveling along River Falls Street on our way to the mall. Traffic was heavy that day for a town of 10,000. Everyone was trying to get their last minute shopping done. We came to a stand still where the railroad tracks crossed the road and ran beside the Alatex shirt factory. At just that point, the road dips down in a small steep hill, maybe three or four feet in elevation. A train track was positioned at the top of the hill and one at the base of it. We were stopped on the bottom tracks waiting for someone ahead to move along. I had never seen a train on those tracks and had no idea why they were still there.

Mama looked both ways and said, “I sure hope a train doesn’t come along while we're here.”

“Mama,” I said in the wisdom of all 17-year-olds, “they don’t use this track anymore.”

The words had hardly left my mouth when to our left we heard a train whistle blow. Mama and I looked down the tracks and then at each other and broke into loud laughter. The traffic moved forward, I moved off the tracks and we continued our shopping day. Nearly 10 years later I would live in a house a block away and within 10 feet of the same tracks with my son. Still later Daddy would die in the same house.

I remember very little else of that day except a brief excursion into a tiny novelty shop just beyond that track. I don’t know why I remember that one scene. Unless it is because it was the last day I can remember that we spent alone together and laughed. It was mid-December 1973. She died January 2, 1974. I have tried to remember other things about that time but I can only remember the dreams I had been several having for weeks before of Mama dying. I wrote them down in letters to my boyfriend.

On Christmas Eve my aunt and uncle and their two sons had arrived from Texas and we opened presents. I watched Mama twirling around in the hall doorway, a smile on her face, showing off the new robe my Aunt Phillis had bought for her. She looked so pretty and she smiled and said the last words I'd ever hear her say, “If Elaine and Earl were here I could die happy.” Moments later she sat down and had a stroke. She never spoke to me or laughed with me again. I remember screaming when the world, as I knew it, ended.

We buried her January 4th. January was so cold. I was alone. I don't remember anything after that. Oh, I miss her so much.



Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Celebrations

Monday was Labor Day and we had our church picnic but the weather was so hot we couldn't really enjoy it. We stayed until about 3 p.m. and came home.

Yesterday was Sarah's second birthday. She celebrated with her whole family. Both sets of grandparents, both uncles, her great aunt, two friends of her mom, and six other children. We set up three small pools and allowed the children to play in the water while we got the food set up. Sandwiches, chips, sodas all around. Mostly, the adults ate! The kids nibbled.

The cake was a Disney theme - three princesses and one had a skirt that lights up. Very pretty cake. Everyone sang happy birthday and then Sarah opened her presents. For her birthday I bought her some Clifford learn-to-read books. She got a baby boll that sings I'm a Little Teapot and another that she can sit in the bathtub with and bathe. She is a very good little mommy to her baby dolls and stuffed animals. She kisses and hugs everyone when she gets here and tells them they are sweet babies. It is so cute. She got another book from a friend of her mom that has an angel necklace in the cover for when she is a really big girl. She is really growing fast and talking up a storm. You can understand nearly every word she says! Today, she put on a shirt that she got for her birthday and told us it was pink. It is. Now that she knows her alphabet, she is also learning to recognize and read words.

It was a nice little get together and everyone said they had a nice time. I hope to have a copy of photos soon to show you all. I am exhausted and I go back to work on Thursday. Thankfully, it is a short week! I hope you have all had a good one.




Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Twenty-two Things NOT to Wear to an Interview

Here is my list of things not to wear for an interview, regardless of what you will wear to do the job. I once worked as an office manager and twice I had to hire an assistant. When I tell you these are no-no's, believe me they are. The office I worked in had 8 males in it. The best compliment they ever gave me was I had hired some of the best office assistance they'd ever had.

So, if you're looking for a job, search this list for possible glitches. I promise, it won't hurt.

These are the first 21 Interview NO-NO's.

1. Open toed shoes, particularly if you don’t scrub your toes. UGH! Best to wear a nice low heeled pump.

2. Sneakers, track, running, or walking shoes.

3. Spandex. I don’t care how good your figure is, you look cheap and tacky. So help me, I had a woman come for an interview in spandex top and pants. She was apple shaped. I wrote her off before she got into the building.

4. Large Floral prints or huge quantities of floras (particularly if it is spandex). This should be obvious. You aren’t a sofa. The spandex on the woman in #3 was floral.

5. Ruffles and bows. This too should be obvious. You aren’t a gift either.

6. Mixed patterns. Plaids and stripes are nice but not together and not unless paired with a solid.

7. Peek-a-boo blouses. Sheer fabric is not appropriate for daywear, I don’t care how hot it is. If you’re applying for a stripper job, maybe.

8. Tight fitting knits that show every crease. Even skinny people have creases or bony protuberances.

9. A dress with a split to your thigh. Ditch the split until Saturday night. YOU may think that the interviewer will dig your pretty legs or think you’re sexy. A woman interviewer will not. A male may not want a vamp since his wife or girlfriend may drop into the office on occasion.

10. Shorts, regardless of how dressy they are.

11. Pancake. Those of you in theater know what this is. Understated makeup makes you look real. When it is over-done, you look tired and old. Let me just say that Cleopatra is dead and you aren’t a clown. Tar around the eyes is not attractive and plaster on the face isn’t either. Go for a natural look.

12. Unbrushed teeth. PLEASE look in the mirror! If they have never had a professional cleaning, get thee to a dentist. If you can’t afford that, get a box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda and start using it twice at day to brush your teeth. It will eventually whiten them and it is good for your gums.

13. Too much jewelry. That tacky thing is easy to do. A ring on every finger is not attractive. Nor is five rings on one finger. Twelve necklaces aren’t either. Earrings that hang to your shoulder are not pretty. The long earlobes and gaping holes that they have caused are truly ugly. Lose the clanking bracelets. Less is more is the rule to follow.

14. Stiletto heals. Give me a break. They are not looking for liabilities.

15. Nothing purple, particularly if you are a BBW or BBM.

16. Goth. Yes, I’ve heard it is cool. . . from 16 year-olds. You’re over 21. Get over it.

17. Tattoos. No everyone is turned on by Tats and great art is best view on a wall. If you must get them, heaven forbid, please be discreet. Cover them for interviews and work. I know several professionals who have tattoos, but not because I saw them. The naked dancer on your forearm should be shared with your most intimate friends only. That pretty rose should be in a bouquet and is gift for getting the job and be in a vase where you can smell it and enjoy your accomplishment.

18. Obviously dyed black hair. See #11.

19. Weird colored lipstick and/or eye shadow. Do people still wear that electric blue eye shadow? Yep. See #11.

20. Ear phones or cell phones. Remove them from your ear, put them away and turn them off.

21. Chewing gum. You’re not a cow. Toss the cud before you enter the building.

22. Cigarettes or chewing tobacco. Neither at least an hour before. Not after you have bathed. Not while wearing your interview clothes. And try to quit. You stink to the vast majority of people, even when you aren't smoking. Besides, it cause wrinkles.

Have you seen the commercial advertising a spot remover? A guy is being interviewed for a job and is unaware of the spot on his shirt. But the spot is screaming to the interviewer so loudly that he can't hear what the guy is saying. This is what any one of these things will do for you. It draws attention away from you. You want your overall appearance to impress, not detract from what you are saying.

So, what do you wear for an interview? Hmmm, I guess that is the next post?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Laundry Recipe

Today, I read Jilly's blog about doing laundry. I enjoyed it immensely because it took me way back. Here is the link if you want to read and travel down memory lane. Link

The funny thing is that on Friday, I got an email from my aunt. It follows.

Never thought of a 'washer' in this light before. what a blessing! 'Washing Clothes Recipe' -- imagine having a recipe for this ! ! !

Years ago an Alabama grandmother gave the new bride the following recipe. This is an exact copy as written and found in an old scrapbook - with spelling errors and all.

WASHING CLOTHES

Build fire in backyard to heat kettle of rain water. Set tubs so smoke wont blow in eyes if wind is pert.. Shave one hole cake of lie soap in boilin' water.

Sort things, make 3 piles
1 pile white,
1 pile colored,
1 pile work britches and rags.
To make starch, stir flour in cool water to smooth, then thin down with boiling water.

Take white things, rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, and boil, then rub colored don't boil just wrench and starch.

Take things out of kettle with broom stick handle, then wrench, and starch.

Hang old rags on fence.

Spread tea towels on grass.

Pore wrench water in flower bed. Scrub porch with hot soapy water. Turn tubs upside down.

Go put on clean dress, smooth hair with hair combs. Brew cup of tea, sit and rock a spell and count your blessings.

================================================
Paste this over your washer and dryer. Next time when you think things are bleak, read it again, kiss that washing machine and dryer, and give thanks. First thing each morning you should run and hug your washer and dryer, also your toilet---
(those two-holers used to get mighty cold!)

For you non-southerners - wrench means rinse.

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