Friday, September 3, 2010

Updates from a Busy Working Woman

My life has been really busy lately. I have been writing for another publication, Associated Content. Posted several new articles out there, mostly recipes, but have a new regular article as well.

I have had some major distractions on my days off from the winery. But after discussions from key people in my life, I think those are finally cleared up.

My biggest challenge is the follow up to the writing. Sometimes it takes a very long time just to complete the articles that it leaves very little time to promote them. Since I have to many different websites that I post in, it's almost impossible to keep all up-to-date.

The second biggest challenge to the writing is trying to expand my audience. With all the different sites I have, I worry that I may bombard my friends and family with the same articles/columns that I write. I can only hope that they all will forgive me and pass on the information to others.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Loss of a Friend

Today my heart is grieving. I lost a friend...the husband of one of my dearest and oldest friends that is...He had COPD for years and they had moved to Arizona for his health. And now my friend is without her love. I don't know what she will do, but her daughter is with her now. The last I heard from Jean was that Lin, her daughter had wanted to move back to Wisconsin...I wonder if Jean will do the same.

Now I must wait to hear from her...I will pray and send my condolences to her and Lin.

This is so very hard for me as many of my friends are older than I, and now another one is gone. I am so very, very sad.

Monday, July 19, 2010

2010 Renaissance Faires: the Middle Ages Comes to Arcata, California

I've been doing a lot of writing lately and soon I will post them all to this blog, but in the meantime, here is my second article for Associated Content. This one is about Renaissance Faires! Hope you enjoy it! 2010 Renaissance Faires: the Middle Ages Comes to Arcata, California

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Learning How To Do Something New

For the last several hours, well, actually since about 3:15pm, I have been working on a project for work. Not very hard, mind you, just time consuming. I set up a blog for the boss and then learned how to set up a slideshow from his various photos. It took much longer than I expected; mostly because I had to remember certain setup details for various programs we have been using.  But, not that I have the basics down, I am happy to announce that I have figured out to create a slideshow within Blogger. So, now that I did it with his blog, I am going to upload one for mine. Take a look to the right!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

First Article Published for Associated Content

I am very happy to announce that my first article has been published for Associated Content. I hope that this will be the first of many! Please take a moment to read my article about Flip Flops here.

Thanks so much for your support and happy reading!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Traveling is a Tough Job

As I sit here and write this, my husband, back from his two-week business trip to Singapore, is downstairs sleeping on the couch. He is still recovering from his travel. Of course he says he doesn't think he has jet lag, but  I would beg to differ.

Why do you ask?

On Monday this week while I got up and went off to work, he slepted in...until 11:00am. Since it was a regular work week for me, I woke up at my usual hour and tried to go to bed around 10:30pmish.

Yesterday morning, he came downstairs and promptly said to me, "I think I overshot time zones. I'm on Eastern Daylight Time instead of Pacific Daylight Time. " Duh? He was awake around 3am yesterday, which would mean he was up with the New Yorkers! Of course that meant I was up with him too. Oh well...

So now, he is sleeping again and I am sure he will sleep off and on thru the holiday weekend. At least we don't have any plans.

Below are some photos from his Singapore business trip. What a tough job!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dog As My Co-Pilot

On the way back from the dentist, I stopped by the Post Office to drop off my mail. On the way out the door I was stopped in my tracks by the funniest thing I've seen in awhile. It was the classic "Dog As My Co-Pilot" moment.

On the front seat of a Silver Jeep, was a blonde Springer Spaniel (or Cocker Spaniel, I couldn't tell which because I didn't want to get too close to the car and upset the fellow). He was sitting patiently in the co-pilot seat waiting for the driver to come out so they could be on their way. It was the funniest dog moment in awhile because he was so alert and had his eyes focusing on the front door of the Post Office. Almost as if to say, "Man, I wished she'd hurry up. I really have so much to do today!"

There was another dog that came up from back seat of the car to look out the front window. I'm sure that one was saying, "Is she back yet? I really want to go!"

The scene really tickled my funny bone.

Below are two of my favorite dog photos from a trip to Pismo Beach, enjoy!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Thanks to technology, I was able to talk to my husband, who is currently in Singapore, twice today. Once this morning, early my time, right after he arrived and then for about three hours this evening. It is so amazing, except for losing the audio and having to resort to instant messaging.

It used to be that you had to have a land line phone for everything, but now we have cell phones, and computers with all sorts of capabilities. However, there are other gadgets such as Ipods, Ipads, Kindle and handheld video games which have turned this world into an instant gratification society.

Don't get me wrong, I like having some instant gratification. However, I could easily do without some of the other gadgets available today. I personally gave up my cellphone (it cost too much for as little as I used it), and I don't own any toys from Apple. (Although I might like that Kindle thing...just not sure if I like the idea of not holding a real book in my hands.)

I do use a computer though, and can appreciate all the wonders it has to offer.

I remember when computers first came out, I worked for Radio Shack at the time. I sold quite a few Tandy 1000's in my day! Now, between my husband and myself, we own several computers, printers, backup hard drives, external disk drives and other various add-ons.

I am grateful for what the computer industry has done, otherwise I would not be able to talk to my husband while he is gone. Probably can live without all the other gizmos (except the DVD player!) Aaah technology...a double edge sword.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Friendly Face at Walmart

This morning, after I dropped off my husband at the airport, I stopped by our local Walmart to pick up a few things I forgot to get. During the checkout process, I met someone who clearly enjoyed his job. What a novel concept!

Now I have heard many stories of the workers at this company who are unhappy about this or that. But, it sure was nice to see someone who actually was having a good time doing what he was doing. This employee, an older gentleman, was friendly, engaging and by all accounts, happy to be there.

"Why is this?", I wondered to myself. Could it be that this was the only job he could find that would hire him, and he was grateful to be there for that reason? Or is it because he was just truly a happy person?

I have to admit that a change in attitude can do wonders for oneself. Instead of feeling sorry about the things that are not going right in one's life, I have found that it is better to think of the things that are actually going right in one's life. I am a happier and more joyful person instead of a big grump. People around me have clearly noticed the change and we are all the better for it.

It was a joy to see this man happy and content in his world, despite the fact that he was probably in a less than attractive job. Maybe, in his mind and as I suspect, it really wasn't all that bad. Maybe, if we all just shifted our thoughts to the things that are going right, the things that are going wrong would just fix themselves.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

2 Guys, a Sign & a Skateboard

While driving around today doing my errands, I saw 2 with a sign and the other on a skateboard. They both struck me as being pretty ingenious. Both were doing something to deal with the economy, each in their own very different ways.

The guy with the sign wasn't standing on the corner begging for money. He was holding up a sign that advertised insurance for one of the nearby agencies. He wasn't just holding it still either. He was spinning it around and moving it back and forth in a dance that he created all my himself. I imagine he was probably listening to some music to help him pass the time and give credence to his moves. It definitely caught my eye, which is exactly what it was suppose to do.

The other guy, went whizzing by the first one, on his skateboard. He was wearing a suit. Well, it was the closest thing to a suit that he had...lightweight blazer and pants that matched. Not something our fathers would wear, but definitely something a younger guy might put on. Probably doesn't make much money right now, hence the reason he was on his skateboard. I wonder if he could afford gas and insurance for his car...not sure if there is even a car. He seemed pretty content riding that skateboard and was moving along at a pretty good clip so he must have been in a hurry. Gotta admit, it certainly was faster than walking or waiting around for the bus.

In my earlier post, I talked about doing whatever it took to make it in this economy. Apparently both guys were doing just that. The one, took a job, holding up a sign on the street corner. The other, found his own mode of transportation that didn't depend on fuel.

I think there is some sort of example being written here. What do you think?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Are There Really No Jobs Available?

While doing research for my columns, I came across dialogue regarding the lack of available jobs. I know that the implosion of the economy caused hundreds of thousands of employees to be laid off. But what I can't understand is that now, almost 2 years after this started, people are not going back to work.

I can't decide if those that are out of work really can't find a job or are they using the fact that they are out of work as a crutch. Maybe everyone is hoping to just find that perfect job. Or, is it really that there are no jobs available. So I did a little recon...

I chose the town I grew up in and decided to look online at various job posting sites. Well guess what? I found numerous jobs postings for all types of jobs. So when I hear that there are no jobs available, I can now assure myself that yes, there are jobs available, because I just found some.

So what is the deal? Are we just waiting to get that ultimate job? Are we hoping to get that job like we had before with basically the same pay? I think we need to be realistic here. My parents had a saying: "living high off the hog". This country spent years living "high off the hog" that I think it forgot how to save and plan for the rainy day. Well it's been "raining" for awhile and I think we need to look at this from a different angle.

When I was younger, I decided that I would work at whatever job I could find just so that I could get some experience and have some money. That philosophy served me well. I gained valuable skills and knowledge that I would not have otherwise had.

Don't get me wrong.  I totally understand that there are many parts of the country that are really suffering and in desperate need of help. If I had an answer for that I would give it. But, I think that we need to lower our expectations and take that slightly lower paying job or whatever comes our way. It certainly is better than not working at all, especially after the unemployment runs out.

So please, if you're not working and can't find anything to do. Take another look at the job postings, because there are jobs available. It may not be what you want, but it's better than not working at all.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Is It Just Being Rude or Being Oblivious?

After mulling this over all day, I just had to write about something that happened to me. Last night, I went out to pick up dinner at the local KFC/Gas Station combo (I'll discuss more about that in the another blog.). Pulling into the parking lot, I grab the last parking spot available and ran in to get our dinner.

Ten minutes later, I came out to my car only to find a bronze color Nissan Frontier truck parked less than six inches from my driver's side. My initial reaction was "How rude!" Not only could I not get into my car (I had to enter in on the passenger side and crawl over the shifter to get into the driver's seat), but I couldn't back out either.

The driver came out while I was crawling into my seat and could clearly see I was having difficulty, but he took his sweet time in rearranging his stuff in the back of his truck before looking up to see my struggle. He yelled something to me for which I couldn't hear but I yelled back telling him I couldn't get out.

He finally decided it would be a good idea to get in his truck and back out. Didn't even apologize or anything. Then took off like a shot without a waive and got onto the ramp heading southbound to who knows where.

When I relayed this incident to my husband after I got home, he said that he didn't think it was so much rudeness as it was being oblivious. This got me thinking about this very subject for most of the night while I was up trying to digest the clearly bad choice in dinner selections.

Now I ask, "Is this just rudeness or a case of being oblivious?"

My conclusion...I believe that we have become encumbered with numerous internal and external distractions that the rules and common courtesies of driving have become lost. So not only do these distractions cause us to be oblivious, but they ultimately lead to rudeness.

What was it that was so important to the man driving the bronze Nissan Frontier truck that he couldn't properly park his car in the parking space next to mine? Was his distraction so great that he couldn't see that his car was so close to mine? Did he not realize that just maybe the driver of the car that he had parked so close to would return to said car before he returned to his truck?

Apparently the answer is No, No and No.

So, now what am I going to do about it? Since I decided to write about it, then I guess the answer to the question is bring this to the attention of everyone. Driving a car is serious business, and distractions such as day-dreaming, talking on the cell-phone, and putting sugar in our coffee cup or whatever else that helps us to not pay attention can cause serious damage.

Luckily, the guy in the truck didn't hit me, but he could have. The way he peeled out of the parking lot and sped up the ramp indicates he was probably in a hurry to get somewhere and distracted by the fact that he was running late.

Distractions are a bad thing when behind the wheel. Let's start paying attention for the sake of everyone out there.

Oh, and by the way, this is a subject that can translate into other areas of life. The next time someone scowls at you and whatever, just ask yourself, "Was I being rude or was I just oblivious?"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Future Happenings

Well, after another week off to visit with our sister, Ann, I am back at it again. I didn't really realize just how much work is involved in freelance writing and self promotion. It has become clearer now as I continue to research the possibilities.

In the coming months, I will be expanding my marketing in addition to my writing. I just hope I can find enough time to keep up with it all. All the different sites take time to wade through and figure out. Just keeping it organized will be a full-time job.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Too Busy To Post!!!

Well, it has been a few weeks since I've last posted, but as usual, I've been a little busy. Starting this new project has kept me up late most nights with just writing. I am still having a hard time just trying to get organized, although I a closer. Last weekend, I finally got my new workspace set up.

My new set up is actually a better situation for Edward and myself. I think he enjoys having the bedroom back for just sleeping.

Although I must admit, I need to work on organizing the rest of the house and the things I need for this project. I have many things half started, but I think I will make great strides this coming weekend! Two whole days off! Hallelujah!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The next step

Now that I have made this decision, the next question I have for myself is "Now what?"

How do I take the next step? I guess I need to make a list of things to do. My head is overwhelmed with all these thoughts so I think that making this list is the best thing. So here goes...

1. Clean my space. I have so much stuff everywhere that I am drowning in it.
2. Take care of the household chores first so I can do this with an easy consciencious.
3. Organize everything so I can find things more easily.
4. Stop playing Farmville. These games are way too addictive. Like Dr. Phil says "Go outside and plant a real farm!"

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Leap of Faith

A wise person once said "You can't change the past, but the future...well, that's still unwritten."

They were right.

When faced with great obstacles, it takes everything you have to get up in the morning. The good news is that when you're at your lowest, the only place to go from there is up.

The bad news is that you have to make it happen yourself. No one else is going to make it happen for you. I learned that a long time ago.

It takes a great leap of faith to make a change in your life. Courage.

It's not going to be easy. You're still going to be faced with obstacles,challenges and sleepless nights; maybe even a bit of sabotage. You'll feel like everyone is against you. You'll have to defend yourself. Or not.

The bottom's your life. Do what you want to do, and what makes you happy.

The wind from one door closing opens another.

Yes, the wind has been blowing a lot through my house lately, but the one door hasn't completely closed. And the other door is open.

I'm taking the leap.

If you would have told me a month ago that I would be writing a column, starting my own blog and pursuing a career as a freelance writer, I would have laughed at you. But that was the past, and today is the first day of my future.

Here's my reality...I have been writing for a long time. I've just never shared it with anyone, until now.

A dear friend of mine told me recently that she was not surprised that I was writing professionally. She knew that I could do it all along.

I guess deep down inside, I did too.

Thanks for believing in me,

Susan's Blog Signature