Friday, November 25, 2011

Thank You Mysterious, Sneaky, Overly Generous Friends and Family!

Some time this afternoon amid the visiting and games, my daughter Ruth told me that they had received a package with instructions to remove any identifiers and give the package to me to open without telling me the source. (!)

The note inside said.,
To Barbara
Love Your Friends and Family
Merry Christmas !!! “

You cannot imagine my stunned surprise to discover a scented candle, bath and body lotion, lovely warm slipper socks, a beautiful soft warm throw, AND an Amazon KINDLE!! as well as a sleeve for the Kindle.

Wow! Oh, Wow!

This is amazing and too much. I know this represents a lot of love, thought and sacrifice (not to mention clever planning) - far more than I deserve or could hope to return – even if I knew who the “culprits” are. I have wonderful friends whom I could suspect. But honestly, although my friends and family are rich in goodness, I don't think any of them are rich enough financially for throwing money around. So I am mystified.  Like I said this represents sacrifice as well as a wonderful amount of caring.

Since I do not know who my bounteous benefactors are, I have to be nice to everyone. (So much for this being the perfect stress reduction kit!)  (After I opened the package, my daughter even took away the box and gave me a plain box just in case there were any clues I might detect)

Excuse me, I need to spend a little time with Mark and I am going to spend a little time getting to know Kindle and I should get some sleep tonight.

Any suggestions for Kindle's name?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Some Like It Hot

All day snacking potluck in my unit today.  Great minds must think alike.  Crackers & cheese, baguettes & dip.  

My (East Indian) super brought some vegetable dish & was trying to persuade me to try some.   I had already heard her & a co-worker discussing it so I knew it was spicy.  She said, "Oh it's not very spicy. You should try a little."  I have learned better than that, partly from our dear Laotian friends at church.  “Oh, it’s not very spicy – only a little”
And then, if you are foolish enough to believe them, you burn.  Shall I say perceptions differ and I don’t go for spicy.   

I stood firm against my supervisor, to her disappointment.  I finally announced that I was the token non-spice person in the unit so that we can have cultural diversity.  (We all know how important cultural diversity is in the workplace and that one must never ever harass someone because they are part of a different group.)  That seemed to stop her. 

Later while she was out, another co-worker stopped at my cube with steam coming out of her ears and told me that I do not want to try it.   : )   oh, surprise

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chain of Thought

There's a lot of complaining going on about the blurred holidays.   Frankly all the complaining bothers me much more than what is happening in the stores.  Frankly, I don't spend that much time in stores.  I think the stores may be a little silly.  I know people who plan/shop/prepare for Christmas all year long - I keep intending to be one of them - without the stimulus of Christmas decor.

Then,too, I am a bit guilty of blurring the holidays myself.  Shortly after Halloween, I start my Thankful Chain.  We have been doing this at home for years.  It is fun to see how far around the (interior) house we can get our chain to run.  We write down things we are thankful for - big or small, "silly" or serious.  But we write them on red, white and green paper links. So they are Christmassy decorations.  And, as my children will attest, I have emotional difficulties taking down the chain.  It has been known to stay up well into the next year until it starts to die a natural death.

This year I have started a chain at work.  My chain at work is actually at this point longer than our chain at home. But then I do spend more of my waking hours there.

Yes, this is my cubicle and you can see one reason I make my minimalist supervisor crazy but she is learning to ignore it or at least not say anything. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

You Go, Girl!

My daughter got a 2 week layoff notice last Friday. Not good news.  Single, homeowner, “mom” to two dogs.
She went to her sister’s house and cried on her shoulder.  She huddled under the blankets and felt sick – she hadn’t been feeling well, anyway.  She had her siblings over for a movie night.  Her sister stayed over with her.  Ok, she felt sorry for herself a little.  On Friday.

Over the weekend she did things that make her happy.  Saturday morning they went to the pumpkin patch with another sister’s family.  Three kids in a pumpkin patch will lift your spirits.  In the afternoon they went to Apple Hill with the guys and me.  Beautiful day.

Sunday she spent some time with friends.

Monday morning was time to get back to work and she hit the ground running.  She is still working her last two weeks at her current job, but she immediately updated her résumé, started making contacts, and checking resources. She has her network on the look-out for her.  By Wednesday she had at least one interview lined up.  

I admire how she is handling this challenge.  A little time feeling bad, some time doing things that make her happy, and then working hard and creatively at job hunting, doing everything she can think of and getting suggestions from others.  

She doesn’t even get irritated with me when I send her far-fetched job opportunities. (I pass on pretty much every job opportunity I hear about no matter what it is to a handful of job seekers in my circle and to employment specialists at my church – you never know).  (at least she doesn’t say so).  

I am impressed by her coping skills and positive fighting spirit, her organization, her hard work.  If I were an employer, I would want to hire someone with that kind of gumption.  (As well as brilliant, keenly observant, fun, detail oriented, responsible, et cetera, et cetera.