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Zoe the Otter, Mascot of the Zumbro Watershed Partnership

I had a lot of places to go today. Primary on the list was to go to the Healthy Soils, Healthy Waters, Healthy Communities (H3) Festival in Mazeppa to learn what was going on and how I might be able to get involved. I learned so much that I have to do another post on this topic later. In short, though, I accomplished what I wanted.

There were two sales I wanted to get to today. The Unitarian Universalist sale had lots of good things, just nothing for me. The sale at the Rochester Senior Center, though…oh, man. Yarn. I got enough of blue and white to warp the double rigid heddle loom with a project, with a healthy selection of other colors. A whole box of the stuff, one of those sizes of boxes that you’d normally see filled with Christmas ornaments in the attic. I bought sets of double-pointed needles. A set of curtains for the bathroom. Not certain what else is in that box. Soon.

I stopped by the public library and the People’s Food Coop in Rochester, and into Wild Ginger in Zumbrota. Lots of fun.

And now it’s time to take the cats out for a run! Laters!

 

 

 

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Oh, this is going to be fun!

 

I think it was during the summer we moved into Oronoco that Van stopped at a garage sale and bought a GT Outpost all terrain bike, with a flat tire. I fixed that flat today and pedaled it around the block. I was thrilled to still remember how, and a little taken back about how fast I seemed to be going. In first gear. I suppose I’ll get used to it again.

Happily the brakes worked and I didn’t fall down since I don’t have a helmet yet. Well, I do…but they are the wrong sort. Middle-aged over-weight women shouldn’t be wearing a steel fighting helmet around town, it makes people worry. And someone will bring it up at the next town meeting I attend.

Once around the block was enough. I’ll slowly build it back up, and learn how to shift gears again while riding, put a water bottle in the holder. Get some good exercise and explore this world – oh, and give Van back the $5 he spent for it.

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Time to do exciting things

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It was a pretty cool day today. I woke up thinking I’d nothing but a stretch of job-board hunting in front of me until this evening’s WordPress Meetup. But there was a picture on FaceBook of an eight harness table loom that was at Savers this morning; I resisted. Sat on my hands, pretended I didn’t see it…then I got a call from someone else who wanted to be sure I knew about it. Well! So I showed Van the picture and said something about how the Fates were making fun of me, and he didn’t help either but told me to go get it. Yeah! That’s three times that the Lady had pointed me at acquiring this new tool.

Someone had their hands on it when I got there.

I complimented him on getting to it first, because after all he had and he won, right? Turns out he didn’t want it and hadn’t woven since college but he had enjoyed it there. We had a nice little gab about weaving and other fiber arts, with me ever-so-casually laying a hand on the loom. Well. Since he didn’t want it, right?

With that fun over, I spent a few minutes trying out everything, moving bits around and checking that the beater was in good shape and the like. And brought it home.

 

I still haven’t been over to the job-boards today. I realized today was the Zumbro River Fiber Arts Guild meeting and I barely had time to get home and out of my workout gear, showered and to meeting. I’m glad I went – the presentation was on hand spindles, and I got to see and touch someone’s brioche knitting so there’s another obsession to be pursued in the future.

Nancy Ellison stopped over to assure me that all the pieces were there for my new loom, and to see Samantha again. Sam was born on her farm. She said to me that one of the blessings of this sort of stint in my life is that I have the freedom and time to do exciting things and to be sure I do that. She’s a wise woman. None of us know how long we will be here. I don’t know if I’m going to like 8 harness weaving, and I’m fairly certain I won’t like warping it. But I can make the best of things; I’m in charge of my own happiness.

 

 

 

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Looking for gatekeepers to informational interviews

OK, I have a very specific need and while some of the responses need to be from hiring managers in the Rochester, MN area, I will happily talk to people in other areas. I’m applying for educational assistance through the Displaced Workers program. One of the steps is to talk to hiring managers and supervisors who take part in the hiring function, to find out about the career field and how they view people who come in with professional development certifications from the University of Minnesota. I have to justify taking a program by proving I can find a job within a field. I’m looking at Marketing, Communications and Train-the-Trainer programs.

So this is how you can help me. If you know someone or if you are someone who hires within these three fields, drop me a line! Email is jonya (at)  jonya.com and share with me how those certifications are viewed when you are evaluating candidates for open positions.  Right now I have a bachelor’s in Library Science and Information Technology and work experience since 1997 in various library-related roles. I agree with my counselor that the return on investment on a master’s degree is probably not going to pay off due to my age, so don’t suggest that. But it makes no sense to get a certification if no one will hire me afterwards, and hey, I don’t want that either. This has been frustrating enough without doing that to myself! I’ll do my homework now, with your help.

I’m leaving IT because it’s over-crowded right now and my experience counts for little against people with degrees, languages, certifications and the like. Well. If I’m offered the right job, sure! I would rather spend the rest of my working life doing something new,  thus this post. Thank you for your help, if you can, and your encouragement always.

This reinventing myself project has been very interesting and I look forward to continuing the journey. You enjoy your journey, too, OK?

 

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Making a ‘housewife’

Materials we used for our housewives.

Emily pointed out this presentation at the Rochester Public Library to me about a month ago, and we decided to sign up. There were about 20 of us there, keeping the presenter from the Minnesota Historical Society and library staff constantly moving as they helped us. My table…Emily, me, Shelley and Pat…we were rule-breakers. We didn’t follow the directions, we did talk about how to customize this housewife to suit ourselves and how we were or were not going to use binding on it.

This ‘housewife’ or ‘hussif’ is a type of portable sewing kit frequently carried by military personnel during war times and by servants to the wealthy during peace times. Women have carried them for centuries for emergency repairs. Van says he still has his from his service days.

Our presenter also works as one of the History Players, available for field trips and classroom visits. She plays Harriet Bishop and Maude Hart Lovelace.

It was a really nice visit with Emily and a fun way to spend part of an afternoon. Thanks, Rochester Public Library!

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I love good paper and am tempted

Baron Fig has a notebook available that is really nice. Good size, good paper – if the fountain pen people like it, it’s probably also good for me. I’m a paper junky and love journals. But as they point out in the article, I find it difficult to write in a book that does not lay flat. And I know enough about the construction of books to know that yes, more signatures and no rigid spine piece would allow the book to stay open on the table.

However, right now I’ll stick with my Myndology products. I like being able to remove a sheet or three and move them to a new notebook. The paper has a nice bite for pencil or for the pens I use. They have neat artwork on the inside of the covers, which I could make the outside fairly easily because of the way this system is engineered.

I’d like to touch one of these, though. My personal journaling has moved from here on this website onto paper and I am working on one of those normal books with a spine. It sometimes fights me. And when I get this one filled, I got a couple others lined up….I could donate them, maybe. As wasteful as that is, I may do that.

Anyway, I thought this was a neat book so I’m sharing it.

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So tired of hearing the water running!

The frost line is down below 6.5 feet, down where our incoming water pipes live in this area. People have had their pipes freeze. In Oronoco, the city is installing tanks in some basements of non-potable water, just so they can bathe and flush and do laundry. I don’t know if people have to pay for that themselves or not. So far, Van and I have running water and are doing our best to keep it that way; thus the complaint. We are running water through these pipes all the time, just a pencil-thin stream THAT I CAN HEAR FROM EVERY ROOM IN THE HOUSE.

No matter which one is running. Or if two are running and both down to very fine streams, I can hear them both. Almost makes me want to have the television on all the time!

But I am not watching shows nor whiling away my time spinning wool into yarn or felting wool into cat toys. I’m not reading or cleaning or working out to turn my body into that of a middle-aged, dumpy goddess. I’m diligently plugging away at the resume-and-cover-letter game, checking job boards and going to Work Force Center networking events. Talking to people. Constantly checking my phone, hoping I’ve missed an important call. All the magical formulae that is supposed to help me regain useful employment, right?

But tomorrow, I’m going to an early meeting then spending the rest of the day sewing. I’m taking the day off. And I may just take the evening off, too, and go drink wine with a friend.

Things run. This water is running, the days are running, emailed resumes are running too. I know everything is just part of one process or another, though, and I can deal with it all just fine.

Today I slept in yet again, then got up to start the morning routine of job searching, run to an appointment at the Work Force Center and then to the library to pick up a book about reinventing yourself after age 50. It was nice seeing a friend there! I kidnapped her, made her let me drive her home. Then I got an application out, after reworking my resume again. Van and I had dinner, cleaned up, I did some paperwork and now an early bedtime. Tomorrow, I get up early and set myself back into a normal person’s routine. Kinda thinking that is one more type of magic, maybe?

Never under-estimate magic, people!

Or magic people!

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New Adventures

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I’ve rebooted this website, cleaned up all the old content and am using a new theme. This is Belle, one of the TeslaTheme products. It’s a straight-forward theme without as many options as some of the others they offer. I love some of the really neat options I have with these themes and am using them elsewhere – maybe here, later.

Why the reboot? I’ve had a sorta depressing four months here and I’m now unemployed. I was working through a contract at a local business, via a staffing agency, and the business did not elect to hire me. So now I’m looking for work. I’m also using this as a chance to reinvent myself, to get back in touch with my values and skills. Lots of journal writing, lots of thinking.

When I go through the job lists out there, I’m looking for something that aligns with what makes me happy. I was in a Work Force Center class this last week and the instructor reminded us that we will possibly work for 88,000 hours in our lifetimes, so why do something that makes us unhappy? This is my chance to make sure my future self has the best possible chance of being happy in the workplace.

As I go through my house, I’m making a list of things I need to clean up around here. Someday soon, I gotta face my closet! Wow! I have completed some of it: a couple of other closets are moved around, I’ve rearranged my workroom and cleaned out really old canned goods. Having all this unused and unneeded and in some cases, inedible stuff around me has been weighing me down and it’s good to get it gone. So this is one more place in my life that is being tidied up. I’ve moved the old blog posts to storage, and will probably recycle some of them here.

It’s important to me that I move forward into my future adventures with a playful attitude, a strong, happy, can-do attitude.  And that these new adventures get a new website.

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Avoiding All The Things!

I’m in a class that has crammed a whole semester into 8 weeks, so I’m mostly doing that these days. It’s an Instructional Design class, one of four that leads to a certification. And then maybe on to a full masters; I’ve not decided yet.

But at the moment, I’m avoiding doing the week’s reading.

So…what have you been up to? Anything fun? Tell me all about it.     …anything to get out of cracking that book.

I want to embrace the journey, I really do. I want to do work that really matters. I want to live life with intention. And be all that I can be. Just not sure how to answer my wake-up call to life; it’s not doing any good to keep hitting the doze alarm, that’s for sure! So I’ve been doodling ideas on what to do with the websites and how to relaunch the enthusiasm for being a web consultant. I’m working on class outlines for this summer! And mostly…just avoiding things.

My last checkup was about three weeks ago, and the doctor put me on new meds that are actually meds I’ve been on before. Today is the first day I think I can tell there may be a light at the end of this tunnel; they aren’t supposed to fix what is ailing me but to give me room to deal with stuff. Breathing room. Yeah, I can breathe. But now, really truly, I need to go read my text book!

Laters!

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First of many Instructional Design links!

Eventually I’ll get my portfolio on here, or maybe I’ll set up another website…yeah, that’s probably best. But for now, here’s a link.  The Instructional Design Knowledge Bank’s list of theories and people. So on to tonight’s homework!

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