Category Archives: Life, the Universe and Everything

Meditation on Work-Life Balance

Disclaimer: I realize that creating and maintaining a work-life balance is a “First World problem” and that many people in the United States and worldwide are struggling just to survive. Preacher, choir.

I’m enjoying my more relaxed summer schedule. I’m making enough money to cover basic needs, and I have time to do freelance work, go to the gym, swim in my apartment complex’s pool, and see and talk to friends and family. Now I’ve been asked to take on a new home care client, and I’m trying to decide what I should do.

Pro: I could use the money.

Con: Working too many hours is part of the reason I started feeling burned out and stressed. I managed to sabotage a potential relationship and play havoc with my mental health.

Pro: I’ve developed a reputation for being reliable and coming through in the clutch.

Con: I start my new job soon and need time for that.

Pro: Sometimes during my free time, I feel at loose ends.

Con: I may decide to return to school in the not-too-distant future.

Con: I can’t work with this client every day anyway because of my other clients. Many seniors dislike change and like to have the same person or few people there all the time.

I’m procrastinating making a decision by writing this blog post, going to lunch with one of my best friends, and going to the gym.


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Filed under Life, the Universe and Everything, Work

I am part of the WordPress family.

One of my new followers, Shaun at Looking for reasoning to a complicated world, started this award and nominated me. Thank you, Shaun. I am touched.


It’s hard to choose just ten followers to nominate, but I’ve managed to do so. If you weren’t nominated, it doesn’t mean I don’t love your blog. It just means I ran out of space!

The War in My Brain

Gunsmoke and Knitting


365 Daybook


A Way With Words

Joe and Dot

Bucket List Publications

The Ranting Papizilla

Prego and the Loon


Filed under Life, the Universe and Everything, Writing

Tempus fugit.

I just reserved a ticket for my 2oth high school reunion.

That is all.


Filed under Life, the Universe and Everything

I need some good news.

Challenging day in the classroom today, and from there I went to Mrs. K’s house, where she had the news on. I got to see it twice, in a fashion, because her closed-captioning is about 5 seconds behind the broadcast. Anyway, it was a depressing news day, and by the time “Wheel of Fortune” came on, I was feeling generally unimpressed with human beings, and particularly Americans.

“A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.” — Tommy Lee Jones as Kay in “Men in Black”

You’ve got one comment to give me some good news, something that will restore my faith in the human race. Ready . . . begin.


Filed under Life, the Universe and Everything

Single female seeking . . .

In which I need to make my life more interesting – Part I turned out to be like the Japanese short story “The Lady Who Loved Insects,” in that there is no second chapter. I sent a prospective blog post to four of my male friends whose opinions I value and decided to scrap it. In the words of one of my wise friends: “Even bad dates with lunatics are interesting. Your date search isn’t just for interesting, it’s for a compatible partner. That means you’ll meet people that match you in very different ways while not matching in many others. At that point, I’m more interested in how all these experiences have changed you or reinforced aspects of your personality/values.”


It would take too long to detail how all my dating experiences have changed me or made me more true to myself. Instead, I’ll focus on the qualities that my long-term partners and some of my other favorite men have and the qualities I’ll be seeking when I undertake my search in earnest.


My first serious boyfriend in my adult life is reliable, calm, and creative. He’s a fine cook and can repair anything: cars, computers, furniture. He’s no slouch at building things, either. He grows organic vegetables and keeps bees and chickens.


My second serious boyfriend is fun, outgoing, playful, and enthusiastic. He’s a talented musician and has good taste in music. He’s honest about enjoying “guilty pleasures” and introduced me to some new things, e.g., graphic novels, karaoke. He’s fiercely loyal to his friends and family.


Love of My Life So Far was witty, funny (these are two different qualities) and ridiculously smart. He read almost as much as I do, and probably more, given his career path. He appreciated good food and music, although he was bemused when I presented him with a mix CD for his birthday. (I don’t think he’d heard of half the artists. But I digress.) He made terrific puns and baked wonderful bread and cookies. My cats liked him, and he had three of his own whom he respected as the intelligent beings they are. Most of all, he made me feel like the most beautiful, most intelligent, wittiest woman on the planet when I was with him.


One of my best male friends is optimistic, reliable, honest and intelligent. He tells good stories, and he’s also a great listener. He’s tough; he’s survived a serious accident and an illness that could have killed him. He’s always willing to learn or try something new. He’s a gifted writer, and he’s a good photographer, too. He has a perspective on life that I often need.


Another best male friend is curious about almost everything. He’s very perceptive about people and their needs and emotions. He’s spiritual and respects my faith. He’s a bodyworker and terrific at reading people’s energies. He’s not afraid to be silly or to express fear or sadness. He’s the kind of person you can easily talk to until 3 a.m. and not know how much time has passed. (We’ve done this several times.)


My third best male friend is extremely knowledgeable about human nature. He sees right through any b.s. I try to slip past him. He’s definitely male, but comfortable with women and with his own feminine aspects. He’s a gifted photographer and can solve any computer problem. He’s gotten me through frustrating work days and dark nights of the soul.


My Dad . . . well, where to start? He’s not perfect, but he’s the best man I’ve had the privilege to meet. All my female friends (and male friends, for that matter) deserve a father like him. He tells funny stories, occasionally prefaced with the caveat, “It’s not a lie if you’re not supposed to believe it.” He has a great balance of book smarts and common sense. He’s calm in a crisis and focuses on solutions rather than problems. He’s willing to do “women’s work.” He’s a veteran who loves his country but isn’t always impressed with the government. He’s an excellent son, husband, brother, uncle, father, grandfather, boss, colleague, employee, church member, neighbor, and friend.


So if you ask me what I’m looking for in a partner, it’s safe to say, “All of the above.” Well, musical, green-thumbed, and talented at massage would be bonuses. What I’m really seeking is someone who’s interested in people, places, things, animals and ideas. Someone who does more than one thing well and/or with joy. Someone who takes life seriously but not always himself. Someone who knows there’s more in heaven and Earth than can be dreamt of in his philosophy. 

More importantly, I want to be the partner I seek.

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Filed under Life, the Universe and Everything

Happy Anniversary!

Happy 72nd (that is NOT a typo) anniversary to my wonderful grandparents!

P.S. They don’t read my blog, so I’m telling them in person this weekend.


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Filed under Family, Life, the Universe and Everything

Inauguration Day and MLK Day Thoughts

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.” – President Barack H. Obama

Edited because I wasn’t looking closely enough at the clip I posted yesterday. Our national anthem is hard to sing, and Beyonce knocked it out of the park. No way that she lip-synced.



Filed under Life, the Universe and Everything, Politics

Mazel Tov!

Congratulations to one of my friends who’s getting married four weeks from tomorrow! Her first two husbands were not very loving or kind, but she’s found a good man this time. Can’t wait to meet him.

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Filed under Friends, Life, the Universe and Everything

In which I need to make my life more interesting? — Part I

Part of my mission for this year is to be open to meeting new friends and romantic prospects. I’ve had some success with online dating in the past and am open to trying it again when the time is right. I have some legitimate reasons for not pursuing it right now, along with one reason that turned out to be false, and an excuse in any case. My logic was, “All I do is work. I need to make my life more interesting.”

Well . . . I took a hard look at that self-justification. What part of my life is boringThe part where I sometimes get paid to play Scrabble or watch funny science videos? The part where I’m teaching myself American Sign Language in order to communicate with a Deaf client? The part where I walk rescue dogs or serve Sunday night dinner to homesick college students? The part where I work with an 80-year-old missionary who’s writing her memoirs (a project I’m resurrecting and will talk more about as it takes shape)? The part where I have best friends who include a truck driver who lives in Canada but spends at least half the year in the U.S.; an operating engineer who home-schools her kids; an Army wife with tattoos and a sense of humor that’s equal parts Lucille Ball, Brett Butler, and Ellen DeGeneres; and an animal rights activist and sometime yoga instructor? The part where I read kids’ books as a thirtysomething? The part where I often type with one cat on my shoulder and the other one on my feet? The part where I switch my Pandora stations between Bach and Bob Marley, a capella groups and jam bands, Americana and steampunk? The part where I’ve been known to participate in drum circles and open mic nights?

It occurred to me that I lead a very interesting life. I’m well-acquainted with many different emotions, but boredom is rarely one of them. Even if I don’t have a task to do, my mind is always going. Sometimes that’s a bad thing (like at 2 a.m. when I can’t sleep and have a 7:30 a.m. report time next day). Most of the time, it’s asset rather than liability. More pure socializing time would be nice, but at least I always have something to talk about when I meet someone new.

Now to meet men who can bring as much or more to the table.


Filed under Life, the Universe and Everything

Think before you post

I had a few hours off this afternoon (change in shifts) and needed to get warm after walking dogs this morning (it’s been in the 20s, with wind chill in the teens or single digits), so I went to the library and got online. I found an article my Mom might find interesting, so I posted it to her Facebook wall, and I checked in on some groups and some of my favorite people. One of my friends posted an interesting graphic about protein in vegetables, and since I’m a vegetarian, I decided to share it. Unfortunately, I did not check my facts before posting, and one of my college classmates, who happens to have a medical and scientific background, pointed out that it was inaccurate due to the fact that protein is measured as dry weight and vegetables tend to be mostly water. I took his word for it and took the graphic down, but not before I saw two of my friends, who’ve never met and are separated by an ocean and several thousand miles, get into an argument. I know I said in “The List of Awesome” that I like watching my Facebook friends interact, but I dislike name-calling and ignorant behavior. I’m too old to start a fight just for the sake of watching the fireworks, and I deal with enough real drama not to want it in my non-work life.

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Filed under Friends, Life, the Universe and Everything, That's So Pomo, Writing