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07/01 Direct Link
I am not a writer and find it rather intimidating to be writing amoung real writers. Words can do anything - amaze, depress, motivate and bore are just a few. I like being part of that. Although, I am usually on the receiving end. This side is such a challenge. Expressing my brain's thoughts, is next to impossible. They make sense up there and even sound kinda interesting. But, putting it on paper is far more difficult - it becomes boring. D, my friend and writer, always encourages - she builds my confidence. If only my brain would let me write that better.
07/02 Direct Link
I haven't written on 100 words in years. I think my interests went in a million different directions. First, I have a beautiful daughter, she is now 4. My next interest became sleep. In spare time, I took classes - one-stroke painting, zentangle, watercolor and scrapbooking. My favorite is zentangle. It really is amazing how relaxing it is. The focus that goes into it - my hand's gentle flow making all kinds of fun designs. I have a hard time focusing and zentangle makes focus easy and natural. My daughter is quite crafty. She loves watercolors. The walls display our masterpieces.
07/03 Direct Link
My daughter writes. She is four and a half. She asks me to put paper together like a book. She brings me paper and tape. Next, she draws all kinds of pictures. When she is finished, she will walk back and forth across the room telling me what to write. She is so deep in thought and talks faster than I can write. I ask her to repeat it. I hate breaking her concentration, but she remains focused and repeats her words. Most of her stories consist of princesses and castles. She is very creative - paints and writes and dances.
07/04 Direct Link
Happy Independence Day! We celebrate with barbecues and family. We go see fireworks and laugh with strangers. We listen to a band play music from the 80's. We reminisce about long ago funny moments and can not contain our laughter. We sit on a hill and play make believe. We enjoy the beautiful weather - sunny and cool - that is odd for a July day in Chicago. But, we are glad. We enjoy life. We think about the things we are grateful for. We are grateful for days like today and everything it took to get today. God bless you all.
07/05 Direct Link
She said, "I would like to move back to Iowa." She told me a little bit about Iowa and her sister.

I said, "I'd really like to work closer to home."

She said, "Yeah but, it would probably be hard for you to find a new job."

"What????" I said surprised.

"You have epilepsy and no one would want to insure you."

What kind of person says these things? Was that cruel or am I overreacting? She seems pleased with herself. She turns and walks away. Misery does love company.
07/06 Direct Link
I'm feeling sad. Nothing extreme - just the normal low experienced by everyone. I don't deserve to feel this bad about something so insignificant. Yet, it hits me so hard. I look at other people and their problems are so much more intense. Part of me is grateful that my issues are so small but, another part feels so overwhelmed. I get so hopeful. Then take a second look. This look sends me into a feeling of self-pity. Why was I so hopeful? This couldn't possibly work out. I don't stand a chance. I need something better but, I'm stuck.
07/07 Direct Link
Sitting outside rocking on the porch. Enjoying the hums of my neighobr's air conditioners. The humidity is throwing a party out here and I decide to join the fun. The varmits are scarce today - the two rascally squirrels aren't chasing each other up trees. Most of our critters are creatures of the night anyway. Considering that they are skunks and coyotes, I will be wishing them a "good evening" through glass doors. I am in no mood to do housework. Although, my house is begging for a cleaning. I am in a mood to sit here and enjoy some peace.
07/08 Direct Link
The idea didn't dawn on me until today. A little thought just popped into my head. I think I'll look into it. It's not a bad idea - I'm not sure it will go anywhere but, it's definitely worth a try. There's some stuff I need to do first. I can take care of that tomorrow over lunch. The next part, I will take care of after work. I will do research and see what turns up. Hopefully, good things. We'll have to wait and see. I'm going to do what I need to do and then hope for the best.
07/09 Direct Link
I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write. I don't know how to write. I just don't know.
07/10 Direct Link
I'm awake. I should be winding down for the night. I'm tired but, don't feel like calling it day. Free time is so limitted - sleep just seems so wasteful. I think tomorrow will be a strong coffee day. Not exactly healthy or smart. My mind is so busy. I want to do so much - I want to finish the art for my walls - I want to catch up on 100words - I want to read the book D loaned me - I want a clean home - I want to perfect my resume. Most of all, I'd love to catch up on sleep.
07/11 Direct Link
We played today. She ate breakfast and then came to school. Although I was the teacher, she taught me that 1+1=2. I also learned the "m" makes the mmmm sound. Then, we went to the bakery. I was the baker and she was the "buyer." I served up a wonderful bowl of vanilla ice cream with gummy bears and sprinkles. Later we switched roles. I was lucky enough to get one of her famous pickle pies. Then, her dog, Patches, had several birthday parties. We sang, ate pretend cake and opened gifts. Then she danced a beautiful ballet.
07/12 Direct Link
Wow, I have a lot of catching up to do. I fell behind quite significantly. Of course, I have the traditional, hum-drum excuse of I just got busy. Which, is true. First, I had to work and then I had some serious playing to do. Eating came into the picture at times. As did visiting family. I borrowed movies from the library that needed to be returned before they had been watched. I am trying to get ready for a garage sale - we have so much junk. It has taken over the front room. Gotta make time for myself!
07/13 Direct Link
D and T visited today. I don't see them as often as I'd like. We live far from on another and time has been limited. T is in college, close to graduation. With a magnificant sense of humor, he is going to make a wonderful teacher! I have known D for almost 20 years. D has introduced me to writing - something I never thought I could do. D has also shown me a direction in my career that I absolutely love. Unique and amazing. I make a difference. It was wonderful spending the day with them. Laughing, talking, reminiscing, creating.
07/14 Direct Link
Her favorite animal is a giraffe. The tall neck fascinates her. She talks about a rhinosaurus. She likes the "horn." A zebra pops into her mind. Because of the stripes, of course. Next is the lion. Why? The mane and the roar. Monkeys enter the picture. They are silly and swing in trees. "Elephants," she says. Because they are great at using their trunks to get and spray water. Can't forget dogs. Because they like to bark all the time. The flapping of wings and the ability to fly bring birds to mind. Of all creatures, giraffes top the list.
07/15 Direct Link
We went to see the fireflies. It was evening and the sun was still out. We were outside listening to him talk about different types of fireflies. Did you know there were different types? They are not distinguished by appearance. In fact, they all look the same. They display their difference by the way they light up. When the sun descended, we took a long tractor ride. As we passed through the tall grass area, the fireflies appeared in such abundance. It was magnificant. Their flickering bodies brillaintly lit up the night sky. Not even a Christmas tree could compare.
07/16 Direct Link
There are more animals that we didn't talk about. We forgot about a pony and a leapord and bunnies and rabbits and dalmations and pigs and roasters and chickens and donkeys and horses and dragons and fish and fish and fish and mermaids and cows and cats and tigers and deer and lambs and sheep and mice and unicorns (because they fly in the sky with wings - like flying horses) and hyenas and frogs and bugs and ducks and goofy ("he's a weird mouse, I think") and crabs and turtles and chipmunks and flamingos and dolphins and monsters and catepillars.
07/17 Direct Link
Technology amazes me. I am going to totally date mysef and sound like grandma with the "I remember when's." Back in college, computers were pretty new and we didn't have much access to them or internet. So, we would spend countless library hours with several encyclopedias opened and spread across tables. All containing the same information - very limitted - 2-3 paragraphs at most. Yet, we had to write 10 page papers based on what these books told us. I guess thats what made us form our own opinions and conclusions. Either that, or it just taught us how to bs.
07/18 Direct Link
Have I written these entries before? I think often of these things. As my thoughts spin, my mind retreats. I begin comparing funny things about today to funny things of yesterday. I appreciate the work I put into yesterday and realize its importance. The way I learned yesterday has become invaluable. Like typing class. We learned on those big clunky machines - with errors correctable only with white-out. The white-out strips were a wonderful invention - one of those, "why didn't I think of that," creations. Those clunky machines were tedious but, they gave me a "couldn't live without skill."
07/19 Direct Link
I have taken a mental health day - I feel guilty. Budget cuts hit hard. Union has given us a small sense of security. Management panics. My boss, by her own admission, tries to make herself invaluable. She takes on as much as possible. Only to pass it us. Our clients have needs that we used to meet. We can't anymore. There are too many clients. We struggle to help and feel guilty when we can't. We go to our boss for help, she plays on her phone and says "no" because she is stuck on level 30 of Candy Crush.
07/20 Direct Link
Nostalgia is hitting. I am preparing for a garage sale - going through old stuff that I haven't looked at in years. Old bikes - one belonging to me and another to an Uncle who passed away long ago. I recall riding in my childhood (a bike that has been gone for at least 30 years). The thrill was riding all the way to Bayside. The only hilled street in our flat little neighborhood. It was a 20 minute ride for a 1 minute coast. Riding all the way to Bayside was a rare treat. For a kid, it was such exhilaration.
07/21 Direct Link
Once again, during garage sale prep, I begin reminiscing. Such difficulty parting with things. They have sentimental value or I might need them some day. My daughter's crib became a head board. We cut it down and attached it to the bed frame. I have other pieces that can't be used. I hate to waste all that wood - it wouldn't be environmentally kind to let it rot in a garbage dump. My high school dog's treat jar. I can donate old clothes, that are in okay shape & never came back into style - can't do that. Parting is such sweet sorrow.
07/22 Direct Link
Everyone was out taking advantage of the cool temperature and sunshine. Two bikers stopped. They waited patiently for the right of way. One sported wild hair, reminding me of the 80's when frizzed & tall hair were trendy (visions of aqua net flashed in my head). A suited man held a briefcase in one hand. The other held a cup of coffee. He walked briskly, as if he was late. His head was pointed down watching every step he took. Dozens of dogs walked their people and smiled at joggers breathing hard. Casual walkers chatted and laughed. A beautiful Chicago morning.
07/23 Direct Link
I will never be able to convey how much I love you. It blows my mind that 4 1/2 years have passed. Everyday feels like Christmas. I look at your old toys and remember how much fun we had playing with them. Your "make believe" is amazing. We've spent many days on our boat (the bed) watching mermaids and fish swim by. We are fairies flying through the sky. I am Cruella & Pongo. You are Prudita and 101 dalmations. You dance ballet and I am the audience. We are princesses. I am a student and you are the teacher.
07/24 Direct Link
I am trying to write a resume. Why is it so hard? I don't remember it being like that. It is easy to bullet point my education and work experience. Accomplishments begin challenging but, once I get started, things pop into my head. I feel hopeful and think that any employer will want me. Then, discouragement sets in. This looks like anybody. I try to write a professional summary. I can't seem to sell myself. It sounds corny and common. Nothing unique. I put it down. Later, I pick it up and again feel hopeful, then discouraged. Such a rollercoaster.
07/25 Direct Link
She has been working hard! As we prepare for our garage sale, my daughter decides to price things. She is excited, picks up a marker, stickers and starts writing random numbers. Then she intently walks around debating where to place the price tags. She does a wonderful job! She has priced her old baby books at $89 each. We have a rolling pin priced at $11. Coffee cups are $111. Strollers are going for $400 and bikes are $.01. We encourage shoppers to inquire about costs. We will bargain. We praise her for her efforts. She is motivated and proud.
07/26 Direct Link
The storm makes it feel cool outside. Our garage sale actually occurs in the garage. Not many people come by and we have so much stuff left. Those who do venture out, buy nothing. We begin packing up early. Sure enough, at 4:00, the hard core garage salers (who know the game well) come by. Most stuff is already boxed and ready for the salvation army. It is busy now. I should have known. I open boxes for people to shuffle through. Of course, that is when I find all the forgotten items that I just can't live without.
07/27 Direct Link
Some earnings are put in the bank. Some used to treat ourselves. At the disney store, she buys a Stitch doll. Then, we go to her "favorite store" and try dozens of lotions. We enter a furniture store. We pretend to eat breakfast and sit on couches. We try the "castle" furniture and decide they're not very comfortable. She suggests that we "leave them for the castle people." We go to the fancy dress store and imagine ourselves in gowns. We sit in the chair, stand on the pedistal and delicately pose in front of the mirrors. A wonderful reward!
07/28 Direct Link
I ask her what to write about and she offers me some wonderful suggestions. She encourages me to write about cowgirls and cowboys. Cowgirls love their horses and they love to ride their horses. Cowboys do cowboy things - the things cowboys should do. There is a story about them - Toy Story. Being a cowboy is the right thing to do. It's fun. They wear hats and boots and ride horses. They love to count and go 1 2 3. Thank you for visiting the cowgirl and cowboy festival. Boys and girls, always remember that cowboys and cowgirls are smart too.
07/29 Direct Link
We have been preparing for a staycation. We (my ex-sister-in-law, her family, my daughter and myself)plan on staying downtown with my ex-parent-in-laws. Refering to them as ex-in-laws is a tedious way to talk about family. Their son and I have been divorced a little over 4 years and it is still an honor to be invited to family vacations (without him, of course). We will all be spending 5 days at Lake Point Tower, directly across from Navy Pier. We will walk around and enjoy the attractions of our beautiful city.
07/30 Direct Link
I want a new job. I'm tired of our boss and all her nasty comments. The job market is awful - more so than I thought. Most places are hiring part-time only and none include health insurance. I want to get out of the field all together but, I have found that I am not qualified for other jobs. I have transferable skills but, no lisences or certifications needed to change fields - or even go into a similar field. What do I do? Right now, I am union and have some sense of job security. But, is it worth it?
07/31 Direct Link
She points at my stomach and says, "You're getting a gut."

Everyone looks at my body. She's nervy.

"I don't appreciate that," I say, "especially in front of people".

She blames me.

"It was just a joke. You take things so personally", she barks, "You need to learn how to take a joke."

I immaturally point at her gut and snap, "You're one to talk."

She storms off muttering bitter words.

The observers are generous with compliments. Despite all their kind words, her comments still sting.