Monday, February 28, 2005

Career Path

I already know what I want to be when I grow up, it's what I want to do right now that's got me stumped. I have finally concluded that I am going to need some specialized training in order to make more money regardless of what I do. I contemplated becoming a nurse, or an art layout manager for a fashion magazine in LA. I talked myself out of the nurse idea because I am afraid that I would make a mistake on someone's med.s and get seued by their family.

What I aspire to be is a costume designer for movies, TV or opera. I would be happy to get involved with the local High School Drama department, too. I even started to make plans to become a Home Economics teacher for Jr. High/High School. Now that we are moving I would have to pay out of state tuition if I started attending school right away.

Ideally, I could find a short training course for a job that I could do at home so I could flex my schedule, save on daycare, and spend time with my son. Medical Billing seemed to fit this discription. I was turned of by it when I learned that once through with the training I would be expected to go out and market myself to the Doctors to try and drum up some business for myself. That is not something I want to stress over.

Then I learned that there are/ or is a company that will hire you once you have completed the training. They have you work in their office for aprox three months so get further training before they allow you to work from home. I would much prefer to work for a company than be self employed. If I can get my typing speed up and find an affordable school with training, I could make it work out in my favor.

Hopefully I can continue to work at my present job while going through the training. I just bought this laptop computer so I can work on assignments and practice when I have some down time, like right now at work.

I am really enjoying working as a caregiver. I find it quite satisfying. It is so much less stressful than my last office job. All my clients so far have been very pleased with me and they have made some super nice comments about me to people in the office. The scheduler mentioned that she is going to see about getting me a raise. I have already been making the top pay from the day they hired me, so I haven't had much hope for a raise, but I certainly wouldn't talk them out of it.
The scheduler was giving me some information about a job and afterwards I told her that I needed to talk to her about a couple things. She told me, "Just don't tell me you are leaving. If you did I would have to hang up the phone and pretend I didn't hear it."

I can relate now to how my mom has felt about leaving her job. Her boss told her the same thing a few weeks ago. She said she has been praying that she could find things that she doesn't like about her job to make it easier for her to leave when she has to go to Utah.

I mentioned to my mom again how much pressure I feel for being responsible for their financial future by them moving to Utah for my sake. Her response was that she doesn't want to be held responsible for hindering my future.

She has really impressed me with how much of a sacrifice she has been making in order for me to have a better chance of having an eternal marriage. Now if that doesn't put the pressure on, I don't know what does.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

My New Space

Friday, I spent the day at home with my mom doing some major cleaning and re-organizing, getting ready to show the house to sell it. I haven't done much to the room since I moved back with my parents again. I was partially in denial and I liked to think that my stay with them would be temporary, so I never put much effort into making it my own until a few days ago. The most I did was buy a painting and a comforter a few months ago.

This weekend I gave it a whole new look. We took off a wallpaper border on one wall, took out Guy's car bed, and moved my bed around. I went out and bought some new curtains and some pillows. Saturday I got crazy and bought some paint for the black particleboard shelves in my room. Believe it or not, I was able to create a faux wood finish on the shelves. It looks pretty darn good, even if I do say so myself. First I spray painted them brown. Then I put a layer of light tan over and stroked another stiffer brush over to create the look of grain. After that I diluted a redish-brown paint and brushed a thin layer of it on top. It's the most creative thing I have done in a long time. It was satisfying.

I saw the old radio in the garage while I was painting and decided it would go nicely in my room in place of another nightstand I have. It even coordinates with the dresser I have been using that belonged to my grandparents. I did some touch up cleaning and polished it up beautifully, especially compared to how it looked when we got it. The turntable is missing in the center, so I use it to hide diapers and wipes in.

I am going shopping for one more painting for the opposite wall tomorrow, then the room will be complete... just in time for me to move. I plan to take a picture and post it on here for all to see.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Trixie Likes it

I have managed to avoid cutting my hair. Believe me, it has been tempting for me to cut it. It's a wonder I haven't butched it by now, with all the men that have come and gone lately. I should probably knock on wood, but I am staying afloat in all the other areas in my life so far too.

I'm even thinking that I might even like my hair longer. It might just be a change in my self-image, but when I see myself in the mirror, I seem more beautiful than before. I don't know if it's because of the longer hair or a change in my attitude. The short hair did tend to make me look older. I have just always felt "Bla" the other times that I had long hair. For some reason this time is different.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Saying Goodbye

I had a long and challenging day yesterday. My morning was hectic. My regular Monday client returned from out of town, the older man I help in the shower and exercize with, so I was not planning to go back to (I'll call her Sandy, the one with the brain tumors) Sandy's house like I did last Monday. When I was done there, I had another client I was to spend the afternoon with, but I was told to call to confirm. I never heard back from her and the scheduler called me to ask me to go somewhere else to fill in. That fell through too. Just as I was about to leave my first client, I got a call from my boss saying I was supposed to go to Sandy's house today. I told him I would get there as soon as I could and I explained that they were supposed to get someone else to go there because my regular client was back in town.

This is not the first time that my schedule has been messed over because of some failed or mis-communication with the scheduler. I was even more irritated when after I arived at Sandy's I got a call from the original client I was "supposed to confirm with" saying she was expecting me this afternoon. I even started a big long letter to my boss telling him what a pain in my side the scheduler has been. She tries to work from home because she is playing taxi for her kids a lot. So she is making all these post it notes to herself and she is always calling me blindly asking me what my schedule is and can I go to stinkin' Lincoln, (which is an hour drive for me). Personally, I think she needs a lap top or at least a home computer so she can have all her info in one place. That's not really the point I was making, but it is related to my story.

Sandy's husband and daughter were glad to see me again. They are always thanking me and telling me what a support I have been for them and how caring I have been towards Sandy and how she just adores me. It has really meant a lot to me. I just try to help out where I can. My calmness helps them feel at ease too. I was glad to be there too, but I was still a little upset about the whole mix up over who was supposed to be there that day.

Sandy had a visit from the Hospice nurse at about 1pm. We talked about some of the symptoms she had been experiencing. The nurse did a brief exam and checked her vitals. She checked her pulse first. She had to do it several times, she said because she is so deaf that she can't hear it through her stethoscope so she would try feeling it. I suspect that Sandy bareley had one. When she was through with the exam she came and sat down and said to us that it will be very soon. I don't think the rest of us realized just how soon.

We were talking about some solutions to some of her symptoms and she kept shrugging them off and saying she doesn't think we will need them.

Her husband wanted to show the nurse an area on her body that was sore. He, the nurse and myself were helping to move her and change her diaper. I felt badly for her to have all of these hands on her. I try to be very gentle with her when I move her, but they were a little impatient. When we were through they raised her head and feet. This caused her to start coughing again from the flem that she had been experiencing. The nurse gave her more morphine to calm her.

Her husband was by her side holding her hand. Her daughter left to answer the phone when we started to move her. I think she was looking for an escape. Her husband asked Sandy if she wanted to see her daughter. She nodded, yes. He asked me to find her. She was just finishing on the phone in the garage. Her eyes were red. I told her that Sandy asked to see her. She burst into tears. I gave her a hug. She said to me, trying to convince herself, "I can do this. Do I look ok?" I told her I don't think she cares how you look. She just wants to have you near her.

I was sitting on the couch behind Sandy. Her husband and daughter were next to her side facing her. I could see their faces, but not Sandy. Sandy had stopped coughing. Her husband noted that she was smiling and that her eyes were wide open. The nurse said, "Yes, she may be seeing things that we can't see."

Sandy whipered to her husband, "I need to go." I interpreted it as though she was telling him that her spirit needs to go. He thought maybe she needed to go in her diaper. He told her to go ahead and we will take care of it.

The daughter was expecting her three kids to show up any minute. She didn't want them to see Sandy like this. She asked me to go to the kitchen and watch for them. The kitchen is just in the next room. After standing there a minute, I heard the daughter saying quite loudly,"I love you Mother. You were the best mother anyone could have asked for. I love you so much."

Her kids arived and I headed out to intersept them, but Sandy had already passed away while I was in the kitchen.

The nurse stayed to help with the details of notifying the priest and the coroner, etc. I was invited to stay, so I tryed to help out where I could by putting things away and I fixed some spaghetti for the family.

I realized as I heard one of the coroner's say his first name, that I recognized his voice. When he turned around. I said to him, "Andy Steed?"

"Oh my gosh." he said as he realized he knew me too. We said our hellos and I told him I was just there helping out. Then the husband pipped in...."This gal is wonderful."

"I know." Andy says.

"No, I mean she is incredible. She has been such a to us. She...." he went on.

"I don't think you have to convince him." I pleaded. I must have been the color of the spaghetti sauce by then.

We go way back to my Jr. High days. He was a friend of my brother's. We used to box eachother when he came over. I believe we even went on a date or two. I haven't seen him since my wedding. He was married with two kids then. He must have at least one more by now.

Sandy's family couldn't thank me enough for being there with them and supporting them at a time when they needed it most. I knew I was meant to be there with them that day. I to bag the letter that I started to my boss. It's strange how things work out in the end.

They made me feel so loved, as though I was a part of the family. The daughter made a special note on my timecard and the father called into the office and said, "If the World were filled with Trixies, it would be a better place."

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Comments Please

I just want to say Thank you for the comments. I quite appreciate them. Especially if they are positive or informative or humorous, which they have all been so far. I hope you will continue to have the courtesy to not say anything at all if you don't have something nice to say. For those of you that do, I would love to hear it. Feel free to comment.

So far, this has been a good experience for me. It has been a healthy way for me to contemplate some of my life's challenges. As of late, they haven't been few. I hope this will continue to be a "safe" place for me to spill my heart out for all to judge or mock or perhaps even relate to.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

There is a Season

I worked again today for the woman who has the brain tumors. I was astonished at how her condition had changed in just one week. She could hardly speak. The most I heard her say was, "I heard you were a ball the other night." She was referring to Wednesday, when I went square dancing. Her friends that I met called her and her husband up to tell them about it. He said in all the years that he has been square dancing he has never seen anyone pick it up so quickly as I did. That's quite a compliment.

The rest of the time she didn't even speak. She would just smile for "yes", to respond. She is refusing to take her medication. The only thing she ate all day was two bites of rice crispy cerial before I arrived. I made some cheesecake for them while I was there. I don't know if she will be eating any, but her husband said he will be having some.

She had some visitors come over and they found it difficult to see her in that condition. One of the gentleman escaped to the kitchen where I was hanging out. I could tell it was getting to him. I tried to make some light conversation with him about the weather. His mind was on much heavier things, though. He was saying how it's the attachment that he find most difficult to deal with. I think he meant detachment. I told him he doesn't have to stop loving her. That's something he can keep with him.

I never thought I would be giving advice to those who are dealing with the death of a loved one. I have never been in a situation like this before. This same fella asked me how I deal with with getting to know someone, then having to let go so quickly. He asked me how I deal with it. I told him I go to church and having that faith helps me deal with situations like this. The difference is that I signed up for this. I am getting paid to be there. I knew the situation before I agreed to go. Not to say that it wasn't difficult to see her that way today, though. I had some morbid thoughts while I was bathing her.

I feel it a privelidge to serve her. She is a lovely lady. I am glad to have known her. It is rewarding to know that I have brought her some comfort and joy in her last days on earth.

I often wish I could share the gospel with the people I meet on these jobs. I don't want to overstep my bounds by discussing religion. I try not to be the one to initiate the subject, but I am happy to answer any questions they might have. The woman I care for asked if I am Mormon, I think because I mentioned that I served a mission for my church. She said her grand kids go around with some Mormons on ther basketball team.

I pray that I can keep myself together tomorrow as I am working there again. There will probably be more visitors there today. Her husband made some phone calls to some people who have not yet had a chance to visit, indicating that they should come now because her time is drawing shorter.

I'm Gonna Wash That Big Dirty Rat Right Out of My Hair

I went swing dancing on Friday. There was quite a crowd there. I met a lot of new people that were there for the first time. I also noticed a good number of more advanced dancers. I made an effort to dance with as many of the better dancers as I could, just so they know I am there. A few of them said they have never seen me before and thought I was visiting. I recognized most of them, but they rarely bother to ask anyone outside their little click. I like to stir things up a little.

That night they had to improvise and use the two smaller rooms because there was another event going on in the main floor. They had the usual play set in the larger room, then they played the slower blues music in the other, smaller room. It was fun to be able to go back and forth if one room got boring. I got brave and asked some of the guys handing out in the blues room to dance. They like to dip their partners a lot and lead them into these shoulder rolls....very sexy. I have never danced that way before. I didn't even know I could move like that.

Now that's the kind of dancing where the lead has more freedom in movement. It was not easy to "let my hair down", so to speak. It's like being putty in their hands. I had to concentrate so much more than if I were doing the lindy. It was challenging and I want to do it again and again!

Why must I end all my great dancing blogs negatively with a report on how Burp was a jerk? I hope I have learned my lesson. I asked him to dance about half way through the night and he said he had already promised someone the next dance. I let it get to me for a little bit, then I was over it. Then, as we were about to head down the stairs to leave, Burp calls to me, "Hey, You!"

"Who, me?" I reply. What I should have said was, "I know you ain't talkin' to me."

He came over and trapped me with his arms while he fed me some excuses about why he didn't get to dance with me because his friends allow him to get in for free in exchange for his showing the new dancers a good time. He had the gaul to call himself a local celebrity. I offered to pretend that I was a beginner dancer. He said, "Pretend?, you are a beginner. You need some lessons."

I swung my shoe bag at his butt for saying that.

What could he teach me except how to be a smooth talker and a pimp walker?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

That's Why This Lady is a Tramp

I had the day off today and I got several things accopmlished that have been on my list of things to do for a few months. It feels good to have them done.

Although it wasn't on my list, one thing I did today was trying Square Dancing for the first time, unless you count the brief introduction in Junior High. The woman that I am caring for on the weekends with brain tumors, her and her husband were square dancers. I committed to her and her friends who are former presidents of the Square Dancing Club that I would attend. Her friends were there and he said he would be my partener. He first told me that I would have a hard time keeping up because it wasn't the first of the lessons for the group. I told him previously that I was a fast learner.

Once we got into it, he told me I was doing well. It's pretty easy compared to other dances I have done. You don't even have to be on the correct foot. Just listen to the call, turn around and come back, or whatever the case may be. I found it pretty easy, and they were all impressed and wanted me to come back next week. I told them I couldn't next week, but soon. I honestly don't think I will make a habbit of it. It was fun to try, but it doesn't really satisfy my dancing urge.

I wasn't planning to go swing dancing tonight, but I couldn't get my fill with Square Dancing and I was already out, so I took the opportunity. I had to drive 50 miles to get there, but what the hey?

First thing, the fella I kissed last week wanted to know if I had had any thoughts about our kiss. I pulled him aside and I had to tell him that he is every woman's dream, including my own. I told him he is sexy, handsome, sweet, (he even fits the cliche "tall, dark and handsome"). But as far as having a serious relationship with him, I am looking for someone within my own religion. He said he figured. He asked if there was any law that would keep him from kissing me again. I told him, "None that I know of."

Then he goes on to tell me how I he had a hard time going to sleep the night we kissed because he kept thinking of me. He asked again how the painting was treating me. I confessed that it is in the closet. He said he wished he could hide in my closet and he would sneak out and tackle me at night. Hot Damn! There are times I wish I wasn't LDS.

He proceeded to hug me about 4 more times. He doesn't seem to be to concerned about what other poeple think because as we were walking away he said out loud, " Ooh, you almost got me going again, Trixie".

I almost hate to mention Burp after that, but he was there too. I asked him to dance to Ella Fitzgerald singing, "Now I Can See the Light". I heard the song on the way over, in the car too. He does one turn out with me and he got this look of discust on his face, as though I had done it all wrong. After a couple more tries and getting the same reaction, he stopped and goes on about how swing is about connectic energy and something about how I should not stop moving in a direction until he leads me into another. He tried to demonstrate something, but appearantly it wasn't getting through to me. Then he back me up into the rail and tells me how dancing is all about sex. He says the idea is to not wear out your partner because then they won't have energy for sex after the dancing.

I don't think I agree with him when it comes to swing. Hip Hop and other dirty dancing, ok, I'll buy it. But, I think that's what I like most about swing is that you can show it off without actually showing it. I am open to learning new techniques and I wish I knew what he was trying to get me to do before he gave up when they broke out into a jam on the floor.

In swing, each partner has given steps that they are to take. Granted there is room for improvisation, but there is a basic skellaton that is followed to keep the dancers from being lost. I don't expect a person to lead me to do each part of the basic step. Isn't that my job to keep that in tact between the other leads?

Anyway, having said that I am still open to learning new techniques and styles. In fact, I bought myself a Hip Hop Dance video, in part to incorporate some moves into swing dancing. Besides that I felt like I needed to broaden my horizons and try something new. It's not totally foreign to me. I took Jazz dance for many years, which I loved and there is some similarlities in the two. It may even improve my salsa dancing. I just have a hard time sometimes letting loose and getting down and dirty. I was taught to save that for the bedroom, like a lady should.

Am I really ready to shed the image of a Lady? I guess that's all it is lately, is an image.

Monday, February 14, 2005

V Day - Not About Romance

I started working for a new client this last weekend. This 71 year old woman has several tumors in her brain and one in her shoulder. She is not expected to live much longer. The Doctors have given her approximately two weeks to live. She is very coherent. She can see, hear, speak and even feed herself. She is alrmingly skinny though, skin and bones.

She has been watching some of her favorite movies for the last time. Sunday, she choose to watch "Moulin Rouge". I remembered it to be one that I enjoyed after watching it for the second time. Some how, I managed to forget that Nicole Kidman dies at the end. Her husband wanted me to keep her company and watch the movie with her. Some how, I managed to forget that Nicole Kidman dies at the end. There's nothing like watching a movie about someone dying while sitting next to someone who is dying.

She rarely eats anything sweet, like the brownies that someone brought over or the chocolates she was given. I think if I knew I was dying I would OD on Chocolate. Death by Chocolate, all the way for me. Today, being Valentines Day, I came close to doing just that.

I bought what I would have liked to have received today by a Valentine of my own, then gave them to other people. I got the I Love Lucy edition box of chocolates and some long stem pink and peach roses. I gave the chocolates to my parents and the roses to the lady I cared for today and over the weekend, plus another lady that just moved into an assisted living arrangement, who I helped get settled in last week.

I liked what the card said that I gave to my new friend today. I said something to the effect of, "Valentines Day isn't about romance. It's about the hugs and kisses you share and the love you give and the things you do. But mostly it's about being the wonderful person you are."

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Kiss in the Closet

I just got back from swing dancing tonight at one of the few lasting swing venues. I took my first lindy swing dancing lessons there. I wasn't quite 21 at the time, so I was glad they had an age limit of 18. When they closed, I was too young to go to the other venue it town and consequently lost my dance partner.

They opened the club back up and I started going there when I got back from my mission. I think I still had that Missionary Glow and the bar tender asked me what makes me so happy. I told him perhaps it is my faith in God. Then he piped in, well what about Jesus Christ. "Yes," I said, "Him too."

We chatted briefly about how our faith helps us go on, but mostly we would exchange flirty glances with eachother. One day, I gave him a "Book of Mormon". He brought it up once to tell me that he had not read in it. A non-member friend, (who took the discussions when she was in High School) was with me and she told him it's only good for burning anyaway. I could have killed her.

Last time I was there, he let me have one of the paintings that my ex-husband painted. They are trying to sell them off, so he didn't want anyone else to know that he gave it to me. When he greeted me tonight, he asked how the painting is treating me. I told him I haven't hung it yet. He asked if I was planning to throw darts at it. We laughed. I explained that I mostly wanted it for my son to have later.

Then he goes on about how we have known each other for a long time. I agreed. He asked if he could give me a hug. Of course. When we pulled away, he told me how it felt really nice and asked if he could give me another. I abliged. The second one lasted much longer. Then he pulles away and says, suprised, "I almost kissed you."

"That wouln't have been so terrible." I reply.

As I am changing my shoes he comes over and sits next to me and says he's started thinking about that kiss. He asked me to be sure to let him know when I go and maybe he'll sneak a good-bye kiss. I told him I would.

Then he starts complimenting me on my hair and my smile. I start getting gitty, surprised at how he was pooring on the charm. Although, he has always been complimentary, he was on to me tonight.

He kept sneaking peaks at me on the dance floor. He made the comment,"You know how we have always looked at each other as if we were each other's favorite dish." Then he asked me what my favorite dish is. "Cheesecake with blueberries on top," I say. He told me his (something) taste like blueberries. I told him he is making me hungry.

Towards the end of the night, he came onto the dance floor and sat next to me. He was wishing he could dance like the people out on the floor. I assured him he could if he practiced. He figured if he has a good instructor he might do well. He said, "I bet you could show me a thing or two."

I said, "I'm sure that goes both ways." Then the eyes... He told me again how he is looking forward to that kiss. I told him I have never anticipated a kiss before, like this. Referring to my friend, he said, "But you've got your body guard with you."

"Not really." I shrugged.

He suggested I take a break for some water and follow him off of the dance floor. I did. He lead me into a closet near the entrance. Mmmm mmm, then we kissed. It was extreemely passionate. He starts telling me that I am a great kisser and how his heart is pounding in his chest. He says other girls have wanted to kiss him, but he found it easy to turn them down. "But you," he says, "You are exciting."

I never would have imagined a guy like him would say such things about quaint little ole me. I mean, this guy is a super sexy, hot, hunka hunka burnin' love, macho man! And he is telling me that I am exciting and he can't get enough of me.!?

OH, yeah. Burp was there. He asked me to dance before I saw him there. It was the only time we danced. I told him good by as I left and he gave me a hug and began to give me little smooches on my neck. "What is that?" I asked.

"Nothing you haven't experienced already." he grinned.

Yeah, and a thousand other girls too!

I mean, what is his deal? Here's my phone number and email, but I'm going to erase any emails from you and act annoyed when you call and not call you when I say I will. Then I'm going to ask you to dance then kiss on your neck and send all sorts of conflicting messages.


Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The 'C' Word

I saw Burt again last Friday. He told me on Thursday that he would call me Friday and let me know if he would be going or not. He didn't call, but he was there. He eventually came over to say hi and he apologized for not calling me. He said it was a long story, but he figured if he came he would see me here. I shrugged it off and said ok. He thought I was being cold and indifferent. I told him he didn't need to explain. He went on, "I told you I was going to do something and I didn't."

Was he trying to give me a hint? Was he really saying he will never call? Why did he give me his phone number if he didn't want me to call him? If he was trying to be polite or lead me on, why not just ask for my number, then never use it rather than let me go through the embarassment of actually calling him if he would only be annoyed by it? Was it too much to send an email, and call two times within a week? I was in bed sick most of the time so it seemed like forever to me.

I am finding it impossible to find a man that is a worty Priesthood holder, Hip, and who's NOT afraid of commitment. As if the three characters cannot co-exist. Are they a contradition to one another?

Monday, February 07, 2005

To Move or Not to Move

I am still going back and forth in my heart and mind about moving to Utah. I still have not received a positive confirmation that it is the right thing to do. After this weekend, I am having some doubt.

I felt reluctant about moving to Utah while the garage sale was going on, Saturday. It just didn't feel real when we explained to people that we will be moving there or anywhere. I had a brief conversation about the decision with my mom. I asked her if they have been continuing to pray about the decision and how they felt about it. She said that she has been having a stuper of thought.

I downloaded a book called "A Better Way to Date" on Sunday. The first chapter included ways to find people to date. As I was reading them I imagined myself trying them in Utah. It suggested things such as joining clubs or taking classes on things you are intersted in. Because the chances of running into someone who is LDS are probably 6 times better regardless of what club I joined or class I took, I could search in places besides church functions.

The lesson in Releif Society was on Marriage Preparation. The bishop sat in on the lesson and when he made a comment about how some people say to themselves, "I have met everyone at church, or I have been to the activites and there is no one there for me." He made the point that there are always new people coming into the ward each week. When he said this I felt the spirit testify of it.

I have given up on all of Northern California, saying, "There is no one here for me." I have found a friend that I invited to attend the College Oak Ward with me next week. Perhaps there will be some older guys in that ward. I think I will continue to tour the other young adult wards in Sacramento. There might be one where I could meet some older men and feel more comfortable in.

The following scripture was also referrenced briefly and I felt the spirit at that time too.

LUKE 5:1-10

1 AND it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Green Diamond

I just remembered that I dreamed recently that I was given a green diamond ring. In my dream, I was surprised at such a notion of a green diamond. Later in the day when I realized what I had dreamed I remembered that I used to want a green diamond in my future wedding ring. I had forgotten all about it over the last few years.

The wedding ring I did have was an antique. It was a silver ring with a rectangle garnet in the center, surrounded by rectangular and triangular cut mercerite. It took my breath away when I saw it for the first time.

A green diamond sounds like a good idea again. Blue might be more pretty. I wonder where I might even find such a stone. I know they exist, but they aren't exactly in demand.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

eBay, smeeebay

I made almost $300 at the Garage Sale today. That's certainly more than I expected. I got rid of probably 2/3 thirds of the stuff. We had close to 100 visitors, thanks to the sunshine! It was a beautiful day.

Our ads and signs said from 8-2, but we had people there at 7:20. I'm sure they were the ones that were in it for the money. They bought up a few antiques then I suspect they made their way to the next garage sale. I still think that would be my dream job. If I tried it again, I think I would rent a space in an antique mall rather than subjecting myself to the whims and scams on ebay.

I lost my job last October and my dad lost his the next week. We decided we would try our hand in ebay sales. We figured we would buy up antiques and collectibles at garage sales, thrift stores, and storage units for dirt cheep, then turn around and sell them on ebay.

I started posting some items of small value on ebay to learn the process etc. I started with a DVD of Felix the Cat that I bought at the $1 store and sold it for $3. Then I started searching at thrift stores for desirable items. My dad and I went to the Grand Re-Opening of the DI in Sacramento. He picked out a big stack of classic hardbound books. I think we profited most on those.

I started doing some research on storage unit auctions. I had known about the concept for a long time, but I didn't know how to go about buying one or what to expect to pay for one. My dad and I went to a small one on a weekday just to get a feel for them and learn what to expect. We found out from this family there, who go on a regular basis that the people there can be pretty competitive and they will make sure to outbid any new comers to discourage them from coming again.

They don't allow you to step inside the unit or even touch or move anything within the unit before they start the bidding. There are clues that will indicate, but not guarantee what kinds of things you might find in the unit, for example, the condition or size of the boxes, any writing on the outside, or any visible furniture legs or surfaces. One article I read even mentioned serial numbers, but that's really pretty far fetched.

I found an ad for a storage place that was planning to auction off something like 30 units and they mentioned some valuable items such as a grand piano that would be sold. It was on a Saturday, so our whole family went. There was a pretty good crowd there and it was the first time for a lot of them. We were allowed to roam around and look at the units and the other miscellaneous boxes and furniture that they had sitting out in rows. There was one unit that peaked my interest. All that was visible were some old boxes. But something about it told me that there might be something valuable inside. I remember pointing it out to my dad.

Then began the bidding. They went through a section of chairs and furniture before they started the bidding on the units. The one I liked was the first in the row. The auctioneer started the bidding at $25. For a moment no one bid. I threw up my number. There were no other takers. Gulp! I just bought a whole crap load of junk, I thought to myself. But hey, it was only 25 bucks! There must be something worth that in there.

We started hauling the boxes out, into the truck. When we reached the back of the unit we discovered an old cabinet radio from circa 1940's. It's not in the best of shape because they had another shelf with a leg resting on top that caused a flaw in the wood and it is missing the turntable, but we were sure pleased to find it there. We opened the boxes when we got home and found (among the mouse fesis, Pleck!) collections of antique dishes, plates, tins, Atari games, children’s videos, old post cards and greeting cards, piano player scrolls and a lot of garbage.

It was a lot of work to sort through the boxes, but it was like finding a new treasure in each one. It was even more work to have to wash every piece of glassware because of the mice that got in there. Some of the metal items were ruined because of it. Then we started taking pictures of anything we thought would be worth putting up on ebay. I was in charge of posting the items. They each had to be weighed plus calculate packaging. You have to write a description for each item, so we had to research some of them. Then we needed to come up with a reasonable, yet attractive price. There was more work involved than we anticipated, especially with such a large scope of items. If we sold the same or similar items I could create and save templates to use each time I posted an item. Instead, I nearly had to start from the beginning each time.

I had a 4 foot tall, orange vase that I bought at Denio's several months earlier for the purpose of selling on ebay. I posted it near the start of my short ebay career. After being listed for a couple of days I got an email from another ebay member saying that he is interested in purchasing the vase as a wedding gift for some friends of his in the Ukraine. He wanted me to send it to them giftwrapped. He also asked if I would assist him in sending them a money gift via Western Union. (This is where any other person with a lick of sense would say, um no thanks that smells like a scam to me.) He said he would transfer the money to my Pay Pal account if I would take care of the details of the vase and the money gift for him. He offered to pay me an additional $150 for helping him.

Temped to earn some extra money and eager to be a cooperative ebay seller I gladly accepted his offer. He sent the money to my Pay Pal account and I waited for the auction of the vase to end. He still had not bid on the vase through ebay. I sent him an email the last day reminding him that he had not bit on the vase yet and that I would like to sell it to him through ebay. He did not reply. The auction for the vase ended without any bids.

Then I get an email from another ebay member telling me that they tried to bid on the vase just before the auction closed but there was some error that prevented him from doing so. He asked if I would be posting it again and if so he would bid on it for sure. I waited to reply because I didn't know how/ if the other deal was going to pan out. I had this guy's money sitting in my Pay Pal account, so I figured it was a sure deal and I just needed to fulfill my part by sending the vase and the money.

I got the 4foot tall vase boxed up and gift wrapped, ready to send to the Ukraine and took it to the post office. When I get there I find out that the box is too big to send to that country. Great, what do I do now? I send the guy an email to explain. I remembered that I had some other clear blue vases in a similar fashion, but much smaller. I decided to send two to make up for the size difference. He seemed satisfied with that. So I box and wrap the other vases and get them sent. Then I sent the $700 Western Union. It turned out he gave me the wrong phone # for his contact in the Ukraine, so he gave another number.

This made the orange vase available again and I was able to send it to the second ebay member that wanted to buy it. I posted it again and he bid on it right away and it sold to him. I ran into problems again when I tried to drop it off at the post office with a shipping label I printed online. The clerk told me again that the package is too large, even to go to Texas. I would have to pay an additional $80 oversize fee. She also suggested packaging it with at least 2 inches of padding if it's fragile. It barely fit in the box I had it in.

I tried to compare shipping prices online with different companies, but there were too many variables to be sure. I didn't want to haul it around, and bring it in to each postal carrier to get a quote. I decided I would go with Fed Ex. I still needed to solve the packaging issue. I got some cardboard and I had to make an additional box around the one it was already in for more padding. Thankfully their price was less than what I was quoted online so I was quite pleased. According to the rules on ebay, the seller is responsible for making up any difference in the shipping fees.

That was such a relief to have that thing off my hands. The man I sold it to, in Texas thanked me for my trouble and told me how much it meant to him because his mother used to have one just like it.

A couple weeks went by and I didn't hear from the other person that I helped with his wedding gift. I sent him an email to make sure the vases and the money got to the couple ok. He replied and assured me that, yes they got it and they have decided to extend their honeymoon, so he wanted to send an additional $700 for them to help them out and would I please assist him again. I might be a fool, but am I am fool twice? YES! Damn, I could kick myself.

I had no problems in the first transaction, so I didn't see any reason to not follow through with it. Besides he was going to pay me another $150 to help him again.

He had someone else send me the money through Pay Pal this time. I gave the money to Western Union to send. A couple days later I get an email from Pay Pal saying that he is disputing his credit card bill with which he paid me through Pay Pal. He explained that he had not ordered anything from ebay and he couldn't understand what the charge was for. I started stressing out. I sent a reply to Pay Pal trying to explain the whole story in a few paragraphs. Then I sent him an email saying essentially, "You Idiot. Hello, it was me that you sent the money to for the wedding gift for you your friends." Within a couple days I got an email stating that the matter had been resolved amicably. What a relief that was.

Then I get an automated email from Pay Pal thanking me for bringing a spam issue to their attention. As if I had reported someone for violating their spam policy. I was quite confused. The next thing I know the first payment I received from him is on hold in my Pay Pal account. I gave them a couple days to look into it and resolve the situation. Instead, I discover that they have reversed the charges from my account and gave it back to him! And now the other payment from his friend was on hold too.

I called Pay Pal to try to get to the bottom of it. The person I spoke with was pretty puzzled by the situation and she said she had to speak with a supervisor to investigate the matter. When I hung up the phone with her I was hopeful that I would get my money back. After all, I was in the right. I had not done anything wrong.

In the mean time I sent and email complaint to Pay Pal reporting this guy as a fraud. I also sent him and his friend a scowling letter, telling them how it was a rotten and dirty deed for them to take advantage of a young single, working mother who is just trying to make some honest, extra money by selling on ebay. I got no reply from either of them. I expected to hear back from Pay Pal informing me that they corrected the reversal. But no. Shortly after receiving another email like the first about reporting spam, they reversed the second payment too.

Thankfully, the second money transfer had not been picked up yet by the other party. I called Western Union and had it transferred to come back to myself.

I called Pay Pal again. I was pretty nervous and upset. The girl I spoke with this time was quite cold when dealing with me. She would not give me any details about what their reason for reversing it was, but rather a list of possible reasons why they would make such a reversal. She explained that the transfer was not a secure transfer because there was not an ebay purchase associated with it. I asked her if I could fax some information regarding the incident to them for their review. She said I could, but that the case is already settled and there's really not anything I could do about it. I said, "Well, it's not settled in my mind."

I printed out every email that I received from this crook. I had the intention of faxing them to Pay Pal, but I still haven't. I guess I was pretty discouraged by the girl I spoke with there. This, coupled with the debt I already have, I had feelings of impending doom. I was reconsidering filing for bankruptcy. I think I have talked myself out of that once again, but I still don't have a solution to the vast debt I owe. Maybe I should hold a garage sale every Saturday.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Moving Blues

We are having a garage sale tomorrow. I have spent the last few weeks going through the boxes in the garage deciding what to keep, toss, or sell. I found childhood toys, mission letters and binders, college books and papers, dance costumes and shoes, giraffe collections, pictures, wedding decorations, birthday cards, Guy's baby clothes and toys, maternity clothes, dishes and household items. It amazed me how some of the things in the boxes I still had in my posession after all the times that I have scaled down for another move. I figured this will be the 19th time I have moved in my lifetime. Granted, 6 or so of the moves were on my mission, but that's still a new house/neighborhood/neighbors/scenery, etc.

It feels good to let go of some of what is just junk. The rest I keep carting around with me in hopes that I will one day have a place to call my own and I can take it out of their boxes and appreciate and use them. I want to get out my two large antique, orange and tirqoise dishes and make extra large bananna splits in them. I want to take my 1950's baby buggy with crome bumpers to a classic car show with my own sleeping baby inside again. I want to set a table for four at my little yellow fold away kitchen table. I want to set up my sewing machine and make a little Halloween costume. I want to vacuume the leaves on the front lawn. OK, not the last one. I do want a garden to plant Zenias and tomatos.

Can we say NESTING? I'm tired of not knowing how to focus my energies. Do I make a second effort at education and try to start a career as a Home Economics Teacher? Or is spending quality time with Guy more important than filling my life with more responsibility? How much longer can I ride under the wing of my parents?

Last summer I felt like my odds, socially were much better if I moved to Utah. I will be 28 this May. I have been attending the YA ward in the area. I know I stick out like a sore thumb in my ward. They all remind me of High School. Probably because that's where most of them just came from. Not to mention, that I have a son. I mean, everyone loves him, sure. But it's like wearing a sign that says "Commitment, Responsibility, Desperate". All very unattractive in the eyes of a foot loose and fancy free young man who lives at home, is still going through college and flipping burgers.

I figured my chances in Utah were better statistically, because there are simply more members. When I told my parents I was going to sell my car and move out to Utah and go back to school, they asked me to wait a few months and they would move with me. I know my father has been wanting to move out there for years now. That's where his roots are. He has family and memories there. My only brother has lived out there for the last 10 or so years and I know my parents regret not being able to see him and his wife more. So, my dad jumped at the thought of it.

My mother on the other hand was not so easily persuaded. Her only motivation is to help me find a husband. She will be making a major sacrifice in having to give up her job at Blue Shield, where she has worked up from the bottom in the last 9 years. She is now a team leader for the web in the HR dept. She enjoys her job and the people she works with. She has been expecting a few raises to come up and this is the reason for our delay in moving.

None of us will enjoy the weather. We have been spoiled by these 70 deg. "winter weather" days. My mom, esp. because of her false nuckle that is sensetive to the cold. Plus she is afraid to fall and hit it again by slipping on the ice. Although she has done some research on Real Estate and she is happy to know how much more affordable a home would be there. They could retire there more comfortably after selling their home here.

I feel an enormous amount of pressure in the situation. Like my parent's future is teetering on weather I start dating someone here or in Utah. For example when I told them that I met some one when I went out dancing on Friday, my Father's response was, "Well, too bad, we are going to miss you when we move to Utah." And my mother said, "Good, we can stay here."

I would really much rather live in California. I much prefer the weather and the diversity of the culture here. I would rather live closer to the city to be able to soak it up more often, but c'est la vie.

I have prayed several times to know if moving is the right thing for me to do. I guess I don't feel like I have had a confirmation. Maybe I need to rethink my situation and exercise some faith. When I pray for direction in my life, the answer that I get is that I need to focus on my son's needs. I tell myself that he needs a father. Perhaps, the truth is I want a husband more than he needs a Dad. He does not know what he is missing, and he has his Grandpa around to be a role model for him. My other fear is that the transition will be more difficult as he gets older. He is already protective of me.

In conclusion.....I have not yet come to a conclusion.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Midtown Rendezvous

I have a lot of thoughts to share, since I haven't posted in a while. I am finding that expressing my thoughts is like having to go poop. When I don't write about something, I get constipated and I want to get rid of it.

I went out swing dancing on Friday at the new Midtown Stomp for the second time. On the first night my friend Teri and I got there in time to catch the last half hour. We didn't get our fill so we went out salsa dancing after till 2:30am.

My dancing buddy, TerBear could not come because she had Strep Throat, so I went alone. I got there a little after 8pm. I think that might be the earliest I have ever showed up for dancing. Usually I do good to get out of the door by 10. There was an impressive number of people that showed up. Swing Session can always draw a crowd, and they obviously promoted it well. I am thinking that a good portion of the people came from dance studios in the area, because there were some fabulous dancers there.

I ran into an old friend from eRepublic who has been inviting me out dancing for the last year. He just started a month ago and he's doing pretty good at the basics and a few turns.

Hepcat and his wife were even there. I actually thought that he was my friend from work at first and was all friendly with him and he goes and asks me my name. Did he not recognize me at first? He used to ask me to dance at least twice a night. I guess, we were even since I didn't recognize him either at first. They moved down the coast a few hours, so I haven't seen them since they moved. I had to break the news to them about Gabriel and I breaking up.

I saw some friends from church. There's always the old timers that I know from Tower and 815 L and Ace's. I made sure I got to dance with Honey. I love dancing with him. He is so smooth, no even better than smooth. He has soul. He intoxicates me. He becomes the music. When I am dancing with him, I imagine that I am as sexy as he is, but my white bones weren't trained to move in such ways. He is not afraid to get close or look you in the eyes. Mmmm.........Did I mention I enjoy dancing with him?

I counted 21 different people that I danced with that night. I asked probably half of them. Kudos to the beginners who are not afraid to ask me or anyone else to dance. For me, it's all about having fun. No pressure. If they want me to tap, I'll tap. They want me to twist, I'll twist. I'm not going to critique them. That's what the lessons are for. I just smile like I am having fun and laugh at the mistakes.

Take JJ for example. He started learning about three years ago. He always told me how he felt inadequate to dance with me, but he appreciated how I would have fun dancing with him, regardless. And Friday, when I danced with him again to "Gimme A Kiss", we had such a great time. I think he was certainly in the top 5 of the best dancers that I danced with that night.

Towards the end of the night, I found myself glued to the corner of the entry. This guy in a red T shirt walks by and said to me, "Hi. Are you having fun?, because you've been standing there for, like ever."

I told him, yes. He said he would like to dance with me when he got back from getting a drink, if it was ok with me. I said, "That would be great."

We finished off what was left of the song and agreed on another. After a long introduction to the band members, and to each other. Burt and I danced to another song. He was a great dancer. He has rhythm and he is confident in his lead. He is even a little flirtatious in the moves. I had a good time dancing with him and he said it was a lot of fun.

I sat out the last couple of songs, besides the encore. Burt came over to me and started making conversation. He kept saying how he was not ready to go home yet because he had just gotten there. He must have spent more time driving than dancing because he lives near Fairfield. I told him about how I came late the previous time and went salsa dancing after. He said, "Salsa dancing is fun."

So, I invited him to come out salsa dancing with me. After some debate, he asked me if I would like to get something to drink instead. He said, "I don't drink, but some people do."

We were walking to my car and I still hadn't come up with a place near by that would still be open. He mentioned again about drinking coffee or hot chocolate. I remembered that there was a Carrow's down the street.

I couldn't resist asking him if he was LDS after having stated that he lives by two of the five main points of the Word of Wisdom. "What you think I might be Mormon because I said I don't drink?", he replied.

"Well, yes", I responded.

"So are you Mormon?" He jabbed.

"Yes, I am." I said, smugly.

"Hm, so am I".

I had to clear out a bunch of stuff out of the passenger seat before he could get in the car. He saw Guy's car seat in the back and asked if it was mine. That took care of how I would bring that one up. I explained that I have a son and that I am divorced, etc. He didn't seem to have any problem with any of it. Why should he? He only just wanted to get to know me. No pressure, right?

We ended up at Rick's Desert Diner. Well, technically we ended up on 17th and N or O. While at Rick's, we made chit-chat over hot chocolate and a raspberry Italian Soda (that had the taste of Nutra Sweet, Pleck!) I found out that he is 29. He is going to school studying English and Literature, I believe. He wants to write screen plays/be a Rock star. He says he is working on one now, but he is not at liberty to share it. He plays the guitar and he is on the verge of forming another rock band. He served a mission in NY. He works in a mall selling jerseys. He is the YA Branch Executive Secretary and he works in the Temple.

We ditched Rick's and I drove him back to his car. In stead of bidding adieu, we got to know each other even more. Like I found out that he is an amazing kisser.

He told me I am a Cool Chick. As much as I hate the phrase, I didn't mind hearing it from him. He gave me his phone # and email. I sent him an email on Sunday Morning. By Monday evening I hadn't heard from him, so I gave him a call. He was at work, but he called me when he got off. I knew who it was when he called because I saved his name and number in my phone. He asked if he should be scared. I laughed. He went on to tell me that he is scared of women. I said, "You didn't seem scared Friday night."

I asked him what his worst fear is regarding women. He readily replied, "Commitment".

"Oh, the 'C' word", I said, as if it were an STD, or something.

I asked if he got my email. He said he must have accidentally erased it. (Okeey) He seemed sincere, but I don't trust my own judgment anymore. He asked me to resend it.

I did, and I still haven't heard anything from him.

I hate to end this entry on a negative note, so I'll refer myself back to paragraph 8 about Honey. Mmmm.... Goooooood Niiight.