Monthly Archives: June 2015

The First Day

Today I started my new job as a customer service rep at the oil company. I did a retail office at a furniture store about 7 years ago but this was very different. Much more advanced computer work and more clerical than retail. It’s been a long time since I was a newbie at work. It felt so weird to realize I didn’t know where things were in the computer program, or what to do with any of the paper work. It was a challenge, the first time in a long time I’ve had to learn on the job. The woman training me is excellent, it’s just weird to not know what I’m doing at work. I tend to stay at a job a long time so I have time to get good at what I do. Usually I’m the one who trains others. But it’s also fun. I’m learning new things and that means I’m not bored. Bored at work is really terrible for me. I have an overactive brain that should not be left to its own devices. Plans for world domination, or if science can clone me a dragon, or how I can get a cabana boy to do housework for me (I hate dishes). None of this is productive or likely to keep me out of trouble, especially since after watching the new Jurassic World movie I firmly believe science owes me a dragon.

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The harvest is in!!

Last year I planted everbearing strawberries. The plants grew, the squirrels ate most of the berries (until the red shouldered hawk moved in) and I didn’t know if they’d survive the winter. We they came back with a vengeance. I wandered out to the patch early this morning and had to rush back to grab a big bowl.

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And there are at least as many more out there that just need a day or two to ripen. I’m thinking strawberry shortcake, but substituting brownies for the biscuits.

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End of an Era

Today was the last day of school for the Middle School, and at the same time was the last day for ME at the Middle School. It was bittersweet. I’ve been there for 4 years, and, while I know it’s time for something new, I’m going to miss all my colleagues and the antics of the students. So there was the end of year cookout, the goodbyes, and I am now the proud owner of a broad leaf bonsai. I’ve never seen one like this, which makes it fitting for my time there, I suppose. Monday I start my new job at the Oil Company. I’m looking forward to trying my hand at something new. I’m also really looking forward to not having to get up to an alarm for the next 4 days. Good night.

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Review: Magic Breaks By Ilona Andrews

Magic Breaks is book 7 of the series. I won’t recap the first 6 books, I’ll just say you can’t pick up the series from here and you wouldn’t want to skip the others, anyways. The book opens with a nice twist on the usual run down of what’s happened up to this point and why the world shifts from magic to tech to back again. Barabas is definitely one of my favorite side characters and it was fun to read his take on the situation. Magic Breaks is well paced with a good mix of character interactions, action sequences and very steamy scenes. It closes out the arc started in book 5 in a truly satisfying manner, and leaves me insanely eager to see what happens next (Hey, Ilona Andrews, if you have a an ARC with nothing else to do with it, feel free to send it my way!). Kate’s rather macabre sense of humor is alive and well and we finally get a proper look at the mysterious, malevolent Roland. This installment fleshes out some of the side characters as well. Julie is noticeably absent for most of the book, which is a shame, as I’d have liked to see more of her growth as a character. I’m hopeful, given how the book ended, we will be seeing more of her. The sequel, Magic Shifts, releases in August. I can’t wait.

BONUS REVIEW! Curran POV:

This is a fun collection of several scenes from the series as told from Curran’s point of view. These were an absolute blast to read. His take on Kate and her actions, especially at the beginning of their relationship, is frequently hilarious. Sadly only available in e-format, I highly recommend downloading it.

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Successful Conclusion to the Hunt

For a while now I have been looking to get a new job. Not another job, but one that would replace my Middle School position with a full time, year round position. This week that hunt came to an end. I interviewed with an oil company and I wore the +10 Jacket of Persuasion:

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It’s red not pink (silly camera). A major find on the clearance rack. And a size 6, my size is double that so I think labeling issues are why something so nice was on the clearance rack in the first place. I love Calvin Klein but I am not paying full price for the man. So far this jacket is 3-0 for getting a positive response in an interview. I wouldn’t be teaching at the college this semester with out this jacket.

Anyway, the jacket was worn, the interview was a success, and today I received the offer. So I will be starting a new career as a customer service rep in a growing family business. New stuff to learn, people to help, and co-workers to meet. This is going to be a blast. And the pay bump will be nice too.

And the good news kept coming today. The college is going to have me teach another class in the fall. I will be very busy but it should keep me out of trouble, at least a little bit…..

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Between the Sheets

The last two days have reached new heights of crowded scheduling. Out with the sunrise not back ’til well after the sunset. Waking in the morning and needing a full 3 minutes to remember what day of the week it is. But the crazy serves to highlight the one perfect moment in the day. Most days it passes unnoticed but when the workload gets out of hand it becomes all the sweeter. When there is no more that can be done, and all is put away the moment comes. I slide between the sheets and I let go of my muscles and gravity takes over, pulling me down into the mattress. Tension leaves from fingers and toes. The world takes my weight and I am set free to drift through the night…

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Indoor/Outdoor Day

The weekend before last we had a truly wild wind. A third of an otherwise healthy beech tree decided it had had enough and quit. Instead of breaking off cleanly for me to haul away, instead it half-snapped and hung there:

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So, since I was working at home on my lesson plans for the college, and the weather was nice, and, okay, I was feeling distracted, I decided it was time to tackle the problem before it squashed my fence and the poor boxwoods. I gathered my tools (really, you can’t beat Fiskers when you need to cut something), brought out the +10 Gardening Hat of Doom, and set to work.

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And it started out so well. I trimmed off the small branches as high as I could reach. That was an experience as every time one fell a cloud of yellow pollen mushroomed up. I still have a pollen headache. Next I extended the handle on my trimmer and set about cutting the two limbs that had broken. This was a lot harder than I expected. First, I’m 5’4″ and even with the trimmer extended fully I was having to hold onto the very bottom to cut the first limb. Second, it was about 3″ in diameter (and 10′ long!). The sawdust went every where. Somehow it managed to stay out of my eyes, but a surprising amount found its way into my bra. I could hear the universe snickering. At last it cracked, fell, and little me had to move 10 very solid feet of wood off the fence.

But this was not the end! The second limb now needed to be cut. This one was at what I thought was an easier angle. I was able to grip the trimmer a foot from the bottom, alas the universe was not done laughing at my attempts at yard work. Because this one had broken more, it wiggled more as I tried to cut it. This means instead of standing and sawing in a remotely dignified manner, I had to set the blade and then do squats to get the blade to stay in the groove while I cut. The universe snickered louder.

At last it was done. I moved the 7′ limb off the fence, and decided I’d had it with the great outdoors for the day.

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Frankly, going back in to work on building the quiz for the first 3 chapters of the text book was a relief.

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And the Hoard Grows….

So after months of waiting my pre-order arrived today. For reasons unknown 1 order arrived in 2 boxes. 20150605_162231

Ordered at the same time, shipped the same day, still arriving separately. Perhaps the one book (Night Broken), refused to play well with the others and solitary confinement was the only way to get it to my house. Truly the ways of Barnes and Noble are strange and mysterious. But as they are the primary source of increasing the hoard, I supposed I shouldn’t question it too closely. The arrival of books always brightens my day. When I rule the world new books will appear on my doorstep as soon as I finish one. In the mean time I will use the working dragon’s go to for when the gift card runs out: my local library. But first I have these to indulge in.

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2 mysteries and 2 urban fantasies. I will be reviewing each one here on the blog as I read them. Now which tea goes best with spending time in an alternate reality version of Atlanta?

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A Three Outfit Day

These are the exhausting ones. I’m used to two outfit days. Days when I might work outside then change into the Jewelry Store clothes. Or Middle School outfit plus either yard work or Jewelry Store outfit. But today was a Three Outfit Day (it deserves the capitals).

First outfit: The Middle School – Due to a cold snap this one was decidedly inadequate. I spent the whole day freezing. The only upside is that shivering burns calories. I think I may have lost 2 lbs today.

Second outfit: The interview –  Outfit was flawless, interview decidedly less so. I’d found a management position at a company I used to work for. Called up, got an old boss who said he’d pull my resume and application from my applying to the position, and call me if it looked good. Called the next day, set up interview. Went in today only to be told he’d never gotten my information and that no, the position had changed too much since I worked there and I didn’t have the operational credentials for the position. Oh and that there was no way those could be learned quickly, so while he’d love to work with me again I’m not getting hired. 40 minutes of my life that I will not be getting back. I’d rather he’d just called and cancelled.

Third outfit: The dinner – Finally, warm at last. This was my last event as the president of a scholarship committee. Someone else gets to take over now. Which is more than a bit of a relief. Here’s hoping they are better delegating than I am. The woman whose shoes I filled did everything; I couldn’t manage on her level (none of the officers is sure how she managed to operate on her level), but I did have a good time trying. Next year I get to sit back and enjoy someone else’s hard work as a guest at the meetings instead of the central planner. The dinner was good though 3 waitstaff for 60 guests made the service just a little slow. But the company was good so who cares how long dinner took? An hour drive home, and at last I can start the wind down.

The wind down selection from the hoard: The Diva Frost’s a Cupcake by Krista Davis. Great cozy mystery, 6th in the series, I highly recommend all of them. I wish I had the main character for a neighbor, I’d be over her house every couple of days for a bite to eat!

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