Tuesday, January 2, 2018

So another year gone by, wow.

Still no job, I am looking but without a car as I have mentioned before it's tougher.
Reflections on the past year and the coming year.
Last year was a shocker to be sure. Publicly, politically, personally everything had surprises around the corner.  I remember back in the spring last year that I felt something big was going to happen, a lot of big things happened but that feeling was very personal. I caused my own big change and I can only hope that the next step will be more carefully thought out and a step in the right direction. Which direction I have yet to figure out.
Christmas was surprising. I thought I would be sitting at home doing mostly nothing or be on the computer and actually a planned outing happened. We had the tickets to Sea World and actually went.
I had been feeling kind of off the day or two before Christmas. That sort of 'off' feeling of biological workings were not functioning correctly. I couldn't put my finger on it but was feeling bloated and full. We went to IHOP for breakfast which was fine, made me feel even more full. Had a blast actually, got to ride the Manta which is one of my favorite all time roller coasters. Got to see a 'reindeer' in the Santa's Village area (where the former Budweiser beer garden was, shows you how long ago I was there). I put that in quotes because there was a handler there that explained what exactly they were. I thoroughly enjoyed his information because I learned something I didn't know before. Reindeer are actually caribou, in a harness. Caribou are a LOT smaller than you would think. About the size of a pony and as some who are reading this know they drop their antlers at different times of the year. Winter for males and summer for females so the photo below of the animal and an antler, he just shed that a week before. The handler also had the second one that had shed just the day before. Really amazing! So, given that timing, all the 'reindeer' for Santa are FEMALES. (Yes some of you who know all these factoids bear with me.)

That was another first, had never been to Sea World during Christmas.

(Edit, forgot to finish my side note about not feeling well)
We met up with Katie's mom and stepdad at a local Chinese restaurant, the food was good but I was off my feed still. By the time I got home I felt like I was going to burst open, one end or the other. Didn't sleep well and the next day.... yeah. Apparently blockage had occurred and it started moving again. I'm not sure exactly what caused it but I'm only now feeling better but still have that overstuffed feeling even though everything is 'moving' normal. Watching my food now and eating less because I'm feeling full most of the time.

I am getting my brain warped (yes that's right) around my next big life change of moving out on my own. Totally alone... somewhere. Have to wait for money to come in the next month or so before I can consider looking for a car. Already moving forward with getting my 401k dealt with. That's another funny thing.  I checked it about a week ago and I was about $37 shy of $23k. I checked it day before yesterday and it said I had $23,001.90. Woohoo! That was so weird, then I get my email statement and it's at some odd $22,000something again. Okay so I figure that it's the quarterly end, fees and such but apparently between those two dates of checking the amount there was a loss of about $80 some dollars. Fees are only about $5. I don't understand investing, all these years I've just been putting money into it from my paycheck, filling out the same paperwork every year and getting my statement.
Now I need to find someone I can trust, hopefully with my bank so I don't have to have money I need in a different spot.
Oh the good thing is I turn 59 1/2 in April so getting things set up and ready by then is a good idea. That's the first break point where I don't get penalized for early withdrawal.
I hate math and numbers. Banks scare me. Nice place to have money but dealing with forms and all that is one of my big anxiety points.

In the meantime, still making jewelry and putting it up on Etsy. Finished a commission for a coworker for earrings and necklace. Katie is finally back in the swing of her polymer clay so she cranked out some holly leaves and gingerbread men. For that after Christmas stuff..yah know.
She's promising some spring and valentines items so will be looking for that. I still need to make a necklace for her mom and sister for the wedding.
That's the other thing that's ramping up as well is wedding prep and plans.
Okay, need to go get some food and walk around a bit.
Thank you all for all your support and encouragement both with words and gift cards.

"Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction." - Anonymous.

Monday, December 18, 2017

ADOS: Attention Deficit..Ohh Shiny!

Been distracted a lot lately with various things. Been to Disneyland, been making stuff and sold a few things and then a movie happened.
I saw The Last Jedi and it was everything I expected and some I didn't expect.
I have never cried that much through a movie in my entire life. For all the right reasons. I guess I was in an emotional state because little things caught me off guard, funny things, reminders of other characters, and then there was Leia.
((pausing to choke up a bit))
Yeah..it was like that.
So my brains been a bit scrambled processing all the images and emotions through that entire 2 1/2 hour movie.
Amber, her boyfriend Wellman (first name is actually Joseph but because they have another friend that is also a Joseph he goes by his last name, like ya do) and a friend of theirs also came, I paid for their tickets on Fandango and they paid me back when we met up.
About Fandango, here's my adventure in online ticket ordering.
When I finally had money I just automatically when to that site and looked up tickets. Had to double check with Amber what would be a good time for her crew and it turned out it had to be Friday morning no later than 9. Fine, perfect I have the whole day.
So, looking at times I find the first listing for 9 am, hesitate, double check, triple check and then ordered them. Printed out the hard copy and let Amber know.
$66. For 4 people to see the movie. If it weren't for the guys paying me back it would hurt a bit more, but this movie was worth every penny.
Okay so that Thursday I look again after Amber and I had a discussion about neither of us liked 3D for different reasons and sure enough, I had ordered 3D Imax tickets! CRAP!
Messaged Amber and told her I was looking into refund/exchange rules and Fandango is really good about that. Can do it up to the time of the showing. GREAT! I didn't want a financial blunder that would delay the tickets and was checking other times. Standard showing was only a half hour later. SWEET!  I kept seeing how refunds are easy if you're a Fandango VIP member. Pause. Did I sign up for that last time? Hmmph, okay go to that page and just on a chance I hit the log in button and entered my standard email and password... Bingo! I HAD registered 2 years ago for the last movie!
So, enter in the info and then had to decide whether to get a refund back on my card or an exchange. The tickets were now going to be HALF the cost of the original set but I decided to get an exchange so the balance would still be on my VIP rewards and they never expire.
Badabing, badaboom, clickity click... DONE! BONUS! Because I used my VIP account I got a 'free' Last Jedi poster! (shipping and handling $6.95). Fantastic!
After the movie I went to a bead and gem show that comes to San Diego about three times a year. Got to meet up with a friend and former coworker there and realized as she was relating the typical gossip and travails of working there that as she talked my shoulders started to tighten, my chest kind of caved in...
I hadn't realized how much that job had burdened me over the years until she started reminding me of all the emotional baggage and stress that happens there.
I am feeling so much better now and despite being extremely tight on money feel a weight has been lifted. Didn't used to be like that when I first started working there. It happens, time wears people down and we move on.
So, I've been riding an emotional rollercoaster, but that is also due to another thing I had to take care of.
My medical coverage.
Now that I am without my full time job, I don't have medical anymore. I have two prescriptions, one is my 'aftercare/preventative' HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and a 500mg naproxen for my arthritis pain.
Both came up for refills and I asked how much they were, HRT is $120 without insurance, the naproxen is only $22. Comparitively, HRT was only $8 something and the naproxen was $2 something on insurance.
Balancing between actual quality of life and a precautionary pill that technically I could have stopped two years ago, I told them to hold the HRT indefinitely.
I now have coverage but that doesn't start until January, I have enough to get me through until next month which is also my return appointment for the osteo doctor.
Going back to the emotional thing. PMS is both ends of the female life cycle, Pre menstrual and Post menopausal. Mood swings, emotional upsets, hot flashes, you know the drill. A side effect of the HRT was pain in my joints among other things. Well guess what doesn't hurt as much anymore? I'm supposed to take the naproxen twice a day, morning and night with food. I've forgotten it a few times at night but haven't noticed any difference there. Now it also reduces the swelling in my fingers so I'm not about to give it up just based on not being in as much pain anymore.
And that's the way it is.
As for the kids, (I think I mentioned in a previous post that Devon is in Alaska now?) anyway, he found a great job working for an electrical/lighting supply place getting $16/hour and after his probation period gets great medical and dental. I'm so happy for him, he's loving the 'wild woods' life up there and now that he has a job the financial burden that hadn't been there before has been lifted.
Amber is doing good, bright highlighter pink hair and all. She's still going to New Mexico to surprise her kids for Christmas which is absolutely incredible. So happy that she gets to do that and I only wish I could go with her.
As to that, I still don't have a full time job. Options are limited due to not having a car. (Amber has a car and if I went with her would have to put up with her smoking so, love her to pieces but I'll have to stay home. Can't afford and don't want to drive that far again.)
Kiri from what I have seen is stable and doing great with her kids on her own now again.

So.. I think that's about it this time. I've sold two things on Etsy since I restarted. Oh! About that, when I was at Disneyland, I wore my lightsaber earrings that I made and not one but TWO cast members (both women of course) noticed them. I hadn't made cards yet unfortunately but told them my shop name and hoped they could remember it and see the rest of the colors. One of them asked if I had red ones and I replied, 'Of course!'.  No pings on that yet and then riding the bus to the Beverly's Christmas dinner a girl sat behind me and tapped me on the shoulder motioning to my ear. I was wearing some beaded wreath earrings I had just made and she loved them. I told her I made them, and luckily this time had a card I could give her. She saw my name and gushed, 'That's my AUnt's name!' she kind of got teary eyed a bit so her AUnt must have a big impact on her. (yes I stressed the first two letters because of how she pronounced it.)
So here's hoping better and brighter things coming next year.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Next year is going to be interesting.

But let's finish this year first shall we?
Katie is kind of pushing me (because her fiancee is pushing her) to try and get things ready to move by spring of next year. I wanted to move to Washington but there's several issues with doing that.
First, I don't have a full time job yet. That can be good or bad come next year but seeing as how my income has been cut to poverty level now, the tax return isn't going to be as good as last time.
I don't have a car. Yet.
That was my plan before I got fired was to use the tax return to buy a car and then look for a new place. New car would likely take up all of my spare tax return... you see the circle logic here?
I looked at the cost of renting a U Haul truck small to medium size for going to Washington, close to $1200 for five days. One way.
I don't know what kind of car I'm going to be getting so can't look at the cost of renting just a large trailer.  Looking for a job up in Washington is pointless at this stage.
Good point is, in April I turn 59 1/2 so I can roll over my 401k and withdraw money without any penalty, just pay taxes.
Another point (though will have to check and see when I opened the account) my credit card will be in good standing after a year at which point they jack the account max up quite a bit. It could help quite a lot with moving costs.
So anyhow, that's what's on my mind right now.
Devon is doing fine up in Alaska, he loves the open wilderness and actually has finally found a job. He's not officially hired yet but it's pretty much a done deal. That takes some pressure off his situation, which I will summarize.
His buddy Rem that he's known since he started working for the HVAC company down here in San Diego has some cousins that needed help doing work on a cabin up near Anchorage. The initial idea was that they would move up there into the cabin with the cousins, not have to pay rent but work on refurbishing a basement and some other handyman work. The unspoken implication was that they wouldn't have to find a job because they would be pretty much living free room and board even if it is sleeping on a couch oh and he would have a car to use as well.
So Devon got rid of what few things he had and what he didn't want to get rid of he left with a friend to mail up after he got settled
Well, about two weeks ago his buddy Rem had a fall out with his ex who said she wouldn't be flying his daughter to see him for Christmas. This put him in a tailspin and told Devon to find a job or he would have a one way ticket to Seattle at the end of December.
This is just Rem, the cousins aren't giving him a hard time. Rem is also looking for a job but don't think that's the point.
Devon was putting applications anywhere he could find online, the issue was it's Alaska. In winter... they are about 45 minutes East of Anchorage. Not like he can take public transit or walk into town so he has to ask to use the car (there's a truck also but it was in the shop apparently). He's had three interviews and the one that won him over was at an electronics supply company for a warehouse job. Great company, someone didn't alert the management or owner that he had an interview but the owner gave him the interview anyway on the spot. Devon apparently made a good impression and he is being hired.
Snoopy dances all around on that.
Amber is still hanging in on her end, she is going to be driving to New Mexico to see her kids for Christmas Eve and morning. That was at the suggestion from their stepmom actually and she was shocked and is absolutely stoked about the situation.  It'll be a surprise for the kids, they don't know so it'll be a Christmas surprise. I wish I could go with her, but that drive was torture and she can do it on her own. I will make do with doing a facetime call or something.
That brings us back around to moving. Alone. Or mostly alone.
I had planned that Devon and I would be moving together but now that's shot out of the water. Katie can't help, could ask Amber but it's a week of her taking off from her job. That's where considering a moving company comes in. If I get a car then I can haul a trailer and drive myself while the main bulk of the rest of my stuff can get hauled by a company.
The other option is still having my car and a trailer and that's all. I can pare down most of my stuff to one room and relocate the rest of my storage stuff to a smaller unit. I think it's down to about a 6x10 as it is right now. My bedroom stuff could be reduced a bit but still fit about the same size.
I dislike driving alone. I really like having someone else in the car to talk to and keep me from nodding off. As I said it was a hellish drive coming back from New Mexico and though the drive from San Diego to Washington would be much different, it would still be alone.

That's enough for now, should have made this two posts but had to get it all out. More updates as they happen.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Jewelry making and other stuff

So I made three videos chronicling my necklace making. It is again by no means complete nor professional. I even whine a little about needing people to buy my stuff. Really do need that tripod which neither Katie nor I can remember where it went. Since I was doing other stuff I never showed a video of the finished process but I did warn people.
I filled out another online application for a local woodworking store that is relatively well known. They also had an assessment test site which I think most companies are using to cut down on unnecessary interviews. 
It's hard to describe on an application the kind of random stored trivia and bits of knowledge I've acquired over 19 years of retail work. And life in general.
I have a trivia mind where if I find something fascinating I will store bits of that in my head and at some point I get to pull it out and use it.
Also collective experience and exposure to various other jobs and information. Like watching videos about fixing up houses I picked up some terms for house building. Watching a woodworking series (forgot which one) I know some names of woodworking tools as well as some types of wood. So unfortunately when they ask, in a very small box, what knowledge I have that would make me a good candidate it stops me. Uhhhh, you  have to show me something and ask me a question before I can show you how smart I am.
So anyway. I have the phone interview for EDD tomorrow morning between 8 and 10 am. I've got my bank card, the forms filled out for certification and all that. This is the last step and then hopefully will have some money in the bank by the weekend. I'm waay behind on my storage payment and if I don't get one in soon they start adding a lien payment which jacks that up another $100.
Yes I knew finding another job was going to be difficult and if unemployment payments aren't enough I will have to swallow my pride and push my previous experience aside and apply at Target. For December. The WORST time you could want to work at that place or any retail store. I am serious that I had PTSD after working there for a year and a half. At THAT store twenty years ago. Sure the manager may be gone and it may be an entirely different crew there but the work ethic and their practices have not likely changed. I also can't stand on my feet in one spot for a long period of time. 
Which is why I am exhausting all other possibilities first.

I also discovered all the original photos I took when I started making jewelry almost ten years ago. In that process of looking for the tripod I discovered the box of jewelry from said photos. Then I found the box of random jewelry and earrings I had shoved in a drawer. Most of that is either going to be taken apart or bagged up and given to Goodwill. It is useless to sell as it is either dusty, corroded or just plain ugly. Time for a fresh start with better skills and more imagination brought on by that evil site Pinterest. Well and the books I've collected as well as more skills and knowledge. 
Here's the video link to the youtube channel:

Friday, November 17, 2017

My latest beading adventure: Videos!

I have decided with all this free time and the technology on hand that I should do a video series of how I work on a necklace. I mention in one of the videos that I can't find my tripod for the camera so I'm holding my phone for my first videos. I started the necklace then realized, A: I didn't have enough thread and B: I had made a mistake and taking the beads out would have shredded the thread even more so I restarted the necklace and videos as well.
Apparently the size limit for a video here is 100MB. My first video is 233MB. Oops, looks like it's link to youtube for now!

An update on my work situation.
I interviewed for a position at Home Depot that I knew I couldn't get. It involved in being at work at 5 am and buses don't run that early in the morning. I went through the interview anyway with the manager in charge of the MET (Merchandizing team that specifically only handles merchandise stocking and vendors). After the interview, which was mostly formula questions like I had seen on the assessment test, he said he would pass my packet to the actual store manager to see if she had any positions open for cashier or customer service. He said to give it a couple of weeks until she got back to the store.  I do think I thoroughly impressed him with my knowledge of retail operations as far as safety and procedure is concerned. He made some notes on my files and I can only hope it gets noticed. He said they only hire part time to start but the bonus is that dental and vision is part of the benefits for part time and 'incentives' like discounts for car rentals or other things for being a Depot employee. Whoopdee but it may well come in handy IF I get a job there.

In the meantime I'm trying to fill out the continuing claim form that was sent to me, which came on Monday the 12th.. and the date I needed to get it mailed back was... the 12th.  As usually for me I botched and didn't realize there was an option to go paperless until Katie told me. I went to the site, looking for that option and it keeps sending me to the new claim registration page (insert loud growling). Okay so I see a link for a 'helpful' video on filing a continuing claim on youtube... click on it annnnd.. video is no longer available (insert growling rumble with possible thunder).  Go back to the main site, try all the directions for getting to the UI online to file a continuing claim... annnd it sends me to the new account registration page (head exploding).
I am going to be force do use their phone system to try and find help. This is also not going to go well as I tried before and it shuffles you from one menu to another and pointing you to the UI EDD online site.
(full on volcano head exploding threatening village and entire island with anger lava).

So I'm trying to switch back and forth between looking for a new job listing, figuring out how to make a video, navigating the EDD site and frankly not having any stress relief.
Oh, it did rain this morning though.

 Image result for anger inside out

About my clumsy accident. 3/10/17

Friday night, stumbled on rough sidewalk going home and ended up face planting on the sidewalk. For anyone that saw my post on facebook, here's the full version.
So here's the rundown of what happened when I fell. Just all the bits and pieces of coincidence and irony, plus geek references.
So I fell luckily on a main street, sitting there dripping blood trying to call Katie and this couple walks up and asks if I'm all right. I don't have my glasses on (luckily not broken or even scratched) I tell them I'm okay but am calling my roommate to take me to urgent care. I mention making a 911 call and they were concerned, but I explained someone was coming.
The man said he was CPR trained and asked what day it was and frankly, not due to being injured but having been at work all day I had to think a moment. (Hahah).
We waited for a while and, as I suspected would happen, Katie turned the wrong way and had to turn around up the street to come back and get me.
I did tell her to bring a towel due to bleeding but she forgot it. Kleenex it was.
Oh I wore one of my Star Wars shirts under my work shirt that day.. when I got in the car, turns out my CPR guardian was also wearing a SW shirt, which I didn't notice until Katie pointed it out as he leaned in to make sure I was okay.
We get to the urgent care, and I mention to Katie that the last warning I heard from my manager was 'no one had better call in sick, there better be blood for a reason.'. (hence my mentioning the photo proof and blood.)
So waiting, get in and situated, triage nurse was 'Chad', nice young guy. He had to get a good look at the eyebrow and apologized for staring, I told him he was a medical professional, that's part of his job and to take his time.
He took my BP and blood oxygen, BP was off which is expected given the stress. Dr. Chen would be my ER doctor.. Jack Chen. Yes from what I could see he looked vaguely Asian.
So he gets all set up and said I would definitely need stitches in both places. Ick, no choice really so he got the lidocain or whatever they use and numbed me up. Kindly he sprinkled some on the sites before sticking me so the poke wasn't as bad. 
As he was stitching my knee after the eyebrow, I asked 'So what sort of thread do you use these days? Nylon?" he was a bit startled at my question but said yes, and explained why nylon for facial and another type for other areas.
He asked if I was a medical professional and I told him no, just a head full of trivia.
He asked if I was up to date on my tetanus and I said no, so that was ordered. Oddly coincidental Katie and I had mentioned not being up on that just the day before.
Welp, up to date for another ten years now.
 So, trying to type on my phone after the adrenaline wore off and the blanket they gave me was no longer warm so was annoying and tragic.  Katie messaged me to ask if I was done (she had to go home and do something with her mom), so when the doctor was finishing up he saw me shaking and tried to hand me my work shirt and I said, actually I need my phone. He unplugged it from the portable charger and handed it to me then stepped outside the room. I remember my hands shaking really bad and it reminded me of my dad with Parkinsons. 
So, I got out of the room, barely able to bend my left leg to put on my shoe, but got out of the room and Katie called me thinking I was outside already. 'Did you see one of the knitting ladies? She was there with her daughter.' I'm thinking which one? 
Well it turns out to be one that lives in Clairemont. Her toddler was running a fever and that urgent care was the closest one open.
All said and done, we were both hungry and Katie drove over to the Denny's so we could have some dinner. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Four weeks now. Exactly.

Four weeks ago I was 'released of my duties' at the nursery.
So far, I've made a lot of jewelry, started listing things on Etsy, filled out frustrating applications online that amounted to nothing had one interview and will be contacting the Home Depot Talent Acquisition line about the status on my application from Friday.
Oh yes, ploughed through the confusing EDD forms online but finally finished that and am waiting for physical copies in the mail.
Haven't finished the filing for MediCal as that is a bit problematic as well. I am sharing expenses with Katie therefore her income likely will be counted.
I'm attempting to get out and walk at least for a half hour instead of sitting at home all the time on the computer or making stuff.After being on my feet for almost 8 hours seven days a week and now am not that active, that's kind of important.
Money is tight. Katie's grandmother sent me some money to tide me over until she sends the rent money for next month but after that, she has to watch her budgeting as well.
I put an application in at a wholesale floral supply store but since he said to give him a few days and that was almost a week ago, I've had to drop that hope. It wasn't the best interview on my part, not  upbeat enough and admitted to being in the wrong when I got fired. Oh well.. I've been looking at the listings on indeed.com as that was highly recommended by Katie.
I find it rather amusing that businesses are now using the term,"Talent Acquisition" for their hiring process.
I'm sorry unless you are Disneyland or a theater agent what you are hiring is not 'talent'. Well most of them, I certainly believe I have some talents. They are trying to put a spin on an otherwise average run of the mill job.
I've encountered three online application sites that use that term so I'm sure it's one company that farms out their services for the process.
So here's hoping that my interpretation of the EDD forms was correct and it isn't delayed. The issue was they ask if you worked for any other company in the last 18 months. Yes, BUT there is no allowance for it being a current job. It's either you did  and aren't anymore or you didn't. I found a work around by saying No then yes on the second half of the form. Should be getting that paperwork by the 13th and a replacement EDD bank card before the 20th.
I had a card when I was off work for chemo, then when we moved last year I thought 'I won't be needing this anymore' and shredded it along with all the account information. Of course.
So I'm making good use of my time anyway, got my Etsy account reactivated and am slowly uploading the pictures. Having a smartphone makes photos soooo much easier! I remember having to haul out the photo box, set it up on the table, take the pictures (digital camera thankfully at least) then have to take it to the computer and upload them, edit and then file them.
It is much faster and easier now with minimal editing ability on my phone, can upload directly from google photos. So it's much faster and easier these days and since it's only .20 cents to post an item, I can  do five or six a week without dinging the budget too badly.
People are sharing when I post on facebook so here's hoping someone wants to buy my stuff.

So, surviving for now, hoping for a job soon and IF the Home Depot does come through it's right up the road with a fifteen minute bus ride. The minor hitch was something about it being a 9-5 Monday through Friday job... I would only take that schedule if they promised me $13 an hour.  Even then I would still need a second job or more income.  As always, updates as they happen or the next month goes by.

"Live is not about how you survive the storm, but how you danced in the rain." - unknown.