Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Wallpaper Measure

Here is a measure of the body's, um, change: how long does it take you to wallpaper a bathroom?

Never mind the part about having to buy the house first. That took a long time and one reason I wanted to buy it was to wallpaper that bathroom!

After buying the house, I visited the Habitat store and bought the rolls. That took 3 days and 3 trips because of different misunderstandings about the price. Good result, though: 4 rolls for $2.00. It's a little lacy, almost-basket-weave design.

After looking at the rolls sitting out on the dining room table for a couple of weeks, I then borrowed a taller ladder to reach all the way up to the 9' bathroom ceiling. Next, I needed a couple weeks to think and plan how to manage with the ladder and the bathtub, the wetting and the matching.

When I couldn't stand thinking about it any more, I brought everything in to the smallest room and hung the first strip! lt went fine, just as planned--except it didn't reach all the way down to the woodwork. With sweat pouring off, I decided the little naked isoscoles (sp?) triangle on the wall at the bottom corner behind the door would be called my "signature" (if anyone ever noticed it).

It turns out, as I struggle like I-love-Lucy, that I have a number of wallpaper signatures: little tears along the seam, a few bubbles that didn't quite get flattened out. As my mom used to say, that's how you can tell it's homemade. Except she meant it about sweaters and potholders and such. "Homemade" doesn't mean "charming" in home decor.

It IS charming, though; the defects disappear in the larger scheme of little lattices with teenie flowers. One loses track of time when completing a strip--you have to set aside a whole day for it--but as the weeks go by, each addition comes out better than the last, and I'm pleased.

The only thing is, it takes the body at least two days to recover after each sweat-pouring session up and down the tall ladder. At this rate we'll be dressing in our Halloween costumes by the time I'm done. Also, I have to think for a while about how to fit the ladder into the bathtub. And I'm a little off plumb so need to tug the next strip straighter.

I will finish this project, though, just give me a few months. I can "still" hang wallpaper, just not so fast.

Good old horsey.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Job Insecurities

After buying the new house and increasing my financial obligations about fifty percent it occurred to me to get a little job.
And they came back, those job feelings.

First, I searched around the local college site and found an opening to evaluate the writing of international students. I thought that might be fun, but I would have to learn some ESL stuff to fit into the qualifications. I would be good at it, too.

So then it came to me: why not try to do something I'm already good at and have experience? It seemed a good idea to e-mail a counseling center nearby and offer my services as a consultant. A man I'll call "James" wanted to see my resume!

Next came re-writing the thing because having retired I cheerfully threw out my resume and let my credentials expire. Re-crafting took a couple of days, about four hours of which was spent on perfecting the punctuation. The minute I slipped the completed document into the mail slot, I began to wonder if I had sent two page twos and no page one. Up rushed inadequacy and self-doubt (in which I major).

That day I took out some books from the library about how to succeed, one by a woman named Cathie Black who works in publishing and another about awakening the inner entrepreneur. Cathie Black says you need to have DRIVE. The entrepreneur book says you need a DREAM. My reaction to these was DESPAIR because this is not who I am!

Whether it was the oppression of women or something congenital (because it's not innate from either parent), I lack ambition. My dream is my life now: retirement, watching daytime TV, saying prayers, playing with grandchildren, puttering about the house, reading deep and shallow books, an occasional church social, and attempted writing. Except with more money.

I started doing "bad self talk," which is a no-no, aggravating "toxic shame." Not good enough and never will be et cetera. All part of the process. Following the advice of Cathie Black I did some more research on the counseling center's web site--and maybe I should renew my addictions certification? Sure, with about 200 hours of continuing education and taking an exam! Visions came of driving places at night and studying molecular diagrams of various controlled substances, followed by an oral exam about counseling functions.

That is when I began to return to myself. I prayed to God and got back in touch with "Tell Him how you REALLY feel" through the Psalms. No, I am not going to renew any certifications or try to get new ones. I will always have my graduate degrees and my publications, they don't expire. I have a lot to offer the way I am.

The Lord's service is perfect freedom but not without insecurities.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

From one of the 18 million

Hillary Clinton gave a beautiful speech last night--for which inevitably she was pounded by CNN commentators. David Gergen wondered what she would want to "extort" from Obama, for example. Jeez!

She looked beautiful, too, and I was crying. Still am, a bit. From supporting her only because she was the best qualified (which got SO little play in everyone's thinking), I have come to love Hillary. What she has done for the Democratic Party and for women is a rare feat indeed.

The greatest part of her speech was the answer to "what does Hillary want" part. I'm sure it's on you-tube. You know your technophobe would not know how to link.

Now what? Oh yes I watched Obama's speech too (and McCain's; he looked like a death's head with false teeth). Obama has been forced by us 18 million to acknowledge Hillary rather than condescend. He has been forced to respect her strength and her following. I would respect him if he chose Hillary for V.P. because they would make the strongest ticket. But something tells me he doesn't want to run with her.

I don't care for Obama, and I don't think he's qualified. But of course I will vote for the Democrat. Anything but another anti-Roe Supreme Court justice. I just have to say that the prospect of looking at my ballot and seeing the same-old same-old men Men MEN makes me really depressed!!!!