Jobs

I start my new job Tuesday. We are spending the day getting ready for the change. David’s taking over inside chores, I’m keeping outside chores. It’s sad but true, he is much better at running a home than I am. He’ll be doing his work at night, and we’ll call in the troops when he’s out of town.

I think it will be a good job (and I’m not saying that because they have this address, I need to assume they have better things to do than lurk on my blog). Since I am going back to work, it seems like an ideal situation. After training, my schedule will be early, 7-4, the work is familiar stuff, the people seem nice, so it should be good.

I’ve gotten other calls on jobs, but I’m just going with this one, since everything seems to be a good fit and I’ve already accepted. The one bummer was that one of the jobs had 100% tuition reimbursement, which would have been sweet if I did the online MBA with Indiana U that I’ve been wanting. But oh well, I think this is a good situation.

Happy June 28th!

Which in West Bountiful this year, is their version of the 4th of July, complete with parade in the morning, party at the park all day, and fireworks at night.

This day was also David’s B-day, aforementioned, so the day was a childhood dream: Parade, new kittens, going to see the new Pixar movie Wall-E with dad, dinner at Chuck-a-rama, cake and ice-cream, presents for dad, play at the park, and fireworks. I told them to hold on to that day as the symbol of their childhood for when anyone asked them if they had a happy childhood. Ok, kids, you’d better say YES!

I know these pics are little, but I wanted a quick upload. Here are some images of the day:

The Cousins: Mark and Kim, some of their kids:


There was so much candy thrown at this parade! It was CRAZY. My cousin Josh (Kim’s oldest) is home from BYU for the weekend, and was studying engineering during the parade. He was rewarded by someone coming up with a huge bag of candy and dumping it on his lap as a reward for studying–you can’t see the candy (behind the notes), he was pleasantly surprised!The parade was complete with Darth!
The grumpilicious didn’t have to watch the parade and emerged afterward, “Because it’s my birthday and I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to.”I kind of jumped on a whim while the older kids were at the movies and went picked up two free kittens, siblings, to be our farm cats. The black with gray stripes is a girl, Isabelle (Sophie named) The white with gray stripes (beautiful!) is a boy, Spike (Ben named).

David got a guitar and a Batman pillow (and Batman toys) for his b-day.

It has become a tradition that Ben design his dad’s cake on the computer and print it out for me to copy onto the cake, I don’t know that I did it justice. Here’s Ben’s design:

Here’s the cake:

Happy B-day, old man! It was a fun day!

Oh, and here’s that pillow I made for father’s day:

Your Chicken Lesson for Today

Because you know you wanted one.
This Saturday we will go from 21 chickens to 11 chickens in The Great Chicken Massacre of 2008, so today I get to order more chickens from McMurray Hatchery so we will have more layers in the hen house in the winter. (There needs to be a lot so they can warm up together in the coop). So today I ordered a rainbow of new layers to spice up our current all-white hen menagerie:

(below “st run” means “straight run,” which means just whatever comes out, non-sexed, usually half/half”)

Top Left (and first chick on left, below) New Hampshire Reds – 5 st run

Middle Left – Buff Orpingtons (lots of thick feathers for winter!) 2 female, 5 st run

Bottom Left and middle chick: Black Minorca 2 female

Top Right: Buff Minorca 2 female

Middle Right: Barred Rocks 9 st run

Buff Orpingtons are good mothers, which means I won’t have to buy or tend chicks anymore, unless I want a different variety. Many modern hens won’t set. They’ll lay eggs and wander off. In a commercial environment, setting tendencies are a bad thing–you don’t want the hen to be upset when you take her eggs. You can sneak other, non-setting hens’ eggs under a setting hen no problem, and she’ll mother and raise the chicks as her own. Her chicks will make even better mothers than she was, because they are a generation raised by a mother, not just in a hatchery (or by me). Of course, the boys in the straight runs will be fryed up, except for whichever one I decide will be our rooster. I’m hoping to have a buff orpington rooster also, but I may change my mind.

So, I recently had cause to review my blog thoroughly (as aforementioned amusing security breaches gave me pause —“What HAVE I been writing in my blog??”) And I learned that I’ve been saying for months, “Soon the coop will be done.” Well, guess what? The chickens moved in to their coop last week! It still needs the roofing material put on, but it will do for now.

BEFORE:


AFTER:
YAY DAVID!


Fancy doors on outside to get eggs! Nesting boxes inside!

The fryers are too fat to get up on the perches. Look how fat they are!! They are ready for the freezer. They’ve had a good, chicken life, unlike the chickens we’ve had in our freezer up until now. Sure, I have to see them die, but I know where my food is coming from, and I know it has been treated well.

Poor Roxy the dog can sit and see the chickens in their run all day. She’s drooling.


Our pullets should start laying in September. Our next batch won’t start laying until Christmas, and that is only if we keep a light on out there on a timer to keep the sun “coming up” at 5 every morning as the days shorten.

Yay chickens!

Happy Birthday to my man

David in 1990 – just before leaving for the mission. This is the pic I had on my wall for two years.

This blog is named after a very old-tyme song David and I considered “ours” in high school, “The Old Black Magic Called Love,” with Louis Prima and Keely Smith. Listen here:

Still very relevant, if I say so myself. David says he agrees with Ned, his friend 2 weeks his senior, that 37 is indeed very different than 36, as the fears of aging have given way to acceptance of inevitable death.

Love you, David—I’m loving the spin I’m in!

Good things come in ugly packages


I admit this is not generally true, but true in this case. After reading this article in the LA Times about analysts’ projections of life when oil hits $200/barrel (in the next 6-12 months–that’s $7 gas) I can see first how crippling it will be to lose something our daily life is so dependent on as well as why more extreme environmentalists are applauding the higher prices.

Oh no! Without cheap oil we will have to:

  • Bring manufacturing back to the United States from China!
  • Start to keep our money in our own communities by buying goods and services locally!
  • Be unable to cheaply eat oil-derived food additives and preservatives (see coal: fun and yummy)
  • Have to pay more for our inane practice of moving our food around the world and country!
  • Have to eat foods in season!
  • Pay more for the oil-derived chemicals we use to pollute our products and homes!
  • Over the next few years, adjust from sprawling, anonymous commuter towns to more insular communities!

Oh no!

This is all overly-simplistic, of course. This process could be very ugly and devastating on a personal level, especially to those required to do long commutes to support their families. Maybe we can’t do it and it will be irreversibly crippling. But whatever steps we can take to lower our dependence on cheap, imported products, processed oil-based food, food shipped from far-flung places, etc. etc., the easier this forced change will be for our family.

Read the article–it’s an interesting mental exercise, and apparently is becoming quickly an actual fact of life.

Funny Story

You all know I’m an open person, and my last post was evidence of that. My last post also had the name of the company I’ve been interviewing with. Also, the company apparently has Google Alerts set on their name, which is actually probably a good idea.

Although my blog has not been searchable until recently because my audience is small and rather private, I made it searchable a few weeks ago because some folks were complaining that they couldn’t find it if they didn’t have the link handy.

All that comes together to make a really funny story, which you all can probably figure out on your own.

So, Andrew, welcome to my blog. And thanks for giving me the job anyway.

The Real Tuesday

I so appreciate your supportive comments. It really has helped today. I interviewed with another 9 people today–2 higher-ups together, three of the creative team I’d be on together, and then the four other members of the team together. I liked everyone and they liked me. The first meeting, with the President, took a little more than my average friendliness. I eventually broke him with my explanation of why I liked the company. Apparently they were his reasons, too. He was much more engaging after that.

The company is Access Development. My briefest description is that they have a discount network of over 200,000 merchants, including big name folks like Target and Eddie Bauer, and restaurants and such. They sell use of this network to large groups and companies under the client’s own brand, for example, the Arizona Teachers’ Union Discount Card. Then the teachers carry the card around and use it at the places they regularly shop. Merchants get loyal customers, companies and organizations make their employees/members happy, businesses reward their customers, and the cardholders get things cheaper. So it’s not a really hard sell–everyone gets something they want, this company just brings them together.

I talked to two more old bosses today–that’s such a trip! My boss from 12 years ago (that I worked with for less than a year) was very nice and said he’d be very complimentary–apparently he’s a national laboratory bigwig based in Maine now. And then good old Joe Edward from Sprint–always good for a laugh. Those references were both set up for calls tomorrow.

Before I left today the man who would be my boss, Andrew, asked if I’d be around tomorrow for him to call “in case there’s anything I’d like to discuss with you.” He and the other management folks are going to a management retreat at noon and I get the vibe he wants things wrapped up before he leaves.

So, my guess is that I’ll get a preliminary offer tomorrow. Or, they will call me on one of my answers to a question I got today and throw me out of the running all together–I can’t explain, but I’ve got a little fear that I may be caught in a deliberate omission of fact. I have worked to be very honest with them while not sharing additional info that, although related to my business life, I really didn’t want to discuss. I have a completely valid answer for them if it comes up, but I don’t know. So, I’m betting tomorrow I’ll be hired or prematurely fired.

After the interview I came home and just felt like my world was shaking. This would be such a big change, coming so fast, and so different from what I’m doing or what I thought the answer to our problems would be, so at odds with the identity I’d imagined for myself, and with so many spiritual and logistical challenges. Plus I was a little anxious about my evasive (to put it kindly) answer to a direct question.

I actually needed a blessing from David to calm down. The blessing said that I needed to move beyond the difficulties of the past, that the opportunities that were coming were from the Lord, that I would be given the strength to take on the additional responsibilities and that I shouldn’t underestimate my resources or abilities as I go into this. I did feel better, but still a little overwhelmed.

I spent the rest of the day weeding–over 3 hours, and I only did the little garden. The big garden I can weed more with a hoe, so it should be quite so labor intensive. Even though it is something that I’ll have to do again every week, I enjoy it. So much of household life is like pushing the rock up the hill only for it to roll back down and be pushed up again. But somehow, the weed thing doesn’t discourage me as much as, say, the dishes thing, or the feeding everyone three times a day thing.

I’ve got to make a menu plan for my family tonight. I have faithfully made and followed different menus for my family so many times in the past eight years, that I can’t believe that I’m starting from scratch yet again. I’m ready for bed right now.

Since I pretty much know the group of people who read my blog, I just want to say that I appreciate you letting me dump on you and that you actually take an interest in my life–I feel supported when I talk to you guys on the phone and know that you know what is going on and care. I love that via the blog I am still connected to great folks like “Nordy” (when are you coming to Utah?) and that it motivates me to keep a journal better. Hail the blog!

Tuesday

For you bloggers, do you ever have a day where you go to title your post, and realize really there is no theme to your day or any thoughts therein? Thus, Tuesday. Nevermind that it is Monday today, for when I wrote the title, I thought it was Tuesday. There it remains.

The company I interviewed for contacted two of my references today. I got to spend a half hour on the phone today with the boss of all bosses, the long-lost owner of my soul, who now has my blog address (for the pictures), but he knows that it is not an insult to say he owned me in those days, but fact.

It was fun talking, like visiting a past life, being able to step right in like it wasn’t seven years later.

After the references, they called to set up a final interview, but really it sounds like a meet-and-greet: with the team I’d be working on, the president of the company, and probably the lady who vacuums the floors at night–it’s a very thorough company.

I dealt with bills, phone calls and household stuff (not the dishes, of course, although the pile is egregious) until I took the kids swimming with my mom. It was fun, although at this stage of my life, swimming means trying not to drown while carrying two excited and wiggly non-swimmers around, and maybe one swimmer on my back. We got a snack at Paces and came home and had pizza with maw/paw in law and showed off the garden. The kids are sleeping hard.

I found a 101 read-aloud story book at the DI (my new favorite place to buy my children’s practically disposable clothing) and have been reading to Ben and Sophie each night from it. I feel bad that with all my talk about education and literate children I’ve been so flaky with this. I’m really enjoying it.

Tommorow I’ll be weeding and weeding–things are out of control out there–that old phrase “growing like a weed”–I just never fully understand what that meant!

Tuesday

For you bloggers, do you ever have a day where you go to title your post, and realize really there is no theme to your day or any thoughts therein? Thus, Tuesday. Nevermind that it is Monday today, for when I wrote the title, I thought it was Tuesday. There it remains.

The company I interviewed for contacted two of my references today. I got to spend a half hour on the phone today with the boss of all bosses, the long-lost owner of my soul, who now has my blog address (for the pictures), but he knows that it is not an insult to say he owned me in those days, but fact.

It was fun talking, like visiting a past life, being able to step right in like it wasn’t seven years later.

After the references, they called to set up a final interview, but really it sounds like a meet-and-greet: with the team I’d be working on, the president of the company, and probably the lady who vacuums the floors at night–it’s a very thorough company.

I dealt with bills, phone calls and household stuff (not the dishes, of course, although the pile is egregious) until I took the kids swimming with my mom. It was fun, although at this stage of my life, swimming means trying not to drown while carrying two excited and wiggly non-swimmers around, and maybe one swimmer on my back. We got a snack at Paces and came home and had pizza with maw/paw in law and showed off the garden. The kids are sleeping hard.

I found a 101 read-aloud story book at the DI (my new favorite place to buy my children’s practically disposable clothing) and have been reading to Ben and Sophie each night from it. I feel bad that with all my talk about education and literate children I’ve been so flaky with this. I’m really enjoying it.

Tommorow I’ll be weeding and weeding–things are out of control out there–that old phrase “growing like a weed”–I just never fully understand what that meant!