Archive for August 2012

God laughs while we make plans

I often post about my half-hearted job search—like how I need money, or how hard it is to find a job after being a stay-at-home mom for eight years, or how I don’t know if I can work in a public place with all the smells, or not knowing what field to go into with my non-specific set of skills. I’ve known I needed to get a job for money, yes, but also for my sanity. Volunteering at the library was supposed to help me segue into a paying job, but not for another month or so.

At least, that was the plan. But God laughs while we make plans. The hubs lost his job last week.

Obviously, my need to make some dough is suddenly all-important. Not something I can put off till I’m comfortable, which is to say, unafraid. It probably never would have happened that way anyway.

So. Money-making propositions.

Selling soap would be good, if I had listened to my instincts earlier in the year, when those batches would be nicely cured by now and ready to package. But no. The soap I made the other day will be ready in a month, and even then it’s not a sure sale. Plus, I can’t really wait a month to see some income.

Freelance editing is still an option, except many previous attempts to break the ice on that failed, leading me to believe it might not be the job for me after all. Plus, it also would take too long to see a significant amount of money.

My library isn’t hiring right now, unfortunately. I’ve decided to visit libraries in neighboring towns to see if any of them are fragrance-free. I did this last year but stopped after three. At each one, the smell was strong enough to knock me over as soon as I opened the door. I will extend my search, I guess, although any commute over a half hour will be impractical.

A factory job might be ideal, if they don’t produce something toxic. Last year, when I was looking for a job in earnest, they were sparse. All in the medical or sales fields, two fields I will only attempt if I’m desperate and hungry. I had plenty to eat last fall, so after a few unsuccessful interviews, I put off the job search. This year I’m seeing more variety, so a traditional job is a better possibility.

I feel strongly that a way is opening for me, and that it will be clear soon which way that is. It will probably be something I’ve never considered. The Wheel turns. Meanwhile, the hubs is hitting the pavement and I’m editing a book to put on Amazon, maybe two, and getting my resume in order. Whatever happens, things will never be the same.

Scary, but good.

Monday, August 13, 2012
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Future prison inmates in the making

My friends on Facebook might remember a few weeks ago when my bike was stolen, the idiot rode it right by my house, and I went down there to confront the gang of kids and retrieve my bike


Up to that point the kids mainly messed with mailboxes up and down the street. Like, you’d see too many doors hanging open to be coincidence. The knob on my plastic mailbox was broken off and thrown on the ground. But we’d never be able to catch them in the act because it happened in the wee hours of the morning.

Then my bike was stolen, and it seemed to escalate from there.

A friend who lives across the street from the bike-thief’s house (their apparent base of operations) had things stolen out of his pickup the same night they took my bike. I told him who to talk to, and he was able to retrieve his items from the disinterested parents. We agreed we needed to start keeping our homes and cars locked, something I’ve never had to do before, and I started rebuilding the broken shed door.

It was quiet at my house for the next couple of weeks, but apparently they were still causing mayhem at other places, because the bike-thief girl got arrested last week. A few days later they ripped the door off my mailbox, and went through and stole items my friend had set out for a garage sale. On my way into town to get a new mailbox, I saw another family standing around their mailbox, which was lying on the ground next to its post.

Since my friend’s house is the only other one on that stretch of road, he’s an obvious target. Well the other night he caught two of the boys red-handed and had them arrested.

In a perfect world, this would be the end of it. The parents would step in, finally, or being arrested would scare the kids straight…but I doubt that will happen. If I’m not mistaken, a couple of the boys are the same ones I saw writing on the playground equipment a couple of years ago. They’re just old enough to do actual damage now, and bolder with their years of small crime successes behind them.

In the meantime, I spent a good chunk of change on a vandal-proof mailbox, and when they learn to drive they won’t bother with us anymore. With a vehicle, the mailbox smashing possibilities will be endless.

Monday, August 6, 2012
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

The library is the first small step

Suddenly I’m very busy. I’ve gotten used to having no schedule conflicts—indeed, little schedule at all—because for the past few years almost everything I do is school-related, and they don’t overlap things. I’ve also gotten to the point where if I get showered and brushed by lunch I’m doing well. It’s not that I sit around all morning, but only that I have nowhere to be.

I can feel this changing permanently.

Part of it’s my choice, like tackling some big repair projects around the house, and part of it is out of my control. My daughter has become involved in more extra-curricular activities in middle school, and my son will be there next year. This is on top of the back-to-school season. Another commitment I’ve made is to take charge of my health, which means appointments with various doctors. (I had my first lady doctor visit in about eight years, which tells you something.)

One small (and yet huge) step is volunteering at the library. I started Tuesday, and today it seems like it could have been a dream. I often dream I’m straightening shelves at public places for no pay. Really. I fear I’ll go back in there and they have no recollection of me.

My regular times are Tuesday and Thursday mornings. I have a name tag and my own drawer and everything. On my first day, the lady in charge of volunteers showed me around backstage. It felt strange to pass through that doorway, the one that reveals just a glimpse of the library machinery, and one I’d never considered I might enter. Turns out the working part of the library is almost as big as the public part, only instead of wide spaces and neat shelves, the rooms are stuffed with desks, and papers plaster every surface, horizontal and vertical. It’s wonderfully shabby; clean but impossibly cluttered.

After my tour I was handed off to my boss, (Darlene? Deborah? Oh crap, I’ve already forgotten her name…Yay, got it!) Dorothy. She showed me how to read the shelves, which is basically fixing all the books the patrons thought they were putting back in the right place but didn’t even get close. I will be working in the children’s section, where the shelves are always in flux. So my normal job is to read the shelves, but the each employee I met seemed gleeful about the possibility of using me for her own special projects.

I always suspected my hodgepodge of skills and interests would be useful in a library, and now I know for sure I should have been a librarian from the beginning.

This is a big step, knowing that I can work around people. As far as I can tell, they don’t use any air freshener anywhere in the building, aside from the public restroom. The employee restroom smells faintly of cleaner, but not air freshener. When I finished reading the Beginning Reader shelves my eyes were googly from the shelf reading, but otherwise I felt fine. It could change, I suppose, but at the moment I think I could spend all day in that building and feel fine.

Of course, I would like to work full time at the library someday. But for now, I’ll call it an internship. At least it’s something to put on my resume, and I get to help out a favorite institution.

Now I just have to hope ebooks don’t make libraries obsolete. Would be just my luck to find my perfect job only to have it stop existing. *crosses fingers*

Thursday, August 2, 2012
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

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