I’m Not Doing It Right…Or Am I?

I must not be doing Instagram correctly.

Over the last couple of days I’ve had no less than a dozen people begin following me that I don’t know. The followers are three different types.

1. Accounts that are ‘private’ and have 0 to perhaps 30-50 photos, and yet they have thousands of followers (and they’re following just a few people themselves). They also ‘liked’ exactly one photo.

2. Accounts that are not private but none of their photos are ones that I have anything in common with so I can’t understand why they’d follow me. Example: One was a young man who loves his skateboard (that’s cool, good on him) but his photos are essentially of his accidents complete with bloodied body parts and other injuries, not to mention a lot of unsavory language in his photo submissions and throughout the comments themselves. <I’m not a prude by any means, I have been known to cuss once in awhile – but gratuitous cussing, and especially PUBLIC cussing like this only serves to make an individual sound horribly stupid.>

3. Accounts of scantily clad women who have at most a dozen photos and at least half of them are IDENTICAL (seriously, they’re identical) – professional ocean shots or food shots without them in them. Yeah. Pretty sure those are scammers.

So I’ve blocked all of the above mentioned people and reported the number 3’s.

Every single account I follow is either someone I know, someone I have found searching by hashtags, or a person that found me, who have similar interests. For instance, knitters, photographers and foodies. I’m not at all interested in following someone that has pictures almost entirely of bloodied knees from skateboard accidents, or women who have a gagillion pictures of themselves in the standard fish lips pose (can we do away with that pose already – it doesn’t show the real you ladies, in case you aren’t aware of it and I think it’s actually quite unflattering) or booty shots. If you are serious about following ME, the knitter, the photographer, the foodie, then be my guest. Don’t follow me in hopes I’ll follow you just BECAUSE you’ve decided to follow me.

And before anyone says it first, I know I can set my account to private. But I have made contacts with some very cool knitters across the world who take lovely photos of their work, and have found awesome food photos that give me really great ideas for not only photography but recipes. I wouldn’t have found these by having a private account.

Having said all of this, I do think I’m possibly an anomaly in that I may not be the typical Instagram user. I don’t take many pictures of myself, more so of objects and scenery and sometimes other people. I could do more of myself but I’d rather share who I am versus what I look like. 

As for my followers, all 79 of them, I’m okay with that number (I’m following 81, in case anyone is interested). I don’t need hundreds or thousands to make me happy.

So here’s the deal. I’m curious. Are people really that interested in getting likes and followers that they’ll just start following anyone? I’m sincerely curious and would love to read your comments.

Five Years Ago

Not a terribly original blog post title; I’ve certainly done better. But this week five years ago was life changing for me and many others I know, which makes the title rather insignificant, but the subject very significant.

Five years ago this week, my first husband was home on hospice. He came home on 2/21/2010 and he passed away on 2/28/2010.

So this is a tough week for me. And I imagine for others but right now I’m being selfish. Because I’ve learned since then that I can.

When I need to.

When I want to.

I miss the cranky curmudgeon, I really do.

I miss the look in his eye when he was up to something.

I miss his telling me, “I can cook, I did just make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich you know.”

I miss his tell-it-like-it-is honesty (even though sometimes it was a wee TOO honest).

I miss his handsome being, the tan man, the sun god himself.

I miss listening to his debates with my best girl, CP.

I miss hearing him giving his best buddies grief about anything and everything. Because there wasn’t anything that wasn’t fair game for him.

I miss giving him long hugs until he squirmed (he wasn’t a particularly demonstrative man; so I purposely did that to him).

And as much as I’d love to hug that big lug again, I don’t wish he could be here.

Yes, dear reader, you’ve reached the selfish part.

I feel deep down he is thrilled where he is. I think life in general was frustrating for him sometimes.

But now he’s got a great cribbage partner because my Mom passed away last August 31, 2014. So you know he’s digging that. They got along spectacularly well, especially when it came to playing cards. He really respected her knowledge and expertise.

And he wasn’t always the happiest camper in life, so I also think he’s found peace and happiness.

I’m no longer sad about his passing, I’ve moved forward from sadness. Rather, I have nostalgic moments where I relive our good times in my mind and they make me grin like a little kid (some memories I’ve even shared with Sugar).

And I, too, have found peace and happiness.

Tenfold. Twentyfold. Pick-a-number fold.

What’s my peace and happiness? My loving and sarcastically kooky husband, Sugar, whom I married just over 2 years ago – he makes me feel so loved and appreciated; he even makes me laugh so hard sometimes that my stomach honestly hurts.

I sometimes almost can’t believe I’ve been blessed twice in my life with such wonderful men.

Dear Frank – 

I think of you more often you might realize. And Sugar has said he thinks you would have been a cool guy to hang with. He’s certainly not wrong about that.

Keep playing cribbage, some day Mom will let you win. 

All my love, 

Cakers

Frank Spicer, MN 2005

Frank2 Silver Bay, MN 2009

Olloclip Experiment

So I only have a few moments to post something and why not make it something related to photography since, well, that’s one of my passions.

I recently purchased an Olloclip for my cell phone and oh, what fun! Check out these photos of some tulips that Sugar sent to me at the office.

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I highly recommend getting one if you enjoy macro photography and don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for a lens. I believe this was about $60 and it’s actually 4 lenses total.

Enjoy your day!

I’m So Far Behind I Think I’m First

In no particular order.

  • Holidays
  • Vacation in Cancun
  • A Delightful Knitted Bear
  • Kat Sloma’s Liberate Your Art
  • Knitting for me
  • Knitting for ML and AG
  • Knitting for family and friends
  • Photography
  • Losing Weight
  • Working Out
  • Organizing
  • Cooking
  • Canning
  • Crafting
  • STELLA!!!!
  • Love
  • Sugar (the man, not the ingredient)
  • Blogging
  • Postcards
  • Swapping

Yep. There’s a lot to talk about and I need to figure out what to talk about first!

Back soon!

Beach chairs

Waterlogue Phone App

SWAP SPOILER ALERT – If you’re in a swap with me now you may not want to see this post.

I love photography. I love getting just the right shot for something. I don’t care if it takes 25 photos to get THAT ONE PHOTO. I’ll do it. And thanks to digital photography I’m not wasting any money developing 24 photos I don’t want!

I’ve been experimenting with a phone app called Waterlogue. Here are a few of the results. Enjoy!

There are 5 photos in total for this post.

  • The first two are of a crocheted angel on our fireplace mantel; the photo as is and the photo modified.
  • The second set of two are of sari silk fiber; the photo as is and the photo modified.
  • The last photo, modified, is a stack of books by one of my favorite knitting authors, Melissa Leapman.

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Thank you for stopping by!

Slow Down, Settle In

Slow down and settle in. You’re in for a long post.

I started a new job last July and 5 months later I know I made the right decision to move from accounting/finance to front desk/tenant services coordinator. Finally, after working for over 30 years I found the job I need. Notice I said NEED? I’m not making the amount of money I did when I worked at that ‘other’ place for 25 years, no where near it. But I’m the happiest job-wise than I’ve been in decades. Seriously.

When I first started at the second company I worked at for almost 3 years, I thought that was probably ‘the one’ I’d retire from. I love numbers and the place was a fun one. So combine numbers plus fun and it must be a good place to work, a fun place to be. Not so for me. Not after about 6 months when the rose-colored glasses came off. I won’t disparage the company – I was without an income for two weeks when I was offered the job so gratitude is appropriate here. However, by the time I hit the one year mark I was already itching to leave.

Then I wound up developing new skills and learning new processes after that year, and this kept me intrigued (and with a paycheck) for another 9 or 10 months…still not happy during that time, though. People talking about others behind their backs, rules being exceptions more than the opposite, lack of consistency in processes, etc. I don’t deal well with that. So I started looking elsewhere.

My first goal was to go back to accounting. That’s what I’ve done since 1984 so that’s what I should do, right? Keep doing what I’ve been doing, right? Wrong. After a few months of no success in finding a new job (even with a staffing company helping me), I had to rethink things.

What about all the jobs that I’d had throughout my career? There were various types of accounting roles, of course, but I’d also done a lot of other things. So the key question was, when was I the happiest, contributed the most and felt truly worthy? I realized that being organized, coordinating, having face to face interaction with others, and utilizing my communication skills were the kinds of things that I truly enjoyed, and which made my life flow so much more peacefully.

That changed how I needed to look for a new job and how my resume was set up. I couldn’t very well have all of this accounting and finance info right at the forefront of the resume if I’m not looking for that kind of job. So I rewrote my resume – again and again and again. Until it was right for the new kind of role I desired.

So I started looking for coordinator, administrative type roles. I’d noticed the company that I’m working for now previously when looking for an accounting position. I liked that it was global and in a field I’d never been exposed to before. But hadn’t seen anything appealing to date. Then I saw the tenant services coordinator role. Bingo. That’s it. That’s the one. That’s what I want to do now. I need to do that. NEED to do that.

I spent over 12 hours prepping for a job interview I hadn’t even been offered yet. Googled this, Binged that, etc…I was ready. Then I got the call to go for an interview. Heavens, I thought I was so nervous heading to the interview (which, by the way, I had to bring a change of clothes for work right after because my job was in a very casually dressed environment – if I showed up there in dress slacks and a jacket the gig would be up – they didn’t know I was even looking for a job) and yet I realized I wasn’t. I was excited!

The interview was like talking with someone over coffee. We had a really good connection and chemistry and I left feeling good about the interview.

I went to work and got off the floor above where my group was located and used the ladies room there to change. Later that afternoon I received an email from the interviewer asking for my references. The next morning 3 of the 4 people were contacted. That same afternoon I was offered the position. Holy crap.

Bim. Bam. Boom. Now I have to dress up like the real adults do! Only Monday – Thursday, Friday is jeans day. :-)

It’s taken a few months to learn the language of property management and commercial real estate and I continue to learn all the time. I’m exposed to some of the accounting aspects that the other three members of my team work on but they aren’t my main responsibility. And I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m REALLY okay with that. I still love numbers. But I have to admit, I love being the person the tenants have to talk to first (usually). I enjoy meeting the tenants and dealing with the day to day crises (and non-crisis issues). It involves problem solving, it involves others – like the engineers, and it’s keeping my brain engaged.

I hope I am fortunate enough to be able to stay in this field in a similar, if not same, role until I retire. Whenever that might be. The people I work with in the office are golden – funny, tenacious, hard working, great individual contributors and team players. They’re all younger than me and we all just gel together so well. I’m not sure how we lucked out on that but I can’t say a bad thing about any of them. (My other jobs, well, we’ll just leave that issue alone. It’s past tense anyway, right?)

One of the things I’m working on now is a newsletter for the tenants. Sort of a way to keep them in the loop on tenant issues, events going on in the city, contacts in the property management office, all sorts of things. I’m so excited about writing it. But now I have to come up with a name for the newsletter! Perhaps knitting for a bit will help me come up with a name. That sounds like a grand idea; I think I’ll go do that. :-)

One last, very important thing before I sign off.

It’s been 3 months almost since my mom passed away. Sometimes it seems like it was just yesterday. Sounds cliche, I know. But there’s a lot of truth to it. I’m doing pretty well but keep my grieving mostly to myself and a few good friends and my loving husband. I’m not expressing how I’m really feeling on Facebook or even here in my blog. I can’t and I won’t for a number of reasons. It’s such a private thing to grieve and I have a lot of emotions coursing through me at any given time. So for all intents and purposes on Facebook or Twitter, I’m fine.

I do appreciate people inquiring how I am; please know that I’m doing as fine as I can be. Life is full of hills and valleys and I can make my way on this journey. I know I can.

Thank you for coming by.

Enjoy your day!

Mom 8.31.2014

Part of my hesitancy in putting out a new blog post the last couple of months is that I feel I have to explain where I’ve been since the last one (nearly 6 months ago now). But that’s just me putting pressure on myself. So I don’t have to listen that, right? Good, so I won’t.

But I do have a LOT to talk about. I won’t cover everything here because then you’d be reading for about a week. Really, I’m not kidding. Instead, I’ll just talk about a recent event. That seems more appropriate to me because well, of all that’s gone on in the last 6 months, this is THE most important. And it happened less then two weeks ago.

My mom died.

She died on August 31st, 2014 at the age of 70 (she would have been 71 on October 30th) and we had a memorial service/celebration of life for her on September 7th.

And you know what? I’m so terribly sad. I think she’d be okay with me being sad but I also think she’d want me to be relieved for her that she’s no longer in such agony and discomfort. And I get that, I do. It’s going to take awhile, but I know I’ll get there. I’ll rely on my tremendously supportive husband, my dear closest friends, and my loving family. We’ll all rely on each other, we’ll cope and we’ll find our way through this journey together, no matter long it takes.

I have to say something because it’s been on my mind so strongly and for so long now. And I’ve said it to a few people and had discussions with others. But I’m saying this here and now, loud and clear.

No one, I repeat, NO ONE should ever have to experience any sort of memory affliction. It’s evil and it eats away at the person you once knew. It morphs them into a different person. And while you still love this person, deep down it’s not ever quite the same feeling, it’s so different I can’t even explain it. It didn’t lessen my love for my mom, not at all. But it did break my heart.

Admittedly, our family was a bit lucky in that regard because once in a while, when you least expected it, mom talked clear as a bell! It may have only been a word or two or three, or if you were lucky, four or five. But by gosh, you knew she KNEW what she was talking about. And then it was back to not being able to communicate and witnessing her obvious frustration. That’s what makes me the saddest. This woman was such a delight to talk with and be around, so to have speech and thought taken away from her was downright cruel.

I know what some people are thinking. You’re thinking that what I should probably be saddest about is that she isn’t here any longer, and believe me that does sadden me, so deeply I can’t even express it properly. But I’m also profoundly affected by the fact that I can no longer talk to the woman who raised me and my two siblings. The delightful woman that I haven’t been able to talk to for a number of years the way we used to, because of this stupid and cruel disease. I know it seems like these are one and the same thing, her being gone and my not being able to talk to her, but there’s a difference. I just can’t explain it.

I can cope and I will, with the help of others. But I will forever be missing a part of my very being with her no longer here on earth.

I love you, mommy. Forever and ever.

(I’m the child on her lap. This is circa 1968.)

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