Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Sometimes it's all about the subtle colors -- which is why I love those Ethiopian Welo Opals so much -- they are fiery and subtle all at once.    But this trasury -- called "blushing" -- is just elegantly subtle.

Blushing by DMarieTrevinoDesign

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The other side of this life

I have a deep, dark secret: I viscerally hate being a work-at-home-mom.   I don't know if it's the acronym #WAHM or if it's that I now need a modifier to explain what I do every day.

True, when I worked out of the house -- I still explained what I did, sort-of.  First, I was a soldier -- but that was a given, I had to wear a uniform so there was an obvious acknowledgement there.


Then, I was a college student -- working work-study positions to get a little extra money while hubby wore the uniform.  Not as obvious -- but still easily explained when dropping the kids off at day-care.

Then I worked for the government -- and while you couldn't tell "where" I worked by looking at me as a GS civilian-- but, I obviously worked outside the home.

During those times there was the issue with the day care on post needing proof that I and my husband had to work on certain training holidays -- certain holidays or what-not.  We had to provide proof to get them into care those days, and it was tedious.  We couldn't just use the day care for a 'training holiday' (which we paid for anyhow) to get a breather.  We couldn't go grocery shopping without them, we couldn't clean house while they were at school: there were rules.

When the hubby was deployed, less questions were asked.  Less questions came up when the kids were in school too.

Now, the kids are older and I work-at-home but I just feel like there is no time for me.  And, sometimes I feel very selfish when I need that time.  Because, put quite simply: there is this notion that since I work-from-home and my kids are in school for 6.5-7 hours a day that that time is mine.

It's just not.

I have a load of laundry in the washer and dryer (it's about 8:45 am) -- I've washed a load of dishes my daughter promised to wash last night.  I've prepared the package that was purchased sometime in the middle of the night.  I've sent all three kids off to school and put gas in my husbands car. I've talked to my mom for our morning b*tch session.  I have removed kittens endlessly from my dining table.  I've made mental lists of what I have to get accomplished and when today (must prepare my topaz for November birthstones). 

The list goes on and on -- and were I working outside the home, I would have turned on my computer, read a few emails and gotten some coffee.  I would be preparing for the day -- and only a few moments into it.  The laundry would have been there when I got home tonight, or maybe I would have washed a load to move-along tonight.

I would have asked co-workers how they are doing -- what is going on with them.  I would have had outside conversations with actual adults.  I would probably be stressing about the portion of my thesis due last week -- but would mentally note to myself to work at my desk for lunch.

I would already be dreaming of the fabulous lunch I made for myself, instead of thinking openly: "well, at least I already put on pants."

And, I would dream of having that 6.5-7 hours to myself.  In a cabin.  In the woods somewhere.  With a coffee pot and a warm, comfy blanket until the kids got home.

A shed conversion I am drooling over for my hideaway.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Working from Home and what can I make for dinner?

It's tough stuff -- the working from home thing.  I've been at it full time for a few years now (OMG seriously did I just type years?) and it just doesn't seem to get any easier as the kids get older.

Sure, I don't have to stop everything when they get home from school -- they can get their own snacks now.  But still, it's like that 7 hours they are away at school feels shorter and shorter all the time.  It's like it *could* be a reprieve, but it's really not.

Yesterday, two were off from school while the third took the PSAT's.  Not a biggy --until you add the friends who come over all the time since we live so close to the high school.  It's not that I mind the friends coming over -- it's just that I have not remodeled the shed out back to make and office / hide-out.  So, my office is right next to the kitchen -- more to the point, next to the fridge.

And -- it doesn't have a door, because it was designed to be a dining room when the house was built in 1950. It would never, ever, work as a dining room now -- so I stole the "bonus room" for the dining room instead.  It's fine -- but it's not conducive to "alone time" -- or "conference calls".  Really -- it's just a sunshiny place I can stare out the window at the birdies and dewdrops as the weather changes.  Also I can tell when anyone is near my driveway easily.

But -- the whole working from home thing can really wreck havoc on the whole work-life balance thing.  It's so much easier to respond to on off-hour message when you have everything you need to do your job right there.  It's hard to pull away sometimes when it really, truly is family time.  And -- it's really difficult to feel like there is room to breathe, even when no one is around, because there is always that laundry staring you in the face -- the kids often forget to make their beds and there is the never-ending slew of pinterest things you should make for dinner -- you know, since you've got the time.

But the biggest things I have found lately -- is that the family sort of gets to a point, when one works from home like I do -- that shows they don't really think you "do" much.  Sure, there is money hitting the bank account -- sure, you are contributing. But after a few years, your time doesn't seem to matter in actions rather than words.

I was frustrated and angry about that this morning -- like pretty over the top grumpy (don't worry, my mother yelled at me to snap me out of it).  And it was all over really stupid things -- "Mom, can you go to the store today and do x, y, and z?"  No, I can not -- I have things I have to do during the time you are at school besides buying you more XBox games. 

For example, I have to read these articles on how to better do this or that in my shop, son, so that we still see things happening.  I have to write this paper -- and read that one -- and I have to find where you hid my kindle so I can do those things in multiple locations.  Because, my work day does not simply "end" when you get off the bus in the early afternoon.

And -- I have to weed through all the apps, so that I can ostensibly figure out how to work better, faster and by myself, so that we can have that pintrocity for dinner -- or that escape dinner and a movie.

The point is -- my time is valuable, even working from home.  As is their's.  I wish they knew how valuable this time they have -- before they have to start working and going to college and doing all the things we do -- is.

The youngest asked me yesterday what my favorite thing about being a mother is.  I didn't know -- I told him such. 

But what I do know is this -- trying to teach them about this time thing: it is not even on the list.

Italian Drunken Noodles from: http://thecozyapron.com/a-cozy-pasta-italian-drunken-noodles-and-shaking-things-up-a-bit/

Friday, October 3, 2014

One Big Sale Day -- 4 October 2014

I know it's been a while, I have been super busy outside of my Etsy shop.  Still trying to revamp my own website (maggiesjewelryshop.com); just can't seem to get the SEO right on that baby.  I've also had this cold that's going around, not fun at all and thanks to three kids in school -- they get me sick all the time.

I have also been working on some writing for my Veteran's Writing Workshop I go to as frequently as I can -- it's an amazing experience each time I go and I am so thankful for it.  Also, I have finally been keeping up this season with my Thesis -- I am only two days behind this year.  But, I am okay with that because it took a few extra tries to get the proposal through.

But -- what I am really writing about is the One Big Sale Day on Etsy.  More than 100 shops (including mine) are participating. 

List of Shops
For my shop, it's one day at 20% off a $30 or more purchase with code OBSD4OCT2014 -- make sure you use that during checkout.