Customer Service, the bane of life.

Its hellish even for the poor souls giving the customer service. It’s something that could be so simple but half the time understanding and communication gets lost to either the giver or the receiver then everything just…crumbles.

But, I’ve come across a new demon – Live Chat Support.

At first I thought this feature seemed like a grand idea! Yay, I can type to someone, who [I hope] knows what they’re doing, with properly thought out explanations of my issue and receive proper instruction!

Oh, how that excitement shattered. It felt like I was talking to one of them A.I. bots. I realized a few minutes after talking to the representative that this person not only didn’t give a damn, but was at this point irked by me repeating my issue. It didn’t help that they took 3 – 5 minutes to respond with not-so-helpful responses.

Me: “I know this all is probably just plain and simple but I want to make sure I’m not messing something up.

When I place the image into the customize feature it shows up small.

Then when I stretch it out, it tells me the resolution is low and it’s blurry.”

Support: “Yes, that’s correct.”

#1 I probably should’ve been more specific, took screenshots and sent the images of what I was seeing.

#2 They couldn’t keep up with my typing so their thought process lagged a lot.

Now, I know this person was doing something to figure it all out while I rambled. But, because they kept leaving me hanging and didn’t show any understanding of what my issue was, I started to feel like this person didn’t get what I was saying. They probably did, but it didn’t feel like it.

My husband works in tech support for a call center. I’ve heard what he does to keep the customer calm: Repeat their issue to them to show he understands what’s wrong, tell them that he’ll need a moment to do this or that, and then reassure them that he’s going to figure it out.

I got none of that. I instead got “wait” and “hold on.” I got silence half the time while the message “So-and-so is typing” taunted me. Then they did the process on their own and sent me a proof of the business card. They didn’t tell me a step by step of how they got that perfect looking proof nor explain to me why my original preview of the card looked like crap.

By the way, I had been using the recommended file formats. It kept telling me there was low resolution despite having the correct specs set up on templates they themselves provided me; hence why I got confused and then grew frustrated, which in turn caused my logic to temporarily take a side seat.

Near the end of the rambling (both hers and my own) I realized all I had to do was ignore the stupid warnings it kept giving me and click the damned “Proof” button. That lil’ button sat there at the right end of the customization menu, but my brain didn’t even acknowledge it. I was stuck in the mode of wanting answers.

At the end they explained I could either get the proof myself or have a customer service representative do it for me. I felt like this should’ve been stated from the start. Even though this did not explain why I was getting errors, it made me focus more on the proof button. They could have also emphasized that the preview button is stupid and the proof button is my friend. That alone would’ve calmed me down, made me realize I’m an idiot and would’ve ended the chat ages ago.

Soooo, moral of the story:
Frustration makes me stupid
and customer service gives helper and helpee indigestion.

Sincerely,
Jenn

Reuse and repurpose

In my quest to figure out what to purge and what to keep I came across two eye-twitching fabric-covered storage bins. The sort that have no lid and fan out making it awkward for piling linear shapes.

unicornsgiftWhen I gave them a good look, they made me think of unicorn barfing them into existence. Then that clever unicorn tricked my silly, young self into buying them. Bright, colorful flower print boxes (I love boxes, btw, my friends often tease me about it) I can put stuff in PLUS it’s on sale – how could I lose?!

A part of me just wanted to chuck them next to the recycling bin and have someone else treasure them. Then the artist in me convinced me to change it into something I wanted to keep and would be more useful to me.

I blame the craft store for my sudden desire to create something new from something old. I went there with my coworker the other day and was bombarded by two isles of 70% off clearance items. I bought 20 bucks worth of materials: two denim rolls, one roll of burlap, four little caster swivel plate wheels (screws included), a cork mini journal (for my book/writing ideas), dark blue with white lattice print canvas fabric, tin favor boxes, and Velcro for attaching hard surfaces to fabric. I bought this in the span of two separate days so that I could reuse the 40% off coupon for the regular priced items: canvas and favor boxes.

As soon as I got home I took these delectable materials, waltzed into the bedroom, and went to work. I put the wheels onto the bottom of the lucky storage bin I had grabbed mid-waltz and marked where the holes for the nails would be. I hammered holes into these marks with a small fastener nail. Each hole took awhile to make since the bin is made of a thick cardboard-like material. Sean said it sounded like our room turned into a construction site, lol.

wheelandthreadI didn’t use the screws supplied with these wheels because I wanted to keep the base inside the bin flat. Instead, I used jute string to sew the wheels on. To my glee the wheels stayed securely fastened though I had to loop the string through the holes and caster plate three times (top and bottom) to achieve this.

Note: the image is not the exact same wheel I got but looks very similar. I just needed an image of one that had a tilted look so that I could show what I did better.

Now for the fabrics. I wasn’t trying to make it perfect. I wanted it to have a sort of worn, makeshift look since I was dealing with denim. I love dark blue denim and even more than that I love dark blue denim with stark, ivory print atop it (the canvas fabric I bought mirrors this look.) So I hot glued the plain denim at the base, then along the middle I used the patterned denim, and then to cover the tippy top I used the burlap which has stylized print of the words love, live and laugh all over it.

I am pleased with the results. It no longer hurts my eyes to look at and now I can roll it about with a single nudge instead of having to lift anything. I’ve been focusing on things with wheels for awhile now since I had a pinched nerve on my spine not too long ago. Anything that spares my spine pain or damage is my friend. 🙂

IMG_2201

I’m not sure what I’ll do with the second box. I may turn it into a lounger Nipa hut for the dogs. If I do, I’ll definitely show you the end result. I had to dismantle the end table canopy bad for the dogs since we’re moving but I still have all the fabrics intact and may just use it for the hut.

Another small project I decided to work on is storage for my craft materials but I’ll show ya’all that in the next post. 😛

Sincerely,
Jenn

Hello, Mind is not available right now…

I feel like my body is on cruise control while my mind teeters back and forth between focusing on everyday tasks and being lost in thought or imagination. As of late, it’s been lingering longer within thoughts.

I realized this when I almost walked straight into a car. In a parking garage, thank gahd. I don’t think I would’ve been so lucky had it been anywhere else.

The two women occupying the car had seen me walking slowly and looking down at my bag. My brain was too preoccupied to use common sense and intuition. I guess it assumed that like every other time I returned from a late lunch there would be no one moving about within the garage.

When I realized what had just happened I repeatedly said “I’m so sorry!” And though it was no excuse for my lack of attention, I was legit sorry for my stupidity.

The women gave me looks of “Is this girl serious?! You need to look where you’re going!” though all they said were “You neeeeed to pay attention…” in a sincere manner more than angry. They laughed at my carelessness in that “wow, I can’t believe that kid…” way as they drove on to park their car

What is bothering me about all this is my reaction. Though I was sorry, it occurred to me that I wasn’t scared by the could’ve-ended-badly incident. Normally my heart would pound frantically and maybe a yelp would escape me. Even to an onlooker, I would appear as an idiot with no regard for myself or those around me.

My mind was still dragging back from the thoughts that swarmed it. And at such a sluggish pace that I couldn’t muster any response other than walking back a bit and being filled with remorse. I was more worried about the brief infliction I caused them and less concerned about my own body. And I didn’t care about how put off they were by my carelessness, I just cared about the small bit of shock I caused them. The kind of shock that makes your heart drop for a moment.

Yea…something isn’t right about all that. Sean would’ve scolded me. Well, he would’ve kept me from even walking forward then scold me.

I know I need to get my mind into gear but I’m not sure how. It feels like its retreated far from my reach, covering itself over and over for mental self-preservation. It was fine at first, I was still getting things done without any issue, paying attention well enough to make sure that an accident didn’t happen. But, now it’s just this lethargic, apathetic miasma about me.

My life isn’t hard, and I know it. People suffer through life in far worse conditions and I know it. But for over 5 years I went through a sort of mental abuse/torture at where I work. Yes, I could’ve left but as mentioned in a previous post I had to stay to show work stability and a high income for the Fiance Visa process. It didn’t help that my hormones sent my emotions into polar explosions and that all the stress spurred on painful cysts to grow inside me.

I feel like I’ll stabilize once we move which won’t be for another month. Until then I just need to make sure I don’t accidentally walk into sudden doom until then…

Sincerely,
Jenn

Furbabies: Food and toy reviews

I never thought I’d subscribe to any surprise box company. There are many nowadays for beauty (Birchbox), geeks (LootCrate), handmade knickknacks (Craftly), dogs (BarkBox), and so forth.

I caved into the fad when I started to see the excitement about such a box. You don’t know what you’re going to get but you’re bound to enjoy the majority of what you’re given. My best friend and her boyfriend get the LootCrate and they seem to love each item they receive (especially a Power Rangers shirt that her boyfriend wears often.)

As seen in a previous post, I chose the BarkBox. It was the only one I saw that had any value to me right now. It meant I didn’t need to make any extra trips to the PetStore for toys and treats. Each box has two containers of healthy treats, a stick or bone, and two fun toys I don’t often see in any of the pet stores I go to. You would think dogs don’t need more toys, but if you have a dog like our Buddy…toys don’t last very long. Well, unless they’re crazy durable like his KONG tire toy.

luluMany people wonder why the heck animal lovers spoil their pets and treat them as children. The way I see it – they’re family; unconditional, loyal family. Probably a bit too dependent even though their genes cry out often for the lifestyle of their wolf ancestors, but we still love ’em. Note: Sean’s dogs in Ireland are much more in tune with the wolves than the dogs in America. They’d rather “play” with real bunnies and foxes. Well, excluding LuLu. She’s more like Gidget and Buddy since she grew up in the house. Hehehe, she’s a sweetheart.

Anywho, the most recent BarkBox we received was perfect! I got to test its contents on both our dogs as well as their cousins, Duke, the English bulldog, and Jefferson, the Yorkie. Here’s a snippet of the cuties meeting each other:

I drew up a little chart showing their interest (or stamp of approval) in each item within the box:

dogs_interest_chart

The Healthy Dogma Chicken heart-shaped treats were gobbled by all; Gidget looooves them. I checked their site for the ones we were sent but for some odd reason couldn’t find the heart-shaped ones but they have the dog-bone-shaped ones. They’re gluten free but I never heard of a dog having a gluten allergy (Ó_ò) … Gidget has a food allergy to wheat itself. She gets a bit itchy but nothing crazy.

The FeelGood Beef Liver treats were the boys’s favorite, each growling if another came too close to sniff it. Gidget didn’t like it at all. It only lasted a second in her mouth. It had an airy, light feel to the treat so I’m sure it wasn’t too hard for her to bite. I suppose she’s more a fan of chicken liver than beef liver being that she never hesitates to eat Bil-Jacs Chicken Liver treats (this treat has wheat flour in it but it doesn’t seem to cause Gidget any bad reactions.)

The BarkMade Circus Elephant was claimed by Gidget as soon as she saw it. Buddy didn’t show any interest in it which surprised me. I put it to the side before Duke could see it or Jefferson could get to it (I was afraid Duke would drool on it and Jefferson might hump it like he did the couch pillow.) Gidget gnaws more on the toy’s ears than on the body. The ears sound like the plastic on a bottle when it is crushed.

I wish I had filmed this but all dogs reacted to the squeaking of the KONG Triangle toy. It sounded like a herd of Buffalo running past. It only held Gidget’s attention for little while before she decided begging for food took priority. Buddy, Duke, and Jefferson wished it to be thrown with every fiber of their wiggling bodies. It’s very durable and each side has its own squeaker. It’s a good toy for medium sized breeds. I have a feeling if Buddy or Duke dig into it enough though that it’d fray apart within a day.

peebandAlso, I don’t know if you noticed in the video but Buddy has on a sort of waistband. He’s still learning that in other homes he’s not allowed to pee. He seems to think that anywhere outside our apartment is free game. So we put the PlayaPup Dog Belly Band on him to help us out during training. They’re for male dogs of course and when you put a maxi pad onto it (preferably the Overnight Maxi Pad), it’s the perfect “oops, I gotta go and I’m not going to tell you” pee catcher. Every so often pee gets onto the band itself but a quick throw into the washer makes it fresh again. He didn’t have to wear the the band for long in the house we were at. He saw where the other dogs went and followed their example so we took off the band after a half hour.

I wrote all this, like the last BarkBox post, so that people could get a review of different pet items. I like knowing everything there is to know about a product before getting it. I can be found reading Amazon reviews for hours to help me decide whether or not some item is worth getting. I look for durability in every item and healthiness in every food. So, like how BarkBox introduces such things to me for my furbabies, I thought maybe I could do the same for others who haven’t subscribed to them. And I don’t always talk about what’s in the boxes, I’ll share when I’ve finally found a worthwhile pee catcher or the strongest of dog toys, lol. 🙂

Sincerely,
Jenn

Apologies when I give too much.

I think I became too excited about the wordpress world. To me it’s a place for thoughts and hearts; A place where people share their lives and have the ability to support others through words.

I wanted to share, to read, to connect. But, I have to remind myself that not everyone is looking to connect. They’ll share their life and read about what others share but most won’t be looking for other’s thoughts, advice or opinions. So mental note: Give my thoughts only if it’s asked for.

I can’t help when I get excited though. Until I get told directly or indirectly that what I give isn’t wanted, I won’t know when to stop. I guess I’m just used to the Asian maternal habits.

“You’re hungry! You need food!”

“Oh no no, I’m fine, thank you.”

“Yea, you’re hungry! Here eat!” *lays down every possible food onto the table in front of you*

…not every one will welcome such things. That’s probably why growing up was a bit awkward for me socially. I gave too much, especially when it wasn’t wanted or welcome. I “tried too hard” as others had told me back in junior high.

Even after being told, that habit continued into high school. It warded a few people away. I was found annoying. I gave too much unneeded attention and support. 

See, my downfall wasnt that I tried too hard…it was that I tried too hard for the wrong people.

In my mind, when I reach out, it’s to be sincere. To connect with others while we go through the journey of our lives. To give support, to share without expecting a thing in return. I do this because life is short and I have no promise of tomorrow.

But the last thing I want to do is irritate someone in the process, like I think I did in a comment to one chick when I went on about taking time in the world to take things in, lol. And another time where I told a youngin that love can find you no matter how far in life you are.

So to anyone I come across in the web of wordpress, I’ll do my best to hold my comments to myself unless they’re asked for, lol. I’ll just be a silent cheerleader in your lives hoping that you find happiness and receive what you need to reach fulfillment!

Sincerely, Jenn

To craft, to create

A few years ago I wanted to start an online crafting store/t-shirt shop. But, the want wasn’t strong enough that I’d drop everything and put my all into a business. I did attempt it but the drive wasn’t there. I’m not sure why. I’m guessing it was the uncertainty that warded me off…

I needed security, a stable job. Fear told me to wait.

I made a t-shirt shop on spreadshirt.com but it’s collecting dust. I also made a blog site (http://jfarrisdesignsshop.com/portfolio/) to remind me that the small ambition is waiting for me. And while it waits, I learn.

  • Learn methods of how to make an accessory more durable
  • How to craft clay into something clean and smooth for baking
  • Ideas for accessories and t-shirt designs that don’t just look like something only a child would wear

I love cute designs that pop out at you. Something that’d make you look at it again rather than gaze past it (even if one’s first thought is “Dayum, that’s tacky…”) I guess any item that breaks you out of the mundane is welcoming to me. The problem with this mentality of mine is that most of what I make ends up looking too childish. My mom often tells me I need to make something for an older audience; she doesn’t seem to like much of what I make.

3But I don’t see this being a big issue. I mean look at Betsey Johnson and how far she’s gotten with her designs! They make me think of glittered, bordering-on-gaudy treasures that bring back childhood memories of me trying on mom’s high heels and sea pearl jewelry. Betsey’s designs are…how do I put it?…retro mixed with glamour, a side of cute and a dash of Gothic. I like much of what she makes. My favorites though are her purse line. Purses. I want to do something with purses.

A month ago I began a project to create something cute but also useful: a little purse you could attach to your belt or onto a thin cross-body strap. I like compact. Something I could always have on or quickly grab at a moments notice. I like the look of leather pouches fashioned after their medieval predecessors and love the more modern designs. During my research, I found out about different types of pleather which would be a much cheaper and animal friendly option; in particular I’m looking into Naugahyde, a vinyl-coated fabric.

I took ages looking at all the designs people have come up with. I found three templates I liked. Each are linked to the ones who crafted them:

pouchpouch2pouch3

The first pouch is simple and practical; something one could get away with wearing and not be judged harshly. The second brings to mind Lord of the Rings and something you’d probably wear at the Renaissance Fair or Halloween; I find it adorable and love the work done to the leaf. The last looks like I’m going on an incredible viking adventure and I want to look damned fancy while calling upon the three powers of maiden, mother and crone (that’s what the swirling symbol on the cover stands for; a sign for growth and transition.)

So, what do I do with the knowledge of these templates and designs?
Do I create an antique looking pouch with a hint of cute?

Nope.

I made this.

 IMG_2052

LOL, okay that’s just the base before you go, “The f’k is that?”

I don’t like making something I’ve already seen. I like tweaking it, adding to it, making it a bit different. I did the bottom first before I decided the rest of it. I was stuck between a bear or kitten. To help me decide, I drew it out. I ended up choosing the drawing of the kitten with a ribbon holding a fish, which will act as the clasp to keep the kitten-head-cover closed. I have yet to attach the fish (still looking for the perfect one.) I got all the pieces from Michaels craft store (with coupons, always go there with coupons.)

I picked a-shade-of-teal leather that is relaxing and noticeable to the eye, a red ribbon hair clip which I had intended for a botched project, petite button-mold clasps to hold the arms and allow me to move them up and down with a peachy-pink heart clasp for the nose, and thick, ivory string to sew everything together. I used a plastic chord stopper to help the leather straps keep the pouch closed; got it from the drawstring packaging used to cover and hold the jersey blankets from Target.

I kind of slapped my copyright on the image below in a vain attempt to protect my little pouch. A habit from being a graphic designer. It’s the first time I ever made something like this so even though there are many faults, I treasure it. It’s like that first drawing your little niece or nephew draws for you. You want to keep it and treasure it even if it’s not a piece from Claude Monet or Andy Warhol.

kittenpouch

I’m still trying to figure out what fish to put where it’s mouth would be. I was thinking I should get some colorful, rotund fish but I might want to pull a Betsey Johnson and add something with a bit of crystal on it.

I know what to do now when I make another a pouch. I guess with each attempt I’ll find better ways to sew, better placement, and better measurements for this or that. I had misjudged one hole for sewing at its ear. I decided I can use it as a spot to put a little, stud/dangling earring. An excuse for adding more crystal, lol.

I want to keep creating things, no matter how childish they’ll look. And I’ll wear them even if no one else will. 😛

Sincerely,
Jenn

Days filled with reality and fantasy~

I’m not sure why, but everything is running so smoothly… and I’m not used to this.

I do have my mind up in the clouds a lot where I day dream of days without problems or difficulties but as of last night it seems my reality is mirroring the blissfulness of my dreams.

Yesterday was a long day. During that long day my hair tormented me. Walking to my car I thought to myself, “GET A HAIRCUT NOW, GAHD DANGIT!” – most of my loud thoughts are internal, by the way. I do my best not to send out random bursts of crazy for others to actually hear.

My hair literally looked and felt like a frayed, overgrown broom.

It was so bad that If I had decided to go into a forest and sit among sprites and goblins, I’d fit right in.

So, instead of going straight home, I stopped by a hair salon.

The hairdresser admitted she was taken aback by the mess, lol. She said she was afraid to tell me what she thought at first because she didn’t want to offend me but I told her my mom is Filipino. Any straightforward, honest opinion said about my appearance won’t upset me; I’m numb to such things. Plus, the only opinion I ever get sensitive about is my husband’s and that’s because I extremely care about what he thinks. She laughed and gave me her advice on how to manage my thick, mestizo hair. I was thankful for her advice for it was really needed.

IMG_2169For the first time in ages, my hair was cut exactly how I wanted it. She cut the perfect amount of fringe, gave me a long layered look at the front, and rounded off the back into a nice “U” shape. She cut off 2.5″ and used thinning scissors to make my hair lighter and easier to style.

I’m quite pleased with it. So much so that I’m showing it to you, dear reader. I may not look pleased but I am, lol. I have a resting tired face usually. When things are more hectic, it’s a resting bitch face. 😀

When all was done at the hair salon, I shuffled off to the Chinese restaurant nearby and ordered some favorites. While they cooked, I scampered off to the grocery store next door. After the chores were done I stuffed the bags of deliciousness into my tiny car and drove home, excited to show Sean my new doo.

He loves it; loves my fringe especially. He kept staring at me throughout the night and I kept looking up and catching him. I would either see a big smile on his face or a goofy expression made purposefully so I could react or laugh.

The night went well and I had gotten so much cleaned out while sorting through my belongings. I’m telling ya, I am going to whittle everything down until all items I own only occupy several boxes!

The next morning (this morning), my alarm goes off and I roll out of bed. At least, that’s what I thought I did. Apparently, I dreamed of myself getting ready for work instead of actually doing so. And the entire time the song “Little Town” from Beauty and the Beast played. Logic poked at me while whispering, “Yo, this isn’t normal…”, and though it all felt real I began to question what was happening, “Hmmm, I don’t normally have a life soundtrack playing, am I dreeeaaaaming?”

kotI woke up…late. I sprang up and toppled out of bed then rushed through my morning routine. Even though I was fighting to beat the clock and get to work on time for the morning meeting, I decided to drive at a relaxed pace. I played an audible book to keep my mind focused and calm. The book is called King of Thorns: Broken Empire 2. I had recently finished the first book, Prince of Thorns, and reaaaallly wanted to know what happened next.

My husband who got me into the series. He was hooked on them. He loved the writing style, the main character, and the story overall. He saw a realness to the main character showing how one could be in such a world after growing up in a heartless environment.

Disclaimer: The series isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a story that rattles a sensitive mind. It’s dark and bloody. Imagine the barbaric, warring parts of the medieval days but with magic all about; calculating minds and people dying needlessly. Why am I reading it? I like stories about fantasy but I also like stories that venture into frightening territory, ones that blur the lines of good and evil. This includes psychological thrillers, horror, and science fiction.

Anywho, as I drove and listened to the storyteller, I noticed something odd reoccurring. Every light was green or would turn green as I neared it. There was barely any traffic. I was late but not horribly late. I waltzed into the meeting without a single angry look or complaint about my being tardy. I worked with ease the rest of the day and wasn’t overwhelmed with any last minute tasks. During lunch I went with my coworker to get bubble tea for her, two others and me which is always a lovely treat.

All this isn’t much, but it’s just how I like it. Simple, calm, and happy with a touch of fantasy here and there.

Sincerely,
Jenn

I need to move onward

I mentioned before I work at a company struggling to stay afloat.

I was hired on as a receptionist. I didn’t care anymore if I couldn’t get a graphic design job. I needed to pay the bills and I was done working three part-time jobs. The old man who hired me was blunt and I remember being put on the spot during my interview, “Do you want this job? Yes or no?”

I was instructed to be confident in interviews but I was awful at it. Being told so many times I don’t have enough experience and being looked down on made me an insecure creature. I stammered, he asked the question again, and I knew that if I didn’t say yes I’d regret it. So I composed myself and firmly said yes. He then asked that I please stay at least 3 years and I promised.

A kooky grandfather that’ll make you laugh is the best way to describe him. But he could annoy you as a parent would. He did what irritates most: being reminded of what to do repeatedly. It was the kind of annoyance I felt when my mom would tell me to do my chores every 5 minutes then ask “Have you done it yet?” only after a minute has passed. Despite the grumbles and rolling eyes I would make, I appreciated him and was thankful for him. He was one of few who gave a damn about me there, he counseled me about the corporate world, and he always stood up for me whenever I messed up.

He often asked coworkers, “Hey astronaut, you coming down from space?” or “How’s NASA?” whenever they had a far off look in their eyes. I always had that look while at the front desk. Thoughts of what I needed to do that week or what I’m going to do with my life often distracting me from looking attentive. When he saw me drawing one day and discovered I wanted to be a graphic designer, he pushed me to be recognized by the Communications department.

 bbpkHe loved art. It was his passion. From painting to playing the piano, he poured himself into it. I remember making a CD cover for songs he had written and recorded. The titles seemed to tell a story. I got the impression he loved someone dearly once, but something took that away from him. Whether it was family obligations or tragedy, I’m not sure. But the songs said he’ll always remember those feelings that time in his life had brought him.

It took a year to be recognized. He had asked that I create a design for Communications and once I printed the design, he brought it over to the lady that would be my supervisor and comrade for the next three years. I was promoted to Desktop Publisher/Back-up Graphic Designer though I would still be asked to cover the front desk when no one else was available. I felt like for once I was being given a chance, so I didn’t mind it.

Time passed. I learned a thousand things, met good people, and worked in a strong team. But toxicity existed in the company. The miasma spread further each day and the structure began withering away…

Then the old man died…

He died in his sleep. I remember feeling not only sad but scared. He protected me in this unstable environment. Now I had to learn to stand on my own. It drained me, made me ill. I just wanted simplicity in life and what was supposed to be a civil work environment with strong individuals was turning into a madhouse of weary, frustrated souls. Every day I had to prove my worth, every day I had to deal with myself and my job being devalued, every day coworkers were getting thrown under the bus left and right or vainly fighting against the powers that be.

I was planning to leave. After finding out about my health condition I felt it was time I move on and find another job. First I’d have surgery to remove the most harmful cysts, recover, and then find another job. I kept my promise to my old friend, stayed my three years. There was nothing to keep me there. Then they decided to make me a full-fledged graphic designer. I wanted to stay a bit longer, get more experience with that title.

Then I stayed even longer after I met Sean because in order for the government to allow him to stay with me, I had to prove I had a stable income from a stable looking job. I didn’t want to start from scratch while also dealing with the visa process, so I stayed and kept working through the madness. But, things would get so bad sometimes I kept thinking I should runaway to Ireland. But, my worry for my parents (all they have is me) and my poor Gidgie kept me in America.

tracheal_collapse_2009I did think maybe I could take my lil Gidgie with me to Ireland but she is the runt of her litter. Bits of her didn’t form correctly, like a luxating patella and her snout/esophagus – tracheal collapse as the vet put it. We have to watch her, it isn’t so bad yet, but it can become so.

I had horrific visions of Gidget suffocating in her panic, stuck in the cargo hold because the damned airlines don’t allow dogs to ride in the cabin when going to England or Ireland. Buddy is a lot stronger. He’d freak the hell out but he has no abnormalities that could jeopardize his health (knock on wood.) He’d make the trip but I don’t think Gidget would…not without something horrible happening.

Anywho, I’m at the point now where I can finally let go. I’m so close now. After we get out of the apartment and back in with my parents. I can leave. I can move on and find a job that won’t make me feel insignificant.

Please, let time move a bit faster until I can be set free. Then you can slow the hours all you want, Father Time.

 Sincerely,
Jenn

Marshmallow…my cure-all?

Well, it’s not something I’d dip my elbow into like Toula Portokalos’s father [from My Big Fat Greek Wedding] would into his own cure-all, Windex, but since reintroducing it into my diet a couple weeks ago it seems to be improving my energy throughout the day and decreasing my Endometriosis symptoms. I can attest to the latter because once again my monthly has come to remind me that my body hasn’t gotten pregnant yet and despite that downer I was also faced with a shock–I feel nothing. No pressure, no excruciating pain, …not even cramping.

I’m not complaining or anything but, “Wuuuaaaaahhhht’s going on?” ( Ó_ò )

Marshmallow-RootNow, I’m sure no doctor has said “Eat Jet-Puffed Marshmallows!” as a prescription for combating Endometriosis but there is definitely something going on here for me when I do. Marshmallow root (a.k.a Althaea) is an old, helpful medicinal herb that assists with reducing inflammation and pain. And Marshmallows are a modernized substance of its ancient source but aren’t exactly containing much from the original plant. So, how is this helping me?

By the way, I do plan on getting Marshmallow root; I’ll need a less sugary way to help my body out in the long run.

On a good note, I’m not scarfing bags of these puffy, sugar-infused clouds down. I eat a few every five hours or so and it seems to be a decent temporary cherry on top of everything else I’ve been doing for my diet.

I’ve been eating organic everything, fruit smoothies, greens here and there, and some non-bleached rice (yea, there’s bleached rice just like there’s bleached bread. Who’s bright idea was that?)

I hadn’t eaten marshmallows much since my childhood; just the one or two during the holidays. But I made it a regular thing after Sean and I started going to Menchie’s every Saturday. This brings me to another dessert that I had avoided for years–yogurt. It began paining me to eat. I’m not sure if it was a growing lactose intolerance or what. I don’t drink normal milk (I drink coconut and almond milk) anymore so I’m unsure if that’s what it was. Miraculously, Menchie’s frozen yogurt doesn’t kill my insides to eat.

menchies_02

When I first entered the cute shop I went straight to the hill of colorful cups (these cups are too big for my bird-sized stomach, by the way). I mixed vanilla yogurt in with cake batter yogurt then shuffled over to the condiments table. And there they were, my adorable, little puffs. It didn’t feel right to have so many types of candy toppings (they had fruit too but I was mentally stuck in the candy section) around when I was trying to stick to Menchie’s all-natural-this and high-in-protein-that, but this is a treat. Our treat to distract us from our stressed-out lives! I dug into the Marshmallow container with the spoon below its container and sprinkled them atop my frozen delicacy. I managed to eat it all up and felt happy for the rest of the evening.

Since then the marshmallows became a daily side snack and, unexpectedly, my relief from my old world of pain. If a sugary shadow of its former self is able to help me then I can only imagine how much the actual root will help. I’ll be able to stall the damaging of my baby making organs and keep them a bit longer. I don’t need them forever. Just long enough to bring a beloved life into the world.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Life

Time for a theoretical session to leave a little record of the inner workings of my mind.

To me, life is a long, arduous game (well yea, there is an actual Life board game but that’s not what I’m referring to, lol.) It’s merciless and unfeeling with rules created and often changed by those who played it before us. It sits there with its many winding paths as its players rely on chance, faith, or their smarts to progress.

You’ll have the stickler who wants to go exactly by the rules, the overachiever that wants to win no matter what, the cheat who wants to enjoy the ride, the sore loser wishing to stop because they already foresee the end result, and the day dreamer who doesn’t really give a shit if they win or not but revels in the energy around them. I could list more but you get the idea.

When bad things happen in life, that take place without good reason or at least I’m not being told a reason that makes sense, my imagination flies to fill in the blanks. I see the actions of one or many creating a ripple that forms into a tsunami. Their targets and/or innocent bystanders being toppled over by large waves. Though sometimes it isn’t a tsunami that forms but rather a deluge that slowly drowns.

I like to imagine Fate exists. Not as three goddesses but as a single entity where the past, present, and future exists simultaneously. Fate works the world with its strings scattering about and carrying forth futures brought on by the collective actions of every soul; events happening as if it were dominoes falling down towards a single point.

Having something predetermined makes more sense to me than the idea that things happen for no reason at all; not to say that we are bound only by a destined point. We can break from it but it’ll just divert us to another destined point. I won’t believe that someone’s beloved family member(s) died because the big man upstairs wanted it to happen or that someone lost in their vice became estranged from their family only to live the remainder of their life in dirty, callous streets because that’s the wish of the Heavens.

Things happen because a soul makes it happen [or they unintentionally allow it to happen] whether by choice or by carelessness. Their decisions and their inner desires pull them along. These inner desires can be either good, like the desire to protect, guide and grow, or bad, like the desire to wrongfully take and destroy with an insatiable greed. These good or bad results don’t affect their life alone. It affects all the other players in this game whether they’re directly connected to them or not. We’re never able to just remain alone in what we do because someone else will intersect or interfere.

I’m not trying to belittle life saying that it’s just a game and humanity its players. I know life and the people in it are so much more than just that. All I’m saying is because of how the world runs and because of the things that happen in it, my brain tries to make sense of it. And in that process of trying to make sense it sees life resembling a large, intricate game that we’re bound to and it can either fulfill us or break us.

We can choose to quit it or stick to it until our last breath (and unfortunately, there are those who will end it without our permission.) And even after that final breath we’re brought to a new world with a new set of rules. Rules we don’t know of yet but can only guess at, imagine, or assume from those who recorded their claims of what they believe exists.

I see our soul, our energy, as continuous even after the shell is gone. Whether that energy disperses into the unknown, melds into the energy that exists around us, or returns with a new shell, I have no clue. But, for some odd reason it just feels right to think that something else happens. Something else other than just our body’s deteriorating. I’m not using this as a veil to protect my ignorant eyes or a lie to make myself feel better about life or the end. It’s because I truly believe this to be a possible outcome.

There are no doubts making me second guess it. It’s like finding the correct piece for the next part of a complex puzzle and it fits without any hindrances or any need to force it. It’s not the only piece and isn’t the definite answer to all but its there. And we’ll see what’s what when the puzzle is completed.

Sincerely,
Jenn