Today is my best day!

 

Today I saw a shirt that had the above words, I thought to myself what a great slogan. No matter what type of day you are having “Today is my best day” and make it that.

These past few years have turned into a slump, after losing my job and forced to drop out of a course I wanted to take due to financial need I have been just going from one job to another looking for some way to make ends meet. The feeling like your running in a huge mud puddle and sinking. I believe that we have influences all around us in large or small ways, the milk spilled so now you are late for work, does that mean you have to behave like a Bitch to everyone? No, not at all.

As you are just spreading your negative influence so, when I see something that is a positive influence I try to embrace it into my day and week. We all have an abundant amount of negative influences all around us every second every day. How we handle them is what sets us apart from others, are we better than those negative influences? I’m trying to be.

Today is my best day, if I take a step back and ponder this, how profound it can be of a statement. I have had so few “best days” that I think I need to re-think how I look at myself. My daughter is invited to a wedding and we have nothing to give or even a dress for her to wear. I have not been able to buy cloths in well over three years and am down to two pants and 4 shirts and one bra. I now have every sock with holes that have been re-sewn so many times that the sock is see through with only strands of thread holding together. I have sewed my cloths so many times that the patches and torn material is so thin no patch or thread is going to save it. My jeans are practically see through and now a single mom looking for work again.

So when the “today is my best day” filled my head I have to admit first glance I thought “ya right!” but then I stopped stressing out and decided yes, today is my best day.

I have a roof over my families head, I have a small amount to food to stave of hunger, small amount and not very healthy but it will keep us alive. We do have cloths, even though they are the holiest things I have ever owned. We have each other.

I think I must stop focusing on the horizon, and start learning to enjoy the walk.  Just like this quote:

If you’re going through hell, keep going. Winston Churchill

So when I am down I just need to think of it as I am just passing through, not stopping, not dwelling on anything, I’m just passing through. So, today is my best day and so will tomorrow and the tomorrows after?

I want to pass on the inspiration, I do not know who made the shirt, if it is a famous quote or what it is, but I want to pass on the inspiration to you. Make today and every day your best day by looking at what you have and not what don’t.

Make today your best day.

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Job Hunting

Have you ever received an email from a potential employer that made you stop in your tracks and question working for that company? How the company treats their employees is just as important as how they treat their customers. If you have questions like; Did they not even look at my résumé? That information is on my résumé, why are they asking for it again? Or perhaps you thought; What are they talking about, a phone interview, and if I pass that I get to be interviewed again in person? Why not just a single in person interview? How lazy is this company? Does this company even know what position I applied for? Answer a survey and then if I pass I can have an in-person interview?

These surveys or questionnaires or personality tests are not even accurate. I read a lot about them while doing my job hunt to see if there’s any right or wrong answers. There are. When you answer, you answer on either end, either highly agree or highly disagree. There is no in the middle anyplace, and there is no neutral. Pick an end and go for it. But, some companies depend on these surveys and they don’t tell them anything about the person. You can have a very qualified, wonderfully friendly person who does not do well on tests, fail these questionnaires. They are crap, most jobs that use these I don’t apply at. Some I will bypass and go directly to the hiring manager. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t, but at least I took a shot.

Now some hoops are legit if it is for a company like say the Secret Service. I could understand the phone interview, then an in-person interview, then a series of tests for physical, mental and emotions stability.  Maybe even more tests and hoops to jump through, but that I could understand if it were for a job with that type of pressure and need for specific qualifications. All the James Bonds out there need to be weeded out from the Peewee Herman’s. But if you are applying for say a fast food place, or a clothing store, or some type of customer service directed job like that these types of “hoops” are ridiculous. I understand that a company wants to find the best fit, but the turn over on these types of jobs are high not because of the right fit, but because these are temporary jobs. Most of those individuals are using these jobs as starter jobs to eventually get better paying jobs.

I am hunting for a job that will fulfill my financial needs and allow me to continue my writing and my other interest. I want it all, what can I say. I had applied at company XYZ. This company advertised online on a specialized site for that type of work.

Being a great job hunter I investigated the company quickly to decide if it’s a place that I would make a good fit. I looked at the hours of operation, the doctors that were working there and then googled their names to see if any bad review of value were ever posted.  Tried to find them on LinkedIn and other social media to get a feel for their style and personalities. Then I looked at what they were looking for in a staff / team member. I felt it was a possible match. I then developed a résumé geared toward the company and fired it off.

Since there is no way for me to interview them before the real interview, we as job seekers must wait for the interview to get a better feel for the position and if we think it would be a fit. It took the company XYZ almost three weeks to respond to my application. When I got the response, it was through email, which is perfectly acceptable. However, the email itself sent out some red flags.

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First it addressed me by: “Hi there.” This is not Facebook, this is a professional company, a business. “Hi there” is just not respectful.

Secondly: It thanked me for applying for an un-named position. Seriously? Does the company even know what position I applied for? Did they even look at the résumé or are they just replying to all the resumes and see what happens?

Thirdly: They sent the email to me at 8:30 at night. The office closes at 6 pm so does this mean they expect their staff to pull overtime regularly? This was not the bad thing, it just made me wonder if I would get overtime pay.  But what did bug me was it sent the email at 8:30 pm asking me to come in at 8:00 am the following morning. Less than 24 hours notice of a possible interview via email. Now I know some people have their emails forwarded to their phones via sms. I can’t afford this, I must check emails on the computer, not my cell. So how this works is that I check email around 6 or 7 pm daily and again around 8 or 9 am daily. I would have had no way of getting the email in time to respond to them. Therefore, it is very disrespectful of a company to only give less than 24 hours notice of an interview. So, they do this to their employees? If I am scheduled off and someone called in sick and they fired off an email to me that night, do they expect me to know or see this email and drop everything and come in? Plus, if I had to work else wear at that time am I expected to drop that job just for a possible job interview with company XYZ? Giving less than 24 hours for a possible interview is a huge neon red flag waving at me.

Fourth: The kicker, they wanted a phone interview and in the same sentence asked for my phone number? What? Did you not read my résumé? Anyone who is a job seeker would put their best possible phone contact number on the résumé. Then they said after the phone interview they will contact me and let me know if I can come in for an in-person interview. I am not applying for the Secret Service, and I am not applying for a job that is in a different country or province or state. It is not so long distance that a phone interview would be feasible and logical.

With the way the job hunting is now, it is hard to get work. Some people are forced to jump through these hoops, my questions are;

Do you think some companies are going overboard on their hiring process?

Do you have an experience in the hiring process that made you think that it was a bad idea to work for this company, but you did anyway only to find out your first impression was right?

What are your thoughts on the modern hiring system of some companies?

 

 

 

Can’t I just get a pet instead?

Well our lives have not improved much since my “Hell Month” post I am sorry to share. However, I still want to continue writing and creating stories that hopefully inspire, so here is one I made up. Of course this did not really happen to me as I have no home. This did happen in my mind. I dreamed I lived in a two-story home in the good part of the city, that I’ve had more children, a great job and a busy life. I tried to imagine what it would be like to go on a date at my age. Sometimes I think we write from what we know and some of this is truth but not all. The truth is I have not been on a date in many, many years for the reasons in the story, so what would my date be like? This is what I came up with, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

 

Can’t I just get a pet?

Where did all the time go? Once I was a mother and wife. After the separation, I focused on raising children and work. Now the kids are almost out of the house and about to take on their own lives.  My house is getting more lonely and quiet. Now in my midlife I’m dating again? A blind date even, how nerve-racking is that? I didn’t even get to pick if I wanted to go on a date with this guy. I know nothing about him, what he looks like, where he works or even if he works.

I call my daughter on her cell. “Can’t I just get a cat or dog? I mean when the grandchildren come along the house will be alive again right?” I said.

My daughter won’t tell me anything so we would have something to talk about at dinner.

“This will take all of two seconds. Where do you work? I’ll ask. After getting released from jail and the doctor put me on some new trial drugs to keep my homicidal tendencies at bay, I decided to travel the world and really find myself. He’ll answer. There, now there is nothing left to talk about.” I said.

My daughter laughs at me and hangs up. She won’t tell me anything, I could use a bit of some information, my mind is running wild.

Looking into my closet I ask myself, what do you wear when you are about to go on a date with an experimentally doped up, homicidal maniac, freshly released from prison? With that in mind I’m reminded of my old girl scout motto, “Be Prepared”. I’ll wear a switch blade, pepper spray, panic siren, thigh pistol, mace, knock out gas, key lock iron chastity belt, and four armed guards. Yes, that should about cover it. Oh, don’t forget my cell phone.

You must know that I have not gone shopping for anything fashionable in at last 20 years. Yes, that is sad,but with work and trying to be the best mom ever I lost touch with myself. That is the reason my daughter is putting me on this date. I tear through my closet and dresser, getting more discouraged as I try on the last few items I own. Glancing around my room, I see that my grandmother’s closet has exploded, I have nothing to wear on a date. In despair, I sit on the side of my bed and cry, I can’t do this.

My daughter comes home to help me get ready. She finds me in my destroyed room, in all my nakedness, sobbing. I’m in misery and she walks in with this cheery, bright-eyed attitude, it makes me sick. I mean really, can’t she see I’m crying here?

“Come on mom, lets take another look at these clothes and get you ready for a great night out.” She said.

Oh, great, she is dressing me. Have I come the age where my children are dressing me? Is it time for me to enter the retirement home? In my miserable grumbling, I look in the mirror and admire her handy work.

“Dam girl, you should do this for a career. How’d you do this? I mean, wow.” I said

I look good, I feel good and I have the worlds greatest daughter. Tonight, is already fantastic. I don’t need to go on a date, this night is so good we should do a girl’s night. But she wouldn’t let me change the agenda, apparently, it’s prophesied that I’m going on this date.

Unable to argue with a prophesy I finish my make up and hear the door bell ring. I feel a lump in my throat, my stomach has twisted, I’m sweating and I think I’m going to throw up. My daughter bounces down the stairs and lets him in. I try to listen from the top of the stairs but she is whispering that little brat, she’s doing this so I can’t hear a thing and curiosity will get the best of me. I take a few deep breaths and head downstairs.

All I can think of as I walk down the steps is, do I have knock out gas? We are now standing in front of the door and he is good-looking, doesn’t look doped up or homicidal at all. Not that I would know what doped up homicidal maniac looks like. I figure I can leave the body guards at home.

“Hi, I’m Mike, your daughter has told me so much about you. You look very pretty.” He said

Well that is not a disadvantage at all, he knows a lot about me and I just found out his name.

“Hi, and thank you. You look good as well. Shall we go?” I said. Gee that didn’t sound like a robot at all. I feel like such an idiot.

I have decided that sharing the vehicle ride to the restaurant is just not a good idea. I think that the awkward silence should’ve been at the dinner table, so we could shove some food in our mouths.

While at the restaurant things start to relax a bit, perhaps it’s the bread sticks? We start to talk and find a few things in common. We are both parents, both separated and both have not been on a date in years. The night is going so well so he asks if he can take me dancing. I love dancing, not that bar scene type, I’m talking the tango, or even a country square dance is great too. He said he knows just the place.

We danced the whole night, there was a beautiful woman asked him to dance with her, he told her he was on a date with me and declined the invite. Wow, what a guy. He wanted to dance only with me, talk about make a woman feel like she is on fire.

Like all good things, must come to an end. Both of us not knowing what to do on the first date we kept it casual and just said good night with a kiss on the cheek. We are going out again. I decided blind dates aren’t so bad.  I entered my house to find my daughter standing at the door waiting for me.

“You’re home late.” She said

“yup” I said

She started jumping around screaming and yelling, “moms got a boyfriend, moms got a boyfriend”. It felt really good to feel like I was 16 again. Who ever said dating later in life is unnecessary is a loser. I strongly any one of you singles out there to get out and go on a date. It brings you to life again, maybe even a few years younger.  Maybe if you find the right match, it could be something more.

 

Tina Curtis

 

Last Days of Art Class

 

Well, this is the end, I have completed my 6 weeks of beginners art class. I am sad to see it go. I really enjoyed the challenges, the feedback, and the practice.

I’ve joined all of the last three classes into one. A big goodbye.  I would highly recommend anyone take this course, it was fun, informative and the teacher was very encouraging.

First was an attempt at a futuristic drawing. I have so much practice needed.

Second was the drawing of an animal, I drew my cat.

Third is a creation of our own, I did some imaginary flowers with a hummingbird.

 

Today I am posting the results of my layout and design. This lesson has two drawings that will show the use of negative space and the golden points. I used the illusion for the use of the negative and positive space and then the central focal point for the golden points. I used the Koi fish for this drawing. Here is my attempt at this assignment, hope you enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Art class -Lesson 6

Good day to you, it is finally sunny after tons of wind warnings, sleet, and more wind. Gotta love southern Alberta for the wind!

Took a bit to figure this one out, I have to put everything into one pic, so there is hatching, cross-hatching, smudge, shading, stippling, single light source, and if you look in the top right corner, there is silhouette of the flashlight.

Hope you like it.

lesson 6,all of it

 

 

Writing assignment

Well folks! For the last month I have attended way too many writing classes, one for beginners, one for essentials in writing and one for how to write to make some cash, plus I am taking 8 other courses. WAY too many at one time, talk about nuts around here, and my computer crashes two days ago and took me two days to get it up and going again! That is not what you are here for so let’s get on with the writing assignment, I am to write a creative piece with all the lessons I am learning in beginners writing class, I absolutely love me teacher Ann Linquist. Here I will let you in on the very first intro to the story that I am writing for this assignment. I have about two short stories done on this one so far, and I think I am going to take into the series direction, so I may post them on kindle or something like that.

 

 ? No title ?

             You know those stories with a happy ending and everything works out in the end? Ya, this isn’t one of those! This is like a bad black and white movie, you know the ones where the beautiful vivacious woman uses the clever and charming private investigator, he knows what she is doing but he loves the excitement. My story begins with a beautiful receptionist, or so she thinks she’s a receptionist, typing at her desk late at night. I don’t know what she could be typing, maybe her resume, we haven’t had work in months.

“Will that be all Dicky? I need to pick up bobby from the sitters soon.” My receptionist Wanda asks.

“Sure you can go, I’m gonna hang out here for a while and finish my last Cuban. Lock up on your way out will ya?”

“Sure thing Dicky, hey you have a good night sweetie? Tomorrow will be better, I just know you will get something tomorrow. OK then, good night.”

I hear her keys jingle as she locks the door and her heels tapping on the hardwood as she fades into the distance, again you are alone, and all you hear is the echoes from the street. My office is small but it’s comfortable, and cheap. To be honest I have slept on my office couch for the last two months. I like to sit in my office and smoke my cigar, and I like the low light of my desk lamp as it casts shadows around the room to entertain my imagination on these lonely nights. Just then a sound catches my full attention, a slow creek, possibly 210 Lbs, flat leather shoes, a hole in the left bottom soul. But how did he get in? I heard Wanda lock the front door, I reach under my desk and grasp my two faithful and ever reliable friends Smith and Wesson.

Closer… and closer he approaches, now at the door he stops. He seems to linger there a few seconds, contemplating. An envelope slid under the door and then he scurries away. I get up to examine the envelope, I don’t bother opening the door he’s already gone. 10 years as a P.I. has taught me to not kill the messenger. I glance at the contents and pull out the folded paper, just then something falls onto the floor. I reach down and pick up a gold necklace with a water droplet shape pendant and a blue gem in the centre. After examining the necklace I return to my desk to read the contents. The letter read: Hard Water Pier, tonight at 10:30

 

Well I hope my writing is getting better and hope you enjoyed the teaser of this new story. Have a great day.

 

 

 

Oh my word, this was a hard one for me, we had to do like a 3D type thing. Say a bird’s eye view of a building or ground view of a building. I did a bird’s eye view, I did not understand how to even start it off, do you just randomly stick in the shape, I mean how was I supposed to get it going? Really? But with a lot of attempts and a lot of erasing, I think I kinda figured it out. I know I have a long way to go on this one, but, with practice I will be able to move from a building to drawing the bird!

I have only one view for you today, the final drawing. Thank you for viewing. 🙂

bird's eye view of a made up sky scraper
bird’s eye view of a made up skyscraper

 

 

Art Class: Types of Lighting

This lesson was about types of lighting, I tried to get the direction right but not entirely happy with it, I will learn as I practice. Well here they are. All 7 types.

Oh ya, the shaded in areas please imagine that they are absolutely blackened except the areas that I left white. I could not get my colour pencil to go dark enough to black out completely. And as always, please imagine the clip board is not there, it is the only way I can hold up the drawings to take a pic. Thank you. OK, now let’s go.

 

Thank you for viewing. Until next lesson, hope you have a great day.

 

The YIKES! in the title is for a reason, I am not just overly dramatical today. This class was so challenging for me, shading, shapes, depth, 3D, curves were a killer – I mean really, how do you make a curvy rounded circle on a flat sheet? I tell you how! Great difficultly!

I absolutely am loving this class, it is the best, the teacher is so patient and informative and always willing to answer any question on your art. It is a great course.

OK, so let’s get started in this sharing circle. We had to design/plan/create a set to draw and photograph it. I became a prop director, lighting director, photographer, and artist for this class. (So much fun, did I tell you how much I am loving this class?) To start I created the set that I wanted to try to draw, then we had to draw the basic shapes, and then fill in the details. You will see my challenges along the way and finally the finished project. So let’s go!

Oh please ignore the clip board, I had to use something to hold the drawing up while taking a pic. 🙂

 

Whew! That took a long time, I worked on this for 4 days, crazy ay? Day 1 was photo set up, day 2 was 1st attempt – and you saw how that bombed. Day 3 was 2nd attempt with the grid lines, measurements worked out nicely at 1 cm on the clear grid was 1 inch on my paper. Nice and simple! Day 4 was details and colouring.

Hope you enjoyed this journey with me.