Aah, Aquarium

I’d been thinking about having an aquarium in my home office, I find them stress-reducing. But not in the budget. Then I started going through stuff, planning a yard sale for next spring. And lo and behold, there was the 10-gallon tank, complete with filter and heater, that hasn’t been used since we moved 13 years ago. So yes, it still cost a small bit to buy fish and fish food and various stuff, but much less than buying the equipment itself. I already had the rocks and plants. Colorful inexpensive small fishies and a few snails. I really want more snails.



And then, the smaller plastic (not as nice as but much cheaper than glass) tank was 75% off at Petsmart. So now three angelfish inhabit that, along with some porcelain fish I had packed away.



Ah, relaxation.


Permanent Remembrance

corgi tattoo

I got my first tattoo several years ago, for my 54th birthday in November–a colorful peacock feather. Then a month after that, a second one for Christmas–a rose and rosebuds. One on each forearm. Then a year or two later a third on my calf, a fancy initial R for my name.  I kept saying I was going to get tattoos for all my beloved Corgis that have passed on, perhaps in a row down my leg — but then realized that if I lived long enough and had all the dogs I want, I could run out of skin.

So I decided on one tattoo to immortalize all my darlings. I used a simplified version of my Chivalry Corgis logo, and added the words “Forever in My Heart”. Of course, it is over my heart.

Backyard Birding

darkeyedjunco               downywoodpecker

I’m not a “birder”—I don’t keep track of what birds I see, and in fact can’t recognize most birds without referring to the reference books with pictures. But I very much enjoy watching, and have a bunch of bird feeders in my backyard, where I can see them from the kitchen.

The finches and starlings stay all year. In winter, they live in the 12-foot-high fir hedges next door, and come to my yard to eat. The finches love laundry days—they gather in the holly bush in front of the dryer vent to enjoy the warm air blowing out.

It’s exciting in the spring when we see what birds come back. We haven’t seen the mourning dove pair in two years, so perhaps they are gone. But the cardinal pair and blue jay pair are both here again. We also get crows and the passing hawks perching on the fence and garage roof, and once a female eagle landed in the grass. And this year two new species at the feeders: a downy woodpecker pair (I could identify the male and female) and dark-eyed junco.

My son swears we have the fattest birds in the neighborhood, that I spend more on bird food than people food. (Well, not really, but close.)

bluejay               cardinal

National Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, for the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. Do you know these ground-breaking women in history? No fair looking at the answers until you’ve tried all 15 clues!

1. First woman to fly the Atlantic as a passenger, 1928.

2. Won gold  medals in javelin and hurdles in the 1932 Olympics, later played basketball, baseball golf, winning three U.S. Women’s Open tournaments.

3. First woman to swim the English Channel, 1926.

4. Won seven U.S. Opens and eight Wimbledons, starting in 1923 at age 18.

5. First female state governor who was not the wife of a prior incumbent, 1974. (Her husband was a school principal.)

6. First woman on the Supreme Court, 1981.

7. First black woman Senator.

8. First female vice-president candidate for a major party.

9. First female cabinet member: Secretary of Labor, 1933.

10. First U.S. congresswoman, 1916.

11. First black U.S. congresswoman, 1968.

12. Opened first U.S. birth control clinic (in Brooklyn).

13. Quit her teaching job because a woman’s pay for the job was 20% of a man’s. Became first U.S.-born woman on an American coin.

14. Fled slavery in 1849, then helped other slaves escape; spied for the Union in the Civil War.

15. Survived polio and an impoverished childhood to become the first American woman to win three gold medals at one Olympic Games, 1960.


1. Amelia Earhart

2. Babe Didrickson

3. Gertrude Ederle

4. Helen Wills

5. Ella Grasso

6. Sandra Day O’Connor

7. Carol Moseley Braun

8. Geraldine Ferraro

9. Frances Perkins

10. Jeannette Rankin

11. Shirley Chisholm

12. Margaret Sanger

13. Susan B. Anthony

14. Harriet Tubman

15. Wilma Rudolph


I Don’t Sell!

So, I’ve been laid off, the company is closing for financial reasons. I’m actively job hunting, using Monster.com, Indeed.com and OhioMeansJobs.com. Which means I’ve posted my resume (several versions) on those sites, for potential employers to find.

I’ve been inundated with emails, phone calls and text messages — by people who want me to sell insurance or financial plans. They all sound very scammy. I’m sure some are from non-US call centers–the callers have heavily accented English and I’ve gotten multiple calls that sound like they are from the same person and place but offering different “opportunities”. Oh, and the keyword is “human resources” — they all start by saying the job they want to discuss with me is in human resources.

Can I mention that absolutely nothing on my resume reflects any sales or marketing experience or skill? And I hate sales jobs, I think it is terrible to call people and try to entice them to buy insurance or any financial or investment plan. When people want such, they will contact companies. For the company to cold-call people is just an effort to sell them things they don’t need, to steal their money.

In discussing this with others, I hear the same story about their job searches. Apparently these companies just comb newly posted resumes on the job sites for anyone who looks like they’ve got any office or professional experience. Ugh, ick.

I need a job that earns me money. A commission-based income at a job for which I have no skill isn’t going to earn me anything because I won’t be able to sell anything.

So now I immediately reply, “I am interested only in full-time jobs with salary and benefits, nothing commission-based or in sales.” That gets the person to go away real quick.

Now if only I’d hear back from one of the REAL jobs I applied for…

Book Review: Moment of Truth


Moment of Truth by Christiane Heggan,

This originally came out about fourteen or fifteen years ago, but then was reissued by Harlequin and is available as an ebook.

Kate Logan’s life is far from perfect at the moment. She’s got job problems, money problems, and single-parent headaches. She left the Washington D.C. law firm where she was employed and set up her own criminal law practice, but business is slow and income low, especially since she takes on so many pro bono cases for women with divorce and custody problems. Kate’s thirteen-year-old daughter Alison is giving her grief about everything. And her ex-husband has just gotten married to a rich young woman who persists in spoiling Alison with too much money and too much freedom. Now the daughter whom Kate loves and sacrifices for is talking about wanting to go live with her dad and stepmom, because life is so much more fun with them. The only really upbeat thing in Kate’s life right now is her boyfriend, DC cop Mitch Calhoon. But that relationship is seriously endangered by the new case Kate has taken on.

Todd Buchanan was a well-known television sportscaster and is the son of a Supreme Court Justice. Two years ago, Todd’s wife was murdered in a motel room where she had probably been planning to meet one of her casual lovers. All the evidence pointed to Todd as the murderer, and the perception of guilt was increased when he fled and went into hiding to avoid arrest. Now he wants Kate to take on the case and help him prove his innocence—and he’s offering her a million dollars to do it. The main problem for Kate is that the murdered woman was Mitch’s sister, and Mitch is convinced of Todd’s guilt. And it is more than just a “problem” that someone is willing to kill Kate to keep her from investigating this crime.

Kate’s stressful life was a little too depressing for me—I empathized too much with the single parent problems, and her teenage daughter was really obnoxious and the ex-husband an annoying wimp. But Mitch is great, really makes an effort to be supportive of Kate and help her, even if he originally thinks Todd is guilty. If you like political suspense, you will enjoy this book set amid the trappings of influence and power in Washington—where sexual shenanigans are second only to political wheeling and dealing amongst the movers and shakers.