Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hello friends

Knock, knock?


Anybody out there?


It has been a while hasn't it?  I’m sure everyone has probably gone home to roost by now.


A lot has happened since I last wrote. I've had some heartbreak, some discoveries and begun new journeys.  So, I guess as long as I keep moving forward and not backward, I'm on the right path. Right?


For starters, I guess the biggest difference has to do with a major career change in April of this year. I am no longer running my local newspaper. I have walked away from my career as newspaper journalist, marketing manager, GM, publisher, webmaster, composer and all around Jill-of-all-newspaper-trades.

Initially, the decision was not my own, ultimately, I walked away from an industry that I had worked hard to master. I take that first part back, I was given a choice to keep my job. I was told I could stay on doing the same thing for less than half the pay, resign or accept a letter of termination. Yeah, that really was the offer folks. I worked for years getting my education, paying my dues and working my way up the ladder to learn the ropes, and run a business in that particular industry. I knew as a kid that I would run a newspaper someday. And I did. I was even contacted by other papers with some great opportunities. But, it was time to move on. I was not killing myself any longer for someone else to continue to profit from my sacrifices.  Selfish? Maybe. Probably not. Telling my new boss to eat his offer? Priceless.


After the loss of my job, I made the decision, with the support of my most AMAZING husband, to take advantage of various opportunities that were knocking and we both knew that if I work as hard for myself as I have for others, how could it be anything a success!


So far, so good.


While the type A part of my personality gets a little frustrated with progress at times, my common sense side reaches out, gives me a good slap, stops the panic and makes me take a look around at all the changes, little successes and forward movements that for many, never happen as fast as they have in the last 9 months for me.


One would have thought that with walking away from a corporate career, life slows down. Wrong. At least not for me. As someone who ate, slept and breathed what I did, my abrupt and unexpected job loss was a total atmospheric upheaval. I remember waking up the next morning at the same time as always, watching my husband getting ready for work as I sat on the couch, in a daze, drinking my coffee and telling him, “I don't know how to not get up and go to work. How do I just not go to work?!”  Well, that was just a stupid question. But legitimate.

My job loss was God kicking me in the ass I think.


Over the years, I had slowly lost myself in the rat race of taking the paper from point A to point B and letting go of my own identity. My health was declining, relationships were declining, I really was a workaholic and everything else took a backseat. I tend to do that with any job I've had, I get the blinders and just start moving forward to get the job done.

That particular affliction has been doused....at least for this moment in my life. I am going in so many directions, each of which seemed to have been placed naturally at my feet by the hand of God, that I alternate between times of frantic chase and frantic peace regularly. None of which seem out of place, all of which seem perfectly natural.

 Let me explain.

The Frantic chase. For years I have had to maintain some sort of creative outlet to allow for a mental release from the hectic day to day stuff we all have. Everyone deals with things in their own way, my sanity saver was creating things. I used words when I wrote, pencils when I sketched, fabric and thread when I sewed. It was my restoration process. Basically, it was the only way to take my foot of the gas pedal. Over the years, my creative outlets built themselves into a pretty nice stash, from writing projects to items that sat in an off the wall, online store for anyone who happened to stumble onto it and buy something. (You can only give so much of that stuff away)

One of my more recent writing projects dealt with developing generational relationships between women and the effects on younger generations, domestic violence etc…etc…. I developed the manuscript, a workbook to go along with it and even happened to be in final stages of completing the pilot workshop itself.

I had three other serious writing projects taking their turn at my creative process, all full length book manuscripts and none having to anything to do with the other’s subject matter, or even in the same realm as one another. I have a play, a two fictional novels, and a non-fiction project all fighting for time with me and the magic keyboard.

After righting myself from job loss, I thought I would focus on my writing projects. Within about 3 days, I spoke to several key players that, once finished, would help bring my play to fruition as a major fundraiser for a domestic violence group and was met with nothing but support.

Remember that silly little online store I spoke of earlier? In the first week of my unemployment, my online store had two international sales (Ireland and Denmark) and within a week and a half, sold out. I soon had some custom orders and discovered a market for aprons (who in the Hell would have guessed that?!? Not me!) So, over the next month, I set aside my writing, re-launched the online store, built up some product, made some new contacts, had a great opportunity to work with my sister-in-law in her very successful business, developed a workroom for local home d├ęcor designer, take on private clients for custom work and voila! A sewing hobby has become a small entrepreneurial project with legs of its own and a good future for success.

In the weeks that followed my job loss I also finished my pilot workshop, started the rewrites from that project and began a search for an agent to support that writing particular project. Had a few successes on that front and continue to write and work on other projects.

My frantic peace comes because mostly, this new process seems to be all or nothing. I do great when it is time to juggle all the balls at once. My struggle comes when I am supposed to take the moments of nothing and peacefully contemplate what I have achieved. Those are the times of my panicked search for the next all-in moment.

I’ll be the first to admit, patience is not one of my virtues…but I may be learning it.



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A little peak

Click and enjoy...
It's official....I have 6,338 photos of our trip to Peru and because of the randomness of when I was able to take video...those minutes of recorded time are still being counted.

Needless to say, I have a LOT of reviewing to do and even more editing before I have a documentary of our time in Peru worth showing.

Hope you enjoyed my vision above. I hope even more that it teased you enough to make you want more.

Between my family, work, the women's studies course/book I'm writing, this documentary and a few other smaller projects, my time is at an all time limit.

Don't get me wrong, I am loving it all and couldn't ask for more (really, there's no more time!  lol), but please bear with me. I am keeping busy and looking forward to sharing it all with you as soon as I can!

Thanks for all of you who keep following and checking in on me- I appreciate every one of you!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I haven't forgotten you!

We are all back home safe and sound as of Sunday night, Sept 18th. I have over 3,000 pics from the trip and some incredible stories to share.

At this time, Aaron is back to school, I am back to work and we are attempting to catch up from being absent from our actual lives for 14 days!

I will begin posting photos, stories and videos from out trip to Peru once we have settled back into our normal routines and can find the additional time to do so.

until then...

A view from the streets in Lima
The streets and sidewalks seem to be as crowed with cars and people as the hillsides.
There are approximately 250,000 to 300,000 people in Huancayo, Peru
There are approximately 7 to 8 million people in Lima, Peru

Hedelia showing us a hand embroidered skirt panel made by Inez
Inez does handi-work to supplement the family's income. This type of traditional skirt is handmade and requires two panels. Each panel takes two months to make. A skirt sells for maybe $200.

Inez with some of her family
The day after this picture, after I promised I would buy the school uniform for her 13 year old son because that was the only reason he wasn't in school, we were informed that her son in the picture above had to take his brother to another village to live with other family members. The young man had apparently crossed paths with a local 'mafia' or gang and in order to keep him safe and out of trouble, the family thought it best to remove him from the area. Because of the family's poverty and distance from the other village-they may or may not see thier son again.
Gives a whole new meaning to the term, 'tough love' doesn't it?

A cow still decorated from a recent festival
Both it and the chicken in the background are grazing...and pooping, in the front yard of a home....in the same place the children play. Add sheep and dogs to this and one can only imagine the big picture.

A street vendor in Huancayo
Storefronts on wheels....everywhere you turn!

A still decorated sheep grazing on land as hard as concrete
Imagine having to plow, by hand, the rows in a field of rock laden dirt dried as hard as the sidewalk.

A day on the streets of Huancayo
The people in Huancayo can never be mistaken for meanderers, they are all headed someplace in a hurry!

Women in Huancayo waiting for a bus
Imagine carrying all of your Saturday groceries on your back while traveling in standing room only public transportation to reach the 10-20 miles back home.

Aaron giving out some candy to one of the boys of Azapampa
They love the sour stuff!

One of the many faces we have come to love in Azapampa
One of his neighborhood playmates fell down a well the last day we were there
Little Percy is fine, but imagine something we might have national media coverage for as something the people of Azapampa deal with on a daily basis.



Monday, September 12, 2011

Sunday's River Baptism

Sunday, people came from all around and miles away to celebrate the baptism of five Azapampa youth. It was a wonderful day full of God, love and laughter. The event was held in the middle of the fields next to a river and the beautiful Andes mountains set the backdrop. Today, pictures are worth more than words...
Raquel preparing for the baptism ceremony

Neighbors, friends and families traveled from all over to attend the baptism

The five children gather, listen to the sermon and prepare for the river baptism

Gracie was asked to sing at the ceremony- It was beautiful

After the baptisms, everyone stayed to eat lunch in the fields, celebrate the day, visit with one another and the children played together.