SO NOW WHAT DO I DO? OVER 50? (-OR- If you have the guts)

Going a bit off topic today.  This is due to several article/blogs I have been reading.   I have some helpful news (I hope) to share with some of you that are interested.  I found out that a ton of people over 50 (and some over 30) do not know where to start if they are tired of the same old job, the same old routine, the same old, same old.  I would love to know if you know of, or at least heard of, the Aptitude Test?

Those of you that have heard of this and maybe have taken it, you can go now if you want.  Stick around if you would like to be ENLIGHTENED (this is where you are all supposed to go “ooohhh, aaahhhh” ).

enlightenment

I have taken the test 3 times.  The first time I was in my 20’s and semi-lost.  The jobs in Wisconsin died.  Uprooted myself (later my family) to Denver, Colorado (just because I one of my goals in life was to see the Rocky Mountains), and took whatever job I could get just to have an income.

Rocky Mountains-lookout mtn

My first job in Colorado was not bad, but it was through a temp agency.  Apparently, it was hard to get verifications off your application/resume’ from another state.  So, a majority of my applications were turned down simply because no one wanted to make the long distance call (now it’s all via internet…ahh the simpler days – lol).  So I went to the work force for help.

LOW AND BEHOLD I WAS SAVED!

 dancing kittens-saved

A wonderful person there turned me on to the APTITUDE TEST!  What a marvel of modern science that was (just a little F.Y.I. – this was in the early 80’s so it was done via pencil and paper – SHOCKER I KNOW!!).  A simple test that you just basically answer yes, no, like, dislike, or somewhere in the middle on most all of the questions.  Through this process of elimination, it spits out results that tell you what your beautiful mind is best suited for – AMAZING!  It doesn’t just look at what you have experienced or learned in life, but it looks at your hobbies and things you would like to do if given the opportunity.  WOW!  What a great idea – actually put people into jobs they would like to do!

So, for those of you searching, wishing, dreaming, or just curious, here are some free sites on the net that you can check out:

https://www.whatcareerisrightforme.com/

http://www.free-online-aptitude-test.com/career-aptitude-tests.htm

http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/Aptitude-Tests-Career-Assessment  (this one looks so interesting, thinking it’s time for me to take one again – woo hoo!  Can’t wait to see what it says about me now!?!)

If you are confused about the results – don’t be afraid to ask!  You need to keep in mind that they are generalized answers – for example,  you did the test, and it tells you that you would be great in the customer service industry…so, some jobs you might like would be:

  • Retail Service or possibly Management  (Create the next Wal-Mart)
  • Social Services (Section 8 Voucher Program Manager – help people find decent, affordable housing)
  • Public Servants (police, firefighter, ambulance attendant)
  • Basically, anything that involves connecting to people, usually on an individual level.

So don’t get scared or discouraged if you do not know how to read the results.  You can ask any of these places/people for help:

  • Local High School Guidance Counselor
  • Local Work Force Center
  • Local College or Community College
  • Me, I would love to help you work it out.  It was part of what I used to do when I worked for the Government (yep, I was a Section 8 Voucher Program Manager – I helped people find decent, safe, and affordable places to live).

Good Luck and enjoy it – it is out there to help you!

goforit good luck

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

HOLY HAVEN BATMAN!

Being a small, natural, farmer/gardener – I dig any ideas that call for more greenery. I was doing my normal Monday morning email reading and came across this article: Want to fight crime in the city? Plant a tree by Jenn Savedge. The only thing that I could add is – what took so long to figure this out?

MORE GREENERY = MORE HAPPY CAMPERS – AMAZING!

Earthday 4-22

Our little farm gives us so many great things:

  • Dirt – even with the weeds I love playing in it! The feel, the smell and the way it takes so little to keep it healthy are all brilliant bodily benefits.
  • Greenery – trees, bushes, fruit, veggies, grass, weeds all of it – there is something so peaceful about working a garden or lawn. Nothing like being physical and not knowing it.
  • Smell – especially after a heavy rain (like what we just had – sorry Midwest, we only got the rain here.) everything smells outstanding. The flowers scents are feathering in the gentle breeze; nothing shouts spring finer than that when opening a window!
  • Critters – and lots of them. I’m not talking the pet dog or cat; I’m talking the bees, butterflies, dragonflies, ladybugs, and my favorite – praying mantis, just to name a few.
  • Twitter-painted – hee hee, this one I think is favorite of all. In spring, everything is greening up, and not just the humans are affected by it. I hear the frogs finally popping out down in our pond. The birds (domestic and wild) all chasing each other around vying for the attention of a mate. The insects are all at it also, but there are some out here that prefer to eat their mate after hooking up – eeek!?!

(So sad, the poor male mantis is much smaller and brown in color – and she will take him out!)

I believe that everyone has some level of farmer/gardener in them. My elder sister has a brown thumb, and she announces it regularly as not to receive any plants as gifts (Makes her sad to see them die – lol). She loves to sit on their back patio, it is her “greenery space”, just as long as she does not have to do anything more than sit there and enjoy it. We (3 sisters) all grew up together on our 80-acre farm in Wisconsin, but somehow she missed inheriting the farmer gene (not to be confused with farmer jeans- of which she can handle quite well.)

I also believe that there is something inherently deep inside of all of us that naturally makes us feel calmer and more content when we are in a garden, lying on a lawn, or just sitting under a tree. I took a cell phone quickie just before the storm of my honeysuckle (one of my most fav birthday present years ago).

Honeysuckel 5-15-16

We put up the vinyl fence all around the front yard last year. Didn’t think about it at the time, but several plants became shaded where they were not before, or too much sun reflected and over-heated others. Well, everyone survived, and my beauty is coming back great guns this spring! She (of course she’s a “she” – tough, can tolerate a lot, and looks stunning in full dress – LOL!) is popping out new leaves everywhere and they are so full and healthy looking. I am thrilled! I had little more to do with her beauty than plant her and make sure she was taken care of (food, water, etc.) – and look how much she does for me!

The blooms are outstanding and, since it is right off the east porch, we get that outstanding smell whenever the wind blows in from the east

With Earth Day coming up this week, I can think of no better way to thank Mother Nature then to plant more greenery! Hope you all join me and remember – A Healthy Garden is a Happy Garden!

DSCF5287

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES?

Time has finally caught up with us. Okay, maybe I should say the weather has finally caught up with us. Our first major frost is due tomorrow night, and I’m not ready – eeekkkk! The exterior garden is pretty much demolished – so no problem there. The decision now is do I want to keep the greenhouse tomatoes going through to next year or break out my Edward Scissorhands clippers and have at it?

My major concern is not devastating the bush, but how bad the bush will devastate me. The darn thing is from the nightshade family. Very poisonous prospect, and an oxymoron if you really think about it. How did anyone ever come to realize that a tomato was edible? I know that most of what we eat is from watching critters. If they eat it, must be ok – however- nothing will eat the tomato vine. The fruit (yep it’s a fruit) is, to me, outstanding! So many varieties of uses – ketchup, sauces, Pico, and best to me – raw!! We put them in tons of things from eggs to meats to noodles. When you combine several together you get an amazing flavor (that’s how we make our pasta sauce).

So what am I so worried about – the vines. Years past I was able to tear at them with minimal body covering (ok, clean it up, I’m talking shorts and a tank top then)…but not now. Now I need full body armor! Pants, socks, ankle high boots, long sleeve shirt or at least a long sleeve jacket, gloves and most important – a clean rag.

The rag came about when I found out that I could no longer deal with the treacherous monster without full body armor. I make the mistake of taking out the outside vines 2 years ago by simply hacking away at them. I knew what they were back then, but at that time they did not infest me. Well, on this fateful day it happened to be bright, sunny and on the warmer side. As I worked I began to perspire (women perspire – men sweat – what a crock but that’s for another day) and subconsciously wiping the wet from my face – using my hands which were not encased in gloves. I believed that gloves were for sissys that were afraid to get their hands dirty – also, not anymore!

The poison weeping from the vines as I hacked away at them was doing its dastardly revenge from the moment I touched them. It leaked all over my hands and arms, I lifted both to help remove the moister from my face and eyes and the damage was done! The killer tomatoes had gotten vengeance. They were stealthy – doing injury when I least expected it! This was a year, after all, just like the previous years so why should I do anything different? Ha, ha, ha, silly me! NOTHING ever stays the same!!

I did my dirty deed on the gardens. I took everything down for the winters’ rest, as it should be. I went to bed that evening feeling like a hero! I had accomplished every fall cleanup item on my “to-do list” in record time. I showered after a hard days’ work but it was already too late. The sneaky tomato was enforcing its revenge upon me without my knowing it.

I woke the next morning looking like a blow fish!

pic of blowfish

WWWHHHAAATTTT???? I was swollen from my eyes to my feet with the worst being on my face (of course!). I was awake, but my eyes were thin little slits to peek through. My sinuses were so plugged that I had to hang my mouth open to breathe a heavy breather on a nasty phone call. And the facial skin itself was so stretched from the attack that I could not see a single wrinkle (bonus!? Hee hee).   My fingers were so swollen I could not make a fist and a burning rash had broken out almost everywhere. The first think (yes think) I did was yell for help.

Well, help came but not before laughing hysterically for several minutes first! Very funny – not!!! My sister then reminded me about the nightshade family in the tomato. So that was the culprit. She continued to laugh while helping to rub aloe lotion on me, also reminding me of all the time I teased her about her “sensitive” skin (she breaks out in a rash at the drop of a hat). Now I was to learn exactly how she felt – in the most painful way!

The majority of the swelling went down after a couple of days, the rash took a bit longer. But I did learn a very valuable lesson. The tomato doesn’t care what your skin type is. It doesn’t care that you may have killed it in the past without feeing its agony. It only cares about the first moment you DO notice it. That moment when it can come out on your unsuspecting self and seek revenge!

So, now I know that I will attack the monster with full body armor, but I will display my kinder side. I will allow part of the plant to remain in the plot. I will cover it with extra protection and even add a small space heater so that the temperature will remain above freezing in its mini-tunnel. I will allow it to continue to provide us with fruit in a slower manner throughout the winter.

In turn, I believe, it will not decide to attack me. At least not until the next time I get stupid and try to clear it jungle style! It had better remember that revenge is sweet, especially served up in a pasta sauce!

Now, my older friends, you know where they got the idea for that wonderful “B” movie from back in the 70’s – Attack of the killer tomatoes. Enjoy!!  (oh, and of course don’t forget that great theme song )

WHO WINS THE RACE?

If your days are anything like mine, they get full pretty fast. Rushing from here to there, worrying about tons of different deadlines for different projects all at the same time. The mind is racing and somedays it’s really hard to get focused – or worse – to sleep at night! Well, we have found a most excellent way to draw our minds back into brain-dead status – TOAD RACING!

Now, this is not your fancy frog racing adventure. No race track, no fast moving frogs, and only 2 rules…1) Who ever makes it to the finish line is the winner, 2) NO CHASING THE TOAD! This last includes tossing a stick or stone to try to direct or redirect it in any way. It has to be all on the toads’ own will power.

toad 1  toad 2

This may sound stupid to some of you but picture this: It is a quiet cool evening. You have had a long hard day of doing too many mental and physical chores. You find yourself sitting in a comfortable glider rocker chair next to a nice glowing fire pit. The stars are our, the crickets are chirping, you can hear the howl of the coyotes in the distance – but you just cannot relax!

Frustrated, you go grab a cool drink, sink back into your chair and then happened to glance around at your environment. You see a toad hopping about. It seems to be on a mission – but – no – wait, it turned around bolting in a new direction. Your screaming brain just came to a screeching halt – “what is this critter looking for?” You now start to see other toads of all different sizes and shapes, popping out from all different places. You lean over to the buddy sitting next to you and say, “I bet that one can get to that stick first!” Your sister/friend/significant other looks at you, selects their own specimen smiles and says “you’re on!”

You shuffle your feet to try to make it turn another direction, but you are not allowed to get up and chase it in any way, shape or fashion – it must move totally by its own will. It stumbles over a small tree branch, travels about a foot toward your goal and you start to get excited – oops, wait it turned to face you now. Pretty sure this toad knows that I have pegged it as the winner so it just decides to squat right down and stare at me – jerk! The other fellow’s toad is now racing, has caught up with mine and actually rammed right into it.  Now they are both just sitting there like bumps on a log (ok, now you know where that phrase came from – you’re welcome!).

You and your buddy begin laughing uncontrollably – can’t help it, the whole idea is goofy! But then, that’s the point…your mind is now totally blank except for how to get this toad to move, your body has become physically relaxed except for the hysterics pouring out of you. Ahhh, job well done!

The unplanned plan worked perfectly! Totally by chance of a perfect night, perfect conditions and stopping to notice the surroundings – relaxation was found!

A couple of months have now passed since that glorious night, and we found ourselves sitting on the east porch contemplating Saturdays chores that we had accomplished. There was still a large amount to be done, so the “list” began to bounce back and forth between us. Do this first, do this by the first deep frost, finish processing the veggies, and my sister slipped in the house to get a couple more drinks. That’s when I spotted them!

ladybugs

(Look close and you can see the 2 at the siding edge trying to come over to beat her, however she is also traveling toward them?)

Not toads this time, but ladybugs! Dozens of them crawling all over the porch railings, ceiling, along the house wall, everywhere. They were moving so fast I thought that they must have a plan? As one moved close to me I set out a finger – she climbed right on it – now this is silly! How will she get where she is going while perched on my finger? But, again, moving non-stop she reached the edge of my coat cuff, bumped it and immediately flew off and reconnected with the house again. These were not sluggish toad, these little puppies cruised! When my sister came back out with fresh drinks, I pointed out the lady bugs and stated; “I believe that one of mine (the one spinning in circles) will reach the end of the porch ceiling first!” She started giggling and said “You’re on!”

So who won the race? No one, everyone, who really cares? The whole point of this is not who wins the race, or how they won the race, but the fun we found along the way. Yes the ladybug is faster, but she is just as dizzy as the toads were.