pegkerr: (Glory and Trumpets)
Rob has achieved COMPLETE REMISSION!

And I have been offered a JOB! I will be working for the Minneapolis ELCA Synod (the local governing body of the Lutheran Church). I will be, among other things, assisting with the administration of the process to call new pastors to Lutheran Church.

Details at CaringBridge here.

This has been the best week, like, ever.
pegkerr: (All we have to decide is what to do with)
Up on Worthiest Words: A post about Open Arms of Minnesota. I'm doing a series on marketing in nonprofit organizations.

I lost my old job exactly a year ago today.

Some good things have happened since then. I think I'm closer to the job I'm supposed to have. Maybe. Theoretically. Surely?
pegkerr: (Default)
My new professional (self-designed) website is launched. It's a bit bare bones (need to write more posts--a LOT more), I still have to figure out lead magnets (and how, exactly, the site will lead me to my goals) and I'm sure there'll be hiccups, but on the whole, I'm happy with it and happy to get it up. The name of the site is Worthiest Words. I am also on Twitter at @worthiestwords (as well as still at my old account @pegkerr).


May. 21st, 2016 09:45 pm
pegkerr: (Default)
A shiny new badge on my LinkedIn page:

pegkerr: (Default)
Week 24: Hamilton
I have been listening to it NON-STOP!

Week 24 Hamilton

I bought the entire soundtrack for $2.00 (LEGALLY) when it was on sale for that price on Google Music. The show has its hooks in me (as it does in so many other people I know). Fiona's a fan, too, and we love to exchange tidbits of knowledge we've gained about the show, the production, the actors. She is going to GO SEE IT in June and I am so very jealous.

Week 25: Hope
I'm seeing a glimmer of light on my journey.

Week 25 Hope

This image depicts a woman on a journey (remember Week 3, Embark, the last card on this post?) who sees a lighthouse shining from shore and starts to feel a little bit of hope. This was the week I learned I had been given a grant by the Dislocated Workers Program from the State of Minnesota. I am going to be receiving training in a lot of the concepts and programs I need to have to change careers from legal administrative assistant to marketing.

Week 26: Dance
This was the week of Excellent Cancer News.

Week 26 Dance

I picked this picture from The Tutu Project, one of the amazing photographs taken by Bob Carey in support of his wife Linda Carey, who has been battling breast cancer. Yeah, okay, we're not battling breast cancer here, but it's about the spouse of someone with cancer. It's trying to bring humor and happiness to something that's often very grim. It just seemed to fit this time.

Week 27: Training
I begin to learn new things.

Week 27 Training

Hubspot Academy Inbound Marketing. Landing pages. Adobe InDesign. A/B testing. Etc. Let's hope it will result in a new career direction.

Week 28: Caucus
I took Fiona, and we both did our civic duty.

Week 28 Caucus

Fiona and I were both agonizing as we walked through the door until I hit upon a simple solution: "I'll vote for Hillary. You vote for Bernie. We'd be happy to vote for either one in the general election." And that's what we did.

Week 29: Flu
Everthing is a painful, feverish blur.

Week 29 Flu

The flu hit both Rob and me HARD. Think gray mindlessness, with fever and aches lurking below.  I started on Wednesday of that week. After a week and a half, I ended up at the hospital, getting intravenous fluids. The flu shot didn't do a damn thing for me.

Week 30:  
Not today
Nothing will get accomplished today.

Week 30 Not Today

Yes, this is still a one word title. Well, a word combined with a graphic.

This card was created because I became impatient after four days of the flu. Surely I should be getting better by now? I kept fretfully listing off things to Rob that I should be doing. He lay in bed beside me, sick as I was, and replied "Not today." And when I tried to stagger out of bed and take three steps, I would fall back into bed and repeat after him, "Not today." The whole week was like that.
pegkerr: (Default)
Week 20: Twelfth
Once again, we gather around the table to celebrate the end of Christmas.

Week 20 Twelfth

Yes, yes, this card should be named 'Twelfth Night' But I am limiting my card titles to one word. Not quite satisfactory, but I couldn't find a one word that would substitute (unlike finding "Hogmanay" as a substitution for "New Year's Eve.")
Again, this card was an experiment with different media. The table cloth and napkins are tissue paper, the forks are cut from aluminum foil. And the plates are from the foil wrapped around the Hershey's Kisses we had inside the miniature stockings.
We did indeed manage to gather around the table this year, although it was a Twelfth Night dinner this time rather than breakfast. That's just the way the schedules worked out.

Week 21: Severus
He was the bravest man I ever knew.

Week 21 Severus

This was the week that Alan Rickman died, and I made this card in honor of him and in honor of one of my favorite of his performances. Once I started thinking about Severus, I started making connections between his situation and mine (and not all of them are flattering, to say the least). This gets into personal stuff, so Elinor Dashwood will leave it there for now.
It was the last day of the previous week, January 9, that was Severus Snape's birthday. Rowling deliberately chose that day because it was the feast for the Roman God Janus, the two-headed god who guarded doorways, looking both into the past and into the future. An extremely appropriate choice for the ambiguous Severus Snape's birthday, and an appropriate thing for me to ponder, as I think about my career--where it has been as well as where it is going.

Week 22: iPod
I lost my iPod in the snow and felt helpless without it.

Week 22 iPod

At least by process of elimination, that's where I figured it wound up. I never got it back. I held out a week, gritting my teeth, and then I bought a replacement. Screw the fact that I am unemployed. I need one to organize my life.

Annoyingly, I found out when I upgraded to the next model, that I can't synch it on my iMac. The software on my desktop Apple is too old. Planned obsolescence is pretty damned annoying.

Week 23: Three
There are three things I do to help myself.

Week 23 Three

This was a tough week. Again, Elinor Dashwood will not provide many details. The three stones represent three stepping stones, the sort to keep you above the water you would drown in otherwise (I tried and tried to find an image of three stepping stones, but for a variety of reasons, what I found just didn't work. So I used an image of stacked stones). The stones represent three things I do throughout the week for self-care. The stones are carried by a manatee, and if you haven't found the site Calming Manatee, really, what are you waiting for?

I know what the next card is (Card 24) and I worked on it today, but I had tremendous trouble with figuring out the right fixative to use. I had an image with words superimposed over it. I printed the words on waxed paper, but every fixative I used just smeared or blurred the words. I have an idea for how to fix the problem, but it involves a trip to the store. So I started working on the next card (Card 25), and finished it, too. I worked on the cards OUT OF ORDER! I felt SO GUILTY! And I will not scan and show this past week's card until I finish the card for the week before.

This means we are almost halfway through the year! (It also means it's been half a year since I've had a job--groan). [ profile] minnehaha K. impishly suggested that we could swap decks and I would do the rest of hers and she would do the rest of mine. I firmly vetoed this idea. But then she made the clever suggestion that we would each do the jokers of the other person's deck, one at Week 26 and one at the end. Which I think is a really cool idea.
pegkerr: (Default)
Week 13: Networking
Over coffee, we meet to build connections (and maybe help me find a job).

Week 13 Networking

I had six networking meetings that week, all in coffeeshops, I think. The background of the card is latte art. I cribbed the rest from business cards exchanged that week. The LinkedIn Profile QR code is mine. I have been uncertain about what business title I'm applying for, so I had cards made up in two styles, one saying "Marketing Specialist" and one saying "Wordsmith." The stylized typewriter in the upper right of the card is the graphic I created for my card. The other logos are the business logos of some of the people I met during the week.

Week 14: Thanksgiving
We gather together to give thanks and to enjoy good food and each other's company.

Week 14 Thanksgiving

The pictures on this card were cannibalized from an old Pillsbury Thanksgiving cookbook I had been keeping around. On Thanksgiving day, we went to family gatherings at both Rob's brother Lance's house and my sister Betsy's house. And then, since we had been given the ingredients for a Thanksgiving dinner by Open Arms of Minnesota, we cooked our own turkey and had yet another Thanksgiving feast on Saturday night, just Rob and me and the girls. That meant we had leftover turkey for the first time in years.

The Thanksgiving card finished the Autumn cycle (the first card I made, Smithereens, was the last card for summer. I have now picked out the paper for the backs of the cards. Here is Summer:


And here is Autumn:


The paper for Winter and Spring are the same pattern, except that Winter is white with gold accents and Spring is green with gold accents.
pegkerr: (Default)
Week 7: Fall
The beautiful and familiar are falling away, leaving bare spaces for winter's approach.

Week 7 Fall

I think this may be one of my favorite cards I've ever made.

The original title for this was 'Leaf Fall' which I originally visualized as one word and then realized that wouldn't work. And because I'm limiting myself to just one word as titles for these cards, I played around until I realized that 'Fall' could refer both to the season and the falling of the leaves. Excellent.

One of the impetuses for this was a discussion I had with Delia about an art project she was working on for her Introduction to Drawing class. She was to draw a common object (she used a hole punch) and then draw it different ways over the course of fourteen days, using a different medium each time. The trick is to keep finding new ways to convey the object when you start to run out of ideas. I suggested that the line could be conveyed by negative space. Two of the ideas I gave her were 1) to use pinpricks through the paper to outline her subject, and then 2) to use cut outs: negative space in other words, like you see in some of the marvelously ornate pumpkins that people have been carving the past several years for Halloween: you suggest the line of an object by illuminating what's around it.

The autumn here has been gorgeous, and the fall colors just about reached their height last week. Even as I was enjoying the colors, I've been feeling increasingly uneasy about what's coming next. I was struck by the very strong correlation between what I'm going through, with this job search, and the leaf fall all around me. When I was laid off, I had my severance period, I could enjoy my suddenly free time, take walks, visit with my family, etc. A lot of people who are laid off initially treat this time as a mini vacation. But I'm aware that world I lived in of my job (routines, friendships, tasks) has fallen away. It felt a little unreal at first, but it really feels real now. My severance period will eventually be coming to an end, and then my income will drop precipitously when I go on unemployment. And if I can't find a job then...

So I see the beautiful leaf fall and at the same time, the bare spaces left behind that are growing. Winter is coming. Hard times are coming. Have I stored up enough acorns to see my family through?

I loved, loved, loved making this card, and to do so, I used a method I've never tried before. I cut out small delicate leaves from my collected images, but instead of gluing them on the card, I used them as templates; I laid them over the card and drew tiny brush strokes of paint away from the leaf edges, first in white and then with a wash of autumnal colors over the white (the color on black alone wouldn't have shown up). Then I peeled the leaves away, leaving the finely edged outline of a leaf behind. Finally, I added a few, spare touches of gold.

I had a tough time capturing a good scan of the card with the scanner app I have on my iPod touch. Reflections of light on the black kept washing out the paint. Finally got a good one on my screened in porch (indirect light) and toned down the brightness to make the scrim of white reflection disappear while keeping the leaf color true, but that made the card look almost as if it is deep purple rather than black. Then I had to monkey with other parameters to make the card look black again.

Made this card yesterday, as part of a lovely day I spent with [ profile] minnehaha K. Thanks for the use of your paints! And I really enjoyed your company.
pegkerr: (Default)
The management is very pleased with Rob. And they've given him the paperwork to fill out for long-term permanent employment. No promises, but IF there are enough jobs after the holiday hours are done, he'll be a top candidate.

(Oh please oh please oh please...)


Oct. 25th, 2011 06:45 pm
pegkerr: (Glory and Trumpets)
Rob got a job offer from Best Buy, and he's going to go with them rather than Target. They will probably give him less hours (and will deliberately KEEP him below the hours he needs to get benefits). But the pay is better. And it's a place he could see actually continuing to work if, please God, they see fit to keep him on after the holidays are over.

He has to wait for the results of the drug test, but if all goes well he'll start in a week to a week and a half.

In honor of this momentous occasion, I hereby refer you to the link about when Improv Everywhere pranked Best Buy. Huzzah!
pegkerr: (Both the sweet and the bitter)
Rob interviewed with Target today and was offered a job that will give him up to 40 hours a week into January. He interviews with Best Buy tomorrow; if they offer him something, he'd prefer to work with them because it's closer to his experience and hopefully might give him a titch better wage.

But at least we'll have something. For a little while.
pegkerr: (Default)
I'm thinking of sending in my story myself. It's right in line with the other stories there.

We are the 99 percent.

Have you been following the Occupy Wall Street coverage?
pegkerr: (Default)
Rob has a job interview tomorrow afternoon, for a part time retail job at the Mall of America.

I have no idea whether it's just for the holiday season. I don't care. I don't care that it's just part time.


pegkerr: (But this is terrible!)
The job disappeared in a puff of smoke twelve hours before he was supposed to start. GODDAMMIT.

There might be something in a week. Or ten days.

Or never. I've heard that shit before.
pegkerr: (Default)
Rob has been checking in with a temporary legal agency since the beginning of his unemployment. I've gotten quite jaded about them, because despite dangling carrots in front of our noses repeatedly, all of the temporary jobs they've told him they'll hire him for have failed to materialize.

But this time it looks as though it is really going to happen. He's been told they're hiring him for a job that starts with training on Friday. It'll be several weeks of work at a decent wage, for 40 to 48 hours a week.

This won't lead to anything permanent. But it'll build our cash reserves back up a bit, and we're damn grateful to have it.
pegkerr: (Default)
I have been thinking about this.

My family has some problems that have just seemed absolutely intractable. Some of these problems I talk about in public. Some of them Elinor Dashwood is talking about in smaller locked groups on this blog on Livejournal and Dreamwidth. Some I talk about only in person, to just a handful of people.

We are trained to want the happy ending. Let's face it, happy people and winners are culturally preferred. Everyone appreciates a winner.

People in pain? People who can't get it together? People who continue to hurt, even when the people around them, the people who love them, keep trying to help them find their way out of the morass that surrounds them? Not so appealing.

I don't know quite what to do when I can't report the happy ending, both to myself, to my family and friends, and to readers of this journal.

I'm ashamed in a way. I am rather scrupulous at self-examination, and this is what I have been mulling over lately.

One of my soul collage cards is a Committee card (i.e., an aspect of myself) called The Bearer of Burdens:

The Bearer of Burdens
The Bearer of Burdens - Committee Suit
I am the One who is dependable, who bears the unbearable weight. I keep moving forward steadily through the desert that no one else can cross. I carry all that I need with me using my own inner strength. I can carry the burdens of others as well as my own.

I have been thinking lately that when I started walking across this desert, I had no idea that the journey would be so long. You keep going and going and going, reasoning, okay, this can't go on forever; sooner or later you have to get to an oasis, and you'll be able to lay this burden down. But I haven't been able to do so. And after awhile, you start to feel like a fool and a sucker for continuing to trudge forward, but what is your alternative when all around you all you see is a sandblast of desolation? Who else would pick up the burden? And if you stopped now and try to go back, who's to say whether or not you wouldn't end up just walking farther than if you just keep going in the direction you're going? There is no one to tell me. No one.

I lost one of the most important relationships in my life, I think, because the other individual, for reasons that elude me even now, said, "I'm not going to stick around any longer with you on this journey because I'm just tired of waiting for you to get to the oasis." Look, I'm tired of it, too. But I can't find any other way out of this desert than to keep walking.

I would never have believed, three years ago, that Rob would STILL not have a permanent job. I never would have believed some of the other things are still going on that I am struggling with. I can't believe I'm still walking through this desert, and the fear keeps stealing up that it looks as though I'm on the brink of dying of thirst. But what the fuck else am I supposed to do? There are no maps. No vehicles swooping down to pick me up.

I am sorry. I have no idea how long it will take or whether I will ever find the cool waters and restful shade I long for, or whether I'm even destined to get out of the desert at all. I might die of thirst out here all alone, but I have no idea which ending will happen. If only I knew. If I knew that it wasn't going to work out, I suppose at least I could put the burden down and just rest as I waited for the ending.

But I don't. If there's any chance I'll ever see the end of this desert, there isn't anyway I'm going to get out of it except under my own power.

So no, I cannot report the period of unemployment has ended, the marital and mental health problems have been solved, the house has been cleaned and the financial picture is more stable. I'm sorry, and it's getting downright embarrassing, but I just can't. The future may involve foreclosure, bankruptcy, homelessness, hospitalization, divorce. It may involve none of these things.

I don't know how this will end. But I can't see any alternative but to keep going.

(Edited to add: The ironic thing is, I am also actually on both sides of this divide, within my own immediate family.)
pegkerr: (Default)
I have been thinking about this.

My family has some problems that have just seemed absolutely intractable. Some of these problems I talk about in public. Some of them Elinor Dashwood talking about in smaller locked groups on this blog on Livejournal and Dreamwidth. Some I talk about only in person, to just a handful of people.

We are trained to want the happy ending. Let's face it, happy people and winners are culturally preferred. Everyone loves a winner.

People in pain? People who can't get it together? People who can't seem to solve their problems? Not so appealing.

I don't know quite what to do when I can't report the happy ending, both to myself, to my family and friends, and to readers of this journal.

I'm ashamed in a way. I am rather scrupulous at self-examination, and this is what I have been thinking about lately.

One of my soul collage cards is a Committee card (i.e., an aspect of myself) called
pegkerr: (candle)
I am going to make it through this year if it kills me.
pegkerr: (Default)
I called Augsburg College today and gave them my credit card number to reserve her place in the class and put down her housing deposit.

Now we have to figure out how to pay for it.

Starting next week, I am going to be looking for another job for nights and weekends. No one will hire my husband.

I hope I'll find someone who will hire me.
pegkerr: (But this is terrible!)
From an article dated September 15 from 10 Povery Statistics You Can't Afford to Ignore:
When President Obama first came into office, he wisely blamed the recession on the Bush Administration. Bad policy here, tax cut there and voilá — the Great Recession. He's finding that it's easier to get into a recession than out of one, though.

We are now awaiting new poverty data from the Census Bureau, and the Obama Administration will have to answer some tough questions concerning the progress of its economic policies. Here are 10 recent poverty statistics that are making his job more difficult than ever.

1.) The number of Americans in poverty is on pace for a record increase this year. Demographers expect the poverty rate to increase from 13.2 percent to about 15 percent, the highest number since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures in 1959.

2.) The U.S. poverty rate is now third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

3.) According to some estimates, the United States has lost eight million jobs since 2007.

4.) For the first time in U.S. history, 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million in 2011.

5.) An estimated 45 million Americans lived in poverty in 2009.

6.) About 81 percent of American adults know someone who is looking for a job and 28 percent of all U.S. households have at least one member that is looking for a full-time job.

7.) More than six million people have been out of work for 27 weeks or more.

8.) More than 25 percent of adults have abysmal credit scores.

9.) Approximately 19 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line.

10.) One out of every six Americans is now being served by at least one government anti-poverty program.


pegkerr: (Default)

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