Wednesday, April 28, 2010

GABE Prize:ScooPup Pocket - Polite Pup

The first of the prizes I won during GABE arrived! A purple ScooPup Pocket from Tiny Growl. It's so cool to have an extra layer of protection between your hand and the baggie. And purple is our favorite color!

I got a lot of questions about Mabel Lou and stealing after the last post about her showing me where my toast was. Seriously, Mabel generally does not steal food. I can put a plate in front of her for her to eat and she will look to me for reassurance that it is OK to eat it. The last time she stole, I blogged about it - November 2007. Mabel is NOT a thief.

Even I was pleasantly surprised the other morning when I got a phone call from our hiking buddy / Mabel's auntie.

She phoned to ask a "Did Mabel really do that or was I dreaming?" question.

We were over there visiting the previous night. Mabel comes in, says hi to her and the dogs, paces the front porch until my friend puts down the "company rug." Once the rug is down, Mabel selects a bone from their bone bin and just makes herself at home on the rug, chewing...occasionally getting up to act like a guard dog when a stranger passes by.

As we were leaving - we were inside - my friend says to Mabel, "Would you like to take a bone home?" Mabel wags her tail, sniffs the bone on the floor (not the one she had been chewing), walks outside to "her" bone, sniffs it, turns and looks at her auntie to be certain / ask permission.

Auntie says, "You can take it home." Tail wags, Mabel picks up the bone, turns to nuzzle her auntie (Thank you!) and heads for the car!

Asking permission and saying thank you!!! Gosh, I'm a beaming mom!!! It really happened!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Falling Down

I've had two terrible falls in two days! There's nothing like a good fall to take the wind out of your sails!

I have to start the day before the falls. I found a basketball in dirty creek. It had a bit of the surface torn and hanging which meant Mabel could carry the ball by it's torn parts. That's a good thing. Miss Pissy Lou loses interest quickly in balls she cannot carry.

I kicked the ball. It would go off trail and Mabel would retrieve it. She would bring it back to the trail, set it down before me and look at me. I would kick it again. Sometimes she would jump back into the action too quickly and I managed to kick the ball into her back, butt and face before she really learned to stay back. I kicked and she chased all the way across the valley floor, into the Big Tujunga where we played a bit and then kicked that ball back up the levee and all they way down to Bunny Flats!

When I woke in the middle of the night, I stepped on my right foot and swore my ankle was broken! Then I remembered kicking that ball! Oy, getting old is a pain...literally!

The next day, I was exploring dirty creek again. (Walden Pond to locals. Trust me, if Walden hand looked like this, Thoreau would have never been inspired to write a word!) The floods have done a number on this area. The regular stream bed is completely dry with the bulk of the stream going down an older, formerly dry bed. And, as I discovered the other day, yet another stream has formed closer to the houses. I rock hopped across, checked out the new stream and decided to explore the fort built by some teenagers.

Then we found a soccer ball. Remembering the fun of the day before and hoping to work the kink out of my ankle, I kicked it. Mabel retrieved only she dropped it on a small island. There was a tree limb linking my island with hers and as I approached I decided I could make it without the limb. I landed in slippery mud and down I went in some strange, slow motion fall. The first thing I spotted were the cut, hard ends of bamboo and immediately pictured my death by bamboo torture. I flailed around wildly for something anything to grab onto but the only thing in front of me was Mabel.

I grabbed her back. She looked up and my face with her own sweet one. The look was along the lines of "Mommy wants to pet me!" She saw the terror in my face and I saw fear flash across hers. I was no longer fearing death by bamboo but life without my dog. I was certain I was going to land on her and hurt her terribly! But smart girl that she is, she side-stepped, walking right out from under my hand and thus I continued my fall.

I grabbed onto a small tree before coming to a rest in the mud. I was so shocked, I went into a full on "baby cry." Verbal crying, no tears and then realizing I'm okay. "Wah wah wah wah huh huh huh...oh Okay. "

This is my pants taken after we made it home:

Mabel of course had a brilliant good time thinking Mom was rolling around in the mud with her. Coming home with this much sand is par for the course for her:

But apparently I wasn't done falling! The next night, still kinda sore, I torched after an afternoon hike. I was so happy torching and coupled with the late lunch I ate, I never got hungry until I had tucked Mabel in bed around eleven. Feeling hunger pains, I made a piece of toast, wrapped it in a paper towel and headed back to bed.

My bed is tall with lots of drawers built in underneath. I have to climb in. But...I missed! I skinned my knee on the wooden drawers and managed to hit my still-tender spider bite full on. The pain was excruciating. The toast went flying. I reared back and hit the bedroom wall with my right shoulder and collapsed in a heap on the floor!

And again, I turned into a baby! "Wah wah wah wah huh huh huh...oh Okay. " Realizing I was still alive, I looked up to the bed and there, peeping over the edge was a sweet faced girl! She was as startled as I was!

The best part... she showed me where my toast went!

I've managed to stay upright for a few days in a row now but between my falls and my numb left arm, my right bicep is the only thing that's healthy! I'm just glad Mabel is looking out for me!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rejection Letter

So... I applied for a job for a Parenting / Crafting website. This is what is required... along with MY commentary.

Job Responsibilities

  • Work with product team to develop calendar of product initiatives available for sales, some planned and some “if sold” only. I've been involved in marketing many new products from conception to package design to media tie-ins and launch.

  • Partner with Senior Manager, Sales Dev & Production on responding to ongoing sales/advertising requests and proposals that marry sales goals with product goals. Meet with sales team directly to craft responses to large campaigns. Represent voice of product team to sales.While working on The Carol Duvall Show, I secured products for placement into the show and represented the voice of the manufacturer planning those segments. I did this for other HGTV shows as well.

  • Oversee team of 1 lead broadband producer, 1 producer, 1 associate producer, in responding to proposals, creating video/media in partnership with edit/product team, and executing sales projects that fall outside scope of edit/product team. I've supervised crews numbering in the hundreds and worked on a production team that oversaw the work of 1200 crew! I've worked in direct sales. "Outside the scope" of normal duties always falls in my lap. I "giter done!"

  • Oversee ad sales-dedicated scrum, working closely with tech/proj mgt team on projects in development but also concepts requiring scoping and exploration. See notes above. I've worked in every aspect of film production which has taught me to see things through...from researching ad nauseam, endless studio feasibility studies and approvals, budgeting, scheduling, negotiations, production, and post. I'm a problem solver from A -- Z.

  • Partner with [Major international media company].com sales development and production team in delivery of strong co-view opportunities. See note above.

  • Partner with marketing team to share ideas and ensure smooth co-existence of marketing and sales/product calendars. See note above.

Qualifications for position

  • 6-8 years product development experience on the web required, with proven success with mom or women audience. I've worked marketing products to women and kids online for the last 12 years.

  • Ability to communicate well and negotiate with array of stakeholders including product and functional leads as well as sales. My communication skills are top notch. I'm capable of speaking in front of small groups to large crowds and I can write. I'm comfortable communicating with anyone.

  • Presentation skills and ability to influence an audience are essential. I have been a teacher who sells directly to my students for decades. Influencing my students to buy keeps a roof over my head. Figuring out the best way to present material is a challenge I enjoy.

  • Experience managing a team. I'm repeating myself here but managed crews from 17 - 1200! Most of the time, on time and under budget.

  • Project management knowledge is desirable, including understanding scope and budget requirements. Again, see above.

Specific Skills Required

  • Knowledge of women/parenting category on the web is essential. I've worked in marketing to this group online and across all media platforms for close to 20 years.

  • Powerpoint, budget management experience (Excel) is important. I've built numerous media Powerpoint presentations including music and timing. Designed Excel databases for budgets, written budgets for films, commercials and other projects.

  • Knowledge of content publishing systems and project management best practices are required. I explore databases and web code for fun! I'm knowledgeable of many of the programs used in this arena and if not, I'm certain I could learn it in record time.
And this is their rejection letter (typo is THEIRS, NOT MINE):

Thank you for taking the time to submit your resume for the position listed below.

Unfortunately, we have identified other candidates whose background and experience more closely meet the requirements for this position.

You are welcome to continue reviewing our employment opportunities and to apply for those positions for which you feel you qualify.

Again, thank you for your time and the interest you have expressed in our Company.

We wish you well in your endeavors.

[Major International Media Production Company] Recruitnig Team


Well, Dear RecruitNIG team, If you didn't hire me, You must have one heck of a candidate.

It is so exasperating for my skills to be such a good fit and I don't even get my foot in the door of the recruitNIG office!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

GABE Winner!

Welp, Twinkie's Global Animal Blogging Event a/k/a has come to an end. We've met lots of new furiends and picked up some new followers and found lots of new blogs to follow. Wow!

The winner of our prize is Piappies World! Since this is a custom pendant, it will be a few weeks before you will get to see it but here's the description from my GABE announcement:

I am a glass artist, working mostly in torched beads (oops! We are moving servers and that site is down!) and memorial beads containing the ashes of loved ones, however, I fuse from time to time. These art glass pendants were made with actual photos! That's family up on the left. The top right is one of our hiking buddies, Sue. And below... my regulars will recognize as the first Creekhiker logo. The winner of my drawing will receive a custom glass piece with their critter's photo fused in. Please know that this is a custom piece and will take a little time to finish and YOU will have to send me a high quality, high contrast photo of your pet.

This has been a lot of fun and I can't wait til GABE comes around next year!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Down in the Dumps

I've been a bit down lately and I hate posting here when I am. I can fake it for the bead blog... but this place is all haven; my one true place. I don't fake it well here. So maybe if I get it all off my chest, the fog will lift. Here goes:

My mom has been really sick. Scary sick. She's 87 and her mortality has always been near the surface of my fears ever since I was a child and my father died. Now that we have the correct diagnosis (equilibrium issues), she is on the mend. But it's been a frightening week. I bought and returned THREE plane tickets in one day, unable to decide if I should go to her or stay put. Of all the many versions of me, it's Indecisive Holly I dislike the most. In the end, my poor sister bore the brunt of this one with me making phone calls and giving advice from here.

The Website:
While working on my taxes, I started to distract myself with the need to totally rebuild my bead website (Still in progress...). You know I'm bored if html code suddenly sounds interesting. It has been an all consuming project which is what led to the next problem....

My Left Elbow:
My left arm is it's asleep ALL the time. I've somehow damaged a nerve in my arm. I never knew how many things I do with my non-dominant arm until it started hurting. I hang onto the phone as if I'm sliding off Mt. Everest. On the computer, my elbow remains on the edge of the desk until I need to two-handed type. I drive with my elbow resting on the window sill. When Mabel joins me on the sofa, I scoot to the right; to keep from falling off the edge, I lean left. I sleep on my left side with the elbow bent and the arm tucked under OR on my back, lots of pillows and weight on my left elbow. If my hands get cold, I tuck them under my behind and put more pressure on the elbow. I rest on that elbow making beads.

WHO KNEW my world could be turned upside down by one freaking little elbow???

I went to the local massage school yesterday for a $20 massage and managed to leave with feeling in my index finger and thumb. Now, if the rest of them would wake up...

The IRS:
I owe more money to the IRS than I have ever owed in my life! And yes, I'm spitting mad about it. I took money out of a retirement account because I had NOTHING at Christmas. I took the money to pay property taxes and my house note... that's it. No Christmas shopping - I didn't give gifts this year. NOTHING frivolous... just keeping a roof over my head. And even though my business lost money last year, I still owe... a penalty for taking my own damn money. ARGH!!!

It wouldn't bother me so much if I didn't think it would be going to buy flowers for Nancy Pelosi or half of a screwdriver for the Pentagon.

The Job Prospects:
I send out resumes all the time and have come to accept I may not hear back as I always seem to be grossly overqualified or missing ONE thing out of literally forty required skills. But I've applied for no less than three jobs in the past month that I am a dead on skill match for. And... NOTHING.

But, there is always one cheery, wonderful thing in every blessed day. The one creature who can get me out of my head and out of my house. The girl who always makes me laugh. Here she is on a hike with Twinkie's pack.

And, you might enjoy this photo essay of the girl eating cream with her furiends from Twinkie's blog. And... these next pics are not photoshopped at all...just cropped! Hope they make you smile!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Sweet Baby May in the Morning Light

Mabel never looks more like her sweet puppy self than when she's all curled up in a ball, often dreaming and barking that "puppy baby" bark instead of her big, booming one.

I couldn't resist stealing a few shots of the sleeping beauty with the dim, rainy morning light streaming in...

Okay... one WITH a flash: