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Where Do You Get Oranges?

Fresh oranges for the win!

One of my early jobs in Arizona was as a cook/van driver at a daycare. I prepped meals and snacks for, on average, 150 people a day. Breakfast, lunch and 2 snacks a day. I was also responsible for transporting the school age children back and forth to their schools. At the time, I handled 5 elementary schools and one private preschool. My list of responsibilities also included making a monthly menu, ordering kitchen supplies, organizing deliveries and all the prep, cooking and clean up in the kitchen. Not included in my job description but, something that I handled every day was staff birthdays and shopping for the teachers supply list which often included a weekly run to an education supply store and a local grocery store. I was a busy woman! I enjoyed the job tremendously and if my health had remained prosperous, then I would have stayed at this job for a long time.

I received a produce order twice a week for all of my fresh produce, however, on occasion there would be problems with my produce order. One morning, when fresh orange slices where on the menu for snack, my produce order did not arrive on time. Rather than just grabbing some other item from the shelf, the daycare (and me) made every attempt to adhere to our posted monthly menu which meant, if  the menu included fresh oranges slice for morning snack, then I have to offer fresh oranges, not shelved crackers. This particular morning, our oranges had not arrived, so I headed to our local grocery store to buy enough oranges for 135 preschoolers.

I hustled into the grocery store, grabbed a grocery cart and went straight to the produce section. I loaded 9 or 10, 5-lb bags of navel oranges into my cart. I stopped for a moment to see what else I needed to purchase when an elderly woman approached me. Arriving at my side, she looked at my 50 pounds of oranges, looked up at me and said, “Good Lord, woman! Don’t you know anybody with an orange tree!”

I laughed and said “What?”. Very quickly all the pieces started rolling together in my mind. In Arizona, citrus fruit trees are in abundance. The ability to enjoy fresh from the tree oranges is often, as far away as your closest neighbor. I am certain that to this lovely, elderly woman, it would have been far more economical to befriend someone who owned an orange tree. Having put it all together, I chuckled and said, “No, you don’t understand. I work for a daycare…”

She shrugged her shoulders mid-sentenced and walked away leaving me laughing in the produce section.

It’s been almost 20 years since this happened. To this day, whenever I eat oranges, I think of this hilarious encounter. Today, I am thinking about it a little differently. The elderly woman was trying to help me save some money with her suggestion. I tried to explain that I was purchasing oranges for a licensed childcare provider and I was only able to purchase items from certified vendors. She refused to hear my explanation and walked away thinking something entirely different about me and the situation.

It got me thinking. Have you ever been doing something or planning something and an outsider comes along and passes judgement on you without knowing all the reasons why you are doing whatever you’re doing? Has there ever been a time in your life when others looked at you and your actions with incorrect ideas simply because they did not take the time to find out what your goals or obstacles were? Have you ever done this to someone else?

Of course we have. Both scenarios have occurred because we often judge without knowing all the details of the circumstances. In our, incomplete, judgement we often think we are right and the other person is wrong. We tell others what to do before we know all the information or feelings or goals involved in a situation. We know better than they do. We know more than they do. We simply surmise, we are right, they are wrong. We are all guilty, at one point in our lives, of telling other people where to get their oranges.

We have to learn to really listen to each other needs or desires and then offer advice or wisdom once we know all the facts. And I mean ALL the facts. Because, I’d bet you a bag of oranges, we rarely know every reason behind someone’s actions but it is much easier to judge that they don’t have a clue about orange trees than to wait and learn what they are dealing with in life.

Take time to listen, really listen to others. Take time to build trust in relationships so that others truly confided in you. Take to time to understand other people lives or goals that are often very different than your own. Take time to practice patience.

Be brave.
Jamie Christine

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Friday Funk

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I woke up in a strange mood today.

I can feel a funky mood coming over me. One of those days where I either get myself together or I bark at people all day. I hate yelling at my boys so I will make every attempt to get it together. I will spend most of my day cleaning a little, crocheting and watching movies. I may take a walk to the grocery store. My car is out of commission right now but the walk may good for me. Adding to my discontent is the fact that the first person I thought of this morning was my gold digging step-mother. When my father died she robbed my brother and I of everything. Hell, when my father was alive she robbed us of him. Thinking of her puts me in a foul mood but if the spirit is bringing her up there may be something there that I need to investigate. Ugh…

So, here is something bright and cheery to help my mood and wish you a very  happy and safe weekend!

Be brave.
Jamie Christine

 

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Where are you?

Sunday, December 17, 2018

It has been a long time since I have had time or energy to write. The seasonal job proved to be more than I anticipated. It was a tremendous struggle to work the job and complete the temporary assignment. The job itself was not difficult but it was physically demanding. I spent many nights in pain, unable to sleep and barely able to function for days. I am happy to say that I did fulfill the job assignment and it ended on a good note. I am now in recovery mode physically but happy to have seen it through to the end.

I thought a lot about writing, photography, crochet and moving while I was shipping out all those custom order Christmas cards. I find it humorous that some times an easy way to identify what is important to us is by the things we miss in life. If we do not miss some thing, it must not have been that important. Photography, I knew I would long to do again. There is never enough photography in my world. Crochet, was a bit of a surprise but I do find it relaxing. I also enjoy making practical and useful items. Blankets, scarves, hats, those sort of things. Writing. This one really surprised me because for the most point I have fostered a love/hate relationship with writing. It is something that comes natural to me but I have resisted it with a fierce determination for the majority of my life. I often have words, sentences or paragraphs rolling through my mind. I think about words just like I see photographs. Typically, I push them aside till they fade away into oblivion. I was caught off guard when I discovered that I actually missed being at home pounding at the keyboard. I literally stopped in my tracks when the desire to go home and write filled my mind and heart. So, here I am.

Moving.

Moving has been an adventure in my own mind. It always is though, isn’t it? Relocation, whether from one house to the next or one city to the next, it turns everything upside down. My decision to move proved to be no different. In the past few weeks, I have researched a variety of cities, in a few different states for a kaleidoscope of reasons. I’ve been to Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. I have scoured coastal cities, mountain towns, bustling downtown neighborhoods and quiet college towns. I have cried a little, laughed much, wrestled with anxiety and had a few “hell no’s” for good measure. I have crunched numbers until my calculator up and walked away disappearing forever.

Through all the researching, discovery and indecisiveness, where have we landed?
Arizona.

The thought of leaving Arizona proved to each of us that this magical state we live in is indeed home. As I explored the idea of living anywhere else, my mind quickly focused on counting the days till I could get back to Arizona. The more I considered leaving Arizona, the more I realized that I just wasn’t done here. There is so much more that I desire to do and see here. I would often tell myself that adventure lies anywhere but my heart just could not let go of the fact that I wasn’t finished here. As the weeks hurried by it became very evident that we wanted to stay in our home state of Arizona.

And where is Arizona? Believe it or not, that is only about 99% decided, maybe 98%. There is a slim chance we may only move a far as a different apartment in Chandler. We are however aiming for Prescott or Prescott Valley area. We’ll know in 12 days if we make it.

Be Brave.
Jamie Christine

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Friday Frenzy

Friday is my first day of work at the seasonal job. It’s finally here. Time to make some money. 😉

I had a busy, worrisome week. Lots of anxiety. Too much stress. But, I am hoping to end the week on a thankful and positive note. That’s my plan anyway.

Thankful to a dear friend who has offered to help with the rent for this month. Just a loan due to the fact that I could not find a job that would start in enough time to get paychecks rolling in. Applied for emergency financial assistance with an organization about 12 days ago. Haven’t heard anything back from them as of Thursday night. Not a peep. One thing I have learned, people are rarely in as much of hurry as you are at any particular moment. It always ends up feeling like they are just not as concerned about the prospect of being homeless. I have some things listed on-line to sell but no one has even commented. I’ve sold nothing bringing in no money. None-the-less, a good, wonderful friend has offered to loan us the money and we can pay her back when the paychecks start coming in or the financial assistance grant is approved or not. I am thankful for her help and friendship.

Positive note. I am finally starting work. I can not express enough times how frustrating this process has been since my contract with the newspaper job ended in August 2017. It feels as if it has been drawn out forever when reality it has been just a few days over 2 months. Oh good grief! Two of the most stressful, worried filled, irritating and annoying few months. I actually feel like it has been 6 months. I’ve applied for more jobs than I ever have in my life. At least 100 jobs applications. No kidding. How a person can put out that many freaking applications and barely get 4 interviews is beyond me. So many of my applications were never even viewed. I am so frustrated by it all. Job searching has worn me so thin that I am sure I am transparent by now. Crazy thing, it is not over. I just have temp work through the end of the year then we move. I have to find a job in a new city. Oh gracious, somebody help me!!! The good news is Friday morning will find me working, earning a paycheck for at least the next 8 weeks.

Here’s to a new job and the money it brings!
Be brave.
Jamie Christine

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Friday Photographs

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The blog is beginning to take on a little more shape than last week. I am starting to get a schedule of what I will write about on each day. Hopefully, things will begin to take on a little more structure, at least for me. You never know the challenges of creating daily blog post till you write a blog.

I suppose, it really is about finding all the different parts of your voice and creating harmony on paper. It is about establishing a place where everything you wish to convey to the world works together like shards of colored glass in a kaleidoscope. Each new day turns into a dazzling display of something new to behold, yet, it is composed of the exact number of multi-colored flecks as the day prior. All these little voices spinning round and round until they land in a manner which is beautiful.

My task at hand is make all the little pieces to co-operate long enough actually say something worth while. Finding your singular voice while acknowledging all the fracture pieces and spinning trapped in a tube is a daunting task. Most days, I am just happy to get an entry composed before 6 a.m.

Voices can be like roses. No one can unfold a rose forcing it open to see its beauty. It must open on its own time and in it’s own way. Otherwise, it just won’t be a rose.

Be brave.
Jamie Christine

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Tired Tuesday

It is 2:58 a.m.
I have been up since 6:30 a.m. Monday morning.
I am still awake. I am tired but can not seem to climb into bed and go to sleep. I wonder why?

I have always had strange sleeping habits. My parents would often tell stories about me, at 2 years old, waking up in the middle of the night and going outside to play. I had the terrible habit of getting sleepy then falling asleep under the cars in our neighborhood. My mother told me that she had locks on the top of the door. I would stack chairs and such to climb up to the top of the door and unlock it. Fleeing to the great outdoors in the middle of the night.

My parents warned all the neighbors about me because one crisp morning, a neighbor almost ran me over if it was not for a tiny piece of my Dad’s stark white t-shirt that caught his eye. I wore my Dad’s t-shirts to bed. He brought me home and woke my parents with his knocking. The neighbor found me, sound asleep, near the front tire, oblivious to the danger around me.

After my parents managed to fasten a lock that I could not open, my mother told me that I would wander the house at night. She told me that because I was in my Dad’s white t-shirts that she would often see me flutter through the house. More than once she thought I was a ghost. Ghost girl in the white Fruit of the Looms. She said I was one of those creepy kids who stared at you till you woke up. I was always scaring the crap out of her.

My father worked over nights. He once told me that my mother would spend all day cleaning the house and I would terrorize it in the middle of the night. He would come home at 6 or 7 a.m. to find the house turned upside down by the little ghost girl. His favorite recollection was the morning he came home to find that I had discovered the 8 mm home movies and strung them around the living room like party streamers. He often cleaned up the house before my mother ever woke up so she would not be upset.

They bravely fought the midnight battle with me until the morning they woke up and I was not home. They searched all the normal places I would be sleeping. I was no where insight. A neighborhood search ensued till someone found me and another little boy. I have no idea where I found him. We were walking in our diapers and me in my white t-shirt along the side of major road. My mother asked me where I was going. I replied, “Dairy Queen.” It was at this point they started locking me in my bedroom at night.

It is safe to say that I have always loved the night. I work best in the early morning. When I was working the newspaper route, I loved being outside during the night. I was thrilled to see the nocturnal animals roaming about town. I always gazed at the stars. I soak in the coolness of the morning. The silence of the city has always been music to my ears. I always hear the moon call my name. Being awake while everyone else is sleeping is the best time to be playing in the night.

I am a long way from 2 years old but I still find the best time to go to bed is just after sunrise and a delicious breakfast. The moon and stars still catch my dreams. The magic night still calls to me.

I often feel like I am locked in a room. I despise the feeling of being forced to do something I don’t want to do or being confined. I will rail against being “trapped”. I have never reacted positively to locked doors. To people who tell me I can’t. To places I can’t go. Makes me wonder, how much do we really change as we age?

Be brave.
Jamie Christine

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Sunny Saturday

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I am up late. Just starting to get my brain in focus and start some work. I came across this happy image and decided to share a quick post. I took this shot a few years ago. Up close and personal with the Brittle Bush. It is actually a weed the grows wild in Arizona but in the spring it is covered with these superb, sunny little flowers. They line the highways and cover the desert with a dazzling yellow spreading delightful beauty wherever they may wander. Yet, they are still a weed. Some times I wonder if creation comes up with things like the Brittle Bush just to confound humans and say, “You haven’t begun to discover the magic that is out there.” Magic like weeds that cover the desert with beauty. I wish each of you a sunny, happy Saturday. I hope that your weekend is wonderful and full of loving sunshine!

Be brave,
Jamie Christine