Monday, April 27, 2009

the sign says OCCUPADO

I've been too busy for the last few days to even think about my store let along blog about thinking about my store. It's a dream and it's my dream and I have to remind myself of it every day. But the past few days have been all about surviving..dreaming is a luxury.

On the flip side...I have ascertained that time is a luxury of unemployment and homemade bread is a luxury of time.

The promise to myself for the week is to NOT apologize for things I have no control of, no part in, or should not be apologized for.

Friday, April 24, 2009

found kindness

Today I did not a thing to further my desire to live the american dream. For some reason I decided that I had to fix my best friend this week. I have spent a few days at her house trying to get her to clean it up. An organized home allows for organized thoughts.

My big contribution, beyond being the annoying voice/presence, was laundry. I took 3 loads a day from her house, washed, folded, and returned them; waiting patiently as she put them away as to avoid her usual MO of leaving them in piles for months on end.

I really do believe that your house is a reflection of your mind. This particular friend is someone who buries her head and avoids facing problems head on. She procrastinates and talks about big dreams but rarely takes action necessary to accomplish them unless extremely prodded. I hope that this is enough prodding.

Now, where is my prodder to keep me focused on my dream?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

One day at a time...

So while my goal is to get this American Dream rolling I realize that patience is a requirement. There are hoops to jump through, people to satisfy, plans to be set. It's a daunting task by any measure so I promise to myself to take it one day at a time and never lose sight.
I would like to say that 1 mini goal will be accomplished every day but it's going to be more like 1 mini goal a week. Originally, the idea was to opening doors in December 2009, but the bigger the gap grows between former job and future employment the further that date gets pushed. Funny that no one wants to loan the unemployed big sums of money for a risky venture, go figure!

The good news? Accepting that the American Dream is the sum of my life not just the ability to open the doors of a store. Yesterday I decided to take control and make a friend of mine claim her best life and start the process of getting her house in order. I will be going back for more today.

Another part of the American Dream is networking, connecting and feeling valued. Yesterday I reconnected with someone I hadn't seen or talked to in probably 8 years but someone that was a big part of my childhood and that felt awesome.

The ex that I thought hated me, but who bought a condo next to mine while we were dating, decided to loan me a pool key to his complex so I could beat the heat. Guess he doesn't hate me, we haven't seen each other yet but one step at a time. I just hope that the 6 months between breaking up and trying to be friends has allowed my broken heart to heal. I really was genuinely in love with this person and my heart was so broken.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Having a big dream is a great epiphany but not being able to work out the details to make your dream a reality is frustrating.

In my previous blog I mentioned that the company I had worked for for the last four years left the US and took my job with them. The funny thing is, if I still had that job a bank would be willing to loan me to the money to start my store. If I could find another similar type job the same thing would be true, of course that would mean I would have little time to actually run the store. The irony is that I have all the time in the world to create an amazing store right now. I have the passion, vision, and time just not the money.

The job hunt continues but for today's goal is to visit the local unemployment office and figure out if I can become a Project Management Professional with the help of the State of California....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Homemade Hot Fudge...for PMS..

It's hot as heck in Southern California today but those lovely hormones that bounce around monthly in women have compelled me to make and devour the best hot fudge ever.

When my American dream starts to unfold, I will be hosting an online community that brings together my customers and the world wide web in ways never done before. I also intend to regularly post recipes in the store and offer suggestions to those looking for easy to dos, delicious delights, and impressive treats!

But for today.. I will post my super secret (no more) hot fudge sort of recipe.. good luck with it.. it's really easy, I promise!

2 - 4 ounces of good semisweet dark chocolate (I use Scharfenberger from San Fran)
1/4 - 1/2 cup heavy cream (this one will really be as needed to get a good creamy consistency)
2 tbsp sugar (again this is sort of to taste but start with 2 tbsp, I generally think I end up with 3)

Put this is a small saucepan and heat over low/medium heat until melted and smooth - be patient, this will take time. Stir continuously. It will likely take about 5 minutes to get it totally smooth. Do Not Boil or Simmer - just allow to melt over low-ish heat.

When completely melted and smooth add the following

2 tbsp butter (it's best to use butter here rather than margarine) stir until completely melted

remove from heat and add

1 tsp vanilla

Pour over ice cream, cake, your fingers! It's really oh so very good. Put any left overs in a covered container and refrigerate up to 1 week. To reheat put desired amount and microwave safe container and heat for 30 seconds or less.

I think it is almost better the next day!

If you make it, let me know what you think!

Unemployment runs out..

Ever have that feeling that the world is going to stop spinning any moment? I was a good little American, I listened to the advice of the "financial advisors" and saved money for a rainy day, I just didn't expect a tsunami.

It has been six months, this week, since I first filed for unemployment and today the check came with only 1 weeks worth of benefits. Never have I been so scared. I have managed, for 6 months, to pay my mortgages and all other bills on time. There is supposedly an extension that will be filed automatically on my behalf to continue my benefits for another 22 weeks but the bank account is empty. The cushion that I so carefully set aside has been consumed.

I am lucky that I can maybe get some help from family. It is frustrating to be a qualified and smart professional unable to find a job that would keep me afloat. I'd even take a job at a lower run as long as I can make my minimum income level that I need to make to keep everything paid for.

To those of you in the same situation, hang in there! I'll cross my fingers for all of us!

Dreaming the American Dream

In October, 2008 I was laid off from a great job with a big international company. The company decided it was going to leave the sandbox and take all of its toys to play in China's, and other developing countries, sandboxes.

Can I blame them? Of course not!

The American Dream has amazingly held steadfast through generations. We want to be free, have a roof over our heads, money in the bank, 2.3 children, domesticated animals, loving partners, and the ability to do something for work that we love! Did I love my last job? Love might be too strong, I enjoyed it at times and loathed it at others but overall I was pretty happy.

Losing it has made me look at what my American Dream should look like.

I am not married, at 33, I do not have 2.3 children, but I do have a roof over my head complete with two mortgages, HOA fees, and property taxes, and I have some domesticated (or somewhat) domesticated animals roaming around the joint. I no longer have any money in the bank and I need to remedy that.

So how do I take control of my American Dream? In December I decided that my American Dream should include owning and running a small boutique store in the neighborhood I live in. Exciting dream for sure, something I would be great at, but there are more hurdles than accomplishments to report.

I am starting this blog to talk about my road to Workforce Recovery! The path I have to take to open my store and live my american dream. Who knows, maybe love will find me along the way too!

So hang in there with me. It might be a bumpy road but it will be the story of one woman's desire to find the modern version of the classic American Dream.

PS - In the process I hope to learn more about HTML, and how to make this blog more visually appealing (did I mention I have been in marketing for 10 years?)...

You can follow me on Twitter - @offthecuff76