This summer saw some changes in my life, some that are pushing me back towards what I did before Joe moved to heaven.


I’ve been wearing more make-up.  This is something I have slacked off on since Joe’s passing.  It just did not seem as important and at times was too much effort. Even while working as a loan officer last year, there were numerous days I did go without make-up. While those days still existed this summer, they were fewer than last summer.

I’ve even worn make-up to church on occasion.

Nail Polish

Yes, even the nails got “made up” more this summer.  I am not back to the weekly manicures like I did before Joe’s passing but the nails spent most of the summer with polish on them. My favorite being OPI’s “Cajun Shrimp” that my niece got me last Christmas.  My second favorite is OPI’s “Live, Love Carnival” that I got free thanks to a coupon from Ulta in my email this past May. Here’s hoping I get a coupon for another free bottle this fall.

No Michelle Obama Arms 

Not having “Michelle Obama arms” has not stopped me from wearing sleeveless tops.  It has in the past, but this year I said “Who cares?” and embraced sleeveless, even for work.  Now work is usually cold due to the air conditioning so I end up wearing a cardigan sweater about 15 minutes after walking through the door. Besides, I sit in a call center cubicle so I am not up wandering around.

My sitting in a cubicle leads me to another change –

The Mechanic

Well I am not a mechanic per se, but I learned about lawn mower parts starting in late Spring and have gotten pretty good at knowing what part a customer needs when they call to place an order. It’s been a fantastic seasonal job mostly because of my coworkers. I have never worked for a company where everyone is very, very nice, polite and helpful.  It will end sometime in September or October and I will be back to depending upon my freelance work to pay the bills.

One of the most important things I learned working for a lawn mower company:

  • Grass does not break blades.   If your blade breaks you hit something (e.g. tree root, rock, paper, scissors). Do not call the parts department upset because all you did was mow grass and your blade broke. Grass is not that strong.

Reading Books 

I’ve read a lot more this summer both physical books and Kindle books.  My absolute favorite was One Lavender Ribbon by Heather Burch.  It is about the power love letters have decades later.  I believe God used this book to help me be more open to entering into a relationship – although it has not happened yet.

Do not read this book if you are in the first 2 years of widowhood as it might be emotionally overwhelming. Remember, I am 6 1/2 years into my widowhood journey.

Accomplishment List For Fall

Those are the changes I’ve made this summer. Now for my Fall/Winter agenda.

In no particular order, I will:

  • continue doing freelance work for a local marketing company,
  • find a couple more freelance clients,
  • read, read, and read,
  • network as much as possible to help my job search,
  • write more blog posts for JoyReturns and LinkedIn,
  • take an online Marketing and Business Writing course,
  • start a career support group on LinkedIn for widows,
  • wear mascara more – this is the one item I continue to slack off wearing,
  • get my arms in better shape than Michelle Obama’s.


Who knows what else I will decide to do?  Stay tuned to find out.     😉




Bring On February 2013!!!!!!!!!!

Good Friday Morning and welcome to the weekend!

Now that all the election hoopla is over with (Hallelujah!), something refreshing is in order.  If you think this is a serious post, guess again. You are about to get a dose of my twisted sense of humor.

I think it was while on Twitter I came across this press release and just had to share it.  We need something fun, flirty, and  frivolous to look forward to and this just fits the bill.

So with our further adieu, here is the link that made my Wednesday.  Yes, this brings me joy and hopefully it does you as well.

OPI Announcment (Yes, Spring nail colors are revealed.  Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!)

All four in the top row have my name written all over them.  In fact,  I can’t wait to wear Polka.com to an interview!

Oy-Another Polish Joke! looks to be the PERFECT Spring color for you Steeler’s Fans.

A Woman’s Prague-ative appears to be PERFECT for us Cleveland Brown’s Fans.

Hands Off My Kielbasa! is the PERFECT neutral for job seekers.

There are a lot of options for dressing your nails this coming Spring. I look forward to their appearance in the stores.

Have fun this weekend and remember – joy IS all around you.

Where will you find it?