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Winds of Change

I have completed my first week on my new job and let me tell you...'s going GREAT so far.

I think all new jobs come with a little bit of a honeymoon period - at least in my experience. You know what I mean? That period of time when everyone is happy to speak to you and they are impressed by your every move?

I love that time.

Last week I was in training all week. We have a corporate trainer that I was scheduled to be with all day, every day.

I was not looking forward to it when I found out about it.

So often, if a company even has any kind of a training program for new hires, it will usually be a month after your first day and in a big group. By which point it is too late, you have already learned the system, more often than not figuring it out for yourself. So at least this training started on day 2.

But the other common thread in most training sessions I have experienced is they will review the operating system, benefits, etc. And while that information is nice to have, it can be tedious if you are already familiar with the system. And can read emails.

Which I am. And I can.

So yeah, I wasn't exactly looking forward to training. I was out of work for 5 weeks and although it was fun not having anything to do all day but eat bon bons and watch soap operas, I am ready to get back into it.

But then I was pleasantly surprised. I was the only new hire in training. And we didn't discuss benefits at all. So we could go at my pace. Which Travis (my new work bestie) quickly figured out. This encompass system is even better than ones I have worked in in my past work lives but it is still very intuitive. I took notes on things I needed to know - mostly work flow because every mortgage company is different.

Travis is a fantastic trainer and I enjoyed working with and getting to know him last week. But I am happy to be released to the wild.


Once I knew I had a job, I was able to relax and enjoy my time off more. And I spent a portion of that time trying to rid my work space of any bad juju left over from before. I moved my desk. I'm still in the little alcove in our bedroom but now I have my desk facing the patio instead of out to the yard which is actually good for 2 reasons.

The window I now face is broken so I couldn't open it anyway. As a bonus I can now open the other two windows easily for a nice breeze (weather permitting) where I could not easily do that before.

I couldn't see out the windows facing to the yard very well before anyway, and now I can. With 2 monitors and a laptop on the desk, I spent most of my time looking up into the tree. And since we sometimes get bunny visitors, I'm glad I have more of a full view of the yard.

Of course I did the usual complete dust down and purge of the old. Set up my new monitors - which are huge and I love them thank you very much. I ordered a new keyboard and mouse (work provided wired of both and I prefer wireless).

I also did not work at my desk for the entire 5 weeks, choosing instead to search for a job, blog post, and wedding plan from the dining room table.

And then as a final cleansing ritual, last Tuesday I went for a massage. Never underestimate the power of a good massage (or whatever your self-care routine may be).

I am ready to kill it at this job!


I finally got my Harry Potter tattoo!

I've wanted a Harry Potter tattoo for years. I knew I wanted it tucked behind my right ear and I knew I wanted it to be small but other than that, I struggled with design.

I'd look up micro Harry Potter tattoos and it was just the same thing over and over and I just really didn't want to have the same thing everyone else has.

Back in 2019 I decided I wanted to do the wand movement for Expecto Patronum. As you know, it had been a dark year for me. And I thought what better than a tattoo to ward off dementors (aka depression)? I loved the idea so much but upon further research I found that canonically there really wasn't a wand movement for the spell.

And if it wasn't canon, I wasn't going to do it.

So the idea was put on hold and I once again contemplated alternative designs. Then one day I saw the wand movement in an official HP sanctioned game, making the wand movement now canon in the wizarding world!

I found an image I liked and made an appointment with an artist in Denton (Rob has been going to this shop for years). Unfortunately she was booked solid for months - the earliest appointment I could get was January but it was on a weekday. The next available Saturday appointment was March 12th.

Did I mention I booked this back in November?

I actually made an appointment for 2 tattoos but due to recent financial hardships I canceled the second one. Which I also have to rethink the design of now because I don't see myself paying over $1000 for the other tattoo.

Sorry - got side tracked.

Back to my new tattoo. So when discussing the design with Lauren (the artist) she mentions she has a Harry Potter tattoo.

Actually she has a LOT. Her entire left leg - front and back - is covered in Harry Potter art. Once I knew that, I knew I was safe in her hands.

Not that I wouldn't have been safe in anyone else's hands there but I mean she understood the assignment.

It took a few hours even though it is tiny but I think that's because there is so much color. And it didn't hurt at all which was a nice bonus.

Close up of my new #tinytat!

I might have over paid a little since it really isn't a complicated tattoo but I had chosen Lauren based on the other tattoo I wanted. Her botanical work is exceptional and I wanted to get a bouquet of flowers on my right shoulder, with each flower representing one of my kids (via birth month flowers). I was going to have all 3 boys - Zach, Xander, and Duncan - as well as my 3 German daughters - Chrissy, Jana, and Julia. Plus I liked the idea of adding to it later as our boys get married and have kids of their own.

I need to think of something else. Because I don't want to devalue her work - her artistry is stunning - but she estimated approximately 7 hours at $175 an hour for just that one. And while I don't want to cheap out on a tattoo and wind up on a fail blog somewhere, I don't have that kind of expendable cash lying around.

Alternative ideas anyone?


We've hit some wedding planning hiccups, most of which have been worked out. And this isn't a wedding blog post so I won't go into detail here and now. Suffice to say, wedding planning is challenging even if you are (or were) a professional. Especially when trying to do it all from a distance. UGH I wish I could take a few days and go to Maine right now.

Maybe not right now right now because I hear it is cold and snowy there. But I do wish I could fit another planning trip into my schedule/budget. Sometimes it really is just easier to do things face to face.


Anyway, if you are in Texas I hope you have enjoyed our recent bout of 3rd winter. And I hope everyone is staying safe, healthy, happy and warm.

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