Cordelia’s Mom’s Neighborhood

It’s been five months since we moved into our new home.  Yay!

Things are coming along nicely.  The construction is mostly done – well, we thought we were done, until one of the upstairs light switches began sizzling every time it was turned on.  At which point, we checked all the other switches upstairs and discovered the majority of them had burn marks, and the two overhead lights in the bedrooms are at least 60 years old.  So now we need the electrician who did the downstairs work to come back and do the upstairs work.  Bummer.

Otherwise, we are quite pleased with our new digs.  Our main goal in selling our old house was to get away from those loony neighbors, and we accomplished that.  Our new neighbors are pretty much what we wanted – nodding hello and otherwise leaving us alone, but I know if we had an emergency, we could go to any one of them for help.

No neighborhood is perfect, of course.  So, to avoid future problems, I have a few words of advice for my new neighbors:

To the members of the Church on the corner OK, I know services are held early on Sunday mornings, and we knew that moving in.  But really, must your parishioners be so happy at that time of the morning, when I’m trying to sleep?  What can we do about that?

To the Church Pastor, who lives next door:  I can’t begin to tell you how pleased we are to have a normal family next to us, and your wife and kids are lovely.  But see above – we do appreciate the fact that you snowblow the sidewalk in front of our house, but really, must you do it so early in the morning?  It upsets Puppy Cody, and her barking drives me nuts.

To the family who lives on the other side:  Talk about keeping to yourselves!  We never see you except when you go in and out of the house – which, of course, is the way we like it.  But I did notice when we moved in last summer that there was at least one ball on the border of my yard, and you’re probably not aware that we have an extreme sensitivity to balls coming into our yard (click here).  In light of that, please train your little girls to keep all toys on your side of the property line, and should a ball or other toy come into my yard, they are never, ever to come over after it.  We’ll throw it back when we damn well feel like it.  I really don’t want to have to stand out there screaming, “Get the hell off my lawn!”

To the lady down the street who knows everything about everyone:  Every neighborhood needs that one neighbor who watches over (um, spies on) everyone else.  I did enjoy our chat wherein you told me the history of every resident on the street, including tidbits about who’s married and who’s not (with or without kids), where everyone works, who drives what vehicle, who has dogs, who has cats, which family has difficult children, etc.  You may come gossip about the rest of the neighbors whenever you wish – but I forbid you to talk to the other neighbors about my husband and me.  ‘Nuff said.

To the Administrator of the nearby school:  Since we don’t have that fence yet, we’ve been bringing Puppy Cody over to your fine facility for evening walks.  We do appreciate  the signs indicating that pet walking is acceptable so long as the owner cleans up after, and we do that.  My only complaint is that you could do a little better job of clearing the sidewalks around the athletic complex.  Sure, I understand it’s the dead of winter and you’re not currently holding outdoor events, but it’s been quite difficult climbing over the snowbanks and skating over the ice just so Cody can do her business.  I’m sure there are other pet owners who would agree with me.  Thank you.

To everyone who drives the main streets outside our little subdivision:  You people are all aggressive, inconsiderate jerks, and I’m glad you don’t actually live here.  Where are you going that’s so important you need to push everyone else out of the way?  Have you never heard of turn signals?  It’s that little blinking light on the back edge of the car, and mine is usually blinking on the right because I’m turning onto my street.  Trying to run me off the road into the front of the Church is not going to make me turn any faster.

As my steady readers know, the foregoing is meant in a satirical, lighthearted manner.  I really shouldn’t have to say that, but there’s always that one reader who’s going to berate me for not giving my new neighbors the chance they deserve.  Rest assured, this was the best move we’ve ever made.  We love our new neighborhood, and come warmer weather we might even throw that darn ball back right away!


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Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead …

… or at least re-absorbed.

When I created Not Cordelia’s Mom (a/k/a Not CM) in 2014, I felt like I was two different people:  the calm, professional woman who could handle pretty much everything and who wrote Cordelia’s Mom, Still on the side, and the nasty, sarcastic not-so-grown-up little girl who just wanted everyone to leave her the hell alone already!

Cordelia’s Mom had an image to uphold – sweet, comforting, maternal, but I really didn’t feel that way much of the time.  I needed an outlet for those days I felt overwhelmed, angry, just plain bitchy.

And so Not CM was born.  Not CM could say things Cordelia’s Mom couldn’t – and did.  Not CM garnered her very own cult following, which surprised the hell out of me.  Why did so many people take to her?  All I can think is that many people have hidden alter-egos which are crying for release, and people enjoyed seeing my alter-ego grow wings and fly.

But like many people, Not CM could not maintain that sarcasm and anger forever.  Not CM’s insecurity and human-ness began to sneak into her posts.

After 32 posts, Not CM (um, I) simply ran out of steam.  In the last nine months, there has not been a single issue – on Cordelia’s Mom, Still nor in my own personal life – which tempted me to write a Not CM post.

Maybe I’ve become less angry or less conflicted, or maybe I’ve simply learned to deal with issues better.  Certainly, moving to a new home and then quitting my job made my entire life happier – and a happy woman cannot write as Not CM.

I’ve thought long and hard about continuing the Not CM character and have finally come to the conclusion that her time has passed.

Not CM is dead – may she rest in peace wherever in my psyche she resides.

I will not close the mirror blog.  Since I wrote all those posts, I don’t have the heart to delete them, and heaven knows they’re still amusing as hell.  Should you be so inclined, you can read them through the link on the sidebar.

Thank you to all those readers who were so loyal to the Not Cordelia’s Mom site.  If it makes you feel any better, some of my future posts will likely be written by Not CM, or at least from her viewpoint, combining both sides of my personality, depending on which day it is.

In that vein, stay tuned for my upcoming satirical post on how things are working out in Cordelia’s Mom’s new neighborhood.

See you then.


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The Devil Made Me Do It – But An Angel Supervised

I sent the email on a whim.

The household construction was nearly complete, and I knew I would have to return to work soon in order to pay for everything.  At my age, it wouldn’t be easy finding a new job.  I could stretch my savings to cover expenses for February, and if I got desperate, I probably could cover March as well.  But then the cash would be gone.  Social Security would start in April but wouldn’t be enough for cover monthly expenses.

I decided to start looking for jobs in January.

Today’s job market sucks.  I didn’t particularly want to do telemarketing, even though I had experience.  Nor did I want to do retail, and I did not have experience in retail.  At the other end of the spectrum, I did not want to go back into a full-time role as a real estate paralegal (been there, done that).  I wanted something basic, where I could go to work, do my job, and go home without having nightmares about the job.  Part-time would be preferred.

I sat down with my bills and checkbook and calculated what I would need to earn in order to keep up with expenses.  I didn’t expect there would be anything left to go back into savings, but I was OK with that.

Did I mention the sucky job market?  The last time I needed work, I wanted full-time and everyone was hiring for part-time.  Now that I wanted part-time, everyone was hiring for full-time – and more than full-time at that.  It seems most employers have done away with 9-to-5 and are now requiring 8-to-5 or 8:30-to-5:30.  Well, so be it.  I would take whatever I could get.

I began applying to job board listings.  An employment recruiter responded to the first one, indicating that she knew of no part-time positions – and apparently couldn’t be bothered with trying to find an appropriate full-time job for me.  I should have known.  I signed up with this particular recruiter a couple of years prior, and she was lame then.  I emailed her supervisor, who specializes in legal-field work – and received no response whatsoever.

I applied directly to a title agency which was looking for a typist.  I had worked with this agency while in my real estate paralegal life, and thought surely they would welcome someone with my knowledge and expertise.  I received no response to the application.

At this point, I was already getting nervous.  It had been less than a week of job searching, but it wasn’t looking good.  I decided to step things up a bit.

Networking!  Anyone who has spent years working in a particular field has likely built up relationships with other people in that field.  What better time to renew those relationships?  It had worked the last time I was looking for a job, maybe it would work again.

Facebook and text messages work well with close former colleagues, so I started there.  Within a day, I received a call for a phone interview with the firm one of my former colleagues now worked for.  The interview went well, I thought, although I wasn’t particularly enthused about the location (downtown) nor the job itself (overflow typist), nor the fact that it was 8:30-5:00, 5 days a week, and parking was not paid.

But again, I’d do what I had to.  The next step would be a face-to-face interview, and I would have to wait for a call back to set that up if they decided I was a good candidate.

Meanwhile, I received a response to one of my job board applications – very good job doing document production for a legal entity – but again, it was downtown, full-time (long days), and no free parking.  What the heck, anything works.  I set up a phone interview for a week from the upcoming Friday (it was the first date they had available).

While recalculating my finances to determine how low a salary I could really take, and reconsidering my health to determine if full-time would kill me, a thought suddenly popped into my head.

Last year, while working The Job From Hell, I had received a call from an attorney I knew previously.  Let’s call her Angelica, in keeping with the title of this post.  Angelica handles estates and trust work, and I was handling a real estate file for one of her executors.  I had called her for information on the estate, and she was responding to my call.

Angelica’s first words to me were, “So that’s where you went.  We had an opening and I tried to call you at your old firm, but the number was disconnected.”

Damn, I was sorry I missed that call.

Almost a year later, I remembered that conversation and sent an email to Angelica, attaching my resume, with a note indicating that I realized she probably didn’t have any current openings, but to please  share my resume as she saw fit with anyone who might need someone like me.  She responded that she definitely would do so.

Two days later, I received an email from Angelica – her partner’s assistant had just given two-weeks notice.   Would I like to come in for an interview?

(Nah, too busy playing videogames … and who wants to work anyway?  Can’t I just go on welfare or something?)

We set up an interview for the next morning.

The plumber was at my house the day I received that email, water was off, and hubby and I were making alternate trips to wherever we could find a clean bathroom.  Along about 3:00 pm, it suddenly occurred to me – I hadn’t had a haircut since November!  I couldn’t go to an interview in my current state!  So hubby got stuck watching the plumbers (and Puppy Cody) while I ran off to my favorite hair salon.

To make a long story shorter (and I’m sure you know where this is going), the interview went extremely well.   I am hired!  Four days a week (9 to 5), good salary, free parking, and health insurance.  I will train one day next week and then start my regular schedule the first week in February.

There will be a lot to learn, and a lot to re-learn, but I’m up for it.

Life is good at the moment. I sincerely hope it stays that way.

By the way, the bathroom is done except for painting the upper walls! Check it out:







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Getting There

Check this out!  The general contractor is done, and the bathroom looks great, even without the vanity and toilet.

The upper walls will be painted light blue, the vanity and toilet are white, and there will be wall sconces on either side of the medicine cabinet.

The floor looks light brown in the photo, but is actually a neutral gray/light tan stone pattern.

This bathroom is the warmest room in the house because it’s right over the furnace and has a huge heat vent!  (The new vanity is tiny and cute, so there will be plenty of room for the heat to come out.)

I know where I’ll be spending a lot of time.  Maybe I should move my home office in there.

The game plan for tomorrow is to have the vanity and toilet installed, and pretty much every pipe in the house (circa 1939 and never updated) replaced.  Costly, but best to do it all at once now, rather than pipe-by-pipe or room-by-room later.

On Thursday, the electrician will install the bathroom lights and several other lights (also circa 1939) which need to be replaced.

As he was finishing up today, I asked our contractor if he would be interested in someday doing a kitchen remodel. I wasn’t surprised when he told me it would be too big a job for him.  He normally only does painting and accepts general small-job construction jobs for certain customers (yay, for me!).  He did, however, say that since the old metal kitchen cabinets (BeautyQueen, possible a 1950s upgrade, if you can believe that) are in fairly decent shape (just really old and really dirty), perhaps we should consider just refurbishing them.  He said people are selling these “antique” cabinets on Ebay.

Several people have told me the same thing.

That ugly green adhesive paper will be ripped out, no matter what I do with the cabinets!

So I checked Ebay, and they’re right.  I think I’ll keep the metal cabinets, assuming they can be cleaned and repainted – perhaps whenever I go to sell the house, the retro look will actually be a selling point.

Enough for today.  The contractors are all gone, and the afternoon is free.  Puppy Cody needs pampering, followed by quiet time.

“See” you all in a few days!


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Posted in Household Items, That's Life | Tagged , , | 24 Comments