My Valentine’s present this year was to be let go from my job.  It was startling, but not all that much of a surprise  We kept running out of work, and it was only a matter of time until the other shoe dropped.  For me it dropped last Tuesday.  If my hands were 20 years younger, I could get a job as a medical transcriptionist in a New York minute.  I’ve been in the field for over 25 years.  But they aren’t, and the other job in that field that I’m very qualified for is quality assurance/editing, and those jobs are scarce on the ground, and getting scarcer.  Evidently, these eagle ears and the head full of knowledge and experience that backs them up are bootless without the ability to type a gazillion words a minute for eight hours a day, five days a week.

I’m wondering, and not for the first time, if it is worth it at this stage of the game to transfer over to medical coding.  I could probably pass the certification test without having to take courses — if I could afford to take it.  But on the other hand, Texas’ minimum wage is $7.25/hour, and I could work 20-30 hours a week at the Whataburger and probably make as much, or more, than I had been making lately in my former job.  I wouldn’t mind working three days a week if I could bring in about $500-$600 a month.  It would get me out of the house and give me some exercise, especially since I live close enough that if my shift was during the daylight hours, I could walk to and from work.  I’ve filed for unemployment, but don’t know yet if I’ll qualify.  Next week, I need to meet with the social services lady at the VA and see what resources are out there.

However, I’ve more or less landed on my feet.  My pantry and freezer are full, I just opened a big bag of cat food, I’ve got almost 60 lbs of cat litter, and my rent and bills are paid through the first of March.  Between my last paycheck, my tax refund, and the monthly benefit payment I get at the end of the month, I’ll have March pretty well covered, too.  All in all, things could be a lot worse.

I tend to be a pragmatist.  When something like this happens, I work out what I need to do, then set about doing it.  I’m not a worrier; I don’t borrow trouble.  One day at a time and sufficient unto that day is the evil thereof is how I roll.  Since I’m not spending time working at the moment, I can spend that time doing other things I need/want to do.

<Warning:  Carnivorous content follows>  Thursday when I went to the store to get AA batteries, margarine, and yogurt, I treated myself to a loaf of ciabatta bread, and a pound of brisket from Market Street, a local grocery/delicatessen store.  I froze half the brisket, but I’ve been shamelessly enjoying the other half.  This morning for breakfast, I made three brisket on ciabatta sandwiches and had a cup of cherry yogurt.  Serious nums.  <End carnivorous content.>

As I was making the sandwiches, I was thinking about dresses; particularly, something like a djellaba, but with wrist length straight sleeves, a slit neck, with the body of the dress falling straight from the shoulder to just above the floor, but with more of a flared, A-line shape.  I was wishing I had some; plushy Velour, thick cotton flannel, and microfleece for winter, gauzy cotton with short or belled sleeves for summer.  Once I got a pattern worked out, they’d be ridiculously easy to sew and very comfortable.  They’d be pretty cheap to make too.

I was also thinking about slippers with a sole cut out of some fairly thick leather with small holes punched all around the edge and then the upper part crocheted onto the sole using heavy cotton thread for summer, and fuzzy thicker yarn for winter, with the upper part more sock like.  If the sole was of thick enough leather, when the top became frayed or soiled, you could just cut it off the sole, and crochet on another top, over and over again, until the sole wore through.  You could make a pair in an evening. The hardest part would be punching the holes, but you can get metal hole punches for that.  I have some hemp yarn.  I may try a summer pair.  I’ve got some leather, and the benefits of my experience with my sock feet,  which are holding up quite well.   Also recycled silk sari yarn is available from Darn Good Yarn that would make some great ones.

My apologies to my blog friends.  I’ve fallen behind in my blog reading.  Tomorrow is a business holiday here in the US (“Presidents’ Day“).  Maybe I’ll take the day and catch up on my blog reading.