Tag Archives: back in the saddle

Smack Dab in the Middle of Texas, Part Three: History & the Kitchen Sink

When this mini-series was started, I thought Texas might be my last stop on a line of trips I had been taking, so there’d be a slew of time to really dig into it. Wrong. But I still want to do it proper justice and wrap this up right.

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Fredericksburg has a big German history. Apparently a ton of German settlers made their way to Texas in the 1800s and left their mark.

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This might be the best tour guide ever, and of course I can’t remember his name. He brought us through the Lyndon B. Johnson ranch, complete with house, stables, museum, schoolhouse, cemetery and tons of land.

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Former president Johnson’s house has been perfectly preserved with almost all of its original furnishings. I loved Lady Bird’s touches as well, like this pillow on the presidential chair that said “This is my ranch and I’ll do as I damn please”.

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Not only did they have the “Texas White House” and school on the ranch, they had LITTLE FARM ANIMAL BABIES. There’s a whole section just for them as well as period homes to reflect what Johnson’s childhood would have been like.

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Ranch hand at the farm overlooking everything.

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I think I mentioned the Hangar Hotel before, but it was a real treat to stay here. Everything looks like it’s been frozen in the 1940s. My favorite part was the swanky cocktail lounge. I wish I had some slinky dress to wear in there while I sipped my martini.

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I’m not crazy about history, but the brand new WWII museum in town really kept me riveted  They have these great bomber jackets and memorabilia on display. There’s a reenactment type exhbiit on Pearl harbor with a massive tank that made me tear up, it was so moving and amazing.

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These two weren’t on the itinerary, but they hung around the Hangar Hotel and offered rides in this 1929 airplane. Winston was the ugliest dog I’ve ever seen and I fell in love the moment I saw his unfortunate mutt.

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Right?!


Grenada’s Array of Natural Exports

Grenada’s Array of Natural Exports

Photo by RAStr on Flickr

Photo by RAStr on Flickr

A little blog I wrote for the gorgeous La Luna resort in Grenada. I’m ready to hit up this exotic island right now. Over this snow in Boston, and going to another cold city this weekend  but maybe a trip south is in the works soon!


A new direction, shiny compass in hand, onward ho

It’s time to switch gears. Honestly I thought it would take longer to get my feet wet in the industry and figured I’d be hosting at restaurants until I was wrinkly. But as luck and hard work has it, I haven’t set foot inside a sports bar for months and no longer need to bus dirty dishes to get by.

While I muse and reflect the blog is going to change over to my adventures here and abroad so I have a base to go on. Things are happening fast and I’m having a strong desire to be tethered somewhere solid, despite by unquenchable wanderlust in real life and online.

For now the focus will shift into travel – the broad and awe-filled topic that many choose to chase and others are left wondering how great it really can be. I hope to immerse myself in it, the one thing that’s consistently let me feel alive. A scary though, while love and faith and  worry tend to ebb and flow throughout my life, the absolute need to see everything, in person, all over the world, has never left me. I want to share that deep desire with everyone.

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Officially, I am no longer unemployed. I am SELF employed, which is something I never thought I’d say. It’s time to embrace this, realize it, roll with it and carry on. I’m thrilled and terrified all at once, but I alone am in control now and it feels wonderful.


Well? Things are going….FANTASTICALLY.

I haven’t quite decided if I should keep going here or go out elsewhere. BECAUSE, I have arrived. I am no longer unemployed. Sortof.

Jobs are flowing in, if not perfectly steady, and my numbers continue to rise. My reviews are flawless and most clients are satisfied with what I’m doing for them on a freelancing basis. I’ve found that with a lot of my clients I’ve been moving into a different direction, encompassing more marketing and social media help. Thta’s fine by me, it’s still somewhat steady.

Now, for the challenges. One, time management. I have absolutely none. It’s very late and I’m blogging now to continue to avoid the task at hand. Which reminds me, I should get back to work.

But good news? Yeah, free trip to Mexico. It happened. In less than six months of venturing out on my own I earned a press trip to beautiful Mazatlan to rub shoulders with some incredible personalities and writers for a week. Oh and enjoy some time at the spa, ziplining, drinking tequila and dining on all the shrimp I could eat. Things are happening. It’s all happening.

Viva la Mexico!

 

Job Hunt Tip #9: Confidence is key, but don’t be an egomaniac. Feed on a few recent compliments and use your best assets of charm and grace to snag that interview.


SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK. RAWR.

My ideas of venturing out on my own are becoming more tangible as the weeks roll by. The steady contracts are becoming more frequent, so now I need to start crunching numbers to see if freelancing full-time will sustain me. So far, I’m writing some copy for a Manhattan-based daily deal website, just started a project for a motivational blog, and have steady articles assigned for a marketing firm. This week I’m doing an ‘interview’ where I edit an existing piece for a tech company. Best part is, they are compensating me pretty well for the story – I wish all my interviews paid me!

Of course it’s slow going a little and a bit scary. But I feel much better and think this is what I’m meant to do right now. Freelancing would be super hard with kids, a husband, or a hundred other responsibilities – but I don’t have those, so I should be fine for the time being. There’s a few other bookkeeping things to care of, such as a meeting with an accountant, to really understand the logistics. Other than that, smooth sailing for now, besides one small thing…

I CANNOT get up early. So far it’s been the worst thing to overcome. I set an alarm for a decent time, but there’s no sense of panic that I used to have. Like, come on, I’m a grown adult. I figured after I began the slow march into my mid (cough, late) 20s it would just click and my body would turn into old person mode, helping me get up at a reasonable time.

It’s really a shame- if i got up at 7am or 8am, I could probably be done by mid afternoon and have the rest of the day free. However, I insist on painfully dragging my work out and struggling until sundown, because focus and organization is also a challenge. I suppose this is all part of the learning process though, something I will hopefully get better at, since the whole point of this was to free up my life a little more to have some fun and travel!

Job Hunt Tip #8: Try to prepare as best you can ahead of time – for everything. A job may be offered, but if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle, time frame or even interests, seriously consider not settling. I know that sounds crazy in this economy, but if you have drive and hustle, you’ll be fine. Hold out for something that may be pretty good, not just tolerable, as long as you can.


Hitting the streets!

After a year and a half at the content writing company, I’ve decided to navigate my own waters and become the captain of my own ships. I thanked them for the opportunity and moved onto hopefully bigger and better things, taking the skills I learned with me. What a ride. Most days I would pump out 4,000 word a day, answer client communications, peer-edit and maybe squeeze in a meeting or two. With some proper vacation days, regular hours or wages, this would be tolerable, but unfortunately, we did not receive any of that. One day, in a cloud of anxiety and way after the sun went down, I looked around my office and thought, enough. I know now what to do and what’s expected in this writing world, I should cut out the middle man and do it myself.

And that’s what I did.

So now I’m back to being unemployed sort of. But I feel much more in control of the situation and excited about my future. Already I landed a few gigs through a great freelancing website that seems to be wonderfully easy in finding fun projects. In two days I crafted a funny blog on how to get your ex back as well as a post on teen confidence. One of the best parts of this new venture? Both of these short assignments paid 5 times as much as any story I wrote for the big content writing mill.

Now, all I need are a few more jobs…!

Job Hunt Tip #7: Following up is essential. ESSENTIAL. When you compete for attention, having your name come up a couple times in e-mails helps. A short, friendly and professional inquiry after your initial application doesn’t hurt at all.


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