A Chapter Closes

Today marks my last day working at PDG. I don’t know how to feel about it because I am beyond excited for the next leg of my adventure. However in order to move in another direction we have to turn our backs on the previous path, and I have enjoyed this path for quite some time now. I was not prepared for what was to occur when I answered that random phone call a little over five years ago.

I had been laid-off in June and luckily my sister Kelly needed a nanny for nugget until his daycare spot was available in August. Bailey had started the summer with them and already had a month under her belt. However, she kindly stepped aside once I was, surprisingly, unemployed. I needed time to clear my mind from the abrupt departure from my first job out of college. Caring for the nephew definitely took most of my attention and was precisely what I needed when I needed it.


Lisa (far right) and I (on her immediate left) were two peas in a pod from the start.

With two days left of my nanny stint I had just put Rory down for his afternoon nap when the phone rang. I had been halfheartedly filling out online applications not really expecting anything to come from it, so I was surprised when it was my cell. On the other end was a woman from Story City calling to talk to me about a job opening. Out of the blue a graphic design position opened up less than fifteen miles from home. Lisa talked, describing the position, while I paced my sister’s living room over and over again.

In retrospect I bombed that phone interview, for that was what it kind of was I realized much later. She had, initially, asked me to take a more in-charge role (if memory serves). Besides design I would help with sales, run the store when needed, etc. I told her no. As an unemployed person with zero prospects I still said no, but hear me out. I wasn’t confident I could be in charge (apparently I have a dormant strain of that Q-gene). I had just been laid off doing a job I was perfectly qualified for. If I couldn’t keep a job I could do, what chance did I have of keeping one I wasn’t qualified for? I didn’t want to do that to myself or my prospective employer so I erred on the side of honesty. Lisa was undeterred. She heard me out and altered the plan for if I was hired. Later she did admit she was a bit surprised, but had me come in to interview anyway.

The following week I went in, met with her and the owner and by that afternoon was offered the job. The next Monday I was driving to Story City expecting only to find a job. What I found instead was a community. That’s something I have come to love about working at PDG and, by extension, being in Story City. Story City still has that ‘small town’ charm I had never really been a part of before. As an outsider it was fun to observe and as I got more acquainted it was even more fun to immerse myself in it.

It’d be fun to have a conversation with past Jamie. Those who know me wouldn’t agree, but I still get very uneasy in crowds. I’m an introvert at heart and being around people can sometimes be a challenge. Many wouldn’t agree because once I know you I’m a complete nutbar. One way to overcome this, not only so I could do my job better but expand my horizons, was to join some committees (with lots of encouragement from Lisa). As the years passed I became more and more comfortable within the community. Within PDG itself, I had become the person Lisa was hoping for when she originally wanted when she called (or close enough to it) – go figure.  So chatting with my past self to see that I’ve grown would be a blast.

I have had the great fortune to work with many amazing women at work. Each of them with their own unique gift that it has been my pleasure to observe. Whether it’s a matter of photography, phone techniques (I don’t know how many phone calls ended with “what should I have done instead?” – especially in the beginning), accounting (it is its own art form and NO ONE will convince me otherwise), or any other skills of an unending list of gifts. These women have helped shape me over the past five years and it’s hard to leave them.


The work family (left to right): Jenn, Me, Lisa and Rhonda.

I haven’t really allowed myself to dwell on it too much because I don’t want to be sad and mar my last few days at work. Also, it’s a weird sensation because I am genuinely excited for what is to come. Next week I start work at the Iowa State University Foundation. But that would not have been possible if I hadn’t have been polished at PDG. I will miss the “family” at the office. Lisa often says ‘we work hard and play hard’ and we certainly do. So, one more day, off to enjoy the time I have left with these wonderful women. I unexpectedly had to bid farewell to Jenn yesterday (I forgot she wouldn’t be there today). Although, it’s not really goodbye since I’m just going to Ames, but it is certainly going to be a little different next time around. In true PDG spirit she sent me off with a hug and a laugh whispering “Choose your adventure*.

I intend to do just that.



*For those that don’t know “Choose your adventure” is a tagline that Iowa State ues


Uff da!

Joseph FinaleWell color me impressed, I survived my first musical! Between working in the day and singing at night, I am beyond wiped. However I can honestly say I would do it again in a heartbeat. I had forgotten just how much I enjoy performing. Sure I took a couple semesters of acting in college, but then we only performed in class. Which believe me, I’m not knocking, but there is something a bit different about performing in front of a crowd and such.

A rare shot of me with my 'husband'

A rare shot of me with my ‘husband’

The town festival was once again a big success. After a week of prepping at work (we do a lot of printing for the various parade floats and activities that happen during the weekend) it arrived. Going off with pretty much no hitches (there was some rain late Saturday, but even that can’t dampen our Scandinavian Spirit). Much of my time was occupied with either sleeping, work or performing. I nearly forgot that my sister’s family was down for the weekend. Usually when they come down I put everything aside so I can hang out with them, this time I only spent a few hours with them. Pretty remarkable considering they were here for three days.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of this production. I met so many new people and have found another niche in the community in which I seem to fit rather naturally. (If that isn’t the case, please, some cast member let me know.)

Smiles all around, even off-stage

Smiles all around, even off-stage

One of the directors had stopped me once and commented how happy I looked on stage, and I have to admit I had the time of my life. However when you have a team of people that are all so obviously loving what they are doing, it’s easy to be in the moment. I can hardly wait for next year when the troupe will be performing Disney’s Tarzan. Hopefully I’ll be able to help in someway with that production too. (Not entirely sure I can make the casting cut, but time will tell). So although Joseph has worn his coat for the last time this production, my connection to it will live on in the memories and friends I have made. I am truly a fortunate and blessed person.

Until next time ~ Q

Big doings in my online abscense

If you follow my blog you will realize that in the last couple of months there hasn’t been anything to follow. This is because I’ve been busy in the doings of the world around me.

See that person to the far left in front (shorts and stripes)? That's me, being a little joiner.

See that person to the far left in front (shorts and stripes)? That’s me, being a little joiner.

In March I auditioned for a community theater production and that has eaten much of my free time. On top of that I decided it’d be a brilliant idea to buy a house. A week later I gave my landlord notice, two weeks later I’m out of my apartment (and back with my parents who very kindly agreed to give me refuge) and two days later I’ve bought a house. Apparently once I’ve truly put my mind to something there isn’t much that will hold me back. This can be seen as both positive and negative, I am sure.

So here I am on June 4, 2013. Tomorrow is the opening day of the musical Joseph and The Technicolor Dreamcoat (I play Dan’s wife) and in ten days I take possession of a house. I am both exhilarated and terrified. I mean this is a house. I will own something of real value and if I mess it up it will be a HUGE deal. It’s not like my apartment where if something went wrong I could call the landlord. If something goes wrong I might be able to call my parents, otherwise I really will just have to figure it out myself.

My future house!!

The realtor’s photo of my future home.

Bear with me over the next month (or two or three) because there will be many posts about the house; that is if I can maintain any sort of regular posting schedule. The basement is completely unfinished and my parents have agreed to help me finish it off pretty much as soon as I get the keys and can go in the house. So it will be lots of DIY and decorating, which falls under the purview of projects and such that I post about. I’m lucky I’ve been swamped with rehearsals over the last month or I might have gone completely mad with waiting. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’ve driven by, pulled up the drive way and even sat on the porch. This sounds creepier than it is because it’s actually vacant. So it’s not like anyone is living there to see me stalk my future residence….except my future neighbors.

Also, the town’s festival (Scandinavian Days) is this weekend (which is what the musical is for). Again I will be participating in the parade; in two floats if I can finagle it. Further updates about the festival, musical, and of course life in general to come.

Mailbox Macgyver

What do you do when you live in an apartment and the postman has left 2 packages for you in your box and you can’t get them out?

I was faced with this very quandary this evening. I got home after work (after the post office was already closed) to find that I had received 2 packages. My excitement was quickly dampened when I discovered I could not extract my mail. I tried tugging and turning the boxes but they were the exact width of the box. Since the door to my box was slightly smaller, this proved to be quite a nuisance. I felt like I was about to break the entire row of boxes trying to extract the boxes. Grudgingly I shut and locked my box and headed up to my apartment. As I went I tried to decide if I could wait until the next day and call the postmaster to explain the dilemma. I didn’t think I could, and earlier this year I had to talk to him about a misplaced package. I’m all for supporting the postal system, but I don’t like actually talking to ‘the system’. Waiting was not an option.

Once I got to my apartment I was faced with an additional problem, how to get the mail out? The most obvious solution seemed to be to hack the boxes up. The new problem: How do you carry a kitchen knife down the hall to the small entryway/door without looking a bit psychotic? Answer: pray no one comes because I don’t think there is one. Luckily I made it down to the boxes without any of my neighbors seeing me, there I was able to cut the boxes, compromising their structural integrity, and get my packages. All without anyone coming or going.

My anonymity is quite important within the building. I’ve only met one other tenant and I didn’t want the others remembering me as the crazy knife lady, that just doesn’t sound cool. Well it may sound cool, but the reality doesn’t seem that desirable. I’d much rather meet the neighbors on more normal terms. Now that I’ve macgyvered* my mail out of the box I’m going to go pretend I know how to make ravioli. Well just the filling really, I use won-ton wrappers for the outside.

*That’s not really fair to Macgyver. He would have been able to disassemble the box with a handy toothpick in a way that it was usable afterwords. Not the case with my ‘solution’.

Time to cook (I’ll review sometime this week-once I’ve had leftovers of course)! Until next time ~ Q