Posted by: Aunt Magaidh | October 28, 2010

The late October “do” list

It’s October.  It’s been busy, busy, busy.  Let me share.

School has been in session for about 2 months.  Daughter is getting into the routine of being a high school junior.  Major drama has already occurred in the beginning of the year, so we can hope that it’ll go a bit more smoothly the rest of the year.

The Ren faire season has just ended for us.  It was a more relaxing year because we didn’t have as many faires on the schedule.  I’ve almost gotten all the garb and props packed away.  Just finding the odd piece.  Next year I’ll have to sew some replacement pieces, but that is NEXT year.

It is mere days before Halloween and Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos).  Unfortunately, my favorite Mexican bakery went out of business a couple of months ago (again, the economy), so I don’t have a known source for getting Day of the Dead bread.  The household is still not in the groove of Halloween.  This year, no decorations up yet.  That’s a pretty good indicator of how busy it’s been.  At least Daughter has the pieces of her costume together ahead of time.


  1. I had the pleasure of hearing her say with derision, “Hah…these purchased costumes! ”  I told her (with a laugh), “You’re spoiled with homemade ones.”
  2. Husby and I are planning on supporting a community event of a Halloween scary movie double feature on Friday, October 29th.  A local performer/parent (who also works Ren faires and Dickens Fair)  is showing “Last Man on Earth” with Vincent Price and the original “Night of the Living Dead” at a local movie theater.  No, not a mega cinema complex…an old, local movie palace that I’ve been curious about seeing the inside of for a while.  It costs $9 without a costume, and $5 with a costume.  At the Historic Bal Theatre, 14808 East 14th Street, San Leandro, CA.  Time is 6:30 to 11:00 pm.

I am looking for work still.  (The last job didn’t work out.  ‘Nuff said.) I give myself the gentle reminder that in the past, October to December has been a really good time for me to get hired.  I look through the want ads and note that there are small improvements in the listings…but the wages offered are more like the ones offered several years ago.  The news says that  reports of continuing claims has decreased.  I laugh.  Many of us are no longer eligible for continuing our claims.  And companies are still being cautious about hiring; many are offering part-time or temp-to-hire positions.  Joblessness is still pretty frustrating – especially if you are over 40 and been out of steady work for a year or more.  I went to a local job faire last week and noticed that there were more middle aged people than college students there.  Oh, did I mention that I got a screening interview and 5-minute face-to-face interview for a small company?  Let me also say that there were 10,000 respondents!!  For a single admin position that offered decent wage and benefits!  I’d say that is a pretty good indicator of how brutal things are out here.  No, I didn’t get a 2nd interview, but I did get an email encouraging me to keep looking.  (A rarity nowadays.)  Still, it’s best to focus on the positive…a recruiter actually called me this week! Cross your fingers that it’s the beginning of a good change.

Remember my goal of using my “free time” productively?  I’m volunteering again with the high school play.  (Budget for arts?  Are you kidding?  We’re trying to just keep teachers and maintain class sizes.) The fall play is a warm up to the spring musical.  I’m doing just a little sewing for this play, but anticipate that the costumes for the musical will be very involved.  The good news?  We have an idea of which musical the kids will be doing in April.  We can start amassing stash, donations, and garments and props to repurpose.  Anyone want to send me fabric, feel free.

It’s an election year.  Ick.  I’m really tired of the negative ads.  And I’m tired of the teacher bashing in many of the ads.  And ads that blame job losses on  environmental sensitivity or regulation.  But at least Husby and I are going to a neighborhood potluck where people are going to go over the propositions and candidates to get a clearer idea of what the issues are and how to support which views.  I like the idea of talking with neighbors instead of slogging through the pamphlets and booklets and internet on our own.

So here is the late October “do” list – things I have on my radar this morning.

The Do List:

  • Prepare to vote on November 2nd.  Really look at the information so we can make a better informed decision.
  • Find a job.  Keep a positive outlook.  There are jobs out there.  There is someone out there who needs and wants me!  (I have over 10 years of admin experience – receptionist to executive assistant- for small companies.  Worked in industries ranging from environmental consulting to consumer goods to horticulture.  Maybe I should post my resume on this blog…hmmm…)
  • Sort through “outgrown” clothes, household items, resumes.  It’s good to reassess things and skills.  I can let go of the out of date clothing that won’t interview well.  And last week I went to help a friend update her resume and realized that she had an old version of Word and that I really had learned the new version quite a bit.  Time to do the same with Excel and Powerpoint.
  • Harvest the last of the summer-fall crops in the backyard.  Tree collards are turning color with the cold snap.  That should mean sweeter greens.  The last of the Cape Gooseberry and Brown Turkey figs are begging to be gathered.  I need to consider planting a winter “victory” garden.  Yes, living in Northern California means that I can garden year round.  Maybe some winter greens and roots.
  • Finish sewing the costumes for the fall play.  Locate a few props. Everything is due on November 8th.
  • Indulge in fall cooking – pumpkin soup, baked casseroles, other warming foods to keep the spirit cheered.  BTW, I’m looking at low fat, low carb, low meat specials.  So far, so good!
  • Pick up my speed while knitting for winter gifts.  Charity knitting is complete, but now I need to hit some of the extended family gifts.

All right.  I gotta go and get moving before October eats me!

Aunt Magaidh



  1. I love the idea of getting your neighbors together to discuss the vote…do you have someone designated to read all the stuff, or is there an “expert” that can guide without bias? How is it being handled? The enquiring want to know. 🙂 XOXO

    • A group of neighbors got together – some were community leaders, small business owners, unemployed, stay-at-home parents – pretty mixed group. Between the dozen of us, we had quite a bit of experience to call on. The corporate accountant was great for helping to figure out the tax stuff, the small business owners and community leaders (very grassroots) knew about some of the local candidates and reps for EBMUD/AC Transit, many neighbors knew about who was involved with school and hospital issues, and even little ol’ me and the museum guy knew a lot about the environmental regulations that could be affected by the measures. The journalist played devil’s advocate a lot. I’d say the discussions were spirited, and there was a definite space for people to dissent and not agree with the majority.

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