A Catch Up and a New Job

Hi! Been a while!

I quite my job in March.

It was a long time coming and I’d been pretty downright miserable on and off for a couple years but steadily from January on.

You know that thing that happens sometimes, when you’re a capable person and so you keep getting handed responsibilities? More and more and more and then it just gets to be too much? Then they let slip not only were they never going to pay you for taking all those other responsibilities as they’d once promised, they also won’t be moving forward either, and have a very “what are you gonna do about it?” attitude? Oh, and raises were frozen for the 3rd year in a row. Yeah. It was like that.

So I quit.

But before that, I’d resolved to quit (wasn’t a spur of the moment thing), and thought… “Hmmm. I should start looking for a job” because we need to eat. And then I got headhunted by a company in my industry for 25% more and with way less responsibility. Thanks, universe!

Did you know you still have to interview when you’re headhunted? Because you do. My second interview was with the entire leadership team- including a number of folks I’d never spoken to before. And some of them must not have known I’d been headhunted because the head of HR asked me why I had decided to apply for the position- to which I replied “Oh I didn’t, y’all reached out to me. In fact I guess I can turn that around and ask why y’all think I would be a good fit for this role?” They then tripped all over there feet in answering and I knew I’d landed the job right then and there. It was one of those moments in life, for sure. I’m debated putting it on my tombstone.

And so I left and some of the people I’d worked with for eight years didn’t even say goodbye, and others went out of their way to be amazing (the technical director sent me a 6′ tall tree and a heartfelt note) and it was all easier than I expected- leaving a place that had become a part of my identity for a competitor. And yes- there was some contract language that prohibited exactly that… but guess what negates a contract entirely? A change in responsibilities without an update to the contract! So LOLOLOLOLO- them not paying me for all those extra responsibilities or adjusting my contract was exactly the thing that allowed me to leave for a competitor! Thanks, universe!

As the To Do list in that first picture shows- I quite my job and cleaned my desk. I did this by pulling everything off , cleaning, and then putting it all back again. I also repotted some of my desk plants (shown here) while I was at it. It was very much like the song from South Pacific “wash that man right outta my hair.” I recommend it and a good reset to the brain.

So- it’s good. I had 3 weeks back to back of travel: training, and industry conference, customer visits, and touring of the manufacturing plants, but am now full launched into my new role at my new company.

Here are the warehouse cats from the South Carolina facility.

If we backtrack a bit we went camping over spring break in the Piney Woods of east Texas and we have GOT to stop camping at spring break, I swear to god. It’s always too cold and often rains and sheesh… it was still good but man did it rain. There was a CRAZY storm that night too, and while our tent held up great I had the fleeting thought of “I sure hope one of these trees doesn’t fall on us” and promptly wished I hadn’t thought that.

At least it didn’t rain the entire entire time.

I am still reselling too. I’ll share some recent cool sales and then show yall the things I’ve found but have kept- as I promised on the last post- checks notes- back in January.

That there is the picture I took of a set of figurines I bought for $100 at an estate sale- this was taken as I was putting them in my car so I could look them up on Google Lens to try to determine their value. These were Teodora Blanco clay Mexican folk art figurines and I knew I had seen them before. Once I looked them up I knew I had the real deal, and when I got back home and checked my reference books I remembered where I had seen them before.

The two I posted on EBay both had repairs (the one in the picture above and one of a woman holding chickens) and both sold to a collector in Mexico for $225 ea in less than 4 hours of being posted. Like… the HELL?! Who would have thunk it.

I have kept the one that is in pristine condition, that one is a woman holding pots instead of animals. I guess if I ever need the cash that one collector would buy it- so it’s like a savings account, maybe? My love and research into obscure Mexican folk art came in clinch that day.

That same day (Estate Saling is like that- very feast or famine, that day was definitely feast) I found some really nice art. We are keeping both of them.

I bought this Robert Weaver for $25 in the last hours of the last day of an estate sale for 1/2 off. While checking out the lady told me that the frame was worth that at least and if it hadn’t sold she would have bought it herself just for the frame and that no one buys self portraits. (said to the person buying a self portrait). SCANDALIZED, I was- she was going to throw this lithograph away!

Here is the exact same piece, in a higher number) offered in a Wyoming gallery. I did call- they’re selling it for $1,200, which is pretty standard to his other work.

It’s captivating in person though- we’re keeping it.

Every other piece on that wall was bought at estate sales as well, aside from the smallest one- that was from a craft fair. The other piece bought on the same day as the Robert Weaver self portrait is on the upper right- that is a painting by a pretty well known San Antonio artist. It has a white cat on it- it’s staying.

Here is the other side of the room- showing what a gallery in it’s own right our living room has turned into:

These pictures are going to have me up on a ladder I swear to god- I promise they’re all level but the pics sure don’t look like it so I’ll be checking each one now.

Here are some of the other things we’ve kept:

That is an authentic Navajo basket, probably from after 1915. I bought it for $1.99 at Goodwill and it’s worth over $1,800- some go for over 4K. I absolutely, completely love it and it’s tied to the wall because I have nightmares of it falling on the floor and getting chewed up by an occasionally still naughty corgi.

Said corgi.

Next to the basket on my front table is my snake pot. I am having trouble tracking down exactly where and what this is- but I know I love it and it was well worth the $35 dollars at the estate sale of a very eclectic lady. It was a huge estate, filled with many, many things… including a ton of LBJ pictures and memorabilia from working as a fundraiser on his campaign. What was lacking from the LBJ memorabilia? Pictures with or of Lady Bird. This chick totally banged LBJ.

Under the front table is one of my 3 ZZ plants in my favorite pot, bought from an estate sale for $5.

I just realized how very reptile-centric that front table is. And man do we need to redo the floors.

In the kitchen I have my 18″ tall 1880s majolica umbrella holder in the shape of a carp:

It doesn’t convey the scale- its huge. My grandkids are sure going to inherit some weird ass shit- they better be prepared for it.

Speaking of weird shit- here is a sculpture I bought in pieces in a ratty cardboard box in the garage of another amazing estate sale. (it was the one I got the victorian clothes from on the last post, actually)

I did a lot of research and got a specialty porcelain glue and pieced her back together and then scrubbed the dirt and grime off her with a tooth brush and Barkeeper’s friend). Since then I’ve attached her to a marble base to make her more stable and less top heavy. Unbroken she’s worth over 2K- but who knows what she’s worth repaired.

She’s also totally haunted.

How do I know she’s haunted? Because after I pieced her together in our dining room and put her outside to dry after cleaning her, I sliced my foot open at 2am on a razor sharp 1′ piece of porcelain from the statue that was IN MY BED UNDER THE COMFORTER. I had to clean up the trail of blood from my bedroom to the kitchen once I bandaged my foot up in the middle of the night, that’s a weird experience. The bed had been made that morning. The sculpture wasn’t in the bedroom. But there a sliver was- under the covers in my bed.

I told her she was allowed to stay as long as there were no more hijinks… there have been no more hijinks.

And finally- the latest in my growing Catherineholm bowl collection.

This is the largest size they made, and is in a pretty obscure pattern called Saturn. I can’t find any comps on this exact one but a blue and black one like it sold for over $200 on Ebay last year. I got it for $25 at the LBJ side-piece estate sale.

I am OBSESSED with these bowls- and I collect them to use, not to just sit on shelves and be looked at. They’re Norwegian enameled metal bowls from the 1960s. The lotus and striped patterns are the most collected- but I love any and all of them. I have two medium sized mixing bowls in a lotus pattern, this large Saturn one, and the first one I ever had, a small striped one I got long before I knew what it was.

That tiny striped yellow and white bowl there is the smallest Catherineholm made- and I bought it over 12 years ago at a thrift store my friend ran and we kept our dish scrubber in it for years and years.

I remember holding it in her shop and saying: “I love this. I don’t know why I love it. And I don’t know what I’d use it for.” To which she replied: “You love it and it’s a dollar- don’t be stupid.” Turns out that one is worth about $50- but I love it still, so it stays. There is just something about the colors and heft of these bowls that I just love love love.

In other news the garden looks great (will do a next post about that) the roses are having their best year ever.

And the chickens are still here. Thankfully.

Catch y’all next time!

6 thoughts on “A Catch Up and a New Job

  1. Congrats on the new job, woohoo! I am equally excited that your zz plant has the same dark leaves and light colored green leaves as mine. I immediately thought, “oh phew, Lauren knows plants and if hers look like that too then all is right with my (plant) world.” 😀

  2. I literally was just talking to someone about LBJ yesterday and then this came up and now I’m really considering what the universe is trying to tell me.

    Congrats on your new job! You are all powerful and a raise with fewer responsibilities is amazing! It’s disappointing that some of your co-workers didn’t say good-bye, though. It seems like people should be more mature than that!


    LBJ side piece cracks me up. And what great finds! I am particularly fond of the lithograph and the haunted bust. Glad you showed that spirit who is boss.

    Congrats on getting a new job!!! The lead up to leaving sounds awful (and I know the feeling on the continuous responsibility pile-on, yuck) but I’m so glad it worked out so well.

    1. Thank you! Oh goodness the guilt of not blogging in so long- I love it and yet finding the time always seems to get shortchanged… and yet people still care! How gratifying! Especially when said person is a blogger I also read and enjoy! Thank ya thank ya, for not making it seem like wasted effort!

      And the job… was great until it wasn’t, and then I hung on for years after that. May I internalize it as a lesson I take forward in my life- you are not lucky to be anywhere that makes you miserable!

      1. I get that. I’ve hung on in a job long after it was reasonable to do so. It’s part Frog In Boiling Water phenomenon, part guilt, and part optimism that things will change. But I am really glad you found the catalyst to move on! And YES ! I come check your blog occasionally, even though I have you in my feed reader, JUST IN CASE there was a mistake and I missed a post. LOL. But also I wish you didn’t feel guilty. I understand that feeling, but personal blogging should be fun and not obligatory.

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