Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Part Where the Author Shares Some Not-So-Good News

Breathe deep the gathering gloom.
- The Moody Blues

On Tuesday when I revealed the new blog design, I mentioned that I had some exciting news. In retrospect that was not exactly a accurate choice of words. I do have some news that has the potential to be exciting but I also have some not-so-good news.

I always like to get the bad news first. I'm a let's-get-it-out-of-the-way kinda gal.

On July 22nd the Farmer will no longer be employed. As I've mentioned before we are not farmers in the traditional sense (plowing and harvesting). After college the Farmer worked for one of the nation's largest dairy product operations. It was in this environment that he decided that he was a farm boy in spirit and NOT a corporate kind of guy. He went back to school at night and got his Master's Degree in Entrepreneurialship because he wanted to work with small, privately owned, high energy operations where people roll up their sleeves and make decisions without 50 committees weighing every option.

For the past few years he's been General Manager of one of the largest fresh and organic herb operations in the U.S. It's large, in the fact that it had a large market share and yet the entire operation was accomplished by a small and dedicated bunch of people.

Enter a large investment group, who offered to purchase the processing and packaging end of the business. The owner sold last fall, keeping the farming operation. As General Manager, the Farmer found himself working for the new owners. Guess what? They are taking that operation "corporate". They're moving the processing and packaging to Ohio and the Farmer hasn't been invited along for the ride which is OK with him because he doesn't "do" corporate.

The Farmer has a large network of contacts and several other irons in the fire. He's thinking about freelancing and consulting, which would allow him to work out of the house. That's one option.

Unemployed is a place that we've been many times during his career. It's not a place you want to be, but it happens. The first time you lose your job it's what I call "white knuckle time". But you get through it and the second time is not so scary. Down the road you automatically pull out your "Unemployed McGuyver Plan".

The number one thing I learned in five years of therapy is to be fierce with the truth. That Moody Blues quote has to do with facing the gathering gloom head on, breathing it in deep, letting it give you it's best shot and then moving on from there. The truth is our income will be impacted. The truth is that it will not be business as usual. The truth is belts will need to be tightened. The truth is we'll have to find creative ways to save and creative ways to earn a living.

My blogging friend Tressa in Norway has mentioned many times that the thing she misses most about the U.S. (besides Velveeta) is the American can-do spirit. This spirit is alive and very well in the midwest and we try to embody that spirit. We do not wait for someone to come and save us. Help would be fine but the first line of defense is at the end of your arm. The second line of defense is your friend and your neighbor. Government is down the list somewhere.

So the Farmer and I are swinging into action. I've been hitting the classifieds looking for something, but honestly I need to be a stay-at-home mom at this point in my life. Huh? A sixty-something stay-at-home mom? No little kids underfoot but we do have a senior citizen living here that needs some supervision.

I want to write, I want to photograph and I want to keep blogging. To accomplish that I'm going to need to attract some quality advertisers like the Botanica people on my sidebar. No more Google ads! I'll tell you that horror story at the next staff meeting. There's another project that I'll tell you about tomorrow.

When our friends find themselves faced with a challenge we always say, "Let me know if there's anything I can do." And we're sincere. I've said it hundreds of times and I meant it. People have said it to me also but I've just realized that I've never, ever taken them up on the offer. What's up with that?

Anyway, I will make a promise to you. If you keep reading, I'll keep writing. I will ask a favor of you though. There is a way that you can help me.

Tell a friend.

If you like what you read here, tell a friend. Or two. Pass the word. There's an old saying, "Telephone, telegraph or tell-a-friend."

Here's our horoscopes from yesterday's paper -

Mine -
"You have great optimism; it's something you bring to the game. There will be a lot of work involved in this next endeavor, however. The others want to see you out there sweating, not just cheerfully urging them on."

The Farmer's -
You've figured out something you could use to make your business more productive. There's something else you'd like to have, but can you afford it? If it counts as a business expense, maybe you can."

Come back tomorrow when I share the part about how I'm sweating, or more accurately, working in a sweatshop!


Susan said...

Prayers are with you and the farmer, Suzanne. I firmly believe that when one door closes, a window opens. We just need to look and accept it. I know things will go well for you.

TinaTx said...

I hope things work out quickly - and here's hoping they work out better than ever!

Kitty said...

Oh, Suzanne. My husband was laid off the end of April because of "restructuring" and his office was closed and moved out of state. It was scary at first, but he's found a way to work from home using skills from his career as a systems engineer. And, even though we lost that salary, having hubby home all the time is great! Things are tight right now as there is some lag time involved in getting paid for new work but it reminds me of our younger days when we struggled. We are 55 & 59 and I'm a stay-at-home-mom/wife, too, with an aging parent, 86, trying to live on her own about 3 miles from me and a 20-something daughter at home for a few months. I know there are lots of similar situations out there. A positive attitude along with seeking out every possibility will help move you forward. My husband and I feel like we're in the next phase of our lives and it feels good! This long comment is meant to let you know you have someone to lean on, if only through my words of encouragement, and that I truly feel empathy for your situation. There will be times of discouragement, that's the reality of these kinds of trials, but put it behind you and keep focused on what lies ahead. There are always new possibilities to be found as long as you keep looking forward.
I hope you will keep blogging because I will keep reading! And I will tell a friend.

Arlene said...

I will tell my friends.
Your writing is great...but even more important YOU ARE GREAT!

Thirkellgirl said...

Dh lost his job when I was six months pregnant with dear daughter #2. It was white-knuckle time then, too, but looking back on it (and even right then) it was a wonderful involuntary course change. I'll steer as many people as I possibly can to your blog, of course. It will be ok, I am absolutely sure of that.

OneOldGoat said...

I totally agree with Susan: one door closes, another opens. I will share your blog.

Have faith, be peaceful -

Beth in PA


I'm moving you from my bookmarked sites to my blogroll. That should direct some traffic to your blog. (I'm hoping).
Prayers and good wishes in these trying times.

Anonymous said...

Here's hoping that your door swings open wide and your new endeavors work out well. Our home is gaining a new resident, not really new, it's our son. He's been out of work in the Chicago area since late October and decided to come back home to our little town and has a job at one of the chain stores here. Things will be different but will work out and I know that your changes will work out too. I have a blog, but not a greatly followed one, but will put you on my blogroll. Hope it helps. Prayers and hugs.

chocolatechic said...

Darn those corporations.

I wonder if they got a bail out....

I am so very sorry.

Hugs to you and the Farmer, I'll be praying.

BittersweetPunkin said...

Oh Suzanne...we have gone through a major was long and dragged out...although we are in a different place I still find myself looking over my shoulder. You do learn from it, change as a result...almost always for the better in one form or another. I will keep you in my prayers and pray that God has something better in mind.

JC said...

I'm so sorry !!!

bv said...

this i know for sure. having experienced many doors closing thru the years i KNOW it means something wonderful is coming our way. i know this in my heart. it has proven to be true in the most amazing ways. with farmer and your creativity, insight and ATTITUDE you will do just swell. being in the heavy construction equipement biz our income has shrunk so much it is hard to even find it! but not to worry, we are also a can do family and it is good for the soul to meet this challege. life lessons taught us what is important to live the 'good' life and it has nothing to do with money. but ya gotta have some so my letter will be going out to my BIG group of friends promoting my favorite blog!
bv xo

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

Oh it just pains me to keep hearing about people losing their jobs. I'll try to direct some folks to your site.

Anonymous said...

Hi Suzanne... sorry to hear this news. It's something I worry about every day with my husband's job.

Could you place a button on your sidebar. I would then be more than happy to place it on my blog sidebar and people can find you from my blog.

The Blue Ridge Gal

Becky said...

We have traveled the unemployed path several times in our married lives, too. Not fun, but not fatal. Praying that all goes well and when this door closes another window of opportunity will open. Becky

Anonymous said...

Feeling your pain! With three teenagers at home - and a firm belief that this is the most important time for me to be a stay-at-home Mom - we find ourselves in a place financially where it seems the only way to survive is for me to NOT be a stay-at-home Mom.

Lots of prayers for help and direction going up already - I'll add you in there, okay?

Marfa said...

Dear Suzanne, I hope that this is the beginning of a new and successful period in your lives. Maybe this is a new opportunity to shake off the cobwebs and start something new and exciting. I want you to know that I've had you in my list of favorite blogs, which is listed in my blog, for a long time now. I also went to my facebook account and I made a comment about your blog and shared you link. I know that soon you'll be sharing more good news with us about the wonderful new job that either you or The Farmer will have.

BellaDella said...

I am sending up prayers and sending good thoughts your way. And of course I will tell all my friends! And please, please keep writing...I so look forward to it. I might not always get the chance to leave a comment but I promise I am always around.

Steph said...

Hopefully everything will turn out alright! You can always do what everybody does around chicken houses! Right after college I started working in the Probate Office at the courthouse. I have a degree in Public Relations, but turns out, I actually hate the public, more specifically, I hated that job. I was so miserable. So, I quit, and we built 4 chicken houses! The one good thing about chicken houses, and being a farmer in general is that you can't get fired! You might not make much money some times, but if you own the farm, you can't get fired!

Mogsie said...

you and the farmer are in my thoughts and prayers ~ ((Hugs))

Mary said...

AAh friend. Good luck. Love those horoscopes. And with that lovely new machine and the foxy turquoise one, the sweatshop is purty at least! I will be thinking good thoughts and if I hear any great things I'll be sure to pass them on. Sitting at hte daughters using the neighbors wireless. The rental truck will be packed by bedtime and we will be in PA tomorrow night.

Jody Blue said...

it's easy to say chin up this will turn out for your best when your not the one living it. I'm sorry, what a bummer.

Significant Snail said...

I'm sorry to hear about the job loss and I'll pray for a quick resolution for you and your husband. Now about that sweat-shop comment...does this involve your new sewing machine? Can't wait to hear!

Lisa said...

We are in a similar situation. My husband was laid off in March. Things are definitely tighter and the future is unknown, but we have found many positive points. The main one is that my husband is at home much more. He previously left home at 8:30 am and came home at 7 pm 5 or 6 days a week. He often worked late as well. We have all loved spending more time together, the kids especially.

I am a firm believer that if one door closes, another one will open! I love your blog and believe in it. I would love to spread the word about it!

Iva said...

Been there, done that, and thought we were going to have to do again a few months ago. It is certainly not a pleasant experience, as you already know.

Thoughts and prayers will be with you both. You're already on my blogroll (not that that is saying much since I have very few readers myself at this point) because your site is always a joy to visit.

Heidi said...

OH - we are thinking about you!! does this mean the trip is on hold? If it is, we are here when you can come! *hugs* You are both tallented people and you KNOW that things will turn out for the best! Prayers for you two my friend...

Cottage Rose said...

Hello Suzanne; I will be keeping you in my Prayers that the Lord will show you the way that is best for you both.... About a month ago my dear Hubby lost his job, again but with the Lord's help we will survive. And I will tell my friends.


Liz in PA said...

Great minds think alike.......and you and the Farmer are in for new
Hang in there and we Will keep reading.....and sending this blog to others to read also.

Best of Luck...and you'll both succeed because you both have terrific attitudes!

lifeinredshoes said...

Well that just sucks!

Some people are so stupid!

Damn reality!

And I will make a promise to you my friend, I will keep reading and encourage every one I know to do the same.

Now I'm really pissed off!

Cote de Texas said...

Oh my - I am sooo sorry to hear this. I hope things get better quickly for you two. My husband's business is an up and down business so I can relate to this - I've been there. I hope it changes soon. I hate to hear this.

PamKittyMorning said...

Wishing you tons of good luck. My husband was off for a year and it sure reminded us of our blessings and made us thankful we'd never bought into the giant house big cars dream.

Sarah said...

Here's how I can relate to your situation a bit. None of our situations are hopeless, that's for sure; we have to be creative. The military has just up and moved us to O'ahu. Many think HI is a paradise; and, it is! It is gorgeous and smells lovely etc., but it is expensive. Housing is not available for us to move into for 1-3 months. We are at an hotel . . . will have to find another one as this is just temporary. Our money does not go very far here . . . I have three bored kids (two teens, one 11). One challenge after another. I will feel sick in my stomach until I have an address. But, then, what keeps me sane? Remembering that just last year I saw a telly show that showed just how many people are still displaced since Hurricane Katrina. That was years ago . . . I think I can handle a few months or weeks. I just have to take my mums advice and take one day at a time. Be gentle to my kids as they really do not understand . . .

You're on my blogroll. I'll try to do a nice write up in a few days about your site and why I just think you are wonderful and worth reading!!

Many blessings!!

BettyWestern said...

Sorry to read your news but as one door closes ...etc. I was on my McGuyver plan by the age of 35 so I know that feeling.

Love the new blog design - will of course spread the word, I always do. One thing I noted, and it's no biggie, that the main blog text is cut off on my screen at the right hand side which may mean your left hand border is a bit wider than it needs to be. I only mention it as you don't want people having to scroll across to read the text in full. But as I say, it's no big deal, I expect you're sick of tinkering by now! Anyway, good luck to you both in the next phase of your journey together. BW. X

Jill said...

I read this the other day but due to sleep deprivation and constant feedings, I didn't have a chance to pass on my prayers and thoughts for you and the Farmer.

Wishing you both the very best of luck as you continue on this bumpy road.