A Little Q & A

Since I haven’t had the time to get any projects started since getting home from Florida, I thought I would answer some frequently asked questions for my post today.  I have been meaning to do this for some time as I do get lots of the same questions over and over again on a weekly basis.  I even had a tab made for it a few months ago – ready to go above my photo at the top of my sidebar.  I will be linking this post to that tab.  It will no longer say – “Coming Soon” when you click on it.

My most frequently asked questions – answered!

What did your husband do?  This is the most FAQ I get.   I bring him up from time to time telling you about his quest to find employment.  Since I started my blog over 3 years ago, he has been “in transition” – the new catch word for the unemployed.  I never posted about his unemployment in detail as I didn’t think readers would find it interesting.  But from the amount of email I get asking about him – you do. Bless all of you XO.   So here is his story.

Work at home

Ed, who I have been married to since 1983, lost his job at Merck & Co., Inc. when the economy tanked back in 2009. It will be 4 years this April 9th.  He worked there for 21 years.  He held many roles, with a final position of Director of Business Integration in the Research Division.  Before that he was a Naval Officer, serving in the nuclear-powered Navy and also as an ROTC instructor at North Carolina State University.

Dad and Daughter

To give you a little bit of background about what kind of guy he is – a few days after he was laid off – he got a call from the company telling him he was chosen for a company award for excellence. It was a monetary award, which in the face of unemployment, was nice.  Knowing this made it a teeny bit easier for him knowing that his lay-off was more about cutting the workforce numbers to a bare minimum and not about him personally  He has two degrees – a Bachelors from the US Naval Academy and a Masters from North Carolina State University  – both are in Engineering.  He is also an advocate for the blind and has served on the board along with being the President of the Board of one of the Philadelphia area Blind Associations.  He is one smart and well-spoken guy. Funny and well-liked.  He is my rock!

Work at home

He had no idea how hard it would be for him to find a new job.  Since our daughters are grown, we can move anywhere and he can travel extensively if needed, so he thought that would open up opportunities.   He has done everything possible and works at it 24/7.  Not once has he taken a day off – except on the weekends and when we went to Ireland.  Even last week when we were in Florida – he was and is constantly networking and interviewing.  He knows what is needed to get a job and has gotten jobs for others in the past four years as a byproduct of all of his networking.  Not just one unemployed person, but a handful. He tells them what he is doing and they do it and have had success.  Some are so thrilled they insist on paying him for the advice he gave.  He is seriously thinking of doing this as a business if something doesn’t turn up soon.

As awful as long term unemployment is, we stay positive and are lucky that he had such a good job for so many years and that we saved and invested a chunk of what he earned.  That has made the past 4 years a bit easier, knowing we would not lose our home or worse, as some others have.

I pray every night that the economy rebounds and that all of the big companies I keep hearing about on the evening news, whose profits are way up, start hiring again. If you would like to know more about him you can check out his profile on LinkedIn.

Do you sell what you make?    No, I don’t sell the things I make. I used to decoratively paint and sell furniture, made jewelry and other things, but found I didn’t like the production line quality of life that making and selling things requires.  I like coming up with ideas and making them once or twice, but not in volume.

You find the best stuff – where do you shop?   I have a stellar thrift shop near me called, 2nd Avenue.  I never walk out empty-handed.    It is a huge place that has a quick turnover of merchandise and is highly organized, which makes it easy to find what you are looking for.   My other favorite places are TJMaxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods.

What Camera Do You Use?  When I first started blogging I used a Nikon point and shoot.  A year ago I bought a Canon 60D.  It is a mid-range DSLR.  I have a photography post in the works that I will be posting soon.  It will answer many of the other photography questions I receive.

Canon 60D

Do You Offer Design Services?  No.  I used to do residential interior design when my daughters were growing up, but no longer offer any services. I enjoyed it back then and even had a room featured in Traditional Home magazine.  This blog keeps me busy and I would not be able to blog if I had to draw up floor plans and search for just the right furnishings for clients.  Blogging is the best job I have ever had – I love it and want to devote all my resources to it.

Where Can I Find Your Book?  My book, Instant Decorating was published by Meredith Corporation in 1994. It is no longer in print. You may be able to buy a used copy online at used book sellers for a few dollars.  Try a Google or Amazon search for – Instant Decorating – by Diane Henkler.  I am sure a few copies will pop up.  It came in hardback and softback editions.

Instant_Decorating_picture[

How do you make money from blogging?  I make money from blogging by the ads in my sidebar, header, and footer.   I also have the opportunity to write sponsored posts from time to time. I only accept these if I love or use the product myself or if I think the majority of you will like the product. It is hard to say no to them as they pay well and since I am the sole bread winner, I seriously consider every offer I get. I also create income when I write for other sites – My Colortopia and Momtastic are two sites that I write for on a continual basis.

What color is?  I should probably put links to these colors in my sidebar to make the colors I use easier to find.  For now here are the colors that I get questions about the most:

Kitchen cabinets – Sherwin Williams - Antique White – semi-gloss

Family Room walls – Sherwin Williams - Natural Choice – eggshell

Dining Room walls – Benjamin Moore – Shelburne Buff – flat

Front Door  – Sherwin Williams – Dewberry – exterior high gloss latex enamel

Hall Bath – Benjamin Moore – Shelburne Buff mixed 70/30. I mixed it with 30% flat white paint so I could match the color of the paint to the existing tan bathtub surround.

My friend’s New Jersey house that I posted about – My Weekend at the New Jersey Shore.

Family Room – Benjamin Moore – Shaker Beige 75% tint

Hall Bath:  Sherwin Williams – Rainwashed

Glidden-Zesty-Lime-#-A0913

I want to start a blog – how do I do it?  This requires its very own post.  I am not sure if I will do a post on it or make a page as a reference for anyone wanting to know how to start a blog.   Stay tuned.

What font is that?  I love type and lettering – when the personal computer came out way back when – I loved the fact that what I used to have to do by hand was now instantly attainable with the click of a mouse.  I use many fonts and have created 3 posts with links to my favorite ones. I put the links to these font posts in my sidebar to make it easier for you to find.

My-Favortie-Free-Fonts-Vol-3

Who designed your blog?  I designed my blog and have tweaked it from time to time. I come up with the designs, but hire someone to get those designs up on the site. I am pretty clueless when it comes to .php and coding.   I have always loved images of notebooks and sketch pads filled with clippings or drawings of inspiring photos and ideas. In fact, I have an entire file filled with them.  That is where I came up with the idea to make my blog page look like a spiral notebook. I highly recommend Christine at Great Oak Circle and the guys at Foliovison.  I use WordPress.  The WP theme I use is Thesis.

foliovision

I will link this post to my FAQ page and will add to it every so often to keep it updated.

I am taking a little break from writing for Momtastic over the next few weeks.  It will allow me to spend more time here on my blog.  I want to focus on the things that make me happy and not having enough time to keep my blog updated was adding unneeded stress to my life.  I am looking forward to the extra time to get the posts and changes I have been wanting to do  – done!

I will be back on Friday – till then – My best  XO

 

Comments

  1. says

    Your husband sounds like an amazing man and it is a shame that he lost his job after all of those years of dedication. My brother in law who is in his late 50′s lost his job when he company closed. He had tons of work experience and education but could not find work because of his age. He is now teaching at a courses at a college and making good money and he loves it. Your husband sounds like a great candidate for this as well. Wishing you all the best, love you blog and your projects. hugs Tobey

  2. says

    Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with us Diane. It’s nice getting to know you a little better. Your husband sounds like a wonderful, giving man. I didn’t realize that anyone in your family has roots in NC, which is where I live. I’m sure you’re aware of the rivalry between NC State and UNC. I’m NOT a NC State fan, but I love you anyway! lol

  3. says

    your story was so touching, loved it very much.
    if your husband can not get a job there is no hope for the rest of us.
    we closed our store in May of 2011 after 21 successful years.
    It was time to go, we had a good run and a great time, we happen to be retirement age, so the timing was OK. We would have loved to keep it a few more years, but the hand writing was on the wall.
    my heart goes out to you both, and I think you are the luckiest people in the world, to have each other. Please tell us what happens.
    would love to know.

  4. says

    Hi Diane = once again you have written a beautiful blog. Because it is Valentines Day it is obvious who is your Valentine. You said quite a few lovely things about him but you forgot one thing. He is one handsome man (but I am sure you kow that). My prayers are that he will soon find a job that he is waiting for. Keep up the wonderful work you do. Luv Betty – from Ontario Canada

  5. Cara says

    After reading your post concerning your husband I thought I would comment. In the past, I was a Job Developer working for a rehab agency assisting individuals with disabilities in obtaining employment and opening their own businesses. With your husband’s background and networking skills this sounds like a good match for him.

  6. says

    Thanks for all the answers. My husband and I can totally relate to what you and your husband is going through. We got married in 1988 and he lost his job in Jan ’91. He did freelance work off and on till 1994. I had just gone back to college in 1989 and was starting full time in 1991. We had a few great year between 1996 and 1997 because I was finally teaching full time and then in November we had our daughter. When our daughter was 3, in 2001 Kurt lost the same job 2 times. A few years later the business went under. Luckily this time Kurt was able to get a good job through a head hunter. The bad thing is that he drives 50 miles there and 50 back going thru all of Los Angeles. Yikes! Anyways, I feel that 2013 is going to be a better year for everyone. At least my health is getting better. :)

  7. says

    Excellent post, so many things I liked about it . . . access to font info is much appreciated . . . I really like using different fonts in your access bar.

    Telling us about your husband and “downsizing” rings truth for lives of many. I like the sounds of his “energy” . . . I think he has only “just begun.”

    I don’t always comment when I stop by but there is no doubt I “take in” all about you and whatever STYLE you bring .

    Happy Days to you . . . be well . . .
    Love, Lynne

  8. Linda says

    Diane, my husband is also a Naval Academy graduate! Class of 82. We live not that far from you in Allentown. He works for Air Products and I know they like to hire people with military backgrounds. Have him check into the company’s website for jobs. Also my son interned for PPL here in Allentown and they also told him they look at resumes of people with military experience and education first. Both are good companies, and it is worth checking in to see if they would have positions that your husband would be interested in. You are welcome to email me if you have more questions. Good Luck! And love reading your blog! You have inspired me to do so many projects in our home. We are currently working on our foyer, staircase and hall.

  9. Denise says

    Best of luck to Ed in his job seeking efforts. I hope this economy turns around. My hubs has been laid off twice during our marriage & it’s not fun. Luckily I was working & had medical insurance. He’s now working but he’s vastly underemployed for somebody who has an MBA. Same with me, I’m underemployed but at least we are both working. It seems that a graduate of the Naval Academy should have the world at their feet. Life throws out curve balls and it happens to good people who don’t deserve it.

    Have you thought of writing another book Diane? I bought you book on ebay and it’s dated but the ideas are still awesome!

  10. Carol Walker says

    I was quite intrigued by the article about your husband and I wanted to share an experience we are having. Years ago while my husband was working for another company (he is a mechanical engineer), he started his own subcontract engineering business on the side due to a concern about the status of the company he was with. Long story short, after several years he was burning the candle at both ends. When he got laid off, it was a blessing! He has been self-employed now for about 3 years and is making much more than he would have with the company. We are able to do things that we would not have been able to do before with just his salary. My advice would be for your husband to not only continue to search for a job but to also start his own side business during this time. He would have something to fall back on in later years. We are now 68 & 69 and I have been retired since age 65 before his layoff.

  11. says

    Thanks so much for sharing your life with us. It sounds like your husband may have stumbled upon his calling. Unless he really desires corporate employment, why not set his own course doing (what it sounds like) he would enjoy and is gifted in? I really wish him the best. Oh, and I’m in Raleigh and my 2 youngest boys are planning on going to NC State (Go Wolfpack!). Great school. My oldest son is now at UNC-Wilmington.

    • says

      Hi Beth – Thanks for the note. We lived in NC for 3 years. My oldest was born at UNC Memorial in Chapel Hill. It was back in the Jimmy V and Spud Web days. Michael Jordan had just graduated when we moved there. We lived in Durham right off of 15/501. I worked at Hudson Belk in Raleigh in display. Would not mind living there again.

  12. Becki says

    Thanks for sharing your husband’s story. My husband also was let go due to “downsizing” after 34 years and he was one of several VP’s let go that day. That was 10 years ago – he has been consulting for several years but that has dried up. So I guess he is retired now. I’m still working because I have the health benefits. I wish your husband the best of luck and he has the best support system – YOU! Really enjoy your blog!

    • says

      Hi Becki – Thanks. He has been unemployed for so long – it has become our way of life. It is as if he is retired, even though he is too young to be. He has done some consulting, but like you said – there is not too much of it anymore. I try to stay as positive as I can. We are lucky in that we can use his old benefits. They are not cheap, but at least we are covered.

  13. Barbara in CT says

    You husband is a handsome and accomplished man. He looks like he would be an excellent high school science and/or mathematics teacher. Substitutes in that field are impossible to find. Sign up with a convenient school district and specify high school science and mathematics to see if it is a good fit. It won’t pay much at first but the school district may fall in love with him and hire him on a more permanent basis.

    • says

      Hi Barbara – thanks for the nice note. Many people tell him he should do this. I think in PA he needs to get certified first. He will be looking into it. He used to teach Naval Science at Duke, NC State, and UNC. His students loved him and we are still in contact with quite a few of them.

  14. Mercedes says

    I am sorry to read that your husband is unemployed. It is sad to verify that the problems are similar for all of us independently wherefrom we live. I, as you, am sure that these dark times will finish soon. Regards from the Basque Country.

  15. Sheryll & Critters. says

    Diane,

    What a wonderful husband! Your two girls are as well. Lucky woman you are in the family stuff.

    It has to be very stressful for that guy you love so much to be unemployed.

    Me, I finally just gave up. I will take any work I can part time, IF I ever get such….. social security after working so very many years ……. well it just sucks. Sorry for the not so nice language.

    Kisses to you all.

    And I have not been getting my emails of your posts for some time now…. not sure if is or was something I did or what. Sooooo, I just type your site into the location bar and here I am.

    Sheryll & Critters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *