Making Lemonade

1 Lavender Lemonade_040112_0018This post has nothing to do with a recipe and everything to do about making lemonade.  You know the saying “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade”.  Last year I got handed a big lemon when I was let go from my job, it was devastating to me, emotionally.   I had to do a lot of introspective thinking, why me?  What will I do now?  I’ve let everyone down.  Why me?  It’s not fair.  What am I going to do now?  Why did I make the first cut and not the second? Why? Why?

People would say to me, “things happen for a reason”.   I say bullshit, bad things don’t happen for a reason.  There’s no reason why someone gets cancer or why a child dies.  Of course losing a job isn’t that serious, but it is a bad thing and it didn’t happen for a reason.  What I’ve discovered is that when bad things happen, people pick themselves up, dust themselves off and make the best of a bad situation.  They make lemonade.  Sometimes we even look back and think that the bad thing was the best thing that ever happened.

I’m not saying losing my job was the best thing that ever happened to me, far from it.  As a matter of fact if I still had it, I’d be stressed but perfectly happy going on about my regular Joe life.  Since I don’t have it, I had to do something, I had to make lemonade, which is okay, I love all things lemony Winking smile

I had set some goals for myself, the kind that you always said “if I have the time, I was going too…” (the list is not all inclusive):

  • catch up on yard work
  • work on redecorating my home
  • keep a spotless house
  • diet
  • exercise
  • clean out the file cabinets
  • make all our files digital
  • organize, organize
  • make jewelry
  • sort through our pictures/scrapbook
  • Improve my blog
  • improve my writing skills
  • get more “social”
  • Improve my photography skills
  • join some cooking clubs
  • be a more adventurous cook

Some of the items on my list are still, exercise, organize….I did get more social, joined cooking clubs, improved my cooking and writing, redecorated some of the house and caught up on last years yard work (got a whole new mess this year) and improved my photography.

While I was busy turning my lemons into lemonade I discovered that I really enjoyed the photography.  I found myself reading books about it, taking free online courses, messing around with my camera and seeing some decent results.  I even took some senior school photos and did a wedding (as a guest, not the photographer).  All this led to a couple of things that are about to change my life.

every road in life leads to many paths

One day I got a brochure for the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. They had a 1 week course in food photography that I was seriously Jonesing for but couldn’t afford.  Then I was contacted by a retired USAF Colonel to do some product photography for him, we got to talking and he said I would probably qualify for the Post 9-11 GI Bill education benefit.

That’s all it took (and a lot of family support) and now I can share with you that I’M GOING TO PHOTOGRAPHY SCHOOL!  Not just the 1 week course but a 5 month intensive, cram it down your throat, sink or swim school.  I will be leaving my family for 5 months and heading to Missoula, I’m excited and I’m a wreck!

1 Lemons_032112_0033

That leaves me only a few weeks to take care of a few of the lingering lemons, graduate my son (June 2nd) and leave for school (June 3rd).  PANIC has ensued.

I’ve been working so hard to post regularly and keep up socially but I think that I’ll be tailoring back for awhile, it’ll be hard to make changes in my life but it’ll be worth it, I hope, pray, cross my fingers that it will turn out to be the best lemonade ever.

I hope you all are still around to share a tall ice cold glass of lemonade.

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24 Responses to Making Lemonade

  1. Charlie May 9, 2012 at 9:00 am #

    This is great Rhonda!!! Your Lemonade will be the best ever. Great Post. I can’t wait to meet you in Missoula!!! A friend told me to jump from the cliff and not look back. So, that’s what I did, and I’m a nervous wreck myself. Had a job since I was 13 years old. But you only live once and this life is too short not to do something you love and be good at it!!!! Good Luck!!!

    • Giggles May 9, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

      Charlie, like you I’ve been working since I was a wee one (literally and figuratively), it’s odd change. I have a feeling that I’m going to like this a lot better! It’ll be great to meet everyone!

  2. Kitchen Butterfly May 9, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    Dearest Rhonda – I WILL miss you. I am incredibly proud of you, of your focus, and of being the Phoenix – rising up and starting anew.

    Sometime, a window closes and we find that the true door opens, that opportunities arise and that we suddenly morph into newer, more passionate beings. Your photography has improved considerably in the last year – I think you’ve made a great decision and I am proud of you.

    Because you’re worth it. X X X

    • Giggles May 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      Oz, you have the loveliest way of phrasing things! A good example why I didn’t choose a writing career. I’m hoping that I can still post occasionally. I’ve been cooking up a storm so that I have a few in the hopper ready when I have the time.

      Here’s to the door NOT slamming me in the ass as I walk through it 😉

  3. Karen May 9, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    Wow! This is some exciting news and I’m so happy for you! Your photography is so gorgeous now, I can’t wait to see what happens after 5 months! So nice that your family supports you in this… it makes a world of difference. xoxo

    • Giggles May 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

      Karen, if my family didn’t support me I wouldn’t be doing it. They are wonderful.

  4. Feast on the Cheap May 9, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    I completely agree: bad things don’t happen for a reason, but you do your best with what you’re dealt and try and pull something good from it. But yeah, sometimes crap happens.

    And congrats on photography school! What an amazing endeavor…and your pix are already gorgeous, I can’t wait to see what happens next!

    • Giggles May 9, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

      Thanks, I’m excited to see what happens next also.

  5. CJ at Food Stories May 9, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Wow … You are one lucky duck … Congrats!!!

    • Giggles May 9, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

      I agree, quack, quack!

  6. Lea Ann May 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    Well for crying out loud!!!!! I’m so happy for you. I’ve been out of a job a couple times and it really does make you stop and take a good look at what you really want to do. I’ll be so anxious to hear how about your adventure. You already take good photos, so you’re going to be a superstar. Hope you can keep in touch once in awhile. Hugs.

  7. Janet May 9, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    I am so happy and proud of you!

    • Giggles May 9, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

      Thanks Janet, you’re part of the family support.

  8. heidi May 9, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    What a fantastic opportunity – best of luck with the course, can’t wait to see what your pictures will look like when you get back! (Not that they could be any better in my humble opinion)

    • Giggles May 11, 2012 at 10:39 am #

      Heidi, you are too kind. My photos are getting better but I’m sure after some instructions I’ll back and see everything I did wrong (isn’t it always that way?).

  9. CJ at Food Stories May 10, 2012 at 7:39 am #

    Choc Chip Uru gave me the versatile blogger award and now I’m passing it on to you. Check it out at

    • Giggles May 11, 2012 at 10:38 am #

      Thank you so much, that is very thoughtful!

  10. Veronica May 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    Wow, that IS intense! 5 months–wow, I’m very impressed! yes, of course we’ll still be here, awaiting your future (even more) fabulous food photography. I’m so sorry about your job and can commiserate as my husband lost his last month too. Such are the times but so glad to hear you’re making lemonade of them! Any chance you can blog about your experiences while you’re in school? I’m thinking probably not but I can wait until you’re back. 🙂

    • Giggles May 11, 2012 at 10:38 am #

      Veronica, I have a feeling that I will be blogging about my experiences in school. I just can’t see myself going cold turkey! Plus I’ve cooked up a storm and will be posting recipes along the way to keep things fresh.

  11. Eliot May 10, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    Everything has a way of working out. I am in a career-confusion mode right now and some days I wish a decision would be made for me. Your blog has benefited from the extra time you are spending on it now (but I loved it before too). Cudos to making lemonade out of lemons. (I would add some vodka, though!) 🙂

    • Giggles May 11, 2012 at 10:36 am #

      Yep, vodka would make the lemonade even better. If nothing else I’d be blissfully happy. Wouldn’t it be great if decisions could just be made for us, and that they were always the best decision…

  12. Gloria May 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    Congratulations Rhonda! Photography schools sounds aweseome. I’m completely jealous. Can’t wait to see the results of your lemonade! I’m sure it will be damn tasty.

  13. Sarah @ Spicy Buddha May 14, 2012 at 1:42 am #

    Haha! I thought I was actually going to read about lemonade, but I really enjoyed this heart felt story, good luck!!

    • Giggles May 15, 2012 at 11:13 am #

      Ha Sarah, lured you in 😉 Since this is mostly a food blog I thought a food analogy was appropriate.