Tuesday, December 31, 2013


It is the evening of the last day of 2013. To sayb is has been a hell of a year would be an understatement.

There have been many, many challenges to this year. Many have been met and surmounted. Several are still hanging over our heads.

We're not the only ones who have faced huge mountains put in their paths this year. 

I have friends all over this country, and world even, who have faced greater than usual challenges this year.

Normally I'm not a very superstitious person, but '13 has been a bear.

So, where do we stand?

Boo has been in very good health throughout the year after our January hospital trip.

Jim is still employed and has even seen a raise. He's still keeping his options open, but isn't trying too hard to do anything about it.

All of our technology gadgets continue to work and do their jobs.

I have gotten to spend a lot more time with Boo than I'd hoped for.

Boo is thriving in kindergarten. This, I think, is the biggest accomplishment of the year. It is the one that makes my heart the happiest.

I have been able to complete many wonderful yarn projects. I have had the opportunity to spend a lotnof time with my family and to volunteer at Hawk Mountain a bit as well.

Unfortunately, this is because I am still unemployed. I'm working diligently on resolving that, but it is taking much longer than anticipated. It wasn't my choice to travel this path, but  I'll make the best of it.

So, I bid a thankful farewell to 2013 and am doing my best to make 2014 as good as I can make it.

Peace to all and may you all have good challenges and adventures in the new year.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Today I'm thankful for a little peace and quiet.  I love my husband.  I love my son.  I love all my friends and family.
But some times, some days, I just need them to all go away.  At least for a little bit.  I need time to not have to interact with the outside world.  Time to get lost in my own head, with my own thoughts.  Or lost in the thoughts of another, in a book or story.  Or mindlessly play puzzle games until I'm moving more on autopilot and anything and my mind drifts elsewhere.

I never realized how much "alone" time I got when I was working.  I got 20 to 30 minutes each way every morning and evening, well almost, to myself.  To listen to the radio or not.  To think my thoughts as I drove down the highway.  To prepare myself or unwind from dealing with people all day long.

You'd think I'd have plenty of that now that I'm home all day.  You'd be sadly mistaken.  My mornings are spent with my boys.  Getting Boo ready for school and out the door and spending a little quality time with just Gak and I until he's got to get ready for work.  Then either I've got to pick up a boy at lunch and we spend the afternoon together doing all kinds of things or I use the time to work on that whole finding a job thing, or errands and dealing with people in general.  There aren't many afternoons that I get a nice chunk of time to myself to just escape the world for a few.

Also, I haven't been getting up at the crack of dawn.  Gak has.  And therefore I stay asleep, or mostly asleep, in my warm, cozy bed trying to eek out a few moments of me time.

But, Wednesday nights, at least most Wednesday nights in theory, I get a couple of hours all to myself.  Boo is in bed around 7:30 or so.  Gak goes to Scott's house for gaming.  And I, get some blessedly quiet "alone" time.

So, pardon me while I take advantage of a sleeping boy and an "empty" apartment.  I don't know if I'm going to play with yarn or get lost in a book, probably both before the evening is done.

Peace to all and may you get the quiet you need.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Moms and Authors

Well, I ended up crashing last night before I could write my post.  I was thinking about it all afternoon.  As I listened to my boy-o and his Amma playing I was thinking about how thankful I am that he gets to spend so much time with her.  I'm thankful for all the things my mom has done for me over the years, but it makes my heart sing to see the joy my boy and my mom bring each other.  And, it also makes me a little sad because he doesn't get that chance to be with his Nana.

This evening I'm really thankful for two people.  I'm thankful for my friend Steph.  She's been there a lot for me, especially the past several months.  Even if it's just someone to mutually gripe at and about the world with, that's been a wonderful boon.  But, through her, I have met an awesome and wonderful woman and author.  You see, she works with Lynda Gene Rymond.  She's an author and has two children's books published and several more in the pipeline.  We've been doing a monthly series this year of having women come in and talk about their careers and how they got there.  Steph asked Lynda Gene if she would come and she said yes.  And boy am I glad she did!  All three of our speakers have been quite different.  And really, they just keep getting better.  Lynda Gene had our girls rapt attention from the moment she started talking almost until the end.  She spoke to all of our hearts and souls, and I think many of the girls were hearing her on all levels.  I know she spoke to my heart, not just my head.
And following the Native tradition that is a part of her bloodline, she opened and closed her talk with a song.  I don't know about any of the girls, but I sure felt the power of it, it was quite tingly!  I doubt the girls realized the power she was invoking, but I felt it.

Anyhow, I'm so thankful to have met such a wonderful person who happens to be a fun author.  She's definitely someone I could hang with and go on fun adventures with.  There were three things that struck me tonight.  One, sometimes the universe will find a way to make you stop hiding your true talent.  Two, put everything you can into the cauldron of your imagination and let it bubble.  Three, "publishing a book is like letting a leaf go into the Grand Canyon, there is no thud".

Peace to all and may your talents shine through, your imagination bubble over and you release many leaves into the world.  And may you also have wonderful people to share it all with.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Today I am thankful for socks.  Not just any socks.  Those of you who know me well know that I'd rather be barefoot if at all possible, or in my hiking boots if not.  Yeah, I know, opposite ends of the spectrum.  But, that's me!

Anyhow, today I'm thankful for hand made, warm, soft and snuggly socks.  I finished my first pair since January or so this evening.  I have them on right now.  They're not perfect, they're a little long and a little wide, but they're so soft and wonderful.  They'll be even nicer tomorrow in my boots hiking.  I love my hand made socks for hiking.  Thick enough to provide nice padding.  Thin enough to not be bulky and weird.  And since they're all at least 50% wool, they're nice and warm, even when wet and they wick moisture away well.  So, yes, I'm thankful for socks and the ability to make them.
No, you can't have them.  They won't fit (unless your feet happen to be about an inch or so longer than mine but not too much wider, then they'd fit you perfectly...).  That's the other awesome part about hand made socks.  Custom fit.

Yep, I have happy toes.

But, I'm off to bed because I've got a busy and early day tomorrow.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Today was a good day. Even though the weather was a bit gray and cool, it was a good day to be outside.
Today I took some of my girls hiking at French Creek. Because of the iffy weather only 5 girls and Billy came. And there were 4 adults. (This is way more adults than required, but everyone there wanted to go for a hike.)
We probably did between 3 nad 4 miles today. Not a ton of climb, but enough to notice.
Sure, I personally would have rather gone out by myself on an orienteering trail (DVOA was in a different section of the park...), but I will take what I can get. I am thankful for any time I get to be outside and hiking. Even leading a group it does my soul good. And going to French Creek is almost like going home. I've done many, many trails there. The only park I've possibly been to more is Valley Forge because I lived on the edge.
So over all today I'm thankful for being outside.

Friday, November 15, 2013


I know, I know I didn't actually post a blog yesterday. On Facebook I said I was thankful that the leader meeting was short. And I still am. Those things can be LONG and boring. I guess it was a light news month or something. (We did get to try the new cookies replacing the failed Mango Cremes from last year. They're a citrus cranberry crisp and they are delicious. I see many accompanying my tea this winter....)

But today I am thankful for what I should have posted yesterday. I am so very thankful for Boo's kindergarten teacher, Mrs. M.
We got his first report card Wednesday and we had our first parent/teacher conference yesterday. (Unfortunately Gak couldn't make it because he was home with Billy who got sent home sick... this way neither of his parents had to leave work.)  Anyhow it was a very good report card and an awesome meeting with his teacher. She admitted she was a bit nervous after orientation that he was just going to shut down and withdraw, which would totally inhibit any learning. But he has surprised US all with how he is doing. He's growing by leaps and bounds with his knowledge and has only shut downand withdrawn a few times and then only briefly in the past month or two. He is much happier doing math than reading but loves his reading specialist Mrs. G. He also has made two friends and the three boys do well together. Boo will always remark if one or thr other was absent.

And I know a lot of it is Boo maturing and growing on his own. I know some of it is good parents. But I also know a huge part of it is the patience and skill of Mrs. M. I  so thankful for her and her dedication to her students.

Peace to all and may you have good teachers in your life. Or more good than not, we've all had the not ones now and again...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Ok, so I was tired and forgot to post something last night after my Girl Scout meeting.  So, I posted a kinda silly one on Facebook this morning.  I said I was thankful for February being cold because there are so many awesome November birthdays on my calendar that it's probably my busiest birthday month.  Yeah, I know, kinda silly, but if you can't be silly sometimes it's not worth doing.  (And hey, if February wasn't cold and didn't have Valentine's day, I might not be writing this...)

Anyhow, today I am thankful for my bread machine.  That is because today I made my second loaf for the week already.  In the past month almost I think I've bought maybe 3 loaves of bread, and two because it was "buy one, get one free" and potato bread, which is a total splurge for me.  This means that while I may have gone through 5 or 6 pounds of bread flour, whole wheat flour and even some rye flour, I have cut way back on the cost of bread for my family.  Not to mention it just plain tastes better, makes the house smell awesome and I can pronounce all the ingredients that are in it!

So, I'm thankful for my bread machine to take the effort out of making dough for bread.  You see, I still bake the bread in the oven.  The loaf is shaped better and the crust has a way better texture.  But, I load up the bread machine and let it do all the heavy lifting for me.

Again, another somewhat silly thing to be thankful for, but not really.  It's not silly to be thankful for the little luxuries that make providing food that much more fun, enjoyable, healthy and cheap.

So, I'm heading to bed before I snitch another slice (I ate way, way too much over all today and my tummy is telling me so, but.... fresh bread!).

Peace to all and may you have a small luxury that makes life that much more enjoyable.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Today I can't help hut post a thanks to the men and women serving this country. I know I do that every Veterans Day, but that doesw make it any less true.

I know everyone says it today. And, until about 12 or 14 years ago I probably said it but, I'm not sure how much I meant it. For you see, I knew very few personally who were actively serving or who had. Or I should say that I realized who had. But now, knowing who I know and having the husband I have, I realize how much I toom them all for granted.

While I may be a lousy friend when it comes to email and the like there isn't a day that goes by that I don't wonder and worry about Steve while he is overseas. I worry and I hate the fact that he's there, but I know damn right well he's who needs to be there. His team and the locals are in good hands. I just wish they didn't have to be.

I hear a lot about sacrifice and bravery and honour today. But, really, these kids aren't brave, they're just dong what they think is right and protecting what they believe in. They'll have the luxury of bravery when they're done.

So here is to all past, present, and future who believe in this land enough to protect it. And here is to making sure everyone who comes home gets all the love and support and care and dignity that they need and deserve.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Saturdays and Birthdays

(By the way, this is post number 900! I'm pretty impressed actually....)

Anyhow I woke up this morning and I realized I never posted a thankful thing for yesterday.  So, yesterday I was thankful for Saturdays.  You see, Saturdays, at least during the school year, we've got a pretty good routine going on that involves a few chores and the chance to hang out with some of the "cousins".  And yesterday, that was exactly what we needed.
It actually turned out to be quite a full day.  We went to bowling and I got to hang out with Kat while Boo played with me a bit as well as Billy and Zoe.  Then, Billy went home with his dad and the rest of us went to the diner to have some brunch and then both Kat and I had to do laundry.  By the time the laundry was done it was 2:00.  The boy and I came home for a nap until Gak came home.  Then I had to run to the store and do something about dinner.  Talk about a full day!  But it was the good kind of full.

Today, well, today I think I have to be thankful for birthdays and happy celebrations.  Today was full of them!  We had lunch with mom and then back to the house for cake and ice cream to celebrate dad's birthday early, and mine even earlier.  Then, this evening we celebrated Bethany's birthday family style.  Her birthday is tomorrow and she'll be celebrating it with a "grown up" dinner out with her parents and close adults.
I think I have to be thankful that we have Bethany to celebrate her birthday.  I thought I posted about it, but I guess in the chaos of the end of the year, I didn't. You see, Scott and Tabitha gave her up for adoption when she was born 20 years ago now.  Scott had been trying to find her for quite some time, but gave up looking last fall.  Well, last December, right before Zoe's Christmas concert actually, Beth found Scott and Tabby.  It's been quite an adventurous year everyone getting to know each other and currently Beth is living with Scott.  So, I'm very thankful that Scott and Beth have been reunited, even if there's been a very steep learning curve for everyone involved.

So, as I head off to bed, I bid you peace and both time with friends on a regular basis as well as to celebrate the good things.

Friday, November 08, 2013


Today I think I'll be thankful for cookies. Home made cookies at that. Sure, in theory it was supposed to be a mom/son fun activity. And, mostly it was. At least Boo'll remember it that way. I'll remember it as an exercise in letting go and biting my tongue. That and making some pretty darn yummy cookies.

So, my boy-o likes to "make cookies".  So, I will admit that I used it as a bribe.  It doesn't really matter what for, but I wanted to ensure some extra good behavior today, so I bribed him with making cookies.  Double chocolate chip cookies at that.  ( Find the recipe here: http://www.seasonsandsuppers.ca/salted-chocolate-brownie-cookies/ )

Boo's behavior was what we wanted, so after lunch and some quiet play time it was time to make some cookies.  Yes, I will admit, I work math lessons in fractions into the deal.  I make him work for those cookies.  Partially, because it's a sneaky way to get math into him (even though he likes numbers way, way more than letters/reading right now...).  Partially, because it's about all the work I'll get out of him when it comes to making the cookies.  He runs and hides when I turn on the mixer.  He won't help measure the sticky stuff.  He likes to drive me nuts and play in the container of flour, but I think I finally convinced him to not use his fingers when doing this....  He's still very sloppy at measuring and doesn't understand the concept of holding measuring cups level.  And, when it comes to the actual work of putting cookies onto trays, he might do one or two, and then he's out the door.  Because it's too much like work.

So, more or less I make the cookies and he licks the beaters and eats the finished products.  Oh, and if icing or other decorating is involved, he'll gladly do that.

Which means that the whole thing becomes an exercise in me letting go of my control freak ways in the kitchen.  (Ask Gak, I learned very quickly that I can't be in the kitchen when he cooks... I'll just try and take over and all that does is make both of us cranky...)  And I have to just let certain things go.  And accept that I will be the one doing the lion's share of the work.  And remind myself that he's 5, with an appropriately short attention span and skill set.

But, we had fun.  We have some very delicious cookies.  And, hopefully, we've added a few more good and happy memories to the boy's memory banks, even if it might have given me a few more gray hairs.

So, I wish you all peace and fresh, home made cookies and all the lessons they can bring.

Thursday, November 07, 2013


Today I think I have to be thankful for new and different.  You see, thanks to two moms from Boo's daycare who I've seen in passing for quite some time now, but finally spent time with at the pool on Sunday, I got drug to Zumba tonight.

(Boo and I went to the pool Sunday and just happened to run into two girls from his daycare who are younger than him, but he usually plays well with.)

Anyhow, I think the instructor was out to kill us.  According to the other moms the usual instructor isn't quite so high impact aerobic.  I had fun.  My hips are beginning to ache a bit from the stretching/moving.  I will be going back again.  Maybe not next week since I have leader meeting at 7, but I will go again.

I have a tendency to get into ruts and routines.  And, after 2 years of dealing with this chronic fatigue and other baloney I have to, have to, have to get back into some kind of workout routine.  I doubt I'll ever be able to go back to 5 days a week of something, but I have to do more than walk (fairly slowly) the almost two miles round trip to take Boo to school.  Yes, I'm way more active than I was, but I need to avoid becoming a couch slug again.  And the only way to do that is to keep moving.  (I'm not going to go into my fear of overdoing it without realizing it or what adding work eventually to my routine will do when I'm experiencing exhaustion chills more often again....)

So, I'm going to wrap up this completely rambling and barely held together post and say good night.

So, try something new and different.  You may just like it.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


Today is a small but simple thing to be thankful for. Today, I'm thankful that even as tight as things are, I am still able to occasionally brighten someone else's day with a random little gift. Even something as simple as a spool of Hello Kitty ribbon to an unsuspecting friend in NYC because they don't have JoAnn's where she is.

You see, Miss Diva Deena surprised me back at the beginning of the year with some stitch markers she made. I was very touched by the gesture since I'd only met her a few months prior and had only interacted with her on G+. But, from that brief time and seeing her wonderful knit and crochet work appear in my stream and the fun conversations we all had, she quickly became one of my "Favorite Fiberatti".
I could hear her squeal of happiness all the way down here when she got it today. And that made me smile the biggest smile I could. It wasn't much. It was something small, but I know from personal experience how much the little things mean, the random "thinking of you" things that can brighten just about any day. So, I'm thankful that I was able to bring a little sunshine on a gray November day to a friend who's been having a rough go of it.
Just like many of my G+ friends have done for me over the last 7 months.
Peace to all and may you spread a little sunshine unexpectedly in peoples' lives, and may a little of it fall on you as well.

The Diva's year has been about as bad as mine, if not worse. You see, she's been jobless longer than I have. And although she's taken a few different positions they were all horrible and didn't last. This week she started a temporary gig and has a few leads on other, more permanent things doing what she wants. She's had a really rough go of it, but thankfully she's got Mr. A by her side. And all of us in Plus Land cheering her on. Just as she's done for many of us.

Oh, and she's a huge Hello Kitty fan. I'd seen several different HK ribbons at JoAnn's all summer long, and they always made me think of Miss Diva. But, they always seemed too expensive for their yardage. Someone had posted a picture of them on G+ recently and I found out that there are no JoAnn's near her. This made me pout, The Diva needs this ribbon!

Then it went on sale. So, I snapped it up.

And being the sneaky so-and-so I can be, I had kept her address from when she sent me my markers. I didn't even tell her it was coming.

So, I'm thankful both for being able to give a little sunshine and to have received lots of sunshine myself from friends who barely even know me.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


I'm having a hard time with what to be thankful for today.  I know, it's election day, so I should say that I'm thankful for the right to vote, and thankful for all the hard working women and men who fought hard to get me that vote.  But, since I didn't actually vote (Gak did though, and took the boy-o), I'd feel a bit hypocritical saying that.  (It was only a very minor election.  But, still I should have made the effort, there were school board positions up for a vote and I'm not happy with some of their recent decisions...)

I could say I'm thankful for Boo having a day off from school, so that we could spend the afternoon together.  But, with the budget the way it is, we didn't do anything too exciting (except buying him a new coat since last year's is too short in the arms...).  And, quite frankly, I get lots of time with the boy-o these days so today didn't feel like anything special.  And Boo's still not dealing with the time shift well, crashing early despite our best efforts and rising at the crack of dawn.  (Which, of course leads to cranky boy who crashes early because he refuses to rest during the day even when he's a whiny, cranky piece of work who's too tired to stand in line at the store but insists he isn't tired. /sigh.)

So, maybe today I'll just be thankful for uneventful days.  Yes, that's it.  Today was more or less uneventful and not very special in the grand scheme of things.  Sure, it's quite special because we're all here and (mostly) healthy. (Gak went to bed early fighting a headache and Boo's had a cough sneaking up on us for the past few days and is sounding a bit soupy... and I'm feeling a bit gun-shy about him and a cough after December and January's adventures...)

So, on that note, I wish you peace and every day, uneventful days where you can catch your breath and relax a bit.

Monday, November 04, 2013


With the cold nights we've been having I'm very thankful for one my latest splurge purchases. I bought myself a hot water bottle after hearing several people rave about them last winter.
Add me to the fan club! It warms my bed to toasty warm right quick, has no wires or plugs, and stays warm for hours upon hours. Oh, and I made this awesome little cover (my own design) and it is even better! No more cold toes or achy muscles.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Y? Y not.

Today I'm thankful for the Y.  It gives me a great place to take a boy-o to burn off some extra energy.  And we've got access to a pool year round.  And I love to swim.  I really, really, really need to get into a routine of going to the pool and/or the fitness center again.  Ever since school started I just can't seem to figure out something that I like.

Today, I gave Boo a few choices of what he wanted to do.  He chose the pool.  Ok, fine by me.  (Mind you, even with keeping him up extra late last night he was still up at 5:30 EST thank you daylight savings....)  Low and behold, as we were walking down the hall to the family locker room, one of the little girls from his daycare calls to him.  So, not only did we get to have fun playing in the water, it turns out that two of the younger girls from daycare were there for a play date.  Oh, and the moms invited me to Zumba Thursday evening from 5:30 to 6:30.  That'll be a little rough on the boy with our normal schedule.... since I'll pick him up from daycare just to take him to the kids room at the Y (well, not quite but almost...).

Anyhow, we'll see what happens.

I still maintain that I don't like daylight savings time.  I stayed up late, had a hard time falling asleep, slept horribly and was still up at the crack of dawn.  So, it's been a tired day all the way around in this house.  And tired usually means cranky, and it did.  Oh well.  We've got a sound asleep boy and I'm about to go curl up with a book and crash.

Peace to all and may you have somewhere wonderful to go.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Thankful November

I'm sure everyone has noticed, but it has been way, way too easy for me to focus on the negative this year.  As I have for the past few years, I plan on posting a small, thankful post every day.  I need to do this.  To remind myself of all the good things in my life this year; so I stop focusing on the negative.

Yes, I'm running a day behind, but that's nothing new around here.  And as with years past, I don't promise these will be long or involved and may only be a few words, but they will be something.

Yesterday, I was thankful for the contract agency that I've ended up falling in with.  I think I finally have someone (or a couple of someones actually) who are truly interested in helping me find a new job.  Sure, they may get rewarded monetarily for it, but whatever works.
I've neglected posting about this for a few weeks now.  Anyhow, long story short-ish, I applied for a position a few weeks ago.  It was a contract position, but there are advantages to that.  Anyhow, the contract contact got in touch with me.  The position wasn't open because they had extended their existing contractor but she was really interested in my resume and wanted to meet with me so I could learn more about the staffing company she works for and she could get to know me a bit more.  So, we met for coffee one morning and hit it off.  She's already found a couple of potential opportunities, but I'm not getting my hopes up too high yet.  But, I'm thankful for J and the fact that she's friendly and actually interested in helping me get a position that plays to my strengths.

Today, I'm thankful for my crafting ability.  Without the ability to turn bits and pieces into something I would have seriously gone even more insane than I have these past 7 months.  Suffice to say I've been playing with yarn a lot this year.  And I made Boo's Halloween costume.  (Yes, yes, I'll get a picture of the little Minion up soon.) And I made things for me.  I've even made things that have made my fiber friends go ooOOOOooo and think I'm talented.
It really is amazing how much you can think and create at the same time.

Anyhow, that's the start of my November.  Here's to a whole month of positive thoughts, no matter how small.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013


Ya know, I've had a few posts about good things, or just general musings that I've been meaning to post in the last few weeks, but I just haven't.
My weekend with three of my college friends was awesome and much needed. (Jenn posted a great piece about it here.)
Boo and I managed to get Gak something he actually wanted for his birthday this year.
I had an awesome hiking trip to Hawk Mountain with my Girl Scout troop.
Boo continues to love Kindergarten and back to school night was interesting
I have a few thoughts on words, language and names, but they're still not fully formed enough for me to write about.

But, no.  I didn't write about any of that at the time.  So, now, because I can't sleep, you get an angry post.

You see, I'm very angry right now.  And about 95% of that anger has to do with the fact that because I refuse to give up certain things/people in my life, I'm quite cornered.

Let me see if I can explain.
I still have no job.  It has been just over 6 months now.  I was so sure in the spring that I'd have a job by the end of summer, by now at the latest.  Instead, all I've had are a bunch of dead ends and false trails.
Back in the spring/early summer I had a few leads, but they all fell through, mostly due to scheduling, as in they were for a 11 am to 8 pm odd-ball shift times and also 45 minutes to an hour away. (I thought I blogged specifically about it, but I only made some vague references...)  And then I went through a dry spell where I didn't hear back about any single application I put in, or there were a few "you're not who we're looking for" email responses without a phone interview.
Then, back around the time of my weekend with the girls, I actually had followup on an application (even though it wasn't something I really wanted to do, or was quite in my normal line of support) that I then had to refuse because of what they were going to pay and the fact that I'd end up spending most of it in gas and daycare.
I don't think I mentioned it at the time, but I'd also applied for my old job back.  (You see, another person left the department on their own and my friend C is out on bedrest before her second daughter is born in November.... so they were able to post for 2 positions.)  Other than the automatic email response of "thank you, you're resume is being forwarded to the hiring manager" I heard nothing from corporate.  Until I followed up directly with the overall service manager, because I still had his email.  They'd filled the one position and the other one we both knew I wasn't a good fit for because it was more network support/computer builds.  And they didn't even call me about an interview or let me know anything at all.  So, yeah, that really ticked me off.  But, I kept telling myself that something better was around the corner, just keep looking.

The manager did give me a lead to follow, but, alas, they'd hired three people over the summer and didn't need me either.

Then I got a call from a recruiter about another position that sounded like a pretty good fit.  Unfortunately, despite my following up, this guy seems to have disappeared into the woodwork again as well.

Then, last Thursday or so another recruiter contacted me, both through email and Linkdin.  And this job sounds perfect.  There are only two drawbacks, and admittedly ones I'm willing to work with/around.  The first drawback is that it's a 12 month contract.  The second is that it's 65 miles each way.  But, other than that, it's perfect.  So, I asked about a more flexible schedule, such as 7 - 4 because then I'd still be able to be home by 6 (unless there was a major traffic snarl or bad weather, which are both huge possibilities, but that would still give me 2 hours...).  Because, you never know, sometimes contract positions become permanent hires.  And if it looked like it was going to become permanent, we could wait until the end of the school year and move closer, which would have the added advantage of putting us closer to Mom and Dad, but we'd still be fairly close to all our friends up here.
But, no.  The people that the position is ultimately for, want someone on-site 8 - 5, with only a little flexibility.  So, I'm pretty sure that this is going to go up in smoke.  There would be no way I'd make it home by 6.  I'd have to find someone willing to pick a boy up 5 days a week, since Mom can't stay past 6 herself on Mondays.  I'd have to give up, or at the very least vastly reduce my involvement with, my Girl Scout troop.  And I refuse to do that.  I refuse to give up any and all awake time with my boy-o 5 days a week.  I refuse to move him just over a month (and by the time all the shouting would be done, it would be 2 or 3 months) into Kindergarten; as much as he loves it right now, it's still a tenuous thing.  I refuse to give up my girls.  Oh, and there was no promise I'd get the position, the recruiter was calling to get me to submit my resume for it.

And then there are two other things adding to the anger and frustration.
The first is the fact that I've exhausted my 26 weeks of unemployment.  OK, well, there's supposed to be another tier that I'll get moved to and I'll get a letter about it.  But, oh, wait, that's a Federal program.  And, guess what?  The Federal Government is all but shut down.  So, what does this mean for me?  I have no blasted clue other than the fact that I'll only get one week's UI this week and have no idea if or when I'll be able to get any more support before March.  And no, the savings won't make it to March.  They'll barely make it to the end of the year if we stop doing anything and everything other than paying rent/mandatory bills and eating.

That is, other than the fact that I have to pay almost $1000 to get the Durango fixed.  You see, I didn't mention earlier that last Tuesday (which was an adventure of a day to begin with, with a possessed phone, a trip to King of Prussia and back to school night) the AC compressor seized, which tied up the belt, which means that the truck won't start.  Monday was the earliest they could get it in at the garage I trust around the corner.  It had to be towed.  The rebuild kit is close to $600.  Then there's all the labor for pulling the fool thing apart, flushing the system and putting it all back together.  And I won't get it back until late Tuesday or sometime Wednesday.  And did I mention it was going to be close to $1000 to fix?  I still keep telling myself that between that and the almost $600 for the repairs needed at inspection (that I'd been putting off as long as I could) I'm still getting off lighter than car payments. Oh, and I don't have a job so who in their right mind would give me a loan to get a vehicle?  And if I used up the savings to buy something about as old as the Durango outright, I wouldn't have money for bills thanks to having no job and no UI.  And I need a car to get a job...

Bright side, I got the Little Red Honda from mom this afternoon.  Downside?  Depending on how nuts Dad drives her, I may have to give it back soon.

So, yes, there is a lot of anger and frustration right now.  And so much of it is both out of my control (I can't make companies call me back or hire me or let me have any schedule I want and God knows I can't get the Federal government to start working again...) and in my control at the same time (giving up Girl Scouts, giving up time with my boy, moving...).  So, it just feels like a perfect storm brewing and not in a good way and has me in a very bad and angry place.

I'm going to try and go to bed again.  I've got lots to get done tomorrow while a boy-o is at school, and it's a Girl Scout night.  (Thankfully my friend Ali is doing the meet of the meeting, so I don't have to do too much...)

Peace to all and may things go in your favor now and again.

P.S. And... now the post isn't saving or publishing..... I really think I will cry now.

Friday, September 20, 2013


I've been avoiding writing here lately.  I've been avoiding it because there's just so much I can say about a boy-o who suddenly loves school and is still excited to go and is truly beginning to participate and keeps getting good reports from his teacher.

I've mostly been avoiding writing here lately because, well, other than school going well for a boy and having a hubs that loves me through the ups and downs of life, I have nothing positive to say.

I'm feeling so burned out, bummed out and just plain depressed over this whole job search thing.  I'm either vastly over paid and over qualified for jobs that will actually talk to me, or under qualified (on paper at any rate) for the jobs I want and will actually pay me close to what I need to be making.

Until this week I hadn't had traction in anything I'd put in for.  Barely even a reply back of "you're not qualified, sorry" or any other acknowledgement of my existence, even with trying to follow up.  (And trust me, trying to follow up on these jobs is a real bitch!  You apply online through a job search board and get no contact information or anything other than a company name, not even an email address to follow up with and you've got to dig and search and hope you find some kind of human, which rarely happens.)

I didn't say this publicly, but my old job actually had someone else leave voluntarily and another friend is out on bed rest before her second daughter's birth in November and they created two postings.  So, I applied.  And I didn't hear word one back from corporate after "we're forwarding on your resume to the hiring manager".  So, this week I followed up with my former manager's manager, the one in charge of all service.  He was polite, but they've filled the one position, and the other position is network support /PC builds which we both know I'm not really qualified for.  But, he did give me the name of one of the consultants I used to work with all the time and told me he's looking for someone.  So, I've sent him an email and my resume, but he's out until Wednesday on vacation.

That's the good news, and it's not really all that good.  The other news is that I did get a call back about a job I applied for.  It's down in Horsham, or about a 50 mile round trip.  It would be a call center environment working with corporate network support.  Yeah, not my strong suit but I did a Gram and BS'd my way through the screening.  Then, they told me it was going to pay $15.50 an hour, oh, and I could end up on a 2 - 10 pm shift.  Doing some quick math, including things like gas, extra daycare and the fact that I'd be paying for insurance for three people out of this, I quickly realized that I'd probably end up loosing money if I actually got this job.  Yep, it would almost cost me more to take this job.  It would be an almost 50% pay cut from my last job.  I know I'll have to take a pay cut between my experience and the job market, but I can't afford to loose half my pay check.  I mean, that's what I've been working with on UI and the savings are dwindling quickly.  And there's no way that it would jump $5 an hour in 6 months or less.  So, I cried.  And I wrote an email back saying it wasn't economically feasible for me to take the job.

So, right about now you're not hearing from me because all I have is negative things to say about myself, my lack of apparent hirablility (which isn't a word, or at least I can't get spell check to like it) and overall direction.  Here I am just shy of six (yes, 6) months into this and I have no more clue or direction of where to go or how to get there than I did back in February when Monty told me a layoff was a possibility.  And now I've even had the slim crack of the possibility of going back to my old job slammed in my face without the courtesy of a "no thanks".

Thankfully, I'm going away this weekend with three friends from college.  It's only over night, but still, it's away.  And they told me I was going if I could pay for the hotel or not.  So, I'll try and bury any negative self thoughts and thoughts about the miserable job search until Sunday night.  I'll enjoy the company of three friends who actually want to spend time with me.

And then it'll be back to the grind.

Peace to all and may your lives be full of positive things and happy thoughts.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

One Week In

Well, it's been one week since the start of school. Yes, it was a short, three day long week but we've had a week of school.
And I don't recognize this boy living in my house. But in good ways.
Tuesay morning Boobwas awake before I was and I was up at 6:30 to try and get a little Momma time. As I was leaving my room I see the light on in Boo's room and tbere he is, already getting dressed. He was bouncing off the walls and ready to GO by 7 and we don't have to leave the house until about 8:30 if we're walking. Totally the opposite of what we expected.
He was a bit nervous about going into school but Nik was there and when the doors opened, I just handed the boy off to him and he barely looked back. He was so excited about everything when we picked him up. And his teacher said he'd had a better day than orientation, but saw what we meant about participation.
Wednesday came and he was just as excited to go to school. He was glad to see Nick at the doors again. We left the house a bit early and we had about 10 minutes or so to wait. Again happy bouncing boy.
Thursday he had off for Rosh Hashanah, but he was going to daycare in the afternoon. He was so excited to see Dominik and tell him all about what he learned. Dom wasn't there Thursday, but Joey and Mikey were and that was good.
Starting Friday is where the real changes became evident. Now, you know Boo has always been a social boy but prefers to hang back and doesn't go talking to random kids.
Friday Mrs. M told me when I picked him up that he was getting much better about the participation thing. That made me smile. We went to the library next to return and check out books. We ran into one of his classmates as we were leaving and he wasn't sure if he wanted to stay or go home for lunch. Lunch won.  (From the 30 seconds we saw him, he reminded me a bit of Kevin from daycare... not one of Boo's favorite people. )
Boo ate all his lunch. He even let me have about 45 minutes quiet time al to myself. We then went out and played and then Gak called and offered to buy ice cream to celebrate the first week of school. After that we went to the playground.
There was a little girl there who wanted to play with Boo. Think of the opening scenes from Up and you'll know what it was like. Well she had to go fairly soon after they started playing. After a bit, when the playground became busier, Boo was actually upset no one was playing with, or talking to, him. Yes, my boy who really only wants to play with me. He was quite content to play by himself or other kids.
Then we came home so I could start dinner. He wanted to play out back so I said yes. We finally went over his actual boundaries, not just the implied ones. He then asks if he can see if Conner across the hall is home. Sure!  (Conner just started 6th grade but has always made time for Boo.) They played either out back with a ball or out front with the remote controlled truck for over an hour until it was time to get Gak from work. Well, when I said it was time to go you'd have thought the world was going to end. So, since Conner and his older brother Matt didn't care I left him playing.
Then last night he was playing out back after dinner and seems to have made friends with a random neighborhood kid who lives on the circle behind us.
Who is this boy? And all this after one week of school? Boy are we in trouble...
We truly don't have a baby or even a pre-schooler any more.
Peace to you all and may you grow in leaps and bounds.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Twas the Night Before Kindergarten

I wish I was better at adapting poems to suit my own needs, but I'm not. So you'll just have to deal with some bedtime rambling.
Tomorrow Boo starts kindergarten. I think it will actually go OK. We had orientation on Thursday. For most of the time the parents were in the cafeteria in assembly being introduced to the principal and other school staff. Meanwhile the kids were in their classrooms meting their teachers. There was one kid who raised a ruckus, but it wasn't Boo. I sent him with Daddy to go with the teacher, knowing full well if I did it, it would not go so well. His teacher, Mrs. M, is young and beautiful. She saw Boo was hesitant and took him by the hand and to the front of the line. He willingly went with her. I swear he'll follow just about any pretty girl...
Anyhow, when us parents were let into the class we were quite happy that he didn't get up from his coloring and run right to us. He wasn't happy, but he stayed put.

Boo admits he's still a little scared. We've done our best to assure him it is OK to be scared. I really think he'll be OK. At least with the going to school part. I still worry about the participating in group aor teacher lead activities, but we did get a chance to mention that to Mrs. M. She appreciated it.

Anyhow, Looking in on my boy all curled up with Trey and Angel I am filled with many emotions. (I let Boo sleep with Angel one night in a week...) Knowing Angel is "Gram's" bear, I am filled with sadness that neither Gram nor his Papa Jim ever got to met him and how much I wish they were here for such a big life event. I'm feeling a little anxiety about how he'll do, but more from a "I hope he has a good year" not a "I hope he's ready" standpoint. Subtle difference but big. I will admit I am feeling no small amount of amazement at the fact that he is old enough, big enough and more than smart enough to be in big boy school. And I will admit there is some pride in tbere too that Gak and I have such an awesome little boy. He really is quite something and is such a character.

But, it is just about 10 and I have to make sure I get up in the morning. We leave the house at about 8:30 to walk to school as a family. Look for a picture soon.
Peace to all and may you conquer your fears and be amazed by the world around you. (And those of you in school or with loved ones in school may this year be challenging and fulfilling.)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Two Week Countdown

Yeah, yeah, it's been over a month again since I posted.  I've been busy.  Mostly busy having fun, but also busy trying to figure out this whole "get a new job" thing that's been sucking most of my life away.  Really, it feels like it's been sucking the soul right out of me.

Hopefully, I'll have something more interesting to say about things like that in the future, but that's not what this post is about.

Tonight, this post is about my boy-o.  And the fact that two weeks from yesterday is the day he starts kindergarten.

And before today, I was all ready and gung-ho about it.  I mean, I know he's smart enough.  I know he's socially developed enough.  I know he's ready, in all ways.

Yes, I was panicking back at the beginning of the year and earlier.  And I had lost of reasons to.  He did not participate much at all at day care.  He wouldn't engage with other kids at the playground.  He didn't play with the other kids, but next to them.  And yes, in some ways it was age appropriate, but in other ways, I just knew it pointed to a hard time adjusting to kindergarten, and it was 6 months to a year away.  (Ask Gak or half the people I was working with... they all knew I was panicking over this...)

Then, Miss Loretta at daycare said he was participating and instigating play with the other kids.  And he wasn't being clingy when I dropped him off on Tuesdays and Thursdays (Gak would have to vouch for Wednesdays and Fridays...).  He even instigated play with kids he'd never met before at the playground.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  A switch had flipped and my boy-o might take a bit of time to get used to the idea of kindergarten, but it wasn't going to be as bad as I feared.

Still, if you asked him if he was ready or excited about kindergarten, you'd get a shake of the head "no", or maybe even a verbal no.  If we were out in public and standing talking to someone, he'd try and disappear into my leg.

But... he was excited and interested in buying his new school supplies.  He was thrilled even to some degree.
He likes to go over to the playground at his new school and will even ask to go there.

But, the last few weeks have me nervous again.  And after today, I'm really nervous and full of panic and back to my "oh this is so not going to be fun until November" mode.

You see, our boy is panicking and terrified.  The closer we get to the start of school, the more quiet terror I see is lurking behind his quiet ways.

There are lots of little things pointing towards this.
He's getting more scared again of dogs, cats and other animals.  He used to be OK with looking at animals at the zoo, or if they were on leashes.  Now, he panics and tries to run away, all but throwing me into "danger".
He's not participating as freely at daycare as he was.
Tonight, when I told him I had to rinse the soap he left in his hair out, he was on the verge of terror tears and almost howling.  We haven't had a howling incident in the tub in ages.
He's not going to bed easily or willingly, saying he's scared or "I want you" without any other explanation.  Tonight I tried to get out of him what was wrong and all I got was "I'm scared" and all but in tears.  He finally came up with that he wanted more light in his room, so I gave him his flashlight.  I know that's not the root of the problem.
He's becoming more timid and withdrawn in all ways.
He's gotten very, very clingy when I drop him off at day care and not wanting to let go.
Today, we went to a "concert" at the library (which was supposed to be a "getting ready for kindergarten" theme, but wasn't int he slightest, but that's a different story...).  I couldn't get him to go sit with Joey, one of his bestest friends.  I could barely get him to engage at all.  He didn't complain that it was too loud or cover his ears like he does when it really is too noisy/busy for him.  He just didn't want anything to do with it for the most part.
Sunday the three of us walked over to the school playground and he was having a good time.  Until Gak asked him what he thought it was like inside the school.  Then, suddenly and out of the blue he gets all kinds of sulky and whiny and "my tummy hurts".  He was that scared.  We went home after that, and almost instantly he was fine.

I'm back to worrying about how much of a struggle it's going to be to walk him to school every day.  I'm back to hoping his teacher is as awesome and patient as my friends who's kids have had her before say she is. I'm back to both dreading and looking forward to the first day of school in equal measure.

Yes, yes, I know it'll be OK.  He may even surprise me.
But.... I just can't shake this feeling of dread.  I know my boy-o.  Change scares the ever living snot out of him.  And it doesn't have to be big change.  He's stubborn (hence the "fun" (totally sarcastic here) arguments at dinner times...).  He doesn't want to be engaged with others, even though he can and he has friends.  If anyone doesn't believe that someone can actually inherently be an introvert just needs to see my son.  He's about as much of an introvert as I've ever seen.  Once he figures a situation out, identifies the one or two people he wants to be involved with/ can trust, he's off like a rocket.  Point in fact, he's constantly asking if Dominick can come over.  It breaks my heart that Dom won't go to kindergarten until next year, and probably not the same school.  (Joey will be at his school, but will be in the afternoon class, not the morning class...)
So, we've got just under two weeks of summer left and hopefully I won't get an ulcer from worry before the big day.  Who knows, my boy-o may just surprise the socks off me.  (If I'm wearing socks that day that is....)  A week from tomorrow we have the kindergarten orientation and then he'll start on the next Tuesday.  We'll see how it goes.  I may need to have a boy surgically removed from my leg.  (I know he won't be the only one, but he's the only one I have to worry about...)  I just want to make it through the first two weeks with as few tears on his part as possible.  I know they're coming... I just hope they're few.

And for the record, I've stopped asking him about it and tried to stop mentioning it as much as possible.  Not so that he can live in denial, but to try and reduce the general stress about it.  I'm trying to treat it like it's "no big deal", and hopefully he'll relax a smidge about it too.

So, peace to you all and may your new beginnings be met with open arms, happy hearts and as little fear and dread as possible.

Monday, July 15, 2013


I've got big news concerning Boo and Kindergarten in the fall.

On Friday Boo and I went to Target to pick up some other odds and ends, and since I was there, I wondered if the list of school supplies was out.  Sure enough, there was one labeled for QE.  So, Boo and I happily (and me with a bit of a tear in my eye, really) picked out his supplies.  This picture is what we picked up on Friday.
Yes, on the list at Target, headphones were on the list.  (For computer time I was assuming.)  And yes, he picked out every single thing you see there from the gray backpack and the green folder to the pencil box with a pink lid.  I think he did very well.

Mind you, on Friday we were still assuming that Boo was going to be going to QE, as that's the one that's about a block further than his day care and where the boy across the hall went (he'll be at the middle school this year...).  I was also assuming Target had the right list.

Well, today in the mail we got Boo's school assignment.  Sure enough, he'll be at QE, in the morning class.  As much as Loretta at daycare told us to ask for PM Kindergarten, I'm actually happy he's in the morning class.  Boo does much better with things like this in the morning.  It'll give us an entire year to work on the whole morning and afternoon all week thing.  He's still Mr. Grumpypants if he doesn't get quiet time after lunch or sometime in the afternoon and regularly still takes an hour or so nap if he lets himself fall asleep.

But, the list that was enclosed in the mail is a good bit different than what we bought.  He doesn't actually need two sets of markers, or the folder or the headphones.  We'll be keeping the headphones anyhow, since he'll be able to use them with his tablet.  We'll need to pick up a new pack of watercolors, a pack of dry erase markers, a pair of scissors, a box of tissues, a hand sanitizer, some Clorox wipes and a bag for snacks.

We have orientation on Thursday, August 29th at 9:00 am.  I'm excited and nervous, almost as much as I ever have on my own first day of school.  In a way, it does feel like I'm starting school all over again, from scratch.  But this time I'm the parent who has to support and guide her kiddo, but also know when to step back.  So far, I seem to be doing a fairly good job of balancing this, but this is school.... and I love school.  I remember my own Kindergarten teacher fondly to this day, and I truly hope that Boo can get off to a good and friendly start to his own school career.

So, peace to you all and may exciting new adventures be on the horizon.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Picture Time

Here's a few pictures (ok several pictures) from the first half of July.  It's been a busy and fun time around here.  Don't ask about the job search.  Just, don't.... It's nothing short of depressing, not even any positive nibbles in weeks.
Anyhow, pictures from a bounce place excursion, Crayola and from camping.  I'll actually try and remember to write about it soon...

Monday, June 10, 2013


I am sitting here waiting while Boo has his swim lesson; the third one of this session.  I'm not sure but he's either not making any progress or maybe going back a bit.
I've noticed lately wd have has a very clingy boy the last few weeks. I think part of it is because I'm home so much more right now. I also think part of it is because there are a lot more changes on the horizon too.  I think no matter how cool he plays it, the thought of kindergarten scares the snot out of him. It is a big change and not under his control in the slightest. He hates bith of those things.
Friday we had his five-year checkup. I don't remember how much I posted but remember back when he was 2 or so (another time of big change out of his control) all he would do was scream at the doctor?   Well that is what it was Friday. With lots of Momma clinging added in. He is super scared and shy around all strangers these days. It is a bit worrying but mostly just frustrating. We have seen it before and it passed. At least he isn't screaming about bath or pol time this time.
As for me? I'm hanging in therr the best I can. I really, really want to find a job soon. I love being home and not having to be anywhere but I miss things like adult conversation and having thing to do and not worrying about where the next check will come from.
I am also very frustrated. All the prospects I had either stopped calling back and/or wouldn't work for a variety of reasons. Finding something I'm interested in, within the realm of not over or under qualified, and will pay me something close to what I was making is damn near impossible. One of the big reasons the others wouldn't work is that they were offering between one half and two thirds of what I was making. I could possibly do two thirds but not half. At least not for long without destroying what little savings we have.
So, yeah, frustration abounds.
I'm going to watch the last bit of Boo's lesson.
Peace to all and may your life not be one big ball of frustration  (and make time for the pool).

EDIT:  After swim lessons his teacher came up to me and was thrilled with the progress he made today!  OK, so from halfway across the pool what didn't look like any real improvement was amazing to his teacher.  I'll take it, she's the pro after all.  We've got another lesson Wednesday morning since she's on vacation next week.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Time Flies (aka Boo Turns Five)

Yesterday my baby boy turned five years old. Yes, you read that right, he is now 5. 
Where has the time gone?   It really see like just yesterday I was anxiously awaiting his arrival and here he is five years old and starting kindergarten in a few short months.
I won't say it has all been easy or a bed of roses. There have been plenty of moments when I have questioned my sanity, his or both at the same time. But I wouldn't trade any of it away for anything.
Last night we had spaghetti dinner at Aunt Kat's with the family. Daddy got a custom cake from Coldstone decorated like the TARDIS. It was yummy!
Today we had his birthday party at the park I made an awesome "terrain" cake of brownies and cupcakes and perched two monster trucks on it. Everyone loved it. We also did build your own sundaes.
The biggest part of his birthday is that Gak and I got him his own tablet. It is a Galaxy Tab 2 7".  He loves it and it should last a long time.   We had made the decision before I got laid off and had already set aside about half the money for it. It is a Good investment and will serve us well.
I am glad the weekend is over and the chaos of the birthday is behind us. Tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment and Boo has swim lessons.
Peace to all and may time not fly too fast and your life be filled with god times and family and friends.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Caution: Rantage Ahead

Let's see here, it's been another month since I last posted.  Part of it is because there really isn't anything new to talk about.  Another part of it is "maybe if I don't talk about it, it'll all just go away".  And of course there's the "there's too much going on in my head to get it all out, usually at 11:00 at night when I'm trying to sleep.


So, I'm still unemployed.  There's a lot of frustration and rage with that.  This whole job search thing is very manic-depressive.  I'll go a week or two without hearing anything from anyone and then I'll have three phone interviews in one day followed by another week of dead air.  Yes, I'm following up.  I'm trying not to be annoying but keep pestering people, even if it's for a "no" answer.  The biggest problem?  As interesting as these jobs sound and the people seem to be great, the hours are probably just not going to work with my other obligations.  Yeah.  Balancing sucks.

And don't get me started about the state.  Back at the beginning of the month I had a "mandatory fun" meeting way, way, way down at the other end of the county.  We're talking take the turnpike to the end kind of drive.  50 miles of traffic and roadwork kind of fun.  All to sit in a "class" and be told that the state things I'm going to not find a job within the 26 weeks of unemployment I've got coming to me and they're here to help.  Yeah, I qualified for this fun because I'd had my last job 12.5 years.  The "classes" they offer to "help"?  Basic computer and word skills, resume writing and practice interviews.  Yeah, professionally reviewed (by 2 different people mind you) resume and I could probably teach the basic computer classes they offer.  Total and complete waste of time, tolls and gas money.  But I had to show up if I wanted to continue to get my unemployment benefits.  (Yes, I'm still grumpy about it.)

Oh, and then I thought I was applying for CHIP the other day for Boo to have health insurance, after checking to see if we would qualify before deciding what to do with my COBRA.  And apparently, no, I was applying for county aid and between my unemployment and Gak's salary, we make too much for that.  So I have to jump through hoops to be officially denied before they pass me on to CHIP.  (And if I want to turn the paperwork in to a person instead of mailing it, I'd have to drive all the way back down to the exact same office I was at for that useless "class".  Shoot me now.)

So, yeah, the state and county aren't my friends right now.

And you'd think being unemployed I'd have all this wonderful time to get things done.  To blog, to catch up on projects, to figure out what I want to do with my life and do some meaningful job searching.
Well, that just hasn't been the case.  The stupid state/county stuff isn't helping.  And (this is going to sound horrible, but it's not, I promise) Gak being home in the mornings means I end up spending time with him instead of doing things that need getting done.  (Note, spending quality time with my wonderful husband is important, but not all that productive in getting me a new job...)  And as much as I love my Boo boy, being a stay-at-home mom is both more and less than it's cracked up to be.  I know I've said it before, but if this is the way it had been from the start, I'm sure it would be very different now.  As is, I miss my work and my friends and adult conversations and getting out of the house and all the other annoying things I took for granted way too much.

I just want my job back.  I want my life back.  I want to be useful and productive and "me" again.

But, it's not all bad and cranky and about being jobless.  There are good things going on as well.  We had a great, if wet and muddy, camping trip with the Girl Scouts back Mother's Day weekend.  It was the service unit event this year and overall it was a good time.  There were some bumps and things in the road, but we managed to make it through.

Tonight is my last Girl Scout meeting of the school year.  Five of my girls have bridged into Seniors and will be joining the other Tuesday night troop that meets at the church.  I'll miss them.  One of my girls will be moving to California after the school year.  I'll miss her too.  But, 20 girls has been a lot.  Fourteen or fifteen would be nice.  But, I'm not about to turn away a girl.  I'm not that kind of leader.

Last week I got to see both my brother and Becca.  They made a whirlwind trip of a slightly long weekend out here.  We were supposed to go to the beach with them last Sunday, but the weather was icky.  Instead, they came up Monday afternoon and we spent the afternoon together.  I'm very glad I got to see them.  I miss them horribly.  I really wish we could afford to travel to OK and to CA every now and again.  There is so much family we need to visit.

Anyhow, I need to get things rolling.  Boo turns five (yes, you read that right, 5) on Saturday and there's a lot of stuff to get ready for his party and the family dinner on Saturday.

Peace to all and may your life not be filled with frustration and the good outweigh the bad.

Monday, April 22, 2013

3 Weeks

So, it's been 3 weeks since I posted about getting laid off.  And where am I?  Spinning my gears mostly.  I was working with the placement company that my former employer hires to help all of those they lay off.  Got my resume into decent shape, I thought.  Then I showed it to Lynx, my former tent mate and great friend from my Camp Tohi days.  (So glad we found each other on Facebook.  I've really missed her!)  Well, she just about reached through the Internet all the way from Ohio and smacked me.  Apparently I was underselling myself again and while the guy I was working with was right about a lot of things as far as people reading my resume, wasn't so hot on the "getting it through the computer screening for keywords" process that so many employers use these days.

That, and I still have no idea what I want to do when I grow up.  I take it back.  I know what I'd like to be doing, and what would probably make my soul sing, at least for a little while, but those jobs are few and far between, usually don't pay much or offer benefits and I'd probably have to move.  All things working against it.  Yes, deep down in that secret place in my heart that I keep sealed off because it'll only get me hurt, I still want to "be Lynn from the nature center".  Or at least be able to teach there full time.  No, I don't want to teach in a classroom.  I never have, and I've already talked about how NCLB has destroyed teaching for at least one friend and I really don't want to go down that road myself.

I've applied for a couple of jobs, but I'm really not holding my breath with them.  I'm both way over and way under qualified for them at the same time.  And I'm not even sure they're what I really want to be doing.  And you know what, I don't even really care about that at the moment.  As much as I love all the extra time I'm getting with Boo, I need to go back to work.
For many reasons.  I need to know that, while maybe financially tight, I'm bringing in enough money to keep the roof over our heads, food on the table and insurance paid for.  And while I love Gak and his job has provided us with scheduling flexibility over the years, it just doesn't cover us financially like my job did.
It's been so very hard for me these past 3 weeks to find my place in the routine.  We've got one that works, but I still feel like an interloper in my own apartment most mornings.  Boo and Gak had a routine that worked and that they'd developed over time the last (almost) 5 years.  Trust me, I'm thrilled that my boys can take good care of themselves and have it figured out, but it's been hard putting myself into that space.  I need to be around adults again.  I miss the connections and conversations with my coworkers and friends at work.  I miss connecting with my regular customers.  (And trust me, I've spent plenty of time the last few weeks worrying how some of them are, and feeling really bad that I didn't get a chance to say bye to many of them.... but... I understand, kinda...)  I need my own routine back.

There are two good things to come from this change.  The first being that I do get to spend more time with Boo.  That's never a bad thing (even when it seems like it because he's being whiny boy who's pushing all my buttons...).  The other is that except for a few days where I've really over done it physically, I haven't had the unending brain fog, the daily exhaustion chills and the crashing and crashing hard by 8 or 9:00 pm.  I've been able to get "enough" sleep and rest.  I haven't had the added stress of an actual job.  (And while I've been job searching, I haven't been doing it as many hours a day as I was at the office... and I really need to be actively searching more/better.... but that's a different story.)  So, yeah, I've actually been feeling fairly good physically.  Which makes me dread going back to work as much as I need to.  I don't want to head back into brain fog land.  I don't want to have the exhaustion chills some days as early as 8 am, but almost always for at least a little bit by 3 pm and almost always by 8:30 pm.  Only a few days have I had the "someone is trying to dislocate my hip by driving a screwdriver into it" pain or other joint/muscle pain and that's after I've overexerted myself.    I've been able to actually do things with my husband after the boy goes to bed.  I've been able to get things done.

So, even though this has been a good thing in the short term, I'm afraid of the long term.  It would be so easy for me to just give in, call it quits and become the lump on the sofa living off society if I didn't keep making myself move on days I don't want to.  I'm not that person.  I'm the one who earns her keep, does her fair share and makes sure I can give to others.  I'm not one to play the system and take advantage of it.  I despise people like that.  Sure, everyone needs a hand up now and again (which is why I'm collecting unemployment right now, but I've paid into that most of my adult life...).  But people who work the system so that they don't have to work or be a productive part of society, those I can't stand.  And I refuse to use my health to become one, as tempting as it may sound on mornings after I've over done it by going to the gym for 45 minutes, going for a 3 mile bike ride and walking to and from Boo's daycare.  Yep, that's enough some days to leave me completely useless the next day.  And there are so many people who can do all that and work an 8+ hour work day and be fine.  So, like it or not, I do have health issues that I can't ignore.

Anyhow, enough of the depressing and frustrating story of being unemployed.

In less than 8 hours we'll be at Boo's kindergarten registration appointment.  Yes, you read that right.  Boo goes to kindergarten in the fall.  In just over a month he'll be 5.  Yes, you read that right too.  I'm both excited and sad about it.  Sad because my baby is growing up so fast.  Excited because this will begin a (hopefully) great new chapter in Boo's life and I love watching him grow and explore the world.  And his world's about to get a whole lot bigger.

But, since I've been awake for the last hour or so, I'd better head back to bed and try and get some more sleep before I have to face the day.  Either that, or it is going to be a long day and afternoon and I will crash by 8 and feel miserable.  (But, I was stuck in my own head and hopefully now that I've poured it all out I'll be able to go back to sleep again....)

Peace to all and may your challenges be small and the love of your friends and family be large.

Monday, April 01, 2013


Well, the day I've been dreading for the past year or more finally happened last Tuesday, March 26th...

Boo and I had a lovely, if slightly snowy, day with Amma for her birthday on the 25th.  We didn't make our usual trip to the Zoo because of said snow, but we had an enjoyable swim, a wonderful brunch, a visit with PopPop and some time at the Lego store.  Amma and I even both found new swimsuits online (a backup for her and a replacement to mine that decided to rip in the center back shoulder area....).

Then Tuesday came.  I get up, get a boy-o to school and head in to the office.  I get my day underway by reheating the leftover half of my Monte Cristo sandwich from Monday's brunch.  (An aside, can I tell you how awesome Knook and Kranny on 23 near Phoenixville is?  Yeah, never had a bad anything and the owner is so sweet.)  I settle in and start checking the emails from the weekend and Monday and downloading some software I need for the upcoming reporting month.

Then Monty comes up.  Has this expression on his face like he's about to do something he really, really, really doesn't want to do.  Yeah.  That look.  Tells me he's been asked to walk me down to Katie's office.  Oh, and did you know Al's in the building?  Yup.  Al's from corporate HR.  There's only one reason why I'd be walked down to the business manager's office when corporate HR is here.  Corporate decided to do another RIF (reduction in force for those blessed enough not to know) and thanks to my oh-so-wonderful reviews the last two years, I was on the short list.

I do know that both Monty and Katie fought as hard as they could to keep the RIF from happening and to keep me from being a victim of it.  I could tell that neither of them wanted to be doing this, and Al didn't look too happy either.  (I'll give you this, Al is a very compassionate guy and I'd never, ever, in a million years want to be an HR person, ever, since his job mostly sucks in this economy...)  I'll tell you that while I didn't get the executive treatment for my severance package, I didn't just get a boot to the ass and a "good luck!".  I can't say that I'm happy with it, because, let's face it, I'd rather have my job, but it'll help keep us afloat for a little while.  Actually, a fairly long while if I play my cards right and can manage to keep costs down as low as I can.

So, yeah.  I'm unemployed at the moment.  Yes, I've signed up for unemployment.  No, I don't feel the slightest bit guilty about taking this "entitlement" because I've been employed almost non-stop since 1999 and have been paying into the system all this time.  This isn't "free" money, this is money I've paid into a system for just this kind of event.  Sure, I'd be thrilled never to have to rely on it, but I'm not stupid enough to turn down a helping hand.
I have to get my resume in full order.  I will admit that I took most of last week of as "vacation", since I'd been griping that I needed one for many months now and really, I honestly doubt delaying a week would really change the outcome of any job search.  Besides, I have no clue where I want to go next.  I don't know if I want to stay in the power industry, or if I want to do something else.  Do I want to continue to be some kind of software/technological support or do I want to do something else?  I do know that I don't want to move and that I'll need a job with at least half decent benefits and that I don't want to do sales.

It is times like this that I truly envy people like my brother who at least have a clue of what industry they want to work in, even if they haven't a clue what exact position they want.  I've got nothing.  I fell into this job 12.5 years ago when I gave Monty my resume to take in just to shut him up.  I never wanted to be in the regulatory or power industry.  I never wanted to be in software development or support.  I had some skills that came in handy and I could talk intelligently to customers.  The rest, I learned over the years.  I really have no idea what I want to do.
No, wait, I take that back.  I know what my dream job is, but they're few and far between, don't pay much and rarely have any benefits what so ever.  Yeah, that's right.  My dream job is still to be an educator at a nature center or the like.  And no, I'm not going to try and join the park service (see that not really wanting to move at this point above as well as the fact that 90% of park rangers are really just police officers, which isn't what I want to do...)  I'm not going to get my emergency teaching certificate and start subbing and working towards my full certification.  I never wanted to teach in a formal setting and NCLB has made that into something I want to avoid like the plague actually.  (It's bad enough what I'm going to deal with being a parent.... there's a reason my friend Michelle ran from the job screaming several years ago now...)

So, I've got to figure out which way is up and what path I might like to try.  And I've got to figure out how I fit into Gak and Boo's morning schedule's and routines.  I haven't been a part of the daily home scene since Boo was 11 weeks old or so and the boys have it down pretty pat after almost 5 years.  (Yeah, that's right,  Boo turns 5 two months from today... go ahead, I'll wait while the shock wears off.)  So, I don't have a job outside the house and I have no idea what my job inside the house is right now either.

But, this is the season of new beginnings and rebirth, both spiritually and physically.  I just hope that I don't have to wander as far and as long as my Jewish ancestors did.

Peace to all and may you not have an unwelcome surprises and at least a general direction to head.

p.s. I wish I could say this was all a horrible April Fool's joke, but I can't.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Just Keep Swimming

I have a much longer and probably much more whiney post I want to write, but tonight I am going to write the happy post.
Any long term reader will remember the time around whrn Boo turned two that we had our second session of Mommy and Me swim classes and they were no fun for anyone and he screamed at me any time we went near a pool or the bath for almost 9 whole months.  Well, we're way beyond that now.
We finally got the time and coordination together to cash in on Amma's birthday present from last year of one-on-one swim lessons for the boy.
The timing was right. He has been loving our Sunday swims more and more and getting braver and braver. Tonight was his second lesson and he's enjoying it so much and doing so well. He's down to three bubbles instead of four and I can't begin to tell you how happy we all are.  As you can see he's having fun.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Muddling Through

I know I said I was going to be better about blogging this year.  It hasn’t happened.  And neither has tracking what I eat.  Even though they were measurable and easily attainable goals, I have already failed at them.

I have a laundry list of excuses, but you know, it all comes back down to the same thing.
I’m exhausted.
I’m mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted.  I know I don’t use the word spiritually much, but I do believe it applies right now.

This past 4 or 5 weeks have been killer.  There was Boo’s emergency trip to the hospital. (Now all that’s left is the being billed and paying for of that little adventure…)  There was my subsequent bout of illness to contend with.  Then there was the long and arduous trip to Texas to tax me even further.  And throughout it all there has been Cookiegate (mostly under control now, just trying to muddle my way through getting rid of the last 400 or so boxes… yeah, 400 boxes…) and network troubles at work.  Oh, and we can’t forget Gak’s been working open to close since the beginning of all this thanks to his boss needing tendon surgery in his arm.  It’s not his fault, but still trying none the less.

That’s enough to tax a normal person.  But for me, I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall and am now plastered against it with nowhere to go and no way to peel myself off of it.  Actually, that might be too kind some days; some days I feel like I’ve then slid down said brick wall and am just a puddle of goo desperately trying to reform into a person.

I’ve been getting sleep.  Not always good sleep lately.  The last week or 10 days I’ve been getting bad sleep thanks to a knee that’s decided to be very painful (but not swollen that I can notice…) and keep me awake in the middle of the night for a couple of hours.  Or one of my other joints on my right side will decide to complain I’ve been laying on them too much.  Therefore, I’m starting the day exhausted and feeling like I haven’t slept.  And because I’m “sleeping in”, I’m not getting my precious “me time” first thing in the morning.  Trust me when I say I need that quiet hour or so to myself every day.  That does as much or more to recharge my emotional and spiritual well-being as sleep does to recharge my mental and physical well-being.

I will freely admit I’ve been eating way too much garbage lately.  Largely it is stress eating at work because it is so frustrating to try and get anything done right now.  And yes, when I eat junk I feel like junk.  But lately the short term “happy” is outweighing the knowledge of what it leads to.  I need comfort and coddling and since I can’t keep my snuggle-bear husband or my snug-a-boo son with me all day… food is often the quick fix unfortunately.  The scale, my clothes and my general well-being reflect this.

Emotionally all the drama with Cookiegate and the stress of the mess at work has me at an all time low for stability.  The littlest thing is likely to make me snap at someone in frustration or all but break down and cry.  It’s not what I normally would call depression, more frustration and anger with an inability to have things “go right” for a bit.  It’s not that I’ve lost interest in doing things that I love or don’t care about things, because I haven’t; it’s more that I’ve become so utterly frustrated by my inability to physically do them that I’m at a breaking point.  I just can’t keep juggling all the balls that keep getting thrown at me and the ones that I want to add to the mix.  They’re all going to come crashing down on my head soon.  And then I’ll be useless to everyone.

Because of the physical stresses, I’m exhausted.  Because I’m exhausted, my mental and emotional state is on shaky ground at best.  And because emotionally I’m at such a rocky point, my spirit feels crushed and broken.  Normally I’m a pretty positive person, but lately, it’s hard to see the positive with myself.  With other things and people, sure I can see the sunshine, but my own life looks pretty miserable.

Point in fact; we had a team meeting at work on Tuesday.  One of the things discussed were goals for the year.  One of the “team goals” our manager, and his manager, wants is a team utilization rate of 80% or better.  This means at least 32 out of 40 hours in my work-week must be charged to a project number.  Meetings, unless project specific, don’t count.  Taking a 5-minute (or 15-minute) break to mentally recharge as I transition between projects, doesn’t count.  Vacation or sick time doesn’t count.  And right now, with my mental and physical state, that’s a damn near impossibility for me.  And I hate the fact that I physically can’t meet this goal.  This shouldn’t be that hard of a goal to reach with the amount of work on my plate.  This should actually be easy to do, if I could just “buckle down” and get things done.  But I can’t.  I have problems staying awake and alert.  I have to get up and walk around for a bit to clear my head and keep myself moving and awake.  And I need the human contact of talking with my friends from time to time at work.  I may be an introvert, but I need to know that my select few favorite people are there and around.  I need to be by myself and in my own world, but not alone.

A little while back I did a thing on Facebook where you list certain things at certain times in your life… one of them was “biggest fear”.  And let me tell you, my biggest fear, well above and beyond the normal fears all parents have and the “normal” day-to-day fears of most people, is that somehow I’m not going to be able to keep this act up and all the balls will drop and scatter and my stable and secure job of 12.5 years will be yanked out from under me because of it and I’ll let everyone, especially my loves, down and we’ll be in a much, much worse situation than we are.

That’s what’s on my mind right now.  That’s what helps keep me awake at night when something else wakes me up.  That is what consumes me and adds to my irritability and anxiety.  And it sure as anything isn’t helping the overall situation.

What can I do to fix it?  I don’t know.  I don’t know that I can fix it.  What I want is for someone, some professional, to say “yes, what you’re going through is real and not in your head and not normal for a young woman of 37 years old.”  Even if they can’t do anything to fix it, to know that yes, this isn’t normal, and that it’s OK to be exhausted like I am and that there’s a real honest, to goodness reason for it, would make me feel that much better.  Make it feel like I wasn’t fighting such an uphill battle.  Make it be OK that I just can’t do it all or even half of it all.  That I’m allowed to be this way and that some things are just going to be impossible for me.  But until that happens, I’m stuck fighting the fight that I feel like I’ll probably never win and no one will ever understand.

On that thought, I will leave you.
Peace to all and may not feel like your life is spinning totally out of control.

p.s. I wrote this at work, but I'm now home because Boo broke out in some kind of rash at nap time and I had to go get him.... *sigh*